Sunday, December 2, 2018

Plentitude


America is desensitized to its existential advantage. It’s not that you can’t find agony in the USA, but we’ve collectively lost sight of what a relative haven this is, bitching about the long red light while sitting in a Hummer with heated seats. Heaven forbid that Amazon order of unicorn stretch pants arrives a day late, and there’ll be hell to pay when the delivery driver forgets extra garlic sauce.

Imagine dropping a dying third-world skeleton in Wegmans: he’d die of shock before starvation, taking in the neon-bright pyramids of polished, organic produce and aisles of self-care products too long to see the end of. An avalanche of abundance―yet we whine about going to the supermarket on our day off and impatiently sigh waiting to roll our overflowing treasure cart through the checkout, back to that Hummer with the heated seats.   

I’m the worst. I get pissy the moment I pull into the strip mall, resenting every taken space with mumbled epithets, nerve-wracked over who’s going to dart out in front of me with car or cart. Then it’s total lizard-brain mode inside the store, the other shoppers becoming detested adversarial obstacles with lower deli-counter numbers than mine. I recall the guinea-pig owner ahead in line. She remembered the woodchips but forgot the carrots and would have to go back for them. So I waited. Then we all waited. Then I fantasized about hammering a carrot between her eyes like a railroad spike. (I’m fine now.)

Many will fall apart once our society does, ill-equipped to suffer catastrophic hardship. It's an outrage to find an empty shelf where the two-for-one eggnog should be, so imagine the tantrum when the entire shopping center is a crater. Before that happens, take a moment―this one―to breathe, look around, look within, and marvel over something you've got that someone somewhere else might not. Does not. If enough of us hold onto that thought, we could grow the will to preserve this paradise in progress.

: - | >