“The paradox of our time in history is that, we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families. We have more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplies our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much and don’t listen enough. We love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of fancier houses but broken homes. These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
We need to remember to spend some time with loved ones because they are not going to be here forever. Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person will soon grow up and leave your side. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.”
~ BY: George Carlin, Comedian of the ’70s and ’80s.
This excerpt resonates with me deeply not because the sentiments expressed are ideological, quaint or fantastical. It resonates with me because I do believe there is something deeper, and more substantial to this clutter I have come to experience as life. I hope above all things that at the end of my life, I can confidently say I learnt the things Carlin discovered as necessary when he made these remarks on this paradox of life.