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Getting back what we’ve given up

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posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:05 PM
As we're born into western society, we're immediately directed towards cultural norms. Many of us go to school, ‘learn the ropes’, get a job in a cube, and partake in all the intricacies of a lifestyle that can be strikingly uniform across the developed world.

It’s one of many lifestyles that is often seen as unbalanced with regard to the ideal conditions for the human entity to thrive. (interpret as you will, this is subjective territory!)

We’re often left asking what could have been, what should have been, and what could still become concerning our lives. And so perhaps it is with all lifestyles, that every person to walk this earth sifts through an establishment of paradigms, eventually differentiating their selves from them, and asks these questions.

I am asking what it is that people here feel they’ve lost in order to be in their own ‘civilized’ world, and what activities/hobbies/habits/mindsets they’ve developed to fill (or close!) the gap. As most readers are westerners, the responses should indicate, in general, where a westerner might place his or her focus (or assign importance) in the pursuit of a balanced lifestyle (whatever that means to you). My response will follow this post.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:05 PM
Multitasking is a fact of life that for me is the antithesis of true focus. I’ve taken up archery because its ways and means require complete, undivided attention in the present to keep on target. While multitasking does entail a kind of faceted but intense focus, in my view it’s quite different from the innately human hunter-gathering instinct, or similar tasks which require at most a simple sequence of present-based focus. In other words, I like activities that shift one’s focus from anywhere in time into a single point—the present—the realm of ‘beingness.’

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Avocado]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:31 PM
What I have given up is my "tribe".

I find myself to be rather isolated and lacking a sense of community.

I work from home. I am paid by direct deposit. I use the ATM to draw cash. I don't see my clients, my boss, my coworkers, or even a bank teller at the end of the week.

I keep in touch with my clients through text message shorthand, and a couple of times a week I hear their voices over the telephone. I receive 4 - 8 emails a month from my boss (whom I have never met or even spoken to over the phone.)

My church is too far away to attend, so I read surmons online.

The last college course I took was by correspondance.

Members of my birth family live mostly out of state. The few that live in the same state I live in talk to me on the phone occasionally.

I live out in the country and I have no neighbors. The nearest human is a mile away.

Remarkably enough, I don't feel alone or lonely. I rarely think about it actually. Every now and then something comes up and I think that it would be great if I had neighbors to call on for help or if I had someone with whom I could celebrate an accomplishment.

I wonder what it would have been like to live within a group. I imagine a Native American tribe or perhaps a small tightly knit European village and I wonder what it would have been like to know your family, your neighbors, local merchants or traders - I imagine holidays celebrated by everyone in your area. I imagine rites of passage and in-person support in challenging times.

How have I adapted? I am a member of two message boards and I have a cell phone and a home phone with unlimited long distance.

I do wonder if these are the curse or the cure.
It seems to me that these are the very things that separate me from others, and they are also the adaptation to cope with that separation.

edit for clarity

[edit on 6/23/2008 by MrBender]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:51 PM
I live in a small town, where most everyone knows each other. It is getting more populated here though. My family has been here for 6 generations. I have several relatives within walking distance. My life is very different from yours, from the sound of it, but I belong to several message boards. I very much enjoy this form of written communication with people I would never have met otherwise. I gave in and got a cell phone about a year ago, but I rarely use it. I don't feel lonely either, but I do like to see what others are doing out there in the big wide world. If you are happy in your own skin, you don't need a lot of people around, but there are times when you want to bounce yourself off of others to see where you are at. I think it comes down to balance for me... not too much time alone, and not too much time with others.
Interesting thread topic.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 10:59 PM
reply to post by MrBender

I'm glad you've adapted. You made a very interesting point about how we tend to balance our lives through our technology. Can technology recreate human connectedness? In a sense, I think so; if a person believes it does and is able to have within it conversations that induce intellectual and emotional responses, then haven't we achieved the most fundamental building block of communication?

With that, and your situation in mind, let me say it's a pleasure to be in your virtual 'tribe.'

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Avocado]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:00 PM
As far as what I think I have given up? I miss the 80's, but I think I am just in a place where I feel if I adapt to the flow of where life is going, then I am not working against something. My parents and grandparents seem very fearful of the future because they aren't willing to adapt to new technology. It is confusing, all the new things that have been created for us to use, but my grandmother was afraid to use the microwave and dishwasher. She continued to wash her dishes by hand until the day she died even though she had one. They never used their DVD player. I suppose one day, when I am old, I will not want to learn anything new, and will want to keep the status quo, but until I feel that way, I continue to adapt. We can always go backwards to the old way if we need to, but do we need to yet? I keep my life simple enough for me, for now.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by seagrass

Thanks seagrass. One of your posts helped inspire me to write this thread. You appeal to your sense of beauty by bringing yourself to natural places, and I can relate, experiencing nature is by far my favorite activity.

It is interesting to me that in some ways society has subjugated places of beauty to 'parks,' 'nature preserves,' etc, which leads one to believe that there's a certain succinctness to appreciating beauty; i.e. "This is a park. We have not covered it in concrete. This is where you enjoy nature."

In response, my inner self looks for balance. I find myself working more and more these days on seeing beauty everywhere, wherever and whenever I am. I believe it's there, but maybe we haven't always been told so.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:35 PM
I have never understood the city park concept, although it is nice to see some green between the concrete now and then. Cities have their beauty too (I love architecture), but if you know it is important to be with real nature, then it is just a matter of prioritizing. I live in Oregon which has lots of land owned by the government and is somewhat "protected". I have many opportunities to get out there. Even our parks are more wild than some I have seen in cities. I grew up in the country, and with farm animals, and I live in some woods that I have left natural. But even then, there are times when I am too busy to notice it as I drive by with my daily concerns. I do know that I can think more clearly when I am in nature. My name is Seagrass, because that is my favorite place to sit and think. I like the edge of the sea with the world at my back. If I lived in the city I would have to leave it often.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:37 PM

Originally posted by seagrass
My parents and grandparents seem very fearful of the future because they aren't willing to adapt to new technology.

Technology has changed every aspect of our society and it does so at an accelerating rate. Might we conclude that sticking to the status quo is coping with the techno-lifestyle, and not ostensibly an attribute of old age? Is it possible for us as humans to evolve quickly enough to ever feel balanced within our technological society? As MrBender might agree, we can all be sure it's a blessing and a burden...

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:48 PM
I suppose when it becomes uncomfortable, is when the status quo would seem attractive. We can choose how much we need or want of that kind of change. There is always something new created to reject or embrace into your lives. When is enough enough? I was happy with the traditional phone system, until my car caught on fire. Now I am grateful for it. And I can find my oldest daughter with a push of a button. My mom used to ground me if I didn't let her know where I was. lol.
I am still waiting for the flying car they promised me when I was young

I think it is a personal choice how much we want to let in or block out. But if you want to keep up with the flow, and others who have embraced it and are using it.. then adapt or grow old. My mom still uses her checkbook and doesn't have a debit card. I have had to use mine for her when others wouldn't take her check.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 12:00 AM
I miss going to nightclubs without the fear of sniffer dogs or random searches by police.

I miss being able to share files without fear of being tracked and prosecuted even if the files are legal

I miss being able to post and discuss anything on the internet without fear of it being recorded and presented out of context by authorities

I miss decent investigative independant journalism

I miss governments exercising maturity and common sense

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 12:29 AM
hmm, I don't have any of those problems except the government one. I don't ever remember them having that, so I don't really miss it, I just expect it. I expect my daughter to pick up after herself and that doesn't happen either.
I really did want the flying car though.
And the flat screen tv was always a good idea.
Instant messages sure save on stamps.
and wires were always annoying masses of tangles.
But yeah, there are some things to change too.

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