June 8, 2021
“The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.” – Marcus Aurelius
Imagine growing up in a third world country 20 years ago. You have no cell phone, no money to travel, no TV. You have never left your village let alone gotten on an airplane and you have no idea what’s going on around the world, especially in America. The only news you see is the news and media that your own country provides, about your own country. You don’t have access to internet and the only people you know and see are the people that live in your community. Because you don’t have internet or a computer you don’t have a list of Facebook friends that you never talk to or care about but scroll through pictures of their new house and baby. Believe it or not this was true for some people – do you feel a little envious? Can you imagine zero pressure to check social media and see what CNN and FOX is covering about the US government today? Same.
Our environment controls so much of how we live and we are all so unaware of our biases. The thought of living like this seems not only unfathomable but also refreshing in a way. If you lived in this time, in this village do you think you’d be happy? (assuming you were healthy and had all your basic and necessary needs met.) If you lived during this time what would be your perception on “the world” , in this case “your world“ be if you had no idea about what existed in America? What would you value and what would you care about? What would you spend your time doing and how much love would you share with your family? How would you make decisions and choose to live your life on a day to day basis?
Remember, you can’t check Instagram or Facebook so you’re forced to be bored while waiting in line at Starbucks or when a commercial comes on your TV. Wait let me take that back, you probably don’t even watch commercials. You don’t know about the glitz and glamour of celebrities, you have no idea who Meghan Markle is and you have never seen a fancy car or Louis Vuitton bag in your life. You don’t get to choose your clothing because you’re so poor and no one even cares about the logo on your shirt or shoes and the best part is you don’t have to resist ordering ice cream on your Door Dash app! Wouldn’t life be so simple?
Our world today is so tainted and the integrity of our minds are so compromised because of the news, media, and iOS Apps. We live in such an instant gratification society where we order our Starbucks from our phones and our food from Uber eats. We buy all of our groceries online and its delivered to our door in under an hour – we want everything and anything and we want it now! We perceive that everything is easy and when it doesn’t work out the way we had hoped we either give up or play the victim. We don’t know what hard work and grit means and we think that unless we have a million dollars we are poor. Now if you don’t believe these statements than disregard them and I’m happy for you. But for most of us our awareness of our own perception on reality is severely inaccurate and the more unaware we become the closer we get to the death trap – not physical death but emotional and spiritual death.
Eventually far far in the future thousands of years from now no one will even know that you or I existed- not even the memories of us will exist. Let that sink in, there will be a time that you and me and the athletes and celebrities that you admire will no longer be alive and if its far enough into the future their memories may even be forgotten as well.
I’m currently reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius which is a collection of letters and journals of the once Roman Emperor. If you don’t know who Marcus Aurelius is he was one of the most respected emperors in Roman history from 161 to 180 and he was renowned as one of the greatest stoic philosophers of his time. Regarded as the last of the 5 good emperors of Rome. He served in an age of relative peace, and stability for the Roman Empire and his book Meditations is now one of his golden eggs he is survived by. Meditations has been published and read by millions of people since his time and the principles that he lived by are one of a true Roman warrior. Full of practical wisdom its the private thoughts of the worlds most powerful man giving advice to himself on how to make good on the responsibilities and obligations of his position. A lot of his journal entries discuss discipline but not just discipline of your mind, discipline of your thoughts – a true philosopher.
Now lets get back to your other life in this third world country in 2001…
Sometimes not knowing something is for our own good. I recently deleted all social media apps on my phone (besides Tik Tok because I’m trying to grow a following at the moment.) A full week had gone by before I even realized I haven’t looked at Instagram or posted anything in what seemed to be a long time! After my 7 day short hiatus I needed to get back on Instagram to screen record a previous story about Ironman that I wanted to post on Tik Tok, I know.. I know… embarrassing.
Well after redownloading Instagram in an attempt to just repurpose content I started scrolling though my feed just by habit. Well after looking at a few peoples stories that I usually see on a daily basis from Instagram I had realized how little I cared about what was going on in their lives. I found the time that I was spending watching other peoples lives was bringing zero value to my life and bringing me down and that’s when I realized how bliss ignorance really is. Not knowing how much money Logan Paul made from 30 minutes in a boxing ring with Floyd “Money” Mayweather is good for my mental health. Not seeing my friends having an incredible time in Mexico is what I need sometimes. What you perceive is your reality and sometimes choosing to not perceive and living your life hidden in a bubble is good for you and your mental health, remember we will all eventually be forgotten.