Necessity

Is it human to seek despite what you have found? Even at the grocery store we don’t stop when we have what we need, we continue until we have everything on the list and then some. There is always one more record for the vinyl collection, one more place to visit or another gigabyte or pixel to be had.

Is it something in our ancestry; times of scarcity or are we being played? If compact disks weren’t marketed would we have any need to abandon cassettes? I won’t argue with the improvement but as necessity is the mother of invention I simply question the necessity. With all the “progress” in music formats why do audiophiles swear by vinyl? If vinyl is the pinnacle has the last 25 years of “progress” been for naught?

Without doubt some advances are clearly so (at present). I am satisfied that health care professionals wash their hands but how many people have been saved by Prozac and how many have died because of it?

Mental illness used to be locked in the attic or asylum; now it resides on the street or in prison. I fear we cannot see the forest for the trees. As we shake our heads at the past, so will the future at the present.

When mental illness is given the degree of respect we hold for physical ailments, change will be inevitable. Mental illness may not be locked in the attic but the window has only been cracked and the breeze of stigma still fills the room with its stench.

If I have cells in my brain that form a tumor I am one thing. If I have cells in my brain that chemically affect me I am another. We split much less than hairs and walk on the opposite side of the street.

We pride ourselves on our technological advancements but fail to see our compassionate stagnation. If only we valued new ideas, new thoughts and new attitudes as much as new products. If only we rushed out an obtained a new point of view as quickly as a Blu-ray. If only we could package and promote understanding and put ignorance to the curb with the garbage where it belongs we might see true progress.

The next time you reach for change in your pocket; ask yourself if it is the change you need to make.

Hello

I walked to the pharmacy yesterday. I usually try to say hello to the people I meet when I’m out. I’m from a small town and live in an area with a small town identity within the city. The first person I met was a young man. I kept to my side of the walk and was glancing at him for eye contact. When the appropriate distance arrived and I was about to say hello he pulled out his cell phone to take a glance. I was blocked. On my way home from the pharmacy I was approaching a young woman. As I got nearer I could see the wires dangling from her ears. How do you say hello to someone listening to music? My next encounter was with an older woman. She was tiny and had on a bundle of clothes unnecessary considering the spring weather. I said “hello” and she quickly replied “have a good day and God Bless.” It wouldn’t surprise me if she doesn’t even own a cell phone or iPod. Some would say she has not embraced technology or is at least behind the times. She was unable to avoid my act of civility. She had to acknowledge me and in the process she was acknowledged. I don’t have a problem with technology but like the woman, I don’t have a problem without it.