Saturday, 28 May 2011

A life less ordinary

Some people's idea of fun is going to the shopping mall together with hundreds of others on pay weekend and spending their day spending money on useless things and lining the pockets of people who are much richer than they will ever be.

Photo by Andreas Nilsson
Others enjoy drinking their money away, until they either pass out in a pool of their own vomit or end up in a bar fight.

Others like spending hours in front of the TV watching contestants in reality shows humiliating themselves for fame and money.

Yet none of those acts are considered crazy. That's what's considered normal these days. While running any distance longer than, say, 5km will get you funny looks. Wanting to go out for a long run early on a Saturday morning, wanting to catch the first sunlight in the trees and to listen to the birds singing, wanting to feel the adrenaline as you manage to climb an ascending slope so steep that it makes your eyes water, that is what passes as insanity these days. 

Somewhere along the line society lost the plot. We've been worshipping false idols, namely cheap thrills that give us satisfaction for a second and then they're gone. We leave our hard earned cash as an offering to the temple of Mammon and get garbage in return, garbage that has been wrapped in glitter to make it look like gold. Garbage that fills up our homes and our planet, that tries to fill the spiritual emptiness in our minds and hearts but fails miserably.

Happiness does not come from things or money. Happiness comes from friends, family, being close to and in harmony with nature. Run, or walk, in the woods and maybe you'll catch a glimpse of a deer. The wind in your hair will calm you down. The birds will lift your spirits. And when your run is over, you'll come home blissful. Serene. Truly happy.

I've never been interested in leading a conventional life. My parents can attest to that, with all the headaches that I've given them over the years (sorry!). But I would never sacrifice my happiness to conform. I would rather go for a long run early on a Saturday morning and be called crazy, than shut myself up in a packed shopping mall looking for the latest deal on garbage and go crazy. I would rather live the life less ordinary.

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