Sunday, 21 October 2012

Make muddy footprints, not stress.

A few years ago, during one of our many holidays in North Yorkshire, we stayed in a log cabin that was perched on the top of a hill looking down into a valley with the North York Moors Railway running along the bottom. It was surrounded by trees, and situated a couple of hundred yards from the farmhouse that belonged to the cabin owners. When there you really got a sense of relaxation; like the rest of the world had disappeared. After a day exploring the moors we'd sit out on the veranda until late with a nice bottle of Rioja, watching the bats flitting around. Just sitting, chatting about nothing important and being at peace with the surroundings. Our own personal heaven.
I look around now and wonder how many people take time to appreciate the world around them. The natural world that is, not the shiny man-made Gucci and Ferrari one. Whether you're religious or not, whether you believe in creation, evolution, or something else, the planet we populate truly is a wonderful place that gets spoiled by only one thing. Man.
There are those who always strive towards the next 'thing' or constantly seek improvement, whether that be personal or material and it remains a mystery to me what drives these people.

Take a man that has a huge five bedroom detached house in a 'desirable' postcode with his-and-hers Mercedes on the drive, a pool, 2.4 children and a designer labradoodle called Fifi. To provide all this though, this man has to leave the house at 6AM, sit (if he's lucky) on a packed train to London to do some high-powered-yet-ultimately-meaningless job, and returning home so late that all he has time for is to eat his dinner, say goodnight to the 2.4 children, and flop on the sofa completely shattered with a large glass of scotch. He's too tired for sex, but that's OK because the wife spent the morning shagging the gardener. He's heading for an early grave in order to provide a life that he never sees.Why?

Someone will say "I have to do this job because I need to make the payments on my new car."
I'll ask "What made you get the new car?", to which the reply is "I need it to get to work."
Excuse me? You're working to pay for a car that you need to get to work so you can pay for a car that you need......... oh for heaven's sake.... WAKE UP!

I honestly feel that there are so many people out there who really need to take a moment to step back and truly examine their lives. Taking a long walk in the countryside will always be infinitely more relaxing and uplifting than traipsing round some glitzy shopping precinct in search of the latest iWant, even if you do get wet and occasionally have to scrape dog shit off your shoe. Spending time with your kids and knowing them as people is more important than meeting with the MD to discuss future product placement in the 20-40 year-olds-with-too-much-money-and-not-enough-brain sector.
The world is (mostly) a wonderful place with so much to enjoy. But people need to make time to enjoy it, otherwise why exist at all?