The world is full of surprises. Not all are to our liking. Some wear a different face in the beginning and takes us where we didn't want to go. Others are upfront and the colors and sounds are sharply tuned. No surprises there, everything is open. We want our world to be stable, pleasant, everyone friendly, and especially joyful. But this is not life, or at least it is not the life of most people. You walk down a street and see all the people passing by. Some are on their cell phones, grimaces on their faces, some are smiling as they talk and bump into the person in front of them. I think to my self if it were 30 years sooner and I'd been dumped into this scene I would be amazed at all the people that had little things attached to their ears. Some people are in a hurry (in London they know the meaning of walk faster), some are at their leisure, looking as if they are not in control of their world, just waiting for events to make their day for them.
The world is becoming a different place. I haven't decided yet if it's an improvement or not. It's as if it's better on the outside but not on the inside. We have faster cars, bigger homes, more gadgets to spend our time on, entertainment that is in our face begging to be paid attention to. But we also have friends that are too busy to be our friends, elderly people who aren't happy about being elderly (when I was a kid growing up in the midwest they led happy, productive lives, tending their gardens, rocking on porches with lemonade and other neighbors), teenage girls getting breast implants before they've even waited to see what their body was going to give them, children who can't tell time unless it's a digital clock (no one ever taught them how to use the others)people who's faces are lined with stress and they're only in their twenties. What's going to happen in their forties? People are getting face lists, stare into the mirror on a daily basis wondering if they're aging and what can they do about it. Being elderly is something no one wants. The old joke about it's better than the alternative no long brings relief. We have tatoo parlors and they're all busy, child prostitutes and amber alerts by the hundreds.
What happened to words that have gotten lost along the way? Words like trust, fidelity, frugal, common sense, dependable, hard working, gracious manners, sincerity, and kindness. When was the last time someone in your life was down to earth and peaceful? Where has maturity gone. Is it hiding or is it extinct. A friend told me one time that she and her husband had been studying marriages for many decades and decided that the one ingredient needed for a happy marriage was maturity. She said if one of the two were mature, they had a chance. If neither was mature it wasn't going to last and if both were mature it was almost a certainty that the marriage would be stable and happy. I watch young marriages and I think she's right. Maturity has become a rare commodity.
I told my daughter when she was in her early twenties that all of her problems could be resolved with just two words. She was amazed. What two words? "Think ahead", I told her. She's still running out of gas so I guess she didn't pay much attention. We all need to slow down, think, gather wisdom. It's the most precious thing we could have, wisdom. It will bring us more joy than money, more peace than therapy, more fulfillment than movies and People magazine. But it means we have to pay attention, to gather all the information we receive and sort it out in our minds. Then we can make the right decisions. Then we can live a productive, fruitful life. Then we can live in a world that's been lost for so many decades.