Thoughts for the Holidays


"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pause to reflect too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall tales and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete."
George Carlin

Gee George - I thought you’d get a lot of responses on this one. I read it last night, tried to form a response, but it got complicated and I gave up. I’ll keep it simple: Mostly I agree with Carlin - I almost always do. But I don’t think it’s a new insight for most of us and don’t think that “sharing” it will help. Carlin gets awfully preachy, likes to paint a gloomy picture, and doesn’t seem to think much of the human race. I get the feeling that he just wants everyone to agree with him that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. I think most people would agree about the state of affairs these days, but then ask “well, what do we do about it?” If you believe that all things come full circle, we’ll all eventually find our way through it. My sense is that people are looking for answers and experimenting with new ways, religion, getting away from the rat race, self-teaching kids at home, moms staying home to care for the kids, etc. While I agree with Carlin on most things, I’m more optimistic about the human race’s ability to overcome, survive, and make the world a better place in the long run.