I teach millennials and work with them very closely. I have conversations with them about controversial topics in the world. What have I found so far? First of all, I think Pokemon is a metaphor for their existence, they are chasing electronic ghosts and they will go to the ends of the earth to find fake happiness. The prize at the end of the search is a cartoon character. Need I say more.
Their addiction to technology is a superficial sort of reality. Having hundreds of friends on Facebook and not being able to find a single friend you can call at 3 am when you need to hide a body, is not what I would call real. My real buds would not only be there, they would bring a shovel. The same friends would bail me out of jail, then kick my ass for being an idiot. These are real live friends that I can touch and feel and laugh with. It seems to me that this new generation would rather communicate virtually than sit in a room and face each other’s flaws.
I too have virtual friends, friends I’ve never met in real life that I only talk to on the Internet. These friends are fun to have and very valuable in their own right, but nothing makes up for human contact, eye contact, face to face interaction. We need to bring these kids back into the world of the living and human contact before they become actual robots.
Speaking of kids, isn’t a trip that my high school class is now sort of ruling the world? I’m still not convinced we are mature enough. We are no longer kids, we are the real thing. It still trips me up that I’m teaching other kids when I’m still a kid at heart. In fact, some of these kids are having kids. Where will it end?
So once again I’m at Starbucks because where else would I be except feeding the biggest conglomerate in the world that is probably exploiting people in all kinds of ways. In fact, someone once told me how Starbucks was not good for human rights, but I honestly can’t remember what they said. Listen, I may be all about saving humanity from corporations, but I like my vanilla cream cold brew iced coffee.
That’s no excuse, is it? I like the community of people on their laptops typing away, seemingly doing important things. I like to pretend like I’m doing important things. Maybe going to Starbucks makes me feel important. Who knows, but I’m personally not exploiting coffee bean pickers or whatever. I don’t know if I can do better than that.
Someone once told me we all have a certain amount of ability to do the right thing, there are lines we will not cross, but we all have different lines. I will not personally exploit any human being knowingly. When I was in India, my parents asked the servants to eat with them at the dinner table. That is unheard of in that culture. My parents shop at Walmart, the worst company in the universe, but they refer to the servants in India by saying the word: ‘aap.’ It means ‘you,’ but not just ‘you’ it means ‘respectfully you.’ It’s a greeting you use for those you deeply respect. There is another word for just you: ‘tu.’ By the way, they use ‘tu’ when talking to me.
Where are your lines? Do you love animals but still eat meat? You know what, that’s OK, who says we all have to be perfect? We are living in an imperfect world so we don’t have to have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. I mean I think alcohol is bad for the mind and is probably a self-destructive drug that is ruining the world. I still drink socially even though I know it takes me out of my senses instead of making me more insightful. Call me a hypocrite if you must, but I’m trying to live with respect to my principles, yet I fall short all the time. Maybe you do too.
Are you addicted to the very technology you think is taking you away from real life? I know I am. Right now, I’m on a device that makes me feel comfortable. I could write on paper. I could shut all my other browsers so that when I get bored of writing I do something besides surf the web. But I’m comfortable in this space right now. I could shut off my phone, but I like being in virtual contact with other people.
I need this now.
I want to be that chic who leaves all her devices behind and hikes in the woods for hours. But the truth is, I will take my phone if I do take that hike. I will probably not be able to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the world for too many hours. I can do it for a while, but I need the way that I have set up this life. I don’t want to have to apologize for that all the time.
I eat too much, I drink when I’m sad, I waste too much time on the Internet, I worry about the past and the future and sometimes forget about the present, I spend too much money on crap I don’t need, I rarely think about people in bad situations and how I can help them (ie Syrian refugees or children being used in sex trafficking). I’m incredibly self-involved. I usually think about my own problems. I’m flawed. But I think that just makes me human.
Look we are all in this together, let’s not judge each other. If someone is not living up to the standards you hold yourself up to, it’s not your place to look down on them. I mean we all compare ourselves to others and want to come out better than the rest. The truth is, most of us are just trying to get by.
I noticed that when watching the Olympics. I mean there were all these little controversies that were so trivial. Sometimes I feel like we wanted to judge these kids and adults who are far more physically talented than us. We wanted to find something wrong with them to make us feel less inadequate compared to their physical prowess. Yeah, they made some mistakes, they aren’t perfect either. But can you pole vault and then do a cartwheel in the sky?
I don’t understand how it’s humanly possible to flip in the air multiple times and then come down and not die. I can barely get up from the couch without my right leg aching for a few before I start walking. Who am I to judge these super athletes for not being perfect human beings? I mean it’s kind of sad that the swimmers acted like fools, but to cover their story on CNN for days on end when more important things are happening in the world, is also sad.
Why does the news focus on everyone’s flaws whether it is Hillary or Donald, instead of keeping their attention on the real issues? Issues like hunger and economic inequality. You know why? We can’t get enough of shaming others. I mentioned once that we get a real high off of feeling better than Donald Trump. But how much better are we than this monster who claims he wants to make America great again but makes all his merchandise in China? How many times have you bought something made in China without giving it a second thought? Do you even know where your stuff is made in? Do you even care? I’m wearing a blue cotton shirt and have no idea where it was made.
We all collectively may not be as insane as the Donald, but there is a little of us in him. If there wasn’t, he wouldn’t be showing up on our radar as much as he does. Are the rest of us better than Trump followers? Who are you following? If you are a democrat we may have no idea how corrupt the democratic party actually is. It’s just a lesser of two evils. The fact that I don’t want to know the truth of what happens behind closed doors in some political arenas, tells me enough about my own ignorance.
Is it OK to be ignorant and hypocritical? I don’t know if it is OK, but it is what it is. None of us can escape it. You will never know everything, you will always be ignorant about some aspect of the world. You will also not always know if your actions are somehow contributing to someone’s suffering.
I would rather not be a party in torturing some innocent person by consuming a product. However, every product out there may be doing that in some way. What’s a woman to do? I’m just trying to get by without inflicting too much bad karma on my soul.
How about you?