Shiny Things

Good evening ladies and gentleman

All this thinking about missing the past, about finding a purpose and not being able to understand the point in the monotony can be difficult. It can be very easy to fall into a depression through times like this, so i choose to think, to wander and attempt (at least) to understand.

I find myself fixated in particular on our purpose in the universe and its unfortunate relationship with the materials we “own.” I’ve tackled the materialism problem a few times before, but here the desire for “stuff” seems to be a symptom of a much wider problem. Chasing.

Always chasing, running towards something, someone. Running away from things just as fast as we ran towards them. It’s as if we don’t know what to do once we catch what we are chasing- like a dog whose already caught its tail. We seem as a society to have been taught we need something. We need to have this latest thing, a better car, a nicer house, a better paying job but work more hours, work harder, sleep less, see your children as much as you can but “duty calls.”

We are being led down a dark path by the very idea we use to cope with the stresses of modern life. Similar to how magpies are attracted to shiny things, we seem to be too. We sit there in a job we can’t stand, hoping to move up, get promoted and smile every time you ever lock eyes with anyone even with a mask on in an attempt to keep face in a place you are never ever going to be able to be yourself in, as you chase the next “big thing.”

Like i said before, the materialistic society is a symptom of a wider problem. Things are just that- things. They can’t hurt you, will never try to control you (the power you give them is all you) and ultimately will always be there for you. They are a constant, until they get boring. Then they have to be modified, changed and upgraded. For every person you see driving a nice car, there are probably 5 people driving one bored of it and in need of an upgrade.

The desire to chase and win seems to have spread to the pursuit of relationships too. A great number of the population (in the western world in particular) don’t want a relationship. Truth be told they don’t even know what a relationship is beyond what they’ve seen in movies or been told about by their friends who think their relationship is the “one” – whatever that means these days.

Let it be known I’m not hating on these people, if whatever they’re doing in their lives makes them happy, all the more power to them. I just choose to believe things aren’t that simple, that even in the relationship with the “one” there is still someone chasing…something.

The infamous, brilliant speaker and comedian George Carlin was a man far beyond his time and in one of his most famous routines said this:-

“Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. “

There are people in the world that have vast sums of money and things. More than you and I could even possibly imagine. In the infinite irony of the world we live in these days, those who are the “richest” in the modern sense of the world don’t seem to live all that far away from some of the “poorest” people. How can this be so? Chasing….always chasing.

These people may all be happy, they may all be sad. It’s hard to tell and ultimately for the person sat reading this, shouldn’t even matter. We as a whole species seem to waste so much of our lives chasing this perfect ideology to impress people who aren’t paying that much attention to us anyway. Thats the truth of it, you are chasing the point where you are able to control someone else’s thoughts about you.

That shiny utopia. The ultimate shiny that means pain, questioning, self exposure to potentially negative feelings or ideals never has to happen, because you always know what’s going to happen.

We are chasing a life without pain, so having money means you don’t have to worry about money, having a partner who cherishes and virtually worships you can mean you are able to do as you please without the potential for loneliness. This is what we have been convinced of ultimately, this learned behaviour to not be happy with what you have, to always want more, to want to be more, to have this never ending itch you will never be able to scratch.

The world will tell you this is what makes you feel alive, that drive to do and be more. I agree to a certain extent, but it leaves very little room for self understanding. You spend a day in bed staring at the ceiling convinced you are never going to stop crying and are probably just going to carry on feeling like this forever. That feeling isn’t something you chase, it’s something you survive.

You feel as if you have given up. You listened to the videos, you went to every talk and meeting you could- but ultimately there you lie, tears rolling down those puffed, swollen cheeks. A failure. Not able to chase anything, not going anywhere. Stuck in that same rut you’ve been in for years with seemably no way out.

You take these days so hard- they hurt so dam much. As a result you feel the need to chase so much harder for whatever you’re driving towards afterwards. Yet, the only factor that needs to be running at full strength to receive all we could dream of from the universe is us. We have to be there, focused and prepared for action. You cannot be this on point without the bad days. The days where you don’t get out of bed, the days where the dark is your new best friend. The endless chase has to stop, it has to stop.

These periods of time, this periods of self imposed reflection are giving you the tools and the clarity to look beyond the shiny bone the dog has been chasing after for weeks now with limited success. We need these times to stop and reflect, about who we are and what we want to be doing with our lives.

Then a smile wont feel so forced because it comes from a place of genuine joy. Think of this pursuit of “shiny” things for a second if you will.

You should be happy with what you have, says George Carlin. First and foremost in the process of doing that is being happy with yourself. Then the build, the chase, isn’t just for the sake of chasing something, just because it’s shiny.

Yours, with love as always.

D.R x