The Paradox of Our Age

Listen to: Autumn week 7 by Fabrizio Paterlini

Seldom do I find quotes that I can relate to. I share plenty of quotes on regular bases, yet only feel touched by quite a few. This, however, is not just a quote to me. It is a reminder. It is a throbbing piece of literature that drives me out of my comfort zone every time I take a little peak at it.

It defines me; the chaos in me. It defines every one of us. I won’t deny I saw scatters of me laid through many of the comparisons in it. I’m not sure if part of how humans evolve is to reverse, but to me it seems that way.

I could not find the original copy of this online, so I took the time to type it down from a piece of paper I wrote back when I was 4thgrade. Ironically, my handwriting then was much more comprehendible than it is now. I guess that’s what university does to a person. As messy as it was then, it was at least cute. Now it’s messy with no excuse.

Anyway, this is my way of celebrating Eid. I read my old diaries and reminisce. I give myself time to discover who I was then, because really, I never knew who I was till my behavior changed into something entirely different. While people celebrate their sad enslaved lives, I celebrate my past. Here’s a reason to change, to be, to become, to break boundaries, to forget that invisible box everyone keeps talking about ever existed; here’s a mind dabble, something to think about over the break; here’s a paradox that forever haunted me, a paradox I could never break from.

The Paradox of Our Age

By Dr. Bob Moorehead

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much, spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom 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’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lowers morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow in relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times!

Wishing those who celebrate Eid a blessed one, those performing a Haj a safe one, and those in turmoil a chance to sleep sound.

  1. I remember reading this a year ago and feeling the chills down my spine. Just stumbled upon your blog and loving your simple, elegant design. You just got yourself a new follower!
    Peace from another anonymous arab!

    • Yes, few literary pieces ever do that anymore.

      Quite flattered, thank you! 🙂

  2. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this, Arabzy. Every single one of these paradoxes can consume an entire day of contemplation and deep thought. I can see why it has left a mark on your soul and it has now left one on mine, too.

    • It’s one of these literary pieces that wake you up to a heavy day. Ah.

      Thank you for dropping by ❤

  3. I loved this.

    • Me
    • November 15th, 2011

    Awesome

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