It’s every writer’s dream: Sitting on the beach typing one’s thoughts, the clickity-clack of a melting ice cube, the soothing sounds of the ocean rolling rhythmically round. Bikinis, beers and blogs. What more could a lad ask for?
Except that the sun is glaring and I can barely see the screen, my drink is so warm it’s like drinking beer tea and there’s so much sand in this iPad that the case won’t close.
Ha ha, get it? there’s sand in my iPad case crack.
Is it warm in here? Hello? testing….
Well, it’s October 3rd, and it’s been 5 weeks since our last confession post. Where has the time gone?
We find ourselves today in Spain after an amazing visit to London, Cornwall and Barcelona. More on each of those soon.
For now just a few thoughts….
As a Canadian, I am amongst some of the luckiest people on our planet. We have drinkable water, clean air, friendly sales staff, and poverty which by global standards is still very wealthy. We are spoiled – we’ve not witnessed war on our lands for almost 130 years, our government doesn’t block the internet, rape is a crime not a pastime, and justice is usually served.
But time away from Canada has shown me what I was afraid of: that many of us are all so friggin’ scared all the time. Scared of loosing our jobs, scared of terrorist attacks, scared of a failing economy. We’re scared of Ebola outbreaks, bad weather, climate change, bear attacks, urban violence, suburban violence, tractor accidents, killers on busses, bankruptcy, wasp stings, dancing badly, tonight’s hockey results, inadequate hygene, dentists, doctors, cancer, hypothermia, ozone depletion, American foriegn policy, change, consistency, growth, body hair, failing eye sight, runny noses, television reruns, celebrity worship, crowds, loneliness, depression, the war on drugs, bad teachers, bad parents, bad breath, failure, success, what our friends think of us, what our parents think of us, what our bosses think of us, even what WE think of us. Next time you’re in a coffee shop or somewhere you can pracise your spy skills, tune your ear to other people’s conversations. More often than not they’re talking about something they’re worried about, fearful of, regretting, obsessing over, or upset about. Negativity abounds in one of the safest, most beautiful places on our planet. It’s ironic really.
Now I know what you’re thinking: But Roger, we’re inundated by “if it bleeds, it reads” media that perpetuates fear instead of celebrating the beauty of life; every grocery store check-out line is surrounded by headlines that remind us of the power of stupid people; vertical integration by a handfull of global cabals promote fear and self-loathing to externalize self-help and self-worth because it encourages mindless consumerism; What are we to do??
Well yes, dear readers, all of that is true. But the point of this post is not to perpetuate negativity, but to remind you, as I am reminded each day while meeting strangers. People are AWESOME.
When taken out of our day-to-day lives, for example while attending the World Belly Boarding Championships in Chapel Porth, Cornwall, you will find hundreds of people, most of them strangers, all sharing, laughing and smiling at the absurdidy of balancing on tiny plywood belly boards on a freezing ocean surrounded by sun, sea cliffs, and sillyness. While walking past Plymouth Rock, the site of departure for religious fundamentalist puritans to the “new” world (ask the natives what they thought of that moniker ) you’ll find strangers offering to take your photo for free, people putting on their best religious fundamentalist puritan faces, asking goofy questions like “Eeere, how’d they get their big boat past all these jet skis??” and each relfecting on how far we’ve come since those whackos cross-breeded to create America’s elite. In Barcelona wandering through Gaudi’s unimaginable Bascilica Sagrata Familia one notices complete strangers striking up conversations, standing together in awe, sharing a moment. At Windsor castle, standing on the tomb of that love-struck maniac King Henry VIII and his favoite unlucky wife, strangers share a sense of history – the birth of a new religion, the creation of divorce lawyers, alamony payments, birth control and weightwatchers.
It is in moments like these that we are reminded that there are no borders, no countries, no races. There are people sharing a moment, sharing a laugh, sharing poorly framed photographs, sharing our planet and sharing our common history.
Fear is made up. Hatred is made up. Religious differences, language barriers, economic classes, currency, television, feelings of inadequacy, feelings of superiority, judging others – all made up.
What’s real are people; the plants around us; animals; laughter; smiles with a stranger; ordering dinner without saying a word; moments.
Forget fears – they don’t matter. They’re designed to hold you back, waste your money, drive us apart.
But when we are left to have fun, we can’t help coming together, uniting, celebrating. That is real. That is life.
There are parts of this world that aren’t fun, aren’t united, aren’t celebrating. But you likely don’t live there and you shouldn’t take that for granted. When the Cabals are brough to justice, when (well organized) non-profit corporations crowd out the profit-hungry ones, when the elite learn it’s more fun to share than to hoard, and when energy, food and water become a human right, those other places will celebrate as well. In the mean time, if you’re reading this, you are extremely lucky and you deserve to be happy. Celebrate life, celebrate strangers, celebrate waves, lead by example. The rest will follow.