The past few days have been spent with my brother and his family. It has been a wonderful time seeing people, interreacting with tiny grandkids, nieces, and nephews. If I had to write about the norm in America, you might just walk along for a few days to get a feel of what life is like working and raising kids in everyday America. The one thing that came out of this trip is how odd and different my "norm" is.
The first thing I notice is the amount of time people spend traveling and commenting to do things. It is getting more like living in Los Angeles where people spend a great deal of time in their vehicles and never really calculate how much time they spend going from point a to b. This was the main impetus for setting up live/work spaces years ago. I simply calculated the time spent going to and from work and realized it worked out to about 10 work weeks I wasn't getting paid for. how many people ever consider this cost of time?
Another interesting observation was the amount of noise we live in, particularly in an urban environment. While it wasn't any surprise or something new, when you take a step out of the gerbil mill of life and intentionally quiet yourself and focus, when you come into the reality of most people's idea of life – it is really, really, noisy.
How much media people consume is the third observation. I try not to watch television, and movies just don't hold much interest for me anymore. this was a conscious choice, yet, I have not lost my marketing, merchandising, and licensing interests in the business to see just how much American media is beating up the average consumer with messages and pathways to monetize everything under the moniker of "be like this" or "this is fun!" I love my sister in law to death, but watching, or trying to watch some tv show called real housewives of NY almost had me stick a drill in my head to self-lobotomize to understand the hot mess of psychological issues that are pushed as some unhealthy norm
This brings me to the last part of the issue of "fun and entertainment" which has fallen under that umbrella of "scale" in the united states. Folks, it appears the conglomerates simply pushed out the same stuff for everyone to have fun with all across the nation and there is no shortage of people lining up to spend money to have "fun" with a distilled "themed" reality. I think back to how good I was at creating that reality. I still wonder who will come up with the first immersive implosion show where people will all plugin and seem to pay to suck at the tip of the entertainment pig? spend, spend, spend, and medicate for a moment without a care for any long term goal
I should keep my mouth shut about the size and shape of current America, it is how large and medicated we have gotten. I am not sure if the two go hand in hand? Or if they are two separate issues?
With the food issue, I think I can break the fundamental problem down past the part where people just put their fork and knives down and say, "that is enough" and/or go exercise. The latter part I don't' think really can bring a lot of weight loss off but is excellent for overall healthier living. The world of nutrition has simply gotten skewed within the first four elements of ordinary life. With food, you have the issue of accessibility to cheap empty calories, drive-throughs, portion size, processed/packaged foods, and marketeers seeming to push a path where sugar addiction will be the new opioid epidemic in society. It sounds funny typing that last line, "sugar addiction" but with the chemistry and corn syrups and other sweeteners now being classified as natural cane sugar – we are heading down the road to future disaster with diabetes and obesity.
The last part I am watching is exercise. I think many do not like the idea of it, or somehow we have lowered the bar to say a 5-minute walk is the same as a full workout in a gym. I think the reality is that when you combine all the parts I just talked about, people have become so busy with obligations that they forgot the idea of the priority for their own health? The market has sneakily gone and made insanity the new healthy behavior.
All these years, I have sat here trying to fit into the norm of society, and later in life, I realize I just don't think or fit into that model, and that is ok. So I have to make the best of the time I have each day to improve what I can. What I don't do is sit around and find talking about what so and so did or does and has – as anything interesting in life. The content of the discussion is far from anything that really ever registers in my normal brain thoughts.
So that is my observation of the "norm" of life in the USA. It isn't great, it isn't terrible…yet, like anything else, we get a choice to improve it or dilute it. I am heading down that different path of the herd and trying to raise the bar. my fear is just how far we can dilute life downward before anyone wakes up and think, "wow, this processed crap food is terrible!" (we have a long drop to get there)
On the positive side, I did sit in a research hospital the other day that was filled with alpha folks who probably constitute the minority of the masses. It was nice to be around them for a bit. It gave me more hope for the country.