I just finished reading a great book about human paranoia, Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. Things like this really make me think about what glorious yet strange creatures we human beings are – not in a ‘gospel truth’ kind of way but more like an Alice in Wonderland perspective on the things that happen every day that go almost unnoticed.
In reading the last chapter on the train today, I was struck by a rather pithy statement, the kind you find on high school exam papers followed by the word Discuss:
We listen to iPods, read the newspaper, watch television, work on computers, and fly around the world using brains beautifully adapted to picking berries and stalking antelope.
It struck me as a great way to sum up life…let me explain:
There are times for gathering berries, lots of berries. Sometimes it’s the same berry. Other times, lots of different berries are the order of the day, and it’s important to skip promiscuously between, around and/or over said berries depending on mood, time of day/ month, sobriety and youthful sense of abandonment (the latter not being restricted to the young alone).
Then there is stalking. You know, when one’s head and heart are filled with dreams of the perfect partner/ house/ children/ job/ car/ holiday/ clothes/ hair/ position in life and this is faithfully pursued with diligence and relentless discipline, silently (or not) and purposefully…