~ Saturday was a busy day for me; two airplanes flights in one day, a rental car, business appointment, and had to sign some papers for a proposal I was making. In the midst of all the activity I stopped by a coffee shop to finish an essay for school that was due by midnight; so even my coffee time wasn’t all that relaxing.
While sitting there at coffee, a group of young women sat down at the table next to me, although the one girl, as she was going to sit down suddenly found herself flat on the floor; her chair had been moved by one of her friends and between the sounds of the crashing chairs and the laughter of her friends it became apparent that her friend had been playing a practical joke on her. The three friends thought the joke was funny, but the girl sitting on the floor was not laughing.
The truth of the situation is that practical jokes aren’t viewed as funny by the recipient. When you’re the person with egg on your face or cockroaches crawling all over your bed because your roommate thought it would be funny to unleash a box of store bought critters into your room while your sleeping, it is difficult to see the humor in your friend’s joke.
The older I get, the more I wonder if people were playing practical jokes on me when I was younger. After all, when I was a child everyone made the world out to be a wonderful place; “When you get older Kenneth, you’ll enjoy being an adult, working at a job, getting your own place…” is what people told me. However, more often than not people don’t like their jobs, are under a mountain of debt, are unhappy with their families or relationships, and often think about escaping.
Everywhere I go people tell me they are thinking about moving to another place. This weekend I was along the ocean in South Carolina, it was beautiful weather, people were out biking, drinking coffee, and enjoying the day. Yet I met a couple people at coffee who were unhappy with the warm weather and South Carolina lifestyle, “I moved down here ten years ago and I’m going to move back to New York next month” said a barista I was talking with, apparently the New York she remembers is not the one I am familiar with; high rent, high taxes, high congestion, and a high amount of stressful living.
Don’t get me wrong, I love New York. But compared to the easy going life that people experience along the coast of South Carolina (not to mention the weather which is about 25 -35 degrees warmer year round than New York) it was odd to me that someone would want to move back to a place where the cost of living is suffocating. This young man <video> pays $800 a month to live in the city…..in his 78 square foot apartment! I have a closet bigger than him!!! But the barista didn’t care about the cost of living or the weather; she was convinced New York was where she would find peace and happiness.
As I talked with her, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people are in the middle of moving away from New York because they are trying to find peace and happiness? Although, that is the crux of the issue isn’t it; the grass is always greener. Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to read articles more often by people who enjoy living where they live? Who enjoy the lifestyle they have created? Who have a strong sense of community and positive relationships filled with interesting and creative dialogue and individual expression?
Too often we are overwhelmed with negative imagery. The world is in many ways a dark place; child slavery, war, malnutrition, the list of problems around the world is endless. And I do believe it is important to expose ourselves to reality; closing our eyes to the problems around the world can’t possibly be healthy.
Yet on the other hand, perhaps we have become over exposed to the dark side of the world. Perhaps in our quest for 24 hours NEWS we have overwhelmed our senses with all the negatives, and it has led to so many of us being discontent with our lives. Perhaps, instead of focusing on what is wrong in the world, we should be focusing on how we can make our lives better…right where we live. In our local communities, in our home city, in our home province or state. Perhaps its time to stop complaining and embrace life in our neighborhood.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society