I usually don’t pay much attention to bumper stickers. Most of them seem to express ideas I don’t want to care about: someone’s favorite band; the place or pet they “HEART;” the politician they think is going to make life demonstrably different and, increasingly, vulgar assertions that in more polite times were only found scrawled on the walls of restroom stalls and subway tunnels. But the other day as I was walking from the gym to my car, I saw a bumper sticker that stopped me dead in my tracks. It read
“The best things in life are not things.”
Well, you could have knocked me over with an iPhone application after I read that, and not because –as might be assumed- I’d never thought of it before. Rather, I simply never expected to see anything like that on the bumper of a late model car in the parking lot of an “upscale” gym in the hyper-materialistic
The best things in life are not “things” (material objects), they are experiences like looking at your children and seeing that flame (or whatever the hell it is) burning behind their eyes. They are those moments that transcend mundane thinking and you see the world as it really is and become simultaneously aware of its beauty and propensity to mete out misery. (Of course, it is also true that many of the worst things in this life are not things either. But any discussion of this here is unwarranted by the feel-good nature of this blog ;-)
Food is great, we could not live without it, but far better than the food itself is the experience of eating something that has been so well-prepared and is so wonderful that it sends you elsewhere.
I not sure that I care much about food beyond it's ability to provide my body with nutrition and myself with a way to earn a living. But what I care deeply about are it's collateral cognitive and emotional affect within the people I feed and, of course, myself.
How about you?