In the song Jack and Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp, Mellencamp explains that “Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone”.
It seems sometimes as we look around all we see is people going through the motions. We live in a world that is so technologically amazing that it is plain. We live at a time with so much violence and hatred that these things seem normal. We work in an economy where the income gap has widened so much that we no longer reach for the stars.
The thrill is gone. For many people who walk the halls past us at work or who are sitting next to us in the turning lane, this is their life’s summation. At least, that is their perspective. Is it any wonder that when the material thrills that were experienced by prior generations like family vacations, Disneyland, buying a home, etc… , slowly escape our financial reach, that we turn to the affordable thrills located in close proximity to our homes. And our hometowns are full of local, cheap thrills. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters and clubs are just a few examples of the type of thrill that comes much easier to your average American. And these activities are increasing in their frequency for most of us.
This is a major factor for the increasing waistlines of millions of Americans. The link between lower income and obesity has been well-publicized, however most people attribute this correlation to the type of foods that are affordable for folks who subsist on these lower incomes. I would argue that a contributing factor to this correlation is the mere fact that for many of us since we can’t afford the fun being had on reality television, that we have replaced family trips with food, alcohol, drugs and a sedentary lifestyle.
The thrill is alive and well. For a growing number of people, like the people you see cycling to work, running at an absurdly early time or playing in the park with their kids, this is their life’s summation. This is the perspective I’ve chosen to use as my looking glass into life. Once we detach ourselves from the idea that to be entertained or to accumulate happy memories we must spend, what is too often, our hard earned yet increasingly meager earnings, a whole world of hope lies waiting to be discovered.
In the song titled Blueberry hill by Fats Domino, exclaims, “I found my thrill on Blueberry hill”. I have come to believe that blueberry hill is portable, and it represents the thrills in life that do not require a penny’s exchange for goods or services. Giving or receiving a hug, listening to a child speak, making love with your partner…seeing the sun rise over the flatirons, covered in sweat, your heart ringing and racing…Seek these moments and BE in these moments, perhaps a whole new perspective will wash over you.