St. Helena Island; SC
“Our age is no more insecure than any other. Poverty, disease, war, change and death are nothing new.” - Alan Watts
“If you don’t change, your life will be like this forever. Is this good news?” - W. Somerset Maugham
If we are to believe our 24 hour news cycle, you wouldn’t think it is safe to go outside. We are constantly bombarded with tales of negativity, of the degradation and deprivation mankind is capable of. Driven by a lust for viewers and ratings, there seems to be no end to the various angles that our fears are played upon. Then, between news segments, we are again assailed with carefully scripted pieces designed to subconsciously convince us that if we do not have this or do that we are inadequate. I once met an Australian who referred to the Television as the “glass teat.” He claimed it was a device for the mentally impoverished to suckle some mental stimulation from.
Now we have portable devices that take a different approach. Convinced that we are missing something our “friends” are up to, every available moment we keep our noses stuffed into a small screen which convinces us that we are engaged in life. We flip through all of this exaggerated stimuli, from burning house to cute puppy meme to murder to sporting event to disease to . . . to what? To another illusion that we are going to find the meaning of life through a bunch of pixels spoon fed us moment by moment? We end up a bunch of desensitized news junkies so blinded that we cannot see the opportunities for meaning in our own life that lie within our grasp.
Let’s do something different today. Who is right within our reach that has a struggle we can assist with? Who do we know that is isolated and could use an encouraging word or phone call? What interesting or beautiful place lies just around the corner from us that we keep “meaning to visit?” The only life we can create that “has meaning” is the one that lies in the potential life has provided all about us – flesh and blood interaction and first hand engagement in life. Regardless of how real it can be made to seem, the rest is an illusion that will steal true meaning from our life one headline at a time. We are well served to stay attuned to the difference.
Today, may I engage life.
Have a great Thursday !!
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