This week’s inspiration all started with a news clip detailing the launch of the new ‘iphone’ in the USA last week. There were queues of people lining up to get their hands on the latest and greatest, which made me question ‘what happens to all their old phones?’ This has been weighing on my mind since Telecom recently changed their network and my phone (not even a year old) is no longer suitable. I hate the idea of wasting a perfectly good phone to move as fast as technology does. There is a constant rush in society today for the newest, best and most advanced objects of desire and yet do we ever question what goes into their production and what happens to the things we throw away. So today’s inspiration is all about examining if we are so smart why are we doing so many stupid things.
I read an article in the magazine ‘mind food’ in May of this year that was discussing the same things. The article was suggesting that we need to wake up and get more curious about the world around us again. It can be so easy just to coast along and accept things as they are without asking important questions. I do not know where old mobile telephones go or how they are made, I just accept that they exist and use them, but I am beginning to realise how irresponsible that is. Laurence Gonzales author of the book ‘Everyday Survival – Why Smart People do Stupid Things’ talks about how millions of people have an iPod, but how many wonder how it works or take it a step further and actually find out.
Are we asking enough questions and doing our own research on things? Probably for the majority of people this would be a no. We are so busy these days that the idea of having to think too hard about something is an extra chore we just do not need. Looking around you realise that we have become very conditioned to things, when you see a sign you know what it means, for example the symbols for men or women’s toilets. So we just accept things that we are conditioned to accept without actually thinking about it. Your brain takes in so much information on a daily basis that it ends up dumping any extra information it does not need. We are so stimulated in society today (TV, movies, internet, media, advertising) that we tend to drop lots of details and we function mostly on conditioned responses.
This can be useful but what happens when we stop paying enough attention? Take the media for example, how much of what you see on the news or in magazines do you believe? If the media tells you that swine flu is a pandemic situation and you need to go and buy Tami flu drugs do you believe them or do you do your own research? How many people do their own research on what their doctor tells them or understand what is really happening in the economy, to be empowered and smart we need to look at our options.
It is no longer suitable for us to just take what we are told or shown without thinking for ourselves and listening to our intuitive voice. I read that people who got out of the world trade centre early during the 911 attacks were turned back by security guards and some actually went back in! It is hard to know what you might do in the same situation but so often we have an instinct and we turn away from it because of what the ‘crowd’ is doing or what we are told to do by ‘authorities’.
The world is facing a crisis, especially around environmental issues, it is impossible to not recognise this now. We are over using and the majority of people are still not interested in where things come from or what happens after we are finished with them. The energy that goes into producing your clothes, food, gadgets etc…could be costing the planet. Looking at labels on clothing to find out where it is made, asking your suppliers if food is organic, fair trade or cruelty free, not to mention reading food labels, finding out where your rubbish goes, especially electronic items and where your gadgets come from and how they are made. Smart people keep informed and we want to be able to make informed decisions.
Being curious and making conscious decisions will help us save the planet and humanity! There is nothing wrong with mobile phones (although I’m not sure about the health impact) or iPods but we need to up our game. Wouldn’t the world be a far greater place if we were all truly experiencing our lives, learning and being aware rather than simply going through the routine of life and taking whatever we are fed?
I do not know about you but I am certainly thinking twice about many things. We can no longer take things for granted and hope the responsibility will fall into someone else’s hands. Let’s be wise people and make smart decisions.
Have a fantastic day.