Us ‘civilized’ countries think we’re pretty darn nifty. We have electronic gadgets and toys. We have Walmarts and Mc Donalds in every city, microwaves and cellphones are part of every day life.
We are pretty snazzy.
We have devices to save us time; remote controls for the tv, for our car doors, and for our lights. We have instant meals and we can buy anything we need at the touch of a finger (computer). We have big schools CRAMMED full of medicated children. We have homes with short grass and clean driveways. We can reach out our windows in some neighbourhoods and shake hands with Bob next door if we want…
But we aren’t happy.
We don’t often shake Bob’s hand. Though we might nod some formalities and pleasantries if we are both outside hosing off the driveway at the same time. Parents have no time with their kids, because they have to work their asses off to HAVE all the things they feel they need. The pressure of society to make our children and ourselves THINK we need what it is that we buy….(like purchasing things that are supposed to save us time)
We get fat and anorexic, and lazy and overacheiving and we’re all getting medicated because we are depressed, or hyper, or just generally are what seems to be a round peg trying to fit into a square hole.
We aren’t happy.
Our happiness is based on those things which can be taken away.
If the big quake came, and everything was destroyed, and you had nothing left… where would you be?
There are places that are considered sad and behind the times.
Places where toothless farmers are doing back breaking labour. Children are running around slightly dirty, but free and full of wonder. Meals are being prepared with love, and at dinner time, the whole family gathers together to eat a meal. They might pray over their meal. They have very little, but they just might have a bit more than many of us. They might have a love for the Divine. Their God, or Gods. They might take part in the turn of the seasons with heartfelt thanks for their harvest. Offerings to their deities and dancing and celebration.
Simple markers of their life.
Obviously there are places where people are starving. They are in pain, and unwell and have no roof over their head. I am not saying that those poor souls are better off than us. I’m not trying to be that extreme.
I’m just referring to our standards.
We base a country’s ‘wealth’ by their achievements. What did they discover? Did they put a man on the moon? Do the kids wear Nike’s and can they afford to buy oversized clothing? Are they advanced like us? Do the parents run around like chickens with their heads cut off, lives filled with ballet recitals and baseball practice, swimming and play group? Do the parents in these backwards countries have to spend half of what they make in daycare costs just so that they can afford those SUV payments and singing lessons?
Sit by the fire. Your child’s head in your lap… listen to the crackling of the flames while the wind blows in the trees. Tummies aren’t stuffed, but they are satisfied. You don’t have what you want, but you have what you need. Is it so bad? Wouldn’t that be enough?
In the search for the “Gotta have it!”s, it seems we’ve become empty and unfulfillable.
The presence of the Divine is all around us. Within all things. Through all things. There… moving, just under the surface.
The chaos of chasing around our desires makes us blind to the Divine.
Stop running about! Just sit. Just feel. Just love.