This is your life and it’s ending one second at a time. You and I live in a wasteland of greed and commerce. In this wasteland nothing is sacred. Everything, including you and me, is seen by the huge corporate powers that be as a commodity. Something to be exploited, bought and sold. Is this the world you want to live in? A world where every abuse of the environment, every abuse of human rights is rationalised with the phrase, “it’s good for the economy. “ I think the economy will always be unhealthy as long as our earth, our waterways, our trees and our people are seen as nothing but a collection of dispensable resources. For as long as an economy is called an economy it will be unhealthy. One day soon, if humanity collectively keeps sleepwalking down this trail of destruction, there will not be a single oasis left in this wasteland. The real terrorists are not Jihads, the real terrorists belong to governments and corporations.
Every day, a gun is held to your head and you’re told, if you don’t spend extra time in the office without pay, if you don’t kiss your tyrannical bosses’ arse, if you don’t pay taxes so that the government can send more soldiers to kill innocent children in the middle east, if you don’t buy the latest smartphone, you will be out on the street. You will be ostracised from society. You will be diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder. You won’t get any healthcare. And so you continue, desperately unhappy but trapped in the cycle of economic slavery.
The debts pile up, you get another two jobs on top of your first to make ends meet. Unfortunately you never get to see your family because you’re always working, so your kids are raised by TV. They want everything the advertisements are telling them that they absolutely have to have. They start talking like Americans and become desensitized to violence and lacking in compassion. Because of the guilt you feel about never being around to play with them, or listen to their troubles or hear about what they did at school that day, you feel obliged to make up for that by buying them all of the useless, gimmicky toys and gadgets they ask for, most of which end up in the ever growing pile of discarded junk you’ve been meaning to go through in the garage. You try to forget about the fact that most of these gimmicks were made by small, underpaid children in “developing” countries and by buying these things, you’re financing child labour. You send your kids to the most prestigious private schools in the hope that it will make up for your absentee parenting, but you find that your kids just end up with a strange mix of grandiosity, disillusionment, cynicism and a lack of empathy.
While you’re paying for all of this, the debts continue to pile up. You always wanted to go for a family holiday, but the economic treadmill is calling, maybe you’ll go on a holiday next year. By the time you retire, well past what they call retirement age, you haven’t got long. You’ve neglected yourself over the years, and you’ve got heart disease and insulin-controlled diabetes from all the cheeseburger meals you ate at your desk.
Now that you’re retired, you try to see your kids more, but they don’t want to know you. One of your kids is way to busy “networking” with other worker bees from other big businesses. She lives in Hong Kong now, and sends you a digital Christmas card every year. Your birthday is long forgotten.
Your other kid rejected your way of life entirely, and now lives in a hippie commune. You can’t really work out what they do there, it looks like a whole bunch of singing and communing with nature. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with you either, when you ask why, you’re told that you’ve got your priorities all wrong, money has fucked you up spiritually and you don’t even know your own kids. he’ll tell you that he’s not really sure whether this is where s/he wants to end up but it’s her/his journey and he’ll be doing a damn sight better than you as long as he doesn’t follow in your footsteps. You’ll secretly concede that it’s a fairly valid argument while openly meeting his wall of anger with your own.
Your partner left you long ago, saying something about not getting her needs met, despite the fact that she was also holding down too much employment. You heard unconfirmed murmurings along the grapevine that said partner is now pretty high up in the church of scientology now. You know that’s just escapism.
So you end up suffering a drawn out, undignified death from bowel cancer. You have no friends; they lost interest when they couldn’t extract anything from you anymore. Your kids didn’t show. A compassionate nurse holds your hand as you take your last breaths. This time you appreciated that a small act of kindness, at the right time, can be more precious than all the material wealth you earned in your lifetime. You look back on your life as you die alone in a hospice and realise that meaning isn’t created from what you have, it’s created or lost through what you do. Your last thought is:
Maybe we (humanity) are doing it wrong….