Happiness Part V: We Know Too Much

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Day in and day out, we are being bombarded with information.  Some of it will be correct and some of it will prove to be incorrect yet, we will absorb it all as though through osmosis.  Whether we are truly paying attention or we’re subliminally and subconsciously picking it up, we have most of that info, rumbling around in our brains somewhere and it’s acting upon us like a slow release pill, coming out in dribs and drabs. It’s likely that we don’t even recognize that info is there or that we’re utilizing it in one way or another.  Our brains are wonderous machines with a filing system that makes computers look like toys.  Reality is, we know far more than we need to know and it’s causing us both stress and distress.  It’s a road block to being happy.

Remember back a few entries ago when the scenario of children being happy was the centre point of that piece?  If not, you can review it here.  Part of the reason that children are generally happy is that they don’t know enough to be un-happy.  Not only have the brains of children not developed enough but, they don’t know enough to be upset, stressed, worried or any of the adult things that we, as adults, have come to learn to do.  They live in moment because they can’t really foresee much trouble in the future.  Ignorance is sometimes, bliss.

Let me give a scenario here that may help demonstrate that point better.

Two men are in a car, stuck on railway tracks.  They cannot move back nor forward.  The elder gentleman in the car has a form of dementia and is busily reminiscing about days gone by that he remembers with fondness.  The younger gentleman, fully able to compute the dangers of what is happening, is trying not to frighten the older man while trying to start the car again with no success.  Off in the distance, he sees the faint lights of an oncoming train and keeps trying to start the car, filled with panic now.  The elder man is completely unaware of what is happening and continues on his trip down memory lane with pure joy and delight, laughter and a smile while beads of sweat drip down the younger man’s forehead.  Finally, in vain, as the train approaches rapidly, the younger man exits the car, opens the door of the passenger’s side and drags the old man out of the car to safety.  The train soon demolishes the car into a tangled heap of metal before coming to a stop.  The young man tries to catch his breath while the elder gentleman simply says, “why did you stop me?  I wasn’t finished my story.”  Both men experienced the same situation.  The difference in their reactions were simply that the younger man knew what was going to happen while the elder man was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking down the tracks.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be aware of dangers or ignorant of facts nor, uneducated.  What it is saying is that we are overloaded with information that oftentimes, is false, misleading and most importantly, un-needed.  We can’t be child-like because we now know too much.  As a matter of fact, we know more than we really need to know and that, in and of itself, causes stress, distress and un-happiness.  We are now incapable of simply living in the moment and being amused with simple things like the taste of our coffee, the smell of freshly cut grass, the clouds that are floating past us above, the purr of our cat, the sound of a stream, a song that we love or many other of the most soothing and amusing things in Life.  Instead, we are analyzing everything silly, thinking about what lays ahead, how much damage it’s doing to us and the world, some study that proves that the caffeine in our wonderful tasting coffee can kill us or how the water in our bottle of water might pollute the earth or be polluted by the chemicals in the plastic bottle or wax that lines the paper take-out cup is toxic.  We’re usually reading or listening to the news which is filled with doom and gloom as that is what sells air/paper time and we’re using technology devices such as our cell phones to look up more crazy-making information.  The list is endless as to how information is slowly not only taking away our happiness and ability to be happy but, is potentially causing us stress that will or could kill us sooner or later.

How many shootings do we need to hear about before we can say, “there’s a lot of kids, killing others with guns”?  How many studies have we all heard, read or talked about that eventually get reversed or at the least, changed because newer studies have proven differently and yet, we’ve given up that great tasting coffee or bread or eggs and, it’s now not only ok to have them but, we find out we should have been having them all along as they’re beneficial to us?  How many car accidents do we need to see on the news at night with people we never met, don’t know and never will know before we get the idea that driving a car in today’s world and in traffic or driving distracted or impaired, can kill us? Do we really need 24/7 news stations that cover a story live and have “experts” on panel to discuss every nuance of the situation?

The bottom line is that we have far too much information floating around in our heads that not only don’t serve us beyond simply having a fact/knowledge but, are harming us in one way or another.  It’s all certainly a stumbling block towards being happy.

If you want to feel a bit happier,

  • Turn off the news or put down that newspaper
  • Quit Googling or Binging or whatever search engine you use for a bit
  • Turn off your cell phone or use it to actually CALL a friend or relative and enjoy talking to them instead of texting or ignoring them.
  • Stop taking every study too seriously because it will eventually turn out to be changed or reversed by another that will follow.
  • Either turn up your favourite music and sing or dance with it or, listen to the birds chirping, the stream sounds or your cat purring for a change
  • Watch a comedy or inspirational movie instead of a horror, police or crime show
  • Read a book or story with an inspirational message behind it
  • Buy yourself an adult colouring book and colour for a change.  Heck, get out the crayons and colour a child’s colouring book.
  • Ditch the “Know-It-Alls” who are walking encyclopedias but, are as negative as hell
  • Limit time with or eliminate those people who are bringing you nothing but headaches or demands for you doing something for them
  • Spend more time with people who make you feel good and most of all, make you laugh
  • Get silly. Roll down a hill, play with toys, splash around in a local pool just for the fun of being in water and weightless or buy yourself a teddy bear.  Seriously.
  • Stay out of your head and thinking for even an hour a day.  Just pay attention to things around you that are soothing and relaxing.  If you can’t find that, find them in your memory bank.  They’re there, believe it or not.
  • Be thankful for what you have right now even if it’s not your dream situation
  • Set aside a worry time of 20 minutes where you write your worries out into a dollar store notebook then shut the journal and tell yourself worry time is over until your next planned session then, get on with something light, silly and funny

These are just a few ideas.  There are plenty more.  If you’re going to Google anything, search for ways to have fun.

Stay light, stay laughing, stay away from people or information that brings you down to a stressed out level as much as possible.  Just be.  Be in the moment and enjoy the little things in Life.  Be happy!

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life to yours.

 

A Sense of Entitlement Brings Ignorance To Developed Countries

Ignorance and a sense of entitlement. Is that what people are coming to in North America nowadays?  It’s more a time of asking “what’s in it for me and, how can I get it. Damn everyone and everything else!”

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In looking around any mall or large store, one can find it flourishing in every parking lot, store or cashier line-up. It’s in the people who illegally park in non-parking spots or taking up space directly in front of the store where parking is prohibited, sitting there blindly while other cars struggle to get around them or, swearing in return when someone honks because they can’t get past.

It shines clearly through those who try to take full buggy loads through cashier lanes clearly marked as Express Lanes or, those who stand in front of jewellery, pharmacy or electronics cash registers to pay for items not from those departments, getting angry and starting a fuss if the cashiers attempt to refuse to ring through their cart full of groceries.

It’s heard in the voices of those who will scream at their kids, now having wandered 3 or 4 aisles over from them, knocking things off of shelves, destroying displays while chasing one another and tripping others, never being checked upon or reigned in by their parent or parents.

It’s in the persons who park their buggies horizontally across an aisle in a grocery store, blocking everyone else from getting up or down it while they look at the side of a can or box and ignore the lineups of those waiting to get past them.

It lays in the fingers of those in cosmetic departments who break seals on lipsticks, by-passing testers to rub lipstick onto their hand then put it back onto the display or, in those who open nail polishes and proceed to paint the shelf or signs with it like graffiti artists.

One can see it in banks where the line-ups are long and the instant tellers are being taken up by someone’s children who are punching the keys, playing on every untaken machine while their mother barely looks over or ignores what her children are doing to others, waiting.

It lays in the clothing, knocked off of racks then, stepped on or rolled over with buggies as they walk away, leaving what they’ve destroyed behind them.

If that isn’t enough, it’s found in those who don’t ever use the words, “please” or “thank you” when someone has gone out of their way to be courteous or polite to them.

How about having to listen to someone’s entire conversation on a cell phone while waiting quietly in a doctor’s office or other quiet place or, their ringers going off and them not answering it but, not shutting the ringer or notifications off either.

There’s an endless list of things that people do or don’t do that can be considered a sense of ignorance or entitlement and while it would be wishful thinking to peg it down to discount department stores such as Walmart or, certain groups of people, the truth is that this type of occurrence happens in every public place, every ethnic, race, creed or culture. Rich or poor, the attitude is seemingly the same.

Ignorance seems to know no boundaries and a sense of entitlement seems to come with today’s mindset being one of “it’s what I want that matters” which brings it forward.  No one cares anymore about anyone else or even politeness, the laws or common courtesy.

Worse than anything, it seems that people who are privileged enough to live in developed countries now seem to think that what they want and need, when they want it and need it, should be provided for them and everyone else be damned. It’s not what they can do to show appreciation for what they have but more what they can get out of everything. It’s a sense of entitlement and with that…comes the ignorance.

The saddest thing of all is that everyone is so afraid of the repercussions from admonishing these people or even bringing them to justice in the law or other forms of re-alignment that no one really does anything anymore so, they continue on doing it and pushing the boundaries further.  Political Correctness has made this worse.  Are we so afraid of offending a culture or a religion that we can’t even let them know that they are crossing boundaries and laws? Are we that afraid that we won’t even attempt to correct any of this type of behaviour? How will Society develop in a civilized manner when everyone figures that it’s ok to do whatever they want and can get away with it?

Isn’t it time that we stepped up to the plate and said,

“NO…you cannot park here.  It’s illegal.”

“Please move your buggy so that I can get past,” and not fear repercussions.

“Get your children under control or leave, please.  thank you,” and push the person to handle their children’s poor behaviour or leave with them.

“No, I will NOT ring through your purchases in this department.  You’ll have to go to the appropriate cashier for that,” and, “I don’t care how long you stood here, waiting…your purchases are NOT from this department.”

“Stop opening the bottles of cosmetics as this is considered theft and vandalism.  You are paying for these items now.”

“Your yelling at your spouse or children is bothering my right to shop in peace.  Take your argument outside of the store.”

“You knocked clothing off of that rack, knew it, left it there and proceeded to walk over it.  It’s considered yours now.  I’ll ring that up at the register.”

“Please obey the ‘no cell phone’ sign and turn off your cell phone or, step outside to make your call.”

“Please move to the side so that I can get past you.”

“I’m sorry but you have a buggy full of items that far exceeds this line’s purpose.  Please move to another suitable cashier and let me past or I will cause a fuss at the desk when you’re considered next.”

Sadly, these types of statements are rarely made by either services, store associates/employees or those of us who are inconvenienced by these types of people and their scenarios.  Equally sadly, I could fill volumes of written words on the subject but, won’t.  All that I can say further right now is…that’s how I’m seeing things going in today’s world and from my little corner of life in it and, I’m sure that I’m not alone in seeing it or feeling this way, am I?