One way of understanding capitalism, in fact, is as a giant machine for instrumentalising everything it encounters – the earth’s resources, your time and abilities (or ‘human resources) – in the service of future profit.*
Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.**
Thank you, Oliver Burkeman. I get it.
To be present in this moment and enjoy it for what it is:
Our obsession with extracting the greatest future value out of our time blinds us to the reality that, in fact, the moment of truth is always now – that life is nothing but a succession of present moments, culminating in death, and that you’ll probably never get to a point where you feel yo have things in perfect working order.*
May I reset and start over?
I guess I don’t get the 62+ years back?
We learn ways that take us from the present to rueing the past and worrying about the future, and whilst there is value in reflecting on the past mistakes so as not to make them again and imagining a better future that removes pain for someone, we have developed these out-of-the-present tactics to an industrialised level.
One day, we’ll enjoy life more, we say but until then we must work work work and distract distract distract.
We are taught that everything has to have future value: To what end?
Even mindfulness can be practised with an end goal in mind: one day I will be less distracted, less agitated, more tranquil.
But maybe my enjoying the books I’m reading and the thoughts I’m encountering and the doodling I’m engaging in and the ideas I’m playing with as I write this post are just moments of nowness to be in?
And what you’re viewing is a happy accident from these moments of presence and enjoyment, that I need to keep bringing myself kindly back to for them to be what they can be.
*From Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks;