We have a global economy. We’re blasted with news from around the world 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Social media gives us the ability to make new friends anywhere on earth. The Russians are wearing blue jeans; the Japanese are eating McDonalds; the Koreans are making our cars; and American politics are the laughing stock for everyone. (Sorry, just a little personal commentary on the US. Never mind)
Even within our own country it’s like were just a big village. I have a daughter and 3 grandchildren that live on the opposite side of the US, but we chat almost daily. I have friends…. Good friends… in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, California, and New York, and we are all in touch regularly. My job covers all of North America, and I talk all the time with people from every state and province.
I read blogs from people in places I’ve never heard of; learning cultures and gaining insight into their world and perspectives.
Yep. It’s truly a small world.
But before you go patting yourself on the back for being so sophisticated and worldly, think about it a minute. Just how big is your world?
One of the few Beatles songs I actually like goes like…
“Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late ……. “
(A day in the life…)
Isn’t that really our world? I don’t ‘fall out of bed’ to take my place on the world stage. My morning routine isn’t engaged with our global existence. Whether or not I pack my lunch or decide to go out to eat has no impact on someone 2,400 miles away. In fact, it doesn’t really have an impact on someone 24 miles away. Or 2.4 miles away. It’s all about me.
Okay… I’ll expand that one out a bit, just for the sake of argument. I decide to buy lunch. The girl at the fast food restaurant gets paid to take my order, enabling her earn enough to make the rent. The food is cooked by someone who came from St. Louis (Or Guatemala or Montreal or Gonzales, LA… whatever). The beef came from Nebraska, the potatoes came from Iowa, and the Cola came from Georgia. Yada yada yada… But ultimately, It’s really just about me and my lunch.
Think about it. As you go through your day, where are you really focused? You’re caught up in traffic on the drive to work. There’s the dentist appointment on Friday you need to remember to put on your calendar. Did I pay the phone bill? Damn… I don’t remember. Better not forget to stop by the store on the way home, we’re out of creamer. And my knee is really hurting like a son of a bitch today. Must be the weather.
Nope. Nothing about the price of tea in China.
Yes, I have friends in Japan and England, but I don’t know who lives in the house next door. I can tell you he’s a strange som’bitch, but don’t ask me his name. No clue. Outside of the people I work with on a daily basis, I couldn’t tell you a thing about all the people where I work. We nod and smile as we pass in the hall, but they could bite me on the ass at the grocery store and I would have no idea who they were. My life consists of my job, my family, and the people I interact with every day. Thanks to Fox News, CNN and Facebook I’m aware of the outside world, but truly, it matters not. My world… no OUR world has a very small circumference. We deal with what’s right in front of us. We think about what affects our day to day. Sure, we may get pissed off about walls being built or monuments being torn down, but even then, it’s about what impacts me. Right here. Right now.
So… think about that the next time you get in that political discussion about immigration policy. Or you read about the UK withdrawing from the EU. Or respecting the flag and tearing down monuments. For that matter, how does Manchester United look for next season? (Or the New England Patriots… bunch of assholes!) Does it ultimately trickle down to us? Of course it does. But does it change your day? Or your week? Or any of the things that we ultimately spend our time doing? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be aware of the big picture, because we should. What I am saying though is, when you look at what’s important right now, all I’m really concerned with is what I’m going to have for lunch tomorrow.
It’s a small world after all.