Friday, February 22, 2013
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,