Our very cosmopolitan world is so driven by consumer focus and the image of perfection, that in many ways it is almost as if we have lost sight of our humanity. We want to be seen in the best, by the best, with the best. It is all about perception and what we can or can't portray of ourselves to the world we live in.
Be it trends on the catwalk, labels in the stores, the very latest tech gadgets, the most bling, the best car....
From our homes to the nails we have glued to our hands, it is all done in a quest to beautify ourselves, better our persona and come off as something more than what we really are? I can't help but wonder a little how our value system has skewed so much.
Take any individual person and give him or her the time to show themselves for who they really are. I am sure that in the majority of the instances you'll find that the person is a decent guy or girl. We all are made up of the same stuff. Emotions, insecurities, values, desires, passions, weaknesses, vulnerabilities. Hell the list is endless really. Every single one of us have these. We all fear rejection, whether you want to admit it or not. We all hate disappointment. Heck if we really want to be completely honest we are all horny buggers out to get as much out of life as we can, and truth be told more often than not we are pretty damn selfish about it too.
Yeah we fall in love, and share and reach out and touch others. Yes there are people that are better at it than others, but it is pretty simple when you consider the basics. We all want to be happy, accepted and cherished at some level in our lives.
So if it boils down to these simple truths then why the hell do we go and complicate it with all the extra baggage we add to our lives?
I mean I sat a couple of days ago and looked at over 5000 people wonder past me as I relaxed on the grass verge. I was struck by the efforts we make as humans to wear the best clothes, have the best gadgets, be seen in the best seats in the house or hanging with the right people, and I was struck by the lengths that we go to, to be a part of this wave of trendiness.
Does any of it make us a better person? Is the London Docklands worker in his smart suit and latest iPod any better than the Port Talbot Steel worker, or the Yorkshire Coal Miner or the Liverpool ship builder who is in a T shirt and Jeans with a cheap MP3 player if anything at all?
The reality.... take the time to get to know each one of them, not just the image they want the world to see, but the real person within, and they will all be the same. Good, genuine, decent people with huge things that they are covering up with this plastic screen of perfection that we hide behind.
I guess what I am learning at this point in my life is those Gucci designer glass you wear really aren't all that important. That fab hair cut you needed a small mortgage to get, really wasn't critical. The swanky car you drive or the million dollar home you live in, really doesn't set you aside from the guy living on the street or the poor lady who walks ten miles to work because she can't afford a bus ticket.
Looking like the best thing in the world does not make you the best thing in the world. It is who you are, your character, your compassion, your humanity that make you important. It is the small things that you can do to bring a smile to the face of a friend, or the words you can share with someone close when they need an ear to hear. It is the hugs you can give when the world needs a pick me up, or the smile you share that lets them know you are proud of them.
A parent understands this a little more than most. In most instances they have first hand experience of wanting more for someone else than themselves. They learn to be sensitive towards a child's feelings, think first for their safety, plan for their success, take joy in their happiness and are the first to step up to comfort when the chips are down.
Is there not a lesson that we as a wider society can learn from this example? We see it going on around us all day every day. Love, unconditional, unselfish and genuine. It is a fine standard to cherish and to seek. It is an example we would to well to heed, and learn much from if we followed it more in our every day lives.
I owned a Jaguar once. Now I drive a little VW Golf. I prefer the golf, at least the top goes down. I guess what I am saying is that in life I am learning that having everything does not bring joy. Being in with the "in crowd" does not make you better. Being popular, recognised or special is not a sure route to happiness. You don't have to be perfect to be great, you just have to be genuine.
Thought for today - "When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it." - Edgar Watson Howe
Song for today - Wings of a Butterfly by H.I.M.