Thursday, April 13, 2006

instant gratification

Granted, we live in a fast paced urban landscape. Time has become a precious commodity, because we only have 24 hours in a day, so logically speaking, making full use of the little time we have increases productivity, doesn't it?

But does being productive makes us happier? For some people that sounds about right, but a lot of people I talk to aren't happy with being productive, either induced or voluntary. People complain about not having time to themselves, how they're always rushing here and there, sacrificing quality time with family. So much so that time becomes a valued commodity. Phrases like 'don't waste my time', or 'I don't have time for this shit', are becoming commonplace. That's also why 'instant' is the new marketing wonder, you can do anything under 10 minutes these days, from getting a haircut, to making 3 servings of noodles, you really can do a lot these days with very little time.

Sacrifice. Is that worth it?

I watched a show on TV yesterday, about Sicilian life. Now these people really live it up, great food, gorgeous women, and an easygoing lifestyle. They're sitting on top one of the largest volcanos on the planet. Sure, if they remain in the safety zone they oughta be fine, but its the idea of mortality that propels them to enjoy their life everyday to the fullest. They live with passion, which is what we lack in an instant world.

Which leads me to wonder about our lives now, about our mortality. Global warming is rearing its ugly head now with temperamental weather changes, freak storms, tsunamis, hurricanes, flooding. You know it, and you can feel that it isn't normal. Global entities will never be able to stop the polar ice caps from melting and submerging low-lying cities completely in the next couple of years by reducing emissions, and our reliance on fossil fuel is not going to change as long as we remain ignorant. So, really, when you think about more than ever, you don't really know how much time you have.

I know people who hold back on life. Its not that they lack passion, they are conservative. Releasing a little occasionally as if they were rationing for World War, questioning everything. I can't do that, life's too short to question certain things in life, the should have, or shouldn't have. If you feel like doing it, then go ahead and do it. By all means if instant gratification is your passion, then cook yourself instant meals!

There are some on the other end of the spectrum as well who overdo it. Where they endanger their lives because they want to feel the rush, the excitement, because, ironically, they don't know when their last day on Earth would be. That is instant stupidity. I think perhaps I'm a level headed risk taker, if there is such a thing. Risk analysis. Sure you want to jump off a cliff, or bungee jump, or start a bar fight because it makes you happy, because you like the intensity, because it makes you feel good. But if it ends up jeopardizing the way of life of the people around you who don't share the same train of thought and you get yourself into trouble, then alas, you have not found the meaning of life. At least, not yet.