Living each day much muchier
The good life warrants an ongoing struggle to be clear about what’s important and to seek it with lucidity and passion… To be diverted isn’t simply to have too many stimuli but to be confused about what to attend to and why.
Distraction: A philosopher’s guide to being free
I think I have officially turned a corner. I am now getting old.
It started off with a dissatisfaction with western culture. Popular culture is a loop of marketing that drives culture which, in turn, drives more marketing. Popular artists and celebrities are products of careful research but at the same time, they set the standard of desire and aspiration. I don’t mean directly. I think you would slap me if I suggested you aspire to be Megan Fox, David Beckham or whatever 90210 spinoff starlet is the apple of the media eye right now.
No, we are indirectly lured by a carefully cultivated, commercially motivated sense of inadequacy. I want a red jacket. I think I’d look great in it. I want a kindle or iPad. I think I would read more if I had one of those. I want to be fit but I don’t have time so I’ll cut corners. I want to have silky, smooth touchable hair. I want that cool-sounding music track.
I remember being annoyed with my mother because she turned off the TV and cherished a quiet house. Now, I’m the one who turns off the TV in favour of a glass of wine and some jazz music. The older I get, the more appealing a veggie patch, some chickens and baking my own bread becomes.
Distractions are everywhere but here is my theory: We are not victims of distraction, we actively seek it.
We tune out. Get drunk. Get advice. Go shopping. Eat junk. Work hard. Stare out the window. Get sick. Worry about family. Worry about ourselves. Play with paper clips. Get coffee. Watch You-Tube. Check facebook…
What’s demanding your attention right now (apart from me, of course)? Will it lead you toward a good life or is it a noisesome thing distracting you from the lucid and passionate pursuit of your dreams?
Do you know what to attend to and why?