20140105

The Richness of Existence (satire)

If seeking riches were truly normal to everyone, then no one would be poor and there would be no wars. Yet such a utopia hides the dark dystopia where the riches sought are obtained through the hard work of the middle class who are compliant to orderly production.

Anyone who is non-compliant in such a world is subject to social control, be it through laws that favour the rich and oppress the poor, and by means such as the widespread use of psychopharmaceuticals.

Yet the seeking of riches is not normal to everyone. Some people are poor and others are rich, but most people are middle class.

There is no dark dystopia in reality, for that is the side effect of our suppressed fears about today's world where the West is peaceful while elsewhere, there is conflict and war.

Instead, we live in a world that may be a wonderful place to almost everyone, whether rich or poor. Seeking riches is not a norm but a choice that determines who would be poor and who would be rich.

Of those few people who do not experience the world as a wonderful place are people who live in nations which are embroiled in conflict, a war brought upon them by forces beyond their control. There, survival is a daily struggle.

Still, war is beyond the imagination of people in the West, most of whom live in peace.

Almost seventy years have passed since the last world war was fought. In that time, nearly three generations have seen changes in technology that captivate them today.

Once there were computers of immense size that took up the space of a small warehouse, cooled by gallons of water. Today, we have computers in our smartphones many times more powerful in the palm of our hands.

If we choose to buy such devices, then it is out of necessity. Such devices do not make us rich, yet enrich our lives. Still, there is much enrichment in reading a book or a newspaper rather than using a device to do the same.

Even though I have taken thousands of pictures with my smartphone, the joy of drawing is many times more than that experienced on viewing the scene in a photograph. For me, it is a luxury to draw. I wish that I could spend more time drawing but photography occupies more of my time.

Photography gives me exposure to my immediate world. No matter how many hours I might spend drawing, each hour is spent away from the immediate world. That is why I prefer photography to drawing.

Because I live in a nation in the West, my immediate world is free of war. My photographs reflect the relative calm of the moment.

Yet I am aware that outside of my world, people live in abject poverty, be it a child in the West or a child in the Middle East. Their poverty is often due to politics, whether it is due to sanctions by Western nations or due to rule by despots.

Even though I am aware of the world outside my immediate environment, my purpose in taking photographs was to show the beauty of the moment, be it a sunset or the sparkle of lights at night, and to document what might be lost to future generations, be it a mural on a wall or the hundreds of animal and plant species.

Indeed, by taking pictures I am trying to capture the richness of existence, living in the West in a developed nation.

Of course, photography on a super phone is not the same as with a high quality camera. There are limitations due to battery size and quality of the camera firmware in the phone. Despite such limits of technology, most of my photographs might be considered beautiful to other people.

Although my pictures are wholly mine, I share them freely with the world through GooglePlus.

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