RUSH! RUSH! RUSH! That’s society today

Carmen Gomez

“I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye.” The White Rabbit first says to Alice, in Alice through the Looking Glass, without even giving her a moment to introduce herself or the himself the chance to ask her if she needed anything. That’s society today. Rush, rush, rush; no time to stop. Most probably it’s the motto of the “target” brigade; people who wear tracking devices on their wrists; or their belts or even in their underwear, as one lady was seen to proudly produce from her bra. In an era of empowerment; a word that bothers me as I write it; such objectives can take over your life. 


Someone spoke of her friend who, when she gets home and realizes she hasn’t achieved her daily target, starts walking up and down all the rooms in her house until her step count coincides with those of the day before. The thing is that what starts as a hobby to keep fit, can soon start verging on compulsive behaviour and end up being quite negative to ones health; particularly for those who struggle with eating disorders or other issues; this constant gage of every step one takes, every calorie consumed, can turn into an unhealthy obsession. So why do it?

Keeping oneself fit is an objective to be nurtured; it’s just that nowadays we appear to have this tendency of wanting to belong to a club; to be part of a social network, where swapping scores with others is the in thing. It is not rare to see groups of people; self imposed members of a project with a theme; socialising and sharing moments together in a self absorbing clique.


The problem with this being that if you are not a club person as such, it is easy for you to feel like an outsider in your own community. Those who find themselves in such a mindset are unawares that it can limit your response to others who are not intent on reaching targets, or wanting to live their lives as if they were constantly facing an exam of sorts; where everyday matters become a necessary challenge, instead of the natural thing to do. Having to prove yourself constantly, naturally sends you into a spiralling world of dizzy heights where without thinking about it, you find yourself facing a gaol which maybe you never intended setting yourself in the first place.

Nothing matters so much at this point as proving yourself to your peers. It then becomes a question of needing to have the right job; not necessarily the one you may like the best, or which may give you the most satisfaction. For others who aesthetically compare themselves with the models in the media, the need arises to have the right body; but why not be happy with the one you have?


So you put yourself through a gruelling pace in order to achieve this; after which if you have not reached your objective, you suddenly turn into a failure. Not having ticked all the boxes can be self destroying; because at the end of the day constantly climbing mountains is very tiresome and not always breeds happiness.

All this then falls into a generation pattern; one where parents mentalize themselves into thinking that they want things for their children which were not available to them; and in the meantime, they have lost touch with the very children they are trying so hard to apparently compensate. The Lory; a parrot like caricature of a real-life person; says to Alice “I am older than you, and must know better.” the thing about being a grown up used to be that one understood, that it’s the living and contributing itself which really matters at the end of the day, and that it’s not all about the gearing of yourself towards a projection of success. It’s like the pupil who takes up playing an instrument and soon learns they will never be good at it. Our culture can quickly mock and turn that into ineptitude.

This can be disheartening for the child who then falls into that frame of mind of “why should I even bother? I am not as good as my friends.” I have heard my sister say on occasions, that at her school, or in her particular classroom, the teachers would make a point of trying to ascertain what each child was best at and encourage them in their field.


This would do wonders for their confidence and by making them feel good about themselves, they would then be more eager to try and engage in other subjects too. I have even heard it said that being bad at something can be turned into a positive attitude, by promptly acknowledging it. In this way, one can continue to strive to improve, but without the pressure of having to hit any deadline, or not disapppointing those who expected more of you. The answer has to be a bold recognition of “! I’m terrible at this, but I don’t care” and that in itself can be very comforting, because it will take off unwanted pressure.


The thing here is to stick to what you like doing; to avoid the temptation of having to evaluate all sorts of aspects of life with apps or wearable gadgets, just because it’s the thing to do. Understanding that whatever enterprise we take on, we do so because we are going to enjoy the experience, and not just to be one of the club.

Being an individual is also good, and it does not stop one from being less than others, nor being able to be of service to those who need it in your community. Togetherness is good as long as it does not substitute the business of living, by performing a run of accomplishments for all to see and praise.