Thursday, 5 August 2010

Born in the wrong century

I used to joke that I thought I had been born in the wrong century. This fast-paced, technological culture in which I live just seems beyond me. (Yes, I get the irony that I have a film degree, and pursued a field which lives and breathes technology.) Not that I haven't made my way in it; I understand computers and media and such a little better than the average person. I don't need to hit the speed dial for a repairman when something breaks down; I can often figure it out on my own. And yes, I know where all those wires go in the back of the television and media system. I just don't necessarily like where technology is taking us as a society. Mostly I yearn to cut out the middle man when it comes to earning a living. Why work for money to buy what you need, when you could just work for what you need? I don't fear hard work, and although a hundred years ago the work was physically taxing, it certainly wasn't as emotionally and mentally draining as navigating the current workplace is.

Alright, I know that I don't work outside the home now. And if I ever did go to work, it would likely be as a teacher, a profession that has been around for hundreds of years.

But I am getting off topic. I have heard more and more often lately that friends of mine share this same sentiment. This sent the wheels in my head turning: is there an underlying cultural reason that so many people are shifting their minds backwards a hundred years? Back to the basics, home gardens, moving away from the cities, naturopathy and homeopathy, the organic movement: all these ideologies seem to suggest a cultural shift.

I wonder if there is not some impending natural (or man-made) disaster? I have the sense that humanity is subconsciously preparing itself for the breakdown of society. Or perhaps we are being shaped by God in preparation for what is ahead. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what might be looming, other than to say that our current bumbling, breakneck pace cannot be sustained.

For those who have been awakened to the sense the self-sufficiency is going to be important, perhaps the recovery from the shock will be quick. I chuckle at the image in my mind of thousands of people standing dumbfounded with dead Blackberries in their hands, unable to do anything now that they're technological lifeline has been severed. But as I read about the reconstruction post American civil war, and the hundreds of families from high society who found themselves unable to mentally deal with their new reality, I am sure that history will repeat itself again. We must have our hands and hearts near the earth, and not be so far removed from the basics of living that we find ourselves wandering aimlessly with a far-off glaze over our eyes, with nothing in our future but failure and starvation.

No comments: