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Paradox of Our Age

Brazil araujo painting

My thought for the day, for the year ahead, is lifted from Dr Bob Morehead’s 1995 essay, the Paradox of Our Age. The piece is either trite or thought-provoking, depending on your point of view but I think it’s worth a read either way. Here’s a snippet:

"We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less."

Being an optimistic sort, I think many of us are starting to come to terms with at least some of the paradoxes. Behaviour appears to be moving away from coveting the material towards valuing the personal. Just today, the Financial Times US business editor has published a long opinion piece which starts:

“For 50 years, companies have been told to put shareholders first. Now even their largest investors are challenging that consensus.”

Change is in the air.

Saying that, as I wrote this piece, a press release came in from a large and well-known luxury travel company promoting a trip over Rio. Now I’m not usually one to go negative but I’m going to take a moment to place this on the record: for me, this encapsulates the paradox of travel in our age. The narcissism inherent in the idea that you would fly over Rio in order to take a photo of yourself is repellent.

I was lucky enough to fly in a helicopter over Rio about 15 years ago. The experience, the extraordinary privilege, stays with me still. I came back to earth with incredible memories and some photos - none of which featured me. I came back from Brazil with a couple of paintings by a colourful character called Juan Araujo who served us traditional feijoada (bean stew) in his bright studio. That’s what hangs on my wall, not a picture of my grubby shoes hanging out of a helicopter blocking out the beautiful city of Rio far below.

Back off the soap box, selfie-sticks banished to the dustbin of history, and into positive territory.

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The Pothole is Pura Aventura's popular monthly email. We share what we love, what interests us and what we find challenging. And we don't Photoshop out the bits everyone else does. We like to think our considered opinions provide food for thought, and will sometimes put a smile on your face. They've even been known to make people cry. You can click here to subscribe and, naturally, unsubscribe at any time.

The Pothole is Pura Aventura's popular monthly email. We share what we love, what interests us and what we find challenging. And we don't Photoshop out the bits everyone else does. We like to think our considered opinions provide food for thought, and will sometimes put a smile on your face. They've even been known to make people cry. You can click here to subscribe and, naturally, unsubscribe at any time.

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