We have so much these days. Of everything. Right at our fingertips. Whatever we want, when we want it. This is progress. This is moving forward. This is making sure it's better than it's ever been. Better off than past generations. We got it better than our parents, grandparents, on and on.
Here's the rub: In a world of plenty, nothing is special.
Used to be, growing up in the Northeast, that we waited for certain things. As in, when something wasn't in season, like, say, cucumbers, we did not have them. Sure, we could buy them at the store if we wanted them, but they were coming from far away and so they were a little more expensive and so we did not buy them. They didn't taste as good anyway, grown in some sterile hothouse. We waited. And when they were in season and plentiful, we had them. My first bite of cucumber (likely from our own or a neighbor's garden) was the sure, unmistakable, wonderful sign that Summer was here. That first bite of cucumber-y goodness was Something Special. Exploding taste. So pure, so clean. That went for corn, for watermelon, etc. Yes, sure, I can get anything anytime now, but I feel maybe I can't appreciate the little things like I used to. The specialness is somehow diminished.
Is it possible to go back? Is it remotely possible to "give up" and "sacrifice" some things, not have everything right there right now instant gratification, to make things special again? Is that really even a sacrifice? And why is it so important, to go back? I'll tell you why. Because we are losing our appreciation for everything. We become jaded. Nothing means anything. Look at this younger generation. What do they value? Cell phones? So what if they lose it or break it or whatever. Just go get a new one. Food? there's nothing special there. They never had to wait, anticipate. It's all right there in the grocery store. Go get it, what's the big deal? Everything is new and now and nothing is special. Nothing is appreciated because it's all just part of the same noise.
We're losing something here. I don't know, maybe it is where I live now. Maybe I'm just not seeing it. Maybe I need to live somewhere else. But I don't think so. I think we're in danger, if not already past the point of no return. If we just go back to that, we can look around and see that we're in real trouble here, and maybe we see the planet again, what it is, what it gives, what we're doing to it. How WE are in trouble.
What do we need to do to get back to appreciation? How do we make the good things special again?
It's a symptom. I promise so much would be helped if we returned to that. Appreciate the small stuff. 'Cuz it's all small stuff.