Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Poison we readily consume...

We are poisoned.

Evidence of this poison surrounds me. My room is currently in a very messy state. What is it that causes this mess? It is remnants of things I once thought important enough to accumulate which now serve as nothing more than obstacles between my bed, my desk, my closet and my door. Part of it is just part of my laziness in tidying up, but it paints quite the picture. Newspapers, still-unpacked suitcases, books, shopping bags... they all fill the floor. It's just STUFF. Stuff that was once important enough to make it into my room, but now lies discarded.

My gym clothes lie in a heap as well. Yet more evidence of our poisoned lifestyles. Someone once pointed it out that we eat so much that we then have to run in place to work off the fat. It's true. I spend half an hour each day running in place on the cross-trainer, accomplishing nothing more than burning calories and maybe building up some muscle. And I would think it weird if there weren't dozens of other ladies at the gym doing the same thing. Often I have to stand in line to do nothing more than run in place. What is it about our lifestyle that we find it so vital to consume more calories than we will naturally burn, then spend valuable time running in place? And yes, I am definitely more conscious of my caloric intake these days, but the whole running in place really represents years and years of too many calories. And I'm not the only one who struggles. Child seats are no longer big enough for many children. Obesity has reached EPIC proportions. "They" say it is an epidemic.

We gear our lives towards success and financial independence. We chase after our dreams - whether it be owning that first home, driving a nice car, earning the next promotion at work or getting on the dean's list. Our culture has taught us that happiness comes with success. And we hunger for success. I definitely include myself in this we... My skin has broken out more than usual as it is final exam time, and final time is stressful... why? Because I feel such a strong need to achieve, to somehow prove my worth as an academic.

And I'm not saying that these things in and of themselves are bad... But what are we losing in the pursuit? How many a businessman or even a pastor, has left a wife and children to run off with another woman? How many families period have broken up in this pursuit of success? How many diseases have resulted as a consequence to our over-achieving lifestyle? How many kids have suffered self-esteem or other damage in an attempt to live up to these expectations?

It makes me sad that there is not a single famous Hollywood marriage that has stayed together. And movie stars, they've got everything... talent, money, fame... But they can't maintain what is really important.

We "first-world" Westerners are NOT living the good life.

And we spread this poison. This materialism, this drive for sucess at all costs... It reaches to the third world and pours salt into the wound of their genuine poverty.

And I wish I could ignore it. Because I think that success - the way we have come to define it - is within my grasp. But what horror it would be to achieve it, then realize it's empty.

So, I don't know what to suggest. But, here's a start... a link to the blog my friend Ruth set up to promote her social justice film festival.


Anonymous said...

hey just stumbled accross your blog. try to live life as it goes and dont try to load everything in to your mind and live life day by day without thinking much about the future u will have a great time . i am also a student and i do this and i cant complain about stress.

Anonymous said...

Hey Miss Joolz!
Mel Gibson is still married after almost 30 years...and 7 kids. There's your inspiration that it is possible.

Julie said...

But... is he married to someone famous?