I’m in the middle of reading a book at the moment – it’s ‘Junky’ by William S Burroughs. It’s not bad as far as a piece of writing goes (he’s no Thomas Hardy but he gets his message across nonetheless!). What has been of interest to me is that it has reinforced a long held opinion of mine, which is that a lot of modern society’s ills come from having it too easy. Mr Burroughs confesses that his parents were ‘comfortable’ business owners; he attended private schools, and even had a trust fund which kept him in enough funds that he needn’t work for a living. He appears to have fallen into selling & taking drugs as an escape from boredom. He does some pretty nasty things to innocents in order to maintain his growing habit, and I was a little disappointed to see when I Googled him that he lived to be 83 and ‘never regretted’ taking drugs.
Now, this is not an anti-drug rant. If that’s your thing and you can afford your habit without having to hurt others to maintain it, go hard, that’s your choice. I am simply seeing a correlation between boredom and affluence. Mr Burroughs had the very enviable situation of not even having to work for a living, yet still was ‘bored’ enough to risk his life and hurt innocents in the pursuit of a thrill. I also read a quote from Kristen Stewart (Twilight saga) in Elle magazine where she states ‘I can’t wait for something crazy to f**king happen to me. Just life. I want someone to f*ck me over. Do you know what I mean?’. If that is not the ultimate in selfishness and arrogance, I don’t know what is. As you can probably guess, I don’t have a lot of time for Emos.
I sometimes think that we all lose a bit of perspective on what really matters and how great most of us have it, me included. Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes think of all the goodies I won’t ever have, and whinge to my husband regularly that our laptop is incredibly old & slow & the G key sticks, but seriously, there are people starving and homeless right now. If you have a safe & secure home, plenty to eat, can afford health care and have a job, you are doing better than many millions of others. This is not intended to make anyone feel guilty for being lucky, as that is just more negativity – simply a plea for mindfulness and gratitude, sticky G or not.