Some folks wonder why we are, in general, sitting here in 2016 so inclined to pastimes and addictions that lead to little of value?
We have to be honest and admit we've long since moved past just looking for fun things to do in our leisure time. We sincerely are people busy doing a lot of nothing far more than we can justify.
People talk about the days of old, as if those were the simple times, and I beg to differ. What was simple about 12 to 15 hours a day full of skills that we mostly cannot wrap our minds around?
We are as a society, though it may not apply to us all entirely, busy on our phone refreshing our Facebook Feed or taking photos to post Instagram. We are busy chasing Pokemon or chatting with 12 online friends while our family does the same across from us. But we do not know how to do much of anything. If we do have a real valuable skill, it is usually very concentrated.
We sit and watch how others do their hair, how they cook or how they open toys and pose them on a table. We watch how others take photos and decorate and paint things on Pintrest, though.
We eat and never think about the hands that might have picked the tomatoes on our plate. We never think an animal's life was given to produce the chicken nuggets our kids eat. We think of eggs as things produced in a store, never were they laid by a hen somewhere in a little crate.
Our kids learn to worry about achieving higher test scores in math and reading so much they never have time to read a valuable piece of literature or how to measure things in quarts and gallons and pints. We fund this all with our dollars, and yet our children come out of school largely unable to change their oil, cook a balanced meal or able to show us Antarctica on a map.
We can't sew, store food or build. We can't start a fire or grow anything for ourselves. We argue about how to adjust carseats and whether one skin color has a life that matters more than another skin color with little typed words across the internet day in and day out. We went on tangents about saving the unborn, so that when those lives were saved, we could bitch about feeding those families kids with "foodstamps."
We decided American needs to consume too much and too cheaply to keep skill manufacturing jobs here. So we sent all those jobs away. We preferred to let others work at making our jeans, cars and pots in order for us to live faster and freer. We didn't like answering phones, picking our vegetables, working on dairy farms or pouring concrete. We decided someone else could do that, until they did, and then we had a tantrum about that, too. It is just what we do in American these days.
And in the end more we are more useless and in more bondage than we can wrap our minds around, but why would want to? That seems hard. We keep looking for more while we find less. We settled for less, but we keep wondering why nothing is enough.
We expand our house size while being fascinated by expensive tiny houses that we could build for 1/10 the price of those fancy Pre-fab models if we knew how to build anything. But we don't. And besides, then we'd need a storage unit to keep our important stuff inside.
Our kids read less than ever. We read less than ever. We skim this and that. We don't even know half of what we are looking at. We share it online without really reading it, without checking whether it is true. Then we get upset when someone calls us out on it. How dare they check into what we share? We bicker and argue and harass more than we think and discuss and care. We all know less than ever. Our kids are less ready for a life without mom and dad than ever. We are less ready to survive than ever. How can we teach them? Do we even know much worth sharing?
We look down on those who sweat and work and a care for the land for the sake of food and health. We go to the gym to find an activity to use our bodies. That makes more sense. We buy shakes and pills and potions. Those will make us better.
We are taking more drugs than ever before, there are more addicts than we can wrap our minds around. Almost no one seems able to cope without medication these days, not even our children. We are overweight; we are obese, really; we are overrun with diabetes. We go to bed feeling mentally exhausted but our bodies haven't done much. We've driven. We've typed. We've talked. We've pondered. We are tired from technology but little else.
We've gone so far in the wrong direction, I cannot see how we make our way back, and let's be honest here and say, we don't want to go back, for before there was such accountability and responsibility.
And who wants that when we can "have so much more?"
Except, we don't.
And I am as guilty as anyone.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens
- Proverbs 27:23-27