Paradox of our times
A friend from Germany sent me a PowerPoint file with lots of photos set in Hong Kong and captions which I have assembled into the following:
Paradox of our times
Today, we have bigger houses and smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less commn sense;
More knowledge, but less judgment.
We have more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast,
Get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired,
Read too little, watch TV too often, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too little and lie 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 have taller buildings, but shorter tempers;
Wider freeway, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We've conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We've split the atom, but not our prejudice;
We write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait;
We have higher incomes, but lower morals.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies, but have less communication.
We are long on quantity, but short on quality.
There are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships.
More leisure and less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition;
Two incomes, but more divorce; fancier houses, but broken homes.
This is the paradox of our times today.
That is why I propose that, as of today, you do not keep anything for a special occasion, because every day that you live is a special occasion.
Search for knowledge, read more, sit on your front porch and admire the view without paying attention to your needs.
Spend more time with your family and friends, eat your favourite foods, and visit the places you love.
Life is a chain of moment of enjoyment, not only about survival.
Use your crystal goblets. Do not save your best perfume, and use it every time you feel you want it.
Remove from your vocabulary phrases like "one of these days" and "someday". Let's write that letter we thought of writing "one of these days".
Let's tell our families and friends how much we love them.
Do not delay anything that adds laughter and joy to your life.
Every day, every hour, and every minute is special. And you don't know if it will be your last.
The file is produced by someone called Herbert K. Lau. A Hongkonger, I believe. A middle class Hongkonger who is disillusioned by the life in this glamorous city which provides opportunities for multiplying possessions but not for inner peace and wisdom.
I share most of his observations except one. He said "More leisure and less fun", but what I see in myself and most working adults I come across here is that we are having less leisure time. This is another big paradox of our times. While modern technology and the affluence of our society are supposed to be able to allow us to have more leisure, the truth is that people are working longer and longer hours.
But this is a topic for another day.