Make it personal




There's not much personal in modern life anymore.  It seems like everything is mass produced.  Yes, you can 'customize' products by choosing a color or adding a feature - but there's not really anything personal about that.  This is a result of the industrial age - everything is cheaper to manufacture if it is mass produced.  Very few things are hand crafted or designed just for you.  This has spilled into all areas of our lives - even food and our decisions.

I rarely eat at chain restaurants.  I don't like to support the values that most corporate chains represent.  The idea of my food being made in a factory environment just isn't very appealing.  I also don't care for the middle of the road - don't offend anyone - frozen flavors that you get at the chain restaurants.  I know it's a risk pulling into an unknown town and picking a mom and pop joint - and realize there can be a downside, but it sure beats boring.  McDonald's claim to fame is that their food taste the same everywhere.  They've done this by taking the human element out of it. These chains are not restaurants - they are factories.  They have exact procedures and instructions for each and every step of the process.  It really doesn't matter so much which employees are there, your meal will taste the same whether Jimmy or Annie fixed it. There is nothing personal that goes into making the meal.

If you look around at the choices many Americans are making, they are doing the same to their own lives - leaving the human element out of it.  Yes, they have the freedom to choose what cardboard career they want, whose orders they want to take and follow, and which cookie cutter subdivision they want to live and park their SUV in. There's nothing personal in it any more than the choice between a Big Mac or a Whopper, and their decisions were probably heavily influenced by a television ad where they've been heavily influenced as to what choices they should make.

I'm sure there are real people with real emotions, desires, and talents underneath it all somewhere.  I hope and pray that we all wake up to our true selves and learn to put the human element back into our lives.  I hope we learn to toss out the manual and create the lives of our own choosing.  Yes, there are inherent risks with doing your own thing - the outcomes are not exact or guaranteed.  I'm trying to create a life that only I could ever imagine - the results aren't always pretty, but they're always mine.  I'm trying to make it personal and I wish you the same.


Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living.
Choices, Individuality, True Self,

11 comments:

  1. Good Morning Dan, ( 2 / 22 /2013 7:20 EST )
    The entire world is becoming U.S. Homogenized . Your leading a life that many of us who had a dream in the 1960's determined to live . I've lived my entire life watching the vast majority of people , leading lives with no honor , integrity , or any courage . It can become a bit dishearting and depressive at times .But , there but for the grace of God , go you or I . You hang tough , you hear me ?

    All Blessings
    Poppy G .

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  2. Dan,
    Poppy is so right a US Homogenized world is coming true... every time I've been abroad I see more and more of our pop culture and fast food in places that I never thought would want it: McDonalds is popular in Paris? I don't go to chain restaurants either... so boring. They don't take any chances and the food is never really good or bad. I guess that's the life many have chose to lead... it's neither good nor bad.

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    1. Taking chances.....that's what it's all about.

      Dan

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  3. Yeah, it's like that alot. A lot. Peple thinking that "personalized" is picking the green phone over the orange phone. I deal with all this BS by looking and talking with the people behind these things. The factory-line-type checkout dude at McDonalds, he actually is a real person in there. And so I try to focus there. On the person. Not the generic establishmnt. The my subdivision. It's a little palce, little homes, not much to comment on. BUt the peopel...like my neighbor who loves to put up this pirate flag every spring. Or the lady who walks in circles around her backyard every night. That's where it's at. The people, man. I get sorta despressed when I think about the corporiate world taking us over entirely and killing our human-ness, and the best way I can fight it is to find the human-ness and coolness in individual peeople. Not matter if they picked the green or orange phone or no phone at all.

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    1. Beautiful TB. I like your message. I'll try to remember that the next time I get too cynical.

      Dan

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  4. The best food and very personal is right in your own kitchen. :)

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  5. Dan. So true, we do need to prevent ourselves from living consumer zombie lifestyles.

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  6. Yes! Yes! Yes, Dan. When we hopped out of the cookie cutter (which we didn't think we were in, but oh boy were we) and started living a life only we could imagine it was amazing - suddenly we felt alive! I think people feel safe in being the same. If I ever do that again, I hope someone slaps me.

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  7. We think that homogenized = safe. I noticed this a lot when I began practicing natural parenting. There are risks in using that homemade wrap or sling, rather than a Snugli or stroller. There are risks in co-sleeping, or drinking raw milk (or--heavens!--making your own kombucha) But it is so worth the risk to have something REAL, something different.

    And so it is with life, and dreams. We're lulled into believing that following the script, living the "American Dream" is safe and secure. It isn't. And living such a lifestyle is much more riskier than never fulfilling our dreams, or following our passions.

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