Remember the idea of the simple pleasures in life? Quite possibly you don’t. It sounds like a very old-fashioned idea now, an anachronism, something old people might cling to as they – in our eyes – view the modern world with jaundiced suspicion.
But was it ever thus? Really?
I could never understand my father’s modest ambition and modest pleasures. He seemed to me to be in denial. He wanted for so little. Arent you bored? I would wonder.
He had grown up during the Blitz and the post-war Austerity of the 1940s and 1950s in a tenement where the entire floor of the block shared a bathroom, and then become an adult in a world of astonishing luxury that his children took for granted.
Yet the pleasure he would derive from a piece of fruit, a flower, a walk, a book, was on a par with the pleasure we might take in a lavish party or a mini break abroad, a new camera or a mulit-million dollar crafted Netflix drama.
We are now seeing unparalleled levels of dissatisfaction amongst millenials, a generation who have access to every cuisine, every entertainment platform, every bit of information on the planet. Do we have too much? Have we forgotten the luxury of eating a bowl of cherries in a warm kitchen?
Have we forgotten how to take a walk, look at a painting, read a book, smell the flowers and feel the sun on your face?
Most will say that you cannot stop progress, but does MORE equal BETTER? You wouldnt overeat and call it progress for example. Do we need now to in fact simplify our lives, rather than slavishly embracing every new piece of technology, entertainment, social media, information overload. Do we need to scale down our millenial dopamine hits in favour of the simplicity of nature and tangible human interaction?
In short, have we forgotten how to live?
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