Friday, March 25, 2016

A Hobbit’s Life: "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

There are days, sometimes weeks, where I would give almost anything to have a small comfortable hobbit-hole in the Shire. To sit on a bench in front, relax, and have nothing more important to worry about than if there are enough seed cakes for the supper guests.

I don't know if it is just my bad luck or if the world is indeed going to Mordor in a handcart, but it seems every day I run into more and more people who are so selfish, angry, and entitled that I simply can't understand how they make it through a day. The entire attitude of no one matters but me, I can do whatever I want and tough if it makes your day suck just that little bit more. I know that everyone has bad days, certainly, I have my share, but I don't understand how you can think so little of the people around you, so little about our civilization that you can behave so.

Every day I try to spend a few minutes just being in the world. I try to keep my mind clear, not direct my attention in any way. just - be - in the world. Sometimes I notice the breeze, the sun, the ground, the noises that sound all the time but you don't hear them because you tune them out. I think that's what it must feel like all the time to be a hobbit. It really is a great feeling. You should try it sometime (If you don't already.)

Aaron Sorkin, my personal favorite and one of the best writers ever in movies and television, wrote this: [from The West Wing, S3 E13 "Night Five"]

 "I don't like the word "stress". It's a Madison Avenue word. It's something that can be cured with flavored coffee and bath bubbles."  

I find myself thinking about and agreeing with that statement a lot. Not that physical stress isn't real, not that it isn't terrible for your health, but that what most people perceive to be "stress" really isn't. Everyone needs to find some flavored coffee fill a tub with bath bubbles and chill. I have never understood why people get so worked up about the little things and how when the truly stressful times come along they just can't cope with it. Spending that much time feeling "stressed" just isn't a good way to live. Do you see how this all just keeps coming back to a Hobbit's way of life?

I know that coming from someone like me, a network engineer, a gadget fiend, the following statement doesn't make much sense, but if there was really a hobbitesqe shire somewhere, removed from all the cares of the world. I would be there in a flash. You would be welcome, there would be plenty of cakes and coffee for all. But you had better leave your stress, selfishness, and entitlements back in the other world, 'cause mine is a merrier one.

Another quote that keeps running through my head, though not for the original reason, is one by Douglas Adams: 

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? "

In this quote, Douglas was talking about his atheism and why you shouldn't be looking for God everywhere. But when I think about it, I take a more literal view of it. Why can't it be a beautiful garden and have fairies in it? Now, of course, I know there is no such thing as fairies. (shh, I am writing here, I know you exist) But couldn't you actually look for fairies anyway? The magical possibilities that you believed in as a child then gave up on when you "grew up".  Surely it must be possible to exist in a grown-up world but still look for the fairies. I really do not want to live in a world where there is no possibility that fairies exist or Hobbits for that matter. 

To sum up this, even for me, unusual post, I leave you with this quote from "The Hobbit - An Unexpected journey:

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I have found It is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”

So stop worrying about the small everyday things. There are more than enough truly worrying things in the world, you don't need to make any up. Stop being such a j-hole. You are NOT the only person in the world, other people matter just as much as you do. Common courtesy, while not common anymore, should be. Get the door for the person behind you and smile when they walk past. Spend some time just being in the world. And be sure to look for fairies (or hobbits).

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