Scallywag

Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.

~ Albert Einstein ~

The Latest Ain’t The Greatest

October 14th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 13 secs

Beautiful. But you have the capacity for much greater beauty.

Beautiful. But you have the capacity for much greater beauty.

Today we await the arrival of the latest cellphone, camera, laptop, sports car, SUV, bank loan, fashion line, must have accessory. The fact that you absolutely just have to/got to surely get it is a given. Because, it has finally arrived. The greatest is here.

Or, is it? The trouble with the arrival of the greatest of anything that you can buy is that in about 3 to 12 months time it’s converts into a sad precursor. The next version will outstrip it (having more vim, processing power, curb appeal, and flash capacity). While, the earlier version starts looking slightly embarrassing.

By degrees, product marketing has conditioned us to feel that the best is present and can always be bought. Yet you better be prepared to soon do it all again because the next best thing is already in the wings.

Like a well-massaged soap opera script, merchandising new products is designed to get maximum “wow” and create the right flow of highs and lows. After all, you can’t be saying “wowee” every day.

Naturally, the process is not quite authentic in the sense that just as a new item arrives, its replacement is already ready, poised for release. So if it sometimes feels as if life is slightly stage-managed at times, don’t be surprised.

To my mind, we do well to be careful about that. Because, as you know, the truly great things of life aren’t about merchandise, releases, or any hyped event.

Instead, the wonderful fundamentals are invariably about qualities of character, passion, and love. Being harder to sell marketers try their best to attach them to products so we can attach ourselves to stuff in bought in boxes.

As a consequence, some people get confused between the virtual reality of merchandized life and the life of us as real human beings.

So what does a life look like that isn’t in step with product refreshes and marketing hype? That should be easy to answer. But I kind of think that because we’re so tied into a culture of consuming it’s hard to see who we are without it.

I mean, I get excited when I read about some new photographic whiz-bang thing. It appeals to me so much I run the risk of wearying my long-suffering wife by even bringing it up.

Amidst all that consumer excitement, the patient care she has for me reveals her qualities of humanity. And I am reminded that she is applying patience and kindness as she wisely understands.

Even within our childish excitements there’s no need to forget that we have infinitely greater powers to care, show compassion, patience, and generosity of spirit. We can give somebody the gift of listening and appreciate what makes them brim over with enthusiasm.

Because, there is nothing wrong with getting excited about things. It’s just that in the wider field of view they are small matters. Whilst life, continues to open up before us as a vast vista of possibilities: to care, think, create, and appreciate.

Thankfully, these enduring qualities will always be in style. For unlike the fickle world of merchandising and product updates, these features really are great.

Disappointed? Now What?

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