“a calm and modest life brings more happiness than the constant pursuit of success combined with the constant restlessness.” – Einstein 1922
I was looking at a grid chart concerning nation-states, the wealth of the people and the perceived happiness of the people. it had an interesting trend in that those that have a lot, tend to want more and bypass the simple reality that Einstein is mentioning. it is the same questions I have with global caloric needs in the year 2050, as no one can explain why the average person needs 3,000 plus calories. “are we going to somehow get really big and athletic? or are we going to be a really fat planet?”
while I am sad that it took me quite some time to learn what Einstein was talking about, I am happy that I can say, “yeah, I get it.” while a minimal life really does bring simple happiness and joy – less worry – it also frees me up to think of the difficult products and solutions that interest us with technology. the one area you look back or at others running along in that pursuit of success and a seeming feeding frenzy like you observe in sharks, is how insane the behavior seems. it is like folks are locked into one tiny piece of life and forgetting all about the other pieces of themselves as a human being.
these are the dangers of the ideal of the bright shiny stuff of the world. I think I touched on it yesterday and today I watched all the A380’s lining up to get in and out of Dubai and I thought, “great vision, and really interesting ideas, but there is not more to life than a giant shopping mall mentality?”
while I understand pushing the barriers and pushing the boundaries with performance to new levels. is the cost and time for that level really good for human beings? I swear our technologies, which are really good tools – somehow are making humans dumber or diluted from the best human they can be. perhaps it is that the inner being is being forgotten with the pursuit of stuff and shiny objects that we can apply like a layer of make up over who we are? I was looking at the core Instagram research last night and going, “wow, it really is getting worse and/or people somehow think posting a picture of themselves every day is somehow cool or fun?
there is a saying that if you study what people take photos of, you will get a glimpse of what people fear losing the most. it appears there are a lot of people afraid of losing themselves, and/or having to see behind the surface of themselves? that is a question for psychologists. I just looked at what I take pictures of and I guess I fear losing living life and not seeing the beauty of it in odd places and spaces.
perhaps the moment of nature and exploration? truth is that while much of the world is about taking selfies, I simply like to take decent images…but much like these silly blog posts, I don’t remember what I wrote yesterday. that is why I tend to carry a sketch book. it is when I see or look at the page/note/scribble/sketch – my brain can go back to all I was thinking about at that moment. there is great irony, in that I think it was Einstein that said, “why remember that which you can look up?”
I had a café with my friend who teaches at the local university. I am getting the rundown on academia from three sources in my life, and sadly, each would like to get out of it. it appears that academia, like medicine and everything else is a business anymore. I was shocked that they are admitting kids from overseas that don't speak any English. I feel for the kids, as it was like me going to Switzerland and not speaking any German, much less schweiser Deutch. you are lost, and then despite having degrees in the USA, and years of international experience with work - it is worthless if you can’t communicate in a world that might stay in one spot on the planet.
I think Passover starts today and I think western Christianity has Easter. the next week will be me going into myself with the conclusion of my lent. I have to laugh with the legalistic religious folks, “but holy week Is not lent” and I go, “do you really think Jesus worried about the legalism and semantics of his last week on the earth?”
we are indeed an odd species. doomed to repeat history. I mean, the USA today reminds me of ancient Rome years ago. entertainment is king and if you just give the folks a loaf of bread, they are happy. (which If I remember correctly accounted for 50% of the food/grain/bread the average citizen's wages)
maybe my friend is correct. America is just turning into a bunch of sheep, watching their shows, eating lots of processed foods, getting fat and not seeming to ask, “why am I doing this to myself?”