There’s nothing in this life so Hellish as distraction. Nothing more comfortable, or convenient, either.
That is the charm of a thief.
I have wasted such monstrous, deplorable amounts of time doing absolutely nothing to improve myself or others. And have had the nerve to think myself a humanitarian. There are plenty of schools of thought on how life is meant to be lived. “Eat the sandwich!” some say – meaning enjoy, Hakuna Matata, buon appetito.
And that’s fine.
But even lethargy can be productive. One can learn a lot sky-gazing, day or night. I have slaved away for hours ranking up virtual soldiers, scrolling through photo blogs of tattoos and naked ladies, guffawing at animated inanity.
And I’ve learned.
And I’ve paid.
And I continue to pay.
The Buddha supposedly said that “The trouble is, you think you have time.”
Never has time been more divided than in this new millennium. The great philosophers had nothing *but* time to ponder. Even my parents remember a life before television. And early television ran out of things to say at some point and went to sleep, like us.
Now distraction never sleeps. It has ballooned out into a thousand-eyed monstrosity. We bring it in bathrooms and on road trips, the destinations of which hold more distracting options, at no extra charge. We are reduced, and reduced again with every moment we waste staring.
There is an irony in making such a statement on a blog – let alone a blog that purports itself to be centered on video game-related content. But where are there crowds that need ponder this more? I am wasted every moment I am *not* aiding people in the achievement of self-awareness.
My wastedness is my lesson to myself and others.
I hate that I am not the person I could be. I rationalize it daily and shift blame to the unalterable nature of predisposition. “That’s just how I am. Everyone’s different. It’s okay not to be smart/creative/adventurous…”
But the truth, is that I spend each moment I could be doing something smart/creative/adventurous in front of a screen, putting off my transformation until a later date that will surely be more convenient/appropriate.
Certainly many of you are familiar with this phenomenon of infinite optimism. “Tomorrow will be better!”
Not if you don’t *make* it that way.
Tomorrow must be different than today.
You must be different.
You must make a bleeding, white-knuckled effort at change. You must put away your toys. You must play the ascetic and learn the art of self-deprivation, if to no end but to *prove* that you can – as with the smoker who can “quit any time he chooses.”
What have you forgotten about yourself? What did you used to love? Why did you stop, what was it replaced with? Can you live with that? Could you if you had the chance to change it?
What would you do if you didn’t have to work, didn’t *have* to do anything?
What kind of person would you be if you had every opportunity to live your ideals?
It is okay to be different from other people – to be you and only you without comparison. But whatever negatives come with that are positive in their own right. Balance requires a view from all angles. This world cannot be good/reasonable/efficient without a pair of eyes seeing it from every level. You’ve got to live these strengths, and seek out those like you.
We all have inclinations. And we all have weakness (namely comfort). The struggle to find our “purpose” is needlessly complicated. Our hearts tell us all along what we love, but our minds find ways to drown that out, convince us it’s wrong or pointless. We have to know that we also have something to contribute, and we can never allow that to be marred by what we’re told, so long as we’re trying to help.
But you’ve got to get back to that.
Re-discover who you are and who you’ve been.
What you’ve meant to people, and what they’ve meant to you.
Everyone out there is like us. Every colorful car-shell reflecting the sun down a congested highway contains a person who was once a child and still dreams, and has people that depend on them, and plans to make their own, individual life as perfect as they can. They want to be happy, and remembered.
They want to feel like this one way trip was worthwhile.
We want to really live.
Watch out for the time thieves.
When the ride is over, it is over.
And you’ll have only the memories of what you spent your time doing.
Or the haze of what too much of it was wasted on.
Nothing is ever as it seems.