To Bling or Not To Bling
We have evolved … or devolved … into a species that is addicted to things
… & bling.
We are surrounded on a daily basis with advertisements for the latest and greatest “thing”. Whether that be the latest smart phone, ipad, espresso machine, giant tv or what-have-you. The most recent fashion item, furniture piece or thing-a-me-jig are all on the to want or to need list. Or so we think.
We have become enshrined in “things” … mostly useless in the grand scheme
… of things!
How many of us have drawers full of “things” we may one day use, that will eventually add to the depressing pile of trash, hidden from sight and out of mind at the local landfill … or in the ocean … floating … or not?
How many of us have cupboards we dare not open?
Garages with “things” tucked away neatly … or messily … in a corner, to one day be remembered … maybe?
Sheds abandoned because they're too hard “to sort” … full of “things” that we think are too precious to move along but not precious enough to have on display?
We collect momentos from foreign lands as a sign of adventure and travel and achievement.
We collect accolades from our workplaces … to show we are clever or good or liked.
We surround ourselves with the extrinsic reminders of capitalism … a world obsessed on more and more and better and better … forever and ever … or so it seems.
And in the world of trail running or running in general we have that “thing” called bling!
Little discs of metal that we collect along the way … from races and events that we enter.
They engrave them with their name and when we cross the finish line, they hang them round our necks … maybe. Sometimes they give them at the start .. to save them time … strange but true … a lesser honour I believe … to have the reward before the challenge is through.
It matters not whether you are first or last or 20th or 7th or anywhere in between .. each person is honoured with the same bling. We pay for these discs of metal when we enter an event … we purchase them with our promise.
We take them home and put them on display … maybe. We show them off for a day or two or a month. One day they may land in a drawer or in a box tucked away. Our children will inherit them … or not. Will they honour them like a war medal or throw them in the trash? Be melted down for reuse or added to the polluting of our over-burdened planet?
There are many … I hear … that refuse to enter an event unless there is bling … that's just their thing. There are many who will travel the world in search of more bling … these tiny hunks of metal that extrinsically reward them.
And this is the thing that makes me wonder … and ponder and question this thing called bling … which is, just another ... “thing”.
Another extrinsic reward or addiction or distraction …
Whatever happened to the value of intrinsic reward?
Whatever happened to the simplicity of keeping things simple?
Why do we constantly look for that which is outside of ourselves to validate us?
Why do we not feel the deep self satisfaction of simply achieving a goal?
Why do we value less the inner feeling of accomplishment, the self-worth we grow from believing in and honouring ourselves?
Why do we not recognise the deep, raw, all encompassing naked energy that rises deep in our bellies and roars and tears out of our bodies like a runaway freight train when we have achieved something we once thought near impossible? Do we push this down and replace it with … bling?
Why can we not sit with that energy and feel its power and grace?
Why do we value this less than we do a piece of metal?
Have we become so entrenched in our need for extrinsic acknowledgement and validation that we cannot acknowledge and validate ourselves?
Do we really have to have something to show off to others in order to make our achievement valid?
Are we not enough?
Are we not worthy of our own intrinsic accolades?
A vivid memory of a race not so long ago where I stood on the finish line watching others finish and cheering them home. One finisher had a deeply emotional finish, clearly shifting some deep energy and crying and rejoicing as she crossed the line. She had battled a demon and won. A fellow runner standing near me declared quite loudly … “Well that's a bit over the top”. To my dismay I said nothing.