For the longest time, I’ve been of the opinion that pictures of scenery are more valuable than any pictures you might take of the people you happen to be with. A camera lens can capture undeniably beautiful images while pointed at the jagged hills of a horizon, because the world around us is an awesome picture to behold. A picture of nature is never as good as being there in the moment, no matter how good the photographer and equipment might be. We see those images, maybe we even pause and think to ourselves “how beautiful,” but most of the time they are just pretty pictures in need of context.
As a person who has traveled to a few different places in the world, for various reasons, and bad memory to boot, I cannot hope to identity most landscapes based on a single picture. Only when that picture of the roaring river is coupled with the familiar lost faces of time does it begin to have value, only then does it become worth more than just the slightest of aesthetic head nods and page flips. Context brings meaning to our personal picture albums, to our memories, to our present day actions.
If you pay attention to the news these days, or any of the days from all the days that you’ve been alive, you may have noticed that the world around us is a coldly confusing place. I would assert that this is due largely to a lack of concept context. We don’t understand each other and we don’t want to. Part of me wants to say that we crave only to hear and understand our side of each argument, but I think it is far more likely that each of us is being unduly influenced into that negative space. There is a science behind manipulative advertisements, a science that is full of statistics and other numbers, numbers that are used to drive our thoughts and desires in very specific directions. If the previous sentence is true, then how much control do any of us have over ourselves? And if we have lost control over ourselves, then the notions that we hold onto about what we like or what we want, what value do they really have?
I’m not paranoid, the world is out to take advantage of us; follow the money. Why is so much more money spent on curing cancer rather than preventing it? Why is so much more money spent on fixing heart problems rather than preventing it? It’s not that there are evil corporate leaders who set goals towards directly killing us, the problem is that everyday citizens end up being converted into numbers, and without context, these numbers that are used to dictate and ruin the quality of our lives, are just numbers. Don’t get mad at the corporations, we are just as culpable. Not only are we letting it happen, but we are handing them our time, money, and health, never stopping to ask if this is really the way the world has to be.
There is no choice, there are many choices – I really hope people start picking the latter.