Rabu, 21 Mei 2008

Song Titles and diversionary thoughts

Twisted as I am, the "titles" for my blog entries often start out as song titles. Must be my participation in choirs and choruses over the years that causes that quirk. I do my best to avoid using them! Besides when I need to know a song title I can't remember it. Go figure.

Why is it a person's mind gets jam packed with trivial crap, such as being able to visualize the inside of the refrigerator and tell another person exactly where the leftover onion is? Or recalling what the details of a job description from 19-- were? Or knowing what the name of a bookstore in Livingston, MT, or a coffee house in Charlottetown, PEI is?

Then, this same person, self-confessed and namely me, can't remember what setting to use on a camera, doesn't recall the book just finished (title, plot, or actual location!), and on and on. This process of store and recall is an issue that has been passed down through the ages, I'm convinced.

But, these days there is so much more to first learn, then store, finally forget and try to re-establish again. Much of it has to do with stuff. More and more I am convinced every person in America, regardless of status (what an ugly word), has too much stuff. We think about the wrong things all too much and by wrong things I mean THINGS.

We worry about what will happen to our stuff when our last day on Earth is over. We worry about our stuff that we leave behind when we go someplace on a trip. We worry about the stuff we take along. We worry about what other people think about our stuff. We worry about the value of the stuff we want to get rid of because there is too much. We worry about whether we should get rid of it and when we do we start to worry about whether we acted too quickly for we might need that stuff again.

When I see photos of so-called poverty stricken people in other countries I don't see much stuff. They are stuff-poor. They have challenges, don't get me wrong; I see that. But they have a freedom we don't have by not having stuff to manage. They turn their thoughts to caring for each other, for sharing what they have right then and there. They stand in line for a ladle of water-y soup not the latest WII game. There's no shoving. When they get to the counter they are glad to get anything and if it is all gone they are saddened but non-disruptive. Hopefully someone shares. And, there is always the next time, the next line, the next helping hand.

Not here, not so much in this country. All too often our caring doesn't extend beyond our own selves, our basements, garages, kids' suites (really), or closets. It could be that there is some justification to what is going on now as we are learning we don't have to have it all. The more subtle approach of teaching us to save then spend didn't work. Now that our country's citizenship has spent more than it should, not unlike the government itself, we are learning the hard way, like 5 year olds. We have too much, paid too much for it, no one wants it, and we are pouting.

Our country is young by comparison to many others. Our culture is also. I wish we could all look around and see each other, without our stuff. We are all ending up angry and short-tempered because we don't like what is going on with prices. That isn't going to help or make anything better. Maybe we need to learn from people with less stuff that life goes on, that we must return to inventive and THINKING ways to make good things happen, to exist, to assist, to rise above the clutter of minds and places.


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