Sunday, 30 September 2012
My wish to the universe
Have you ever felt like you go through life in a dream?
Where nothing is really real, everything is just the way it is. Routines pass days and emotions are never high and never low.
It's human nature to adapt, right? We get used to things that perhaps a few years ago we would've thought unbearable, or conversely, we dreamt about.
Does it have to be human nature to take things for granted? Because that's what it means to get used to something. You don't fully appreciate every little thing that you did at the beginning, every meal, every building, every sunbeam through the leaves because it's become normal.
I don't think there are many words that make me shudder as much as when I hear the word normal.
When used to describe someone, it's usually done in a positive way. But what is a normal person? How many "weird" people have you come across in your lifetime? Or even the last time you were meeting new people. There's always at least one person that you think, "oh, they're a bit weird."
If being normal means belonging to the majority, then are we who assume ourselves normal, actually the weird ones?
When the word normal is used to describe a situation, it acts to justify it. For example, a bank wants to charge you £$30 to transfer money to another account. That's normal practice. But you know it doesn't cost them a penny to actually perform the transaction.
There are some things which are normal and we get used to it. Or perhaps we don't know any different. The normals where if the majority are doing it, then we'll follow almost without thinking.
Mullets were in fashion once.
What if all the banks told you tomorrow that you had to keep a minimum of $500 in your account to keep banking with them?
That's what banks in Hong Kong do.
Those are the normals that we shouldn't be used to. We shouldn't be used to a society that is dictated by materialistic goals and a bombardment of marketing that creates an imaginary need.
Then there are the normals where it's a blessing that people are able to get used to.
Things like poverty, hunger, famine, drought. If everyday is a struggle, a fight to stay alive, the peak that comes from getting a bit of food, the appreciation for clean water, that's what becomes the abnormal.
We are most apt at appreciating the abnormal pleasures.
If there is one thing I could wish for, I would wish for the ability to appreciate everyday. Not in the "man, I sure am glad that it's not raining today and I have food to eat." But I mean in the same way as those who are hungry appreciate food, those who are homeless appreciate shelter.
Think about it like this:
You save up for a year to go travel around the world for 6 months. You hold back from buying the new iPad, you restrict your unnecessary outgoings, and you work as many hours as you can to escape to a new beautiful exotic foreign land.
Then as you're on your trip, you go to 15 different places, you see waterfall after waterfall, beach after beach, mountain after mountain, city after city.
Somewhere along that 6 month trip, you start to feel like all waterfalls look the same, mountains are just mountains and beaches are just beaches.There are a couple of days when you just don't feel like waking up at the crack of dawn to make the most of the day. You'll catch the sunrise tomorrow, or the next place, where you hear it's even more beautiful.
The you come home and are relieved to be back, in your bed, eating familiar food, speaking a familiar language. Things that you couldn't get whilst you were away become fantastic, and even the feeling that you aren't going anywhere for a while is welcome.
Beauty is only beautiful when it's different from the norm.
No matter where you go in the world, seeking out pleasure, seeking out the next adventure, the next thrill, it will only ever be the difference between your last pleasure/adventure/thrill.
And to me, that's the biggest shame. I don't want to get used to living somewhere beautiful. I want that same feeling of wonder and romanticism every time I experience something. I want to appreciate the kindness of others as much the 150th time as I did the first time.
When we get used to beauty, then what was normal before becomes insufficient. Maybe even ugly.
I want the strength to think about things that are considered normal and come to my own conclusions as to whether it's right or wrong.
I hope beauty is never normal to me, I want to appreciate every day, every friendship, every act of kindness and recognise everyday blessings.
I want the ability to never, not even for a second, take anything for granted.