On Sunday I got to see my uncle and his church and found myself eating at a table with my cousin, his wife and a lot of kids. I had an enjoyable time with my head seems to be on a swivel watching my cousin be a parent to his brother's kids, while the kids were kids and you could see all the various personality and social constructs already alive and well in what must be becoming more of a consumer-based society?
Yes, I keep scratching my head with the united states. We are a tiny portion of the population of the world, yet, we consume so much of it. I wonder how many are actually aware of this? Or is it the gift of being able to work/travel to so many different places that have me come back and question, "is this idea of more, more, more – ingesting a pill to medicate and/or cure any ailment" really a good idea for the long term of ANY culture?
What I realized is how I structure my typical day, which goes back into the early 1990s when the internet was starting, and I was told to pack up my desk and think of an idea that could make the companies money. I took a lot of time studying and shaping the creative process and having the bonus of the time of getting paid to do what your passions are – well, It is a bit like having heaven on earth each day.
What was different is that you took control of your priorities and simply did everything to exploit and maximize your strengths – basically, it was a performance-driven way of life. It was a lot of fun, you worked more than any 9-5 job, and you were fulfilled. The downside is that your weaknesses were never really given much time, as that would take away time from performing and producing for the folks that told you to pack up your desk and work remotely…and then in a little lab…ahhh
Sorry, I digress, I forget it was about 25-30 years ago where I really studied creativity and the way you structure your time and day. There is probably a blog post called "a day in the life.." that explained it. What I did to make more time, was to take control of the time I had and how I used it. Things like commutes, phone calls, meetings to have meetings – then what time am I best mentally, physically? What did I want to learn about? Were all questions that led me to probably walking ahead of the mass herd in what would be available as options to work/live and the idea of working and living in the same spot really save you a great deal of time.
I say time is the ONLY think each of us is given an equal amount of each day. Watching my cousins with his brother's kids showed me that when you have kids…well, you really don't have time for yourself, and it was amazing to see how much energy a little kid requires, just at one meal and feeding.
There was some beet horseradish on the table to go with one of the few foods on earth besides monkey brains I refuse to eat -kielbasa. I just remember childhood holidays and the customs and behaviors of the adults in the room had me question, "so why are they eating it? It is good if you make a funny face, let out a woo, and then get tears in your eyes and declare how good it is? "to me, it looked painful.
So imagine a table of young kids, and not one, but two plates of this dreaded kielbasa with beet horseradish. Despite the warnings, the kids all were eating it, and in some respects, it was a reenactment of what my childhood at the big holidays of Christmas and Easter were like, just with little people.
my cousin asked if I was ok, as I must have looked like a scanning robot sucking in all the audio, visual, and olfactory cues.
"yeah, I am fine, I just realized how different my life is compared to the norm in how I spend and use my time. it is fascinating to watch all this transpiring at one time."
"well, usually it is only ½ of this, but today we have the meal AND the other stuff…so it is different."
Then another cousin two kids came and sat down, their mom is an archeologist and their dad wanted to be a concert conductor, probably saw how few spots and how freakishly talented the few are, became a doctor, and then a priest. So you have these two young minds that really were fun to chat with – as I hadn't seen them in I think 10 years? While I find it interesting to observe kids and ask them questions (the last time was a little girl in a waiting room, and we invented a story about feeding polar bears ice cream cones while her dog and cat jumped into my lap to hear the story) …
I digress again! What I really enjoy is asking smart kids what and how they think about issues that usually you learn over time to get their perspective on life, what they believe, perhaps believe. Listening to them is fascinating.
Usually, the result has me wonder about that quote that at age three, ninety percent of people are deemed highly creative. At age twelve, that number drops to thirty percent. As adults, only two or three percent is still considered to be highly creative.
You can see the answer to "how?" it happens when interacting with the various age groups. The "why?" it happens to people – is still a great mystery. I only have one hypothesis is that people stop asking "why?" to what and how they are living and start putting limits and barriers on themselves. While I do understand the "why?" of this – it is because to really keep growing takes a lot of effort and there is no guarantee of success.
We seem to be living more and more in a world where people only want guarantees with no risk. The market has obliged to monetize pills and keeps society consuming more stuff to guarantee the illusion of happiness will never become a reality.
For that last part to happen, you simply have to let go of the stuff…and follow the path that most of the herd of society is probably not on, much less aware exists.
now I go off and help finish up something a friend started but couldn’t finish, and hopefully finish it today – as it always amazes me how things take longer than expected in our instant gratification society.