What do you pursue?
It's amazing how your life could be changed in a moment. A moment that you least expect. A moment that would make all the future moments in your life mean more than those moments that you had in the past.
Last week, I was reading this article on the New Yorker. It's a thoughtful study on procrastination by James Surowiecki. He said that humans tend to 'put things off' especially if the results of what they do today are not immediate. Hence, short-term goals are weighed more importantly than long-term ones. Besides, long-term goals are mostly non-specific, abstract, and difficult to visualize--making them less compelling to accomplish than short-term goals.
The sad thing about this is some people who are used to procrastinating might use this simple theory to rationalize their own behaviors, even tolerate them. However, those more open-minded might truly learn from it and put their procrastination propensities at the right places, and context.
I am not a fan of procrastination. Putting off things I should be doing now actually leaves me uneasy and guilty and ashamed. It's a heavy feeling. It's like Monster Conscience following you wherever you go. So I try my hardest to do things I can do today. Or you could say I'm just really workaholic.
Anyway, I remembered that article as I was watching The Age of Stupid. While the documentary approach was interesting and fresh, the content was a bit of a downer. Bottomline of the film, bellowing from the television screen at such an alarming intensity as I was watching is this: YOU ARE STUPID.
You ARE stupid. Don't you know that people in Nigeria are dying from water-borne diseases because they have no clean water to drink? When they are supposed to be one of the well-off countries in the world because of the rich amount of oil in their land? They are almost drinking their death everyday as they scoop up black, God-knows-what's-in-there water from their lakes and seas, just to survive a day. How ironic and deplorable is that?
And you have these oil giants exploiting their resources, while the people who are supposed to benefit from them are continually neglected. Sigh. Capitalism sucks.
And you have people who oppose wind farms, which could save the world a great deal of global warming, simply because these wind turbines 'spoil the view'. H-U-H-?
The film IS right. We are a bunch of stupid people making stupid choices and stupid excuses for years on end. Worse, we might not even realize our sad state until we find ourselves in the middle of a useless patch of land--which we used to call Earth, by the way--devoid of water and food and all the comforts of life we were once more than acquainted with.
Everyday, I become more and more aware of pressing global issues and every discovery changes my life. It's always a humbling experience. Poverty, environmental degradation, political corruption, animal abuse, child and women trafficking, etc.--the depressing situation of the world makes me question my own pursuit of happiness, and makes me want to make a difference--corny cliche, but true.
I am a consumer myself. I use the same resources that were probably developed at the expense of the less privileged population in the planet. And that does not make me proud at all. Like everybody else, I know I've been stupid. But it doesnt mean I have to remain that way for the rest of my life.
Life is good and it's only going to get better if we share it with others.
It's really time that we un-stupid ourselves and care. No more procrastinating.