Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wants and Needs

I kept singing in my head while driving the other day-
"When you've got all you want
all you want is more
so I'll stick with what I need
and learn to want what I've got"

I know it's not very poetic or flowing, but it's got a good message.

I have decided that from now on, I only want to consume things that will sustain and benefit my development as a human being. By consume, I am not referring to food alone- I'm talking about everything that I consume- books, music, clothing- all those *consumer* products that we just have to have.

Books are especially relevant. This summer I've been on a quest to read books for personal growth and not necessarily enjoyment. Thoreau's Walden and Civil Disobedience, The Plague by Camus (one of my favorite all time books), lectures on the Buddha, and now a great collection of existential writing edited by Walter Kaufman. I'm just about finished with the first selection- Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky. I think of people who can shovel in the romance novels and law/gov't thrillers. That is like the junk food of literature. Why should I give my brain a cavity?

Perhaps, as Dostoevsky says in Notes... the person of acute consciousness is the more burdened soul- much like how an adult is more burdened than a child because of awareness. I agree, but I'd rather be aware of my surroundings and be able to contextualize and understand events than be ignorant to the world and all it's facets. [Ah... living in a prismatic world <- my coleus aided enlightenment] Awareness is also why I've been trying to watch/read more of the news. I've read Thoreau's comments on the news, but as our society has changed significantly since Thoreau lived in the woods alone, I find that to be ignorant of world affairs is to be blinded from the bigger picture. I am one of those crazies who imagines themselves not so much a citizen of their country (hell, I'm a US citizen and subject to laws that I have very little say in by default) but of the entire globe. Also, our economy has become hinged on the economies of other countries as free trade has spread across the planet, and times are tough. Money has always been too important an issue for this 20 yr old for me not to pay attention to what is happening.

I hate elections. Make everything go to a referendum. The system is flawed and a flashy new president isn't going to make things turn on their heads. I plan on voting for Obama, but that is not to say that I believe in every word he says or every pledge he makes. McCain... I've suffered through a Republican president long enough. I've travelled and felt the international disdain for his policies (as well as NAFTA thanks to Clinton). I've been assaulted at a protest for exercising my rights, watched by the police. When will citizens feel like they are protected by the police and not under scrutiny? I'm starting to rant out of control... too much to cover without a premeditated outline.

tomorrow is matmos. super excited. turned down japanther tonight. too tired. need to work tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment