I’m sitting in Starbucks. I’m not a Starbucks fan. I’m not a fan of anything corporate. Yet it is hard to find an independent anything these days. Less, or should that be ‘more’ so in the city.
I’m sitting in the corner, facing the corner. Back to the world in order that I write this. Already, within ten minutes a lady settles in the group of chairs and starts talking. This is something that I often announce the need for, friendliness, open-ness, true sharing without fear… in this world would make us all far richer.
I am inclined to talk with her for not doing so would be contradictory to my values and I’m torn with the desire to get things done, achieve as I set out to. Write something of worth, content. After a morning that slid away hampered by the gremlins in the cogs of productiveness.
And that was as far as that went. We spoke, I searched a phrase and that was her opportunity to speak English. I gave her what I had so far written to read and this pleased her. That it did, that we spoke and she genuinely interacted made my day better as I feel it did hers. And time passed as it does, at the same rate, measured in a technically accurate manner (after all I am in Switzerland, home of the watch makers?) However accurate it may be there is an accumulation of it that appears to speed up around adulthood. It sped along and soon was gone; at least, I had to go.
Does it matter that I didn’t achieve? I went to my weekly appointment with my psychologist. We discussed the conflict in myself. The Dr. Jekyll of desire to fit in with society, to embrace its norms and secure a secure job. Earn points, climb rungs on the ladder of normalcy. Enter a meaningful lasting relationship. Have children (yes I want children more than anything) to give of myself unreservedly with total commitment. There perhaps lies part of my problem. The enthusiasm with which I have approached the new opportunity, the 100% (People who do things 110% have lost the principle of percentage!) effort, the total preparedness to do whatever and step above, ahead or aside of expectation. It has a cut off point. Does this mean that I am lacking in stamina, self-discipline? No. The job that pushes for more, allows me to give more but doesn’t recognise it: the girlfriend who, like a great number of women, thinks it her job to change and mould the male into what she believes he should be: there are small things, reasonable changes and efforts and then comes the point where I feel I’m being pushed too far. I’d like to believe that you the reader have the impression that I am able to declare this in good time and with enough articulation not to offend. Still the line gets crossed and Mr Hyde of my world of idealism steps up, high 5’s Dr, Jekyll in the face and slaps me back to a reality that is in fact a non-existent ideality. And that is where I live.
In a land where time is not the measure of achievement, at least, not the amount that can be fitted into it. A land where people work together, not for profit but for purity? For the best that something can be? You may, as many do argue that this is the principle behind business. Principles are the pride of people and their destruction in the following breath. A principle allows the establishment of values yet almost prevents compromise? A principle is a fundamental of truth. Is your truth the same as everybody else’s? Can we compromise sufficiently to establish common principles? Of course, we do it every day. Can we manage this worldwide? Probably not. The differences become too many? Whilst hu-mankind bases it’s principles on business their will always be competition. Competition breeds progress? At the cost of many and the aspiring (american) dream leaves waste and loss (e.g. native americans) in its wake.
I do not intend to point the finger at America as creator of world problems. Though, if we consider population and the power of the people, influence has at times shown to be theirs.
Society is structured on our ‘common values’? Since before industrialisation we have commonly been working for 5% of our population.
The dream, to kick it all behind and work for yourself? Is this a solution to a relatively recently constructed problem? No, it is building the pyramid from the side.
What would it really take, REALLY? For us all to work for each other?
A re-construction. It is ‘more economical’ to destruct and build new. To replace rather than repair.. Bollocks. It’s more profitable. Ah yes, the definition of economical.
What of the waste, the growing waste that is only just being calculated and pooh-pahed as a ‘not in our life-time’ approach to global warming.
What would it really take, REALLY? Re-evaluation of values and principles. Re-identification of the meaning of life. Of living as a society, supporting itself, one another, for the better of a nation? For the better of a growing global economy in a shrinking world?
Should we all need to see the starving? Be physically presented with poverty face displays of despair? No. Because these things are there, here; all around us as we avoid them we avoid progressing civilisation at a cost we will all pay.