Taking the Scenic Route

Here is my problem. We are just too into ourselves today. It’s all about what we have, what we don’t have, what we should have, when you did this, when you did that. Constant, aggravating deadlines and validations. I don’t understand how the world became such a rigid place. Everything is standardized. There are all these systems that we compare ourselves to, and there’s always some competition for a certain degree of success. There are people who walk over other people to become powerful. We all crave this power over other human beings. We all want that for some reason, and we’ll do anything to get it. We want money. We want recognition. We want anything and everything that will make people pay attention to us and actually consider our opinion over someone else’s. We’ll sacrifice our health, our family, and even our values in order to get to the top of some elaborate corporate food chain with hopes of becoming “something successful.”

But what is that, really? Something your ego will love, but not so much your sense of morality, your conscience. It’s funny, isn’t it, how people who work so hard to succeed in their lives, but they aren’t fulfilled. They could be king of the world and that wouldn’t be enough. They are in love with themselves and the power that they could have. But that’s just something that I don’t find meaning in. It’s very isolating if you think about it. And I don’t understand all the rushing. What the hell are all these people rushing for? They drive like mad, they’re always running late for something, and they’re always stressed out. I’ll tell you, it’s a great feeling to have an entire day to yourself, not needing to go anywhere. You can take your time. I’m hoping to come across more of those days. If you rush, you end up missing quite a bit, believe me.

This brings me to a concept I call taking the scenic route. I’m not sure if this is a new idea or an old one. I don’t read many books about this sort of thing, but I’m sure it’s very Zen-like in philosophy. I’ll tell you how I eventually came up with this idea. I like to walk around my neighborhood in a very relaxed manner. There is a golf course with beautiful scenery a little ways down the road and there are some other very natural scenes with many birds and squirrels and that kind of walk relaxes me. There is also a long straight road to my house from the golf course, which takes about five minutes to walk down. Then there is a way to walk that takes about twice as long and has much richer scenery. So I often opt to take the fast route when I think I’m in some kind of rush, but on the days when I have time to spare, I love to take the more scenic route. It gives my senses a sense of peace, a sense of connectedness with all of nature, knowing that no matter what happens in “society,” nature will always remain constant. The timelessness and symbiotic nature of nature can really put your mind, body, and spirit at peace. I think what we all look for in life is a combination of peace, love, happiness, and security. Not to mention passion and a purpose in life. But if we spend all this time rushing, not really knowing the point of our existence, not really observing, but mostly just doing what we think we’re supposed to do, we’re pretty much wasting our lives.  This is what Steve Pavlina calls following the follower.  I certainly don’t want to be one of those people and I never have even thought about doing things like that. 

How many people die from stress-related diseases each year?  I couldn’t even tell you, but I’m sure it is an astronomical number.  But I don’t think it’s their fault.  I think it’s society’s fault.  They make things so damn complicated and hard to understand that it’s almost as if they’re asking us to go completely insane.  We’re all just running around in circles here, and not many people see that.  We’re so transfixed on instant gratification and our very short attention spans.  I can’t even have a meaningful conversation with hardly anyone because either their fucking cell phone will ring or they have to go do something, which is total bunk.  You never have to go do anything.  You create situations where you think you have to do things.  It’s a belief rooted in necessity, but it’s all due to conforming to someone’s social guidelines.

Thirty-thousand years ago, life was not like this.  There weren’t any buildings or civilizations.  There was nothing but a bunch of hunters and gatherers just wandering the planet looking for food and water.  There was no rush.  There was most likely no stress.  There was no need for a plasma screen TV or a meaningless job where you work forty hours a week and get paid lousy for it.  I’m not saying we should revert to old ways, but we need to have some sort of conscious revolution where we realize that life is a collaborative effort, not an individual one.  We’re all the same, really.  We’re all life.  We all live on this planet and our choices are leading it to its demise.  It’s not all our fault, it’s the only life we know.  But we don’t have to accept it.  We don’t have to stand by and watch the collapse of civilization as we know it.  We can be proactive.  We can stop all the cruelty.  We can stop all the ego and power struggles.  But it will take a complete revolutionary realization that will expand the minds of everyone on this planet.  I’m certainly looking forward to some sort of movement, but it’s hard to be optimistic when I see all these people following a path that will inevitably destroy the place in which we live.

I like to put things in perspective.  To the universe, we’re nothing but an insignificantly small part of the entire scope of existence, but to the people and animals on earth, this planet is everything we have.  I have a distinct feeling that sooner or later, Mother Earth and her great power will have to ecologically have us become extinct.  It’s just that it has to cleanse itself of the cancer of the world.  All these new developments will need to be ostracized.  We can either do it now, or let Mother Nature do it for us.  The choice is up to us as a planet.  It’s your move…

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