As I looked upon the scene as it unfolded before me, I nearly could not believe the scene before my very eyes. Dozens of them huddled and crowded around each one like carrion birds around a fresh kill. They seemed oblivious to the world around them as they feasted on the corpses, their hands thrusting in and out of the center bringing up organs and tissue as they were torn from the carcass in what seemed to be a purely mechanical fashion. Some would instantly drop their spoils back into the fray in search of juicier reward only to have their scraps pounced upon by the other scavengers. As I observed the carnage, I felt my stomach turn as the creatures continued their theophagy, yes, they were eating their gods while driven only by some primal blood lust.
A World Gone Mad
The scene described above may sound like something out of a Robert Rodriguez film but it’s actually nothing more than people, very much like you see every single day, out shopping for Christmas presents.
Yesterday, my wife and I took the opportunity to grab the last Christmas gifts on the agenda so that we could finally be done with it. Personally, I’m not a fan of shopping period but with the holiday season in full swing, I went along in a guard duty capacity. While this time of year is supposed to bring out the best in people, it also brings out the worst in the form those looking to snag a purse or two from unsuspecting shoppers.
The first store we went to was having some sort of bin sale where everything in the bins were only 6 bucks each. Thinking that perhaps we could grab our last few items without having to reach too deep into our pockets, we decided to check it out. As we walked through the doors, what came into view could only be described as that first paragraph you just read. With a dozen or so bins lined up in a grid-like fashion in the center of the store, throngs of people had descended upon them like vultures to a fresh kill. It was unlike anything I had seen before.
To look at them, the people looked quite ordinary and unremarkable. If you passed one on the street, you wouldn’t have thought that they could behave in a manner fitting only to a pack of hyenas on the African plains. With complete disregard for one another, they moved in droves, reaching over and through each other hungrily grasping for whatever they could get their hands on. They seemed mindless and driven only by the need to acquire as many goods as possible regardless of who was in their way. The post-modern spirit of Christmas in full swing.
A problem that befalls many of us, present company not excluded, is that we tend to think that those around us will look at the world as we ourselves do. I entered that store with the mindset that this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. That others would be just as grateful as I to be able to spend that time with those closest to them. What I found was a horde consumed with materialism. People who looked as if they had absolutely everything they needed, while unable to be satiated by their wants.I have a friend who likes to make mention of the fact that in today’s world, we haven’t abandoned religion but traded it for another.
In a consumerist world, more is still not enough and we simply cannot go without getting the newest and latest toys. The status that comes with having more. The fickle satisfaction of getting our hands on that next fix only to have it wear off just in time for the reveal of some other shiny object. These have become our Gods in the post-modern world and they demand the sacrifice of our dignity and will.
It’s not that much of a stretch to say that the majority of people today lead unfulfilling lives. Accomplishments are mediocre at best in those that find themselves slave to their mundane lives. The one’s who live hand-to-mouth, day to day looking only to make it to the next, have allowed a void to grow inside them. The gaping hole within aching to be filled by some happiness is placated by small doses of shiny things rather than anything of true and lasting substance. But like any drug, one will develop a tolerance and will need more and more in order to maintain the high.
Sad to say, but it doesn’t look like the cycle will be ending anytime soon. We’re constantly being bombarded by images of status and wealth that is promised to us if we could only get our hands on the latest and greatest new thing.
Now, I’m not going to leave you feeling disgusted. There is some hope. One thing that I have come to realize over this past year is that finding purpose is one way to find fulfillment and fill that void with something intangible, something lasting. Find something, anything that will give you a reason to grow and improve your life. Out of the big three, “Health, Wealth, and Relationships”, if you focus on health and relationships, the wealth will come. Take care of yourself and those in your life. Having a mission, a purpose will fill that void and just might keep you from becoming an extra on The Walking Dead.