I enjoy taking trips to the city (Manhattan). Being from upstate NY I make a point to do so at least once a year. I enjoy the lights, hustle and bustle, and the culture. And from a spectator perspective I DO enjoy watching the commerce; similar to how a wild life experts (Steve Irwin comes to mind) like to observe strange animals in their natural habitat. As a Minimalist, I observe and cringe at all the excess going on, the constant pointless consumption, the desire for instant retail gratification. To me it’s like watching the scene of an accident: We don’t wanna see it, yet our fascination prevents us from looking away.
I would find myself sometimes wishing it would all just STOP. No more over-consumption. No more people packing in stores to buy shit they don’t need. Hoping that this age of excess would end; that cosmetic businesses would END, and we could get back to basics.
But we must be careful what we wish for.
NOW ……. in the wake of COVID 19 ……… and the George Floyd riots, what was once a Metropolis is now a ghost town. And I find myself sad………(sigh).
While I did not care for the marketing and consumption aspect of Times Square, I was very much in love with the social scene, the culture. But when it crashes like this, one can not perish without the other.
It would be ok if this was only temporary, but these businesses are CLOSED …… for good. And there may be no recovering Times Square. We are in the midst of a socioeconomic change that may leave us in a slump for a very long time. I DID want a culture change back to basics, but not like this, ……. never like this. The way it was supposed to happen was in a manner which brought people together, a slow collective realization of a better way to live. It was not supposed to occur as a crash that tares people apart.
The main idea of a life free of excess, a life free of distraction, is to permit us more time, energy, and clarity to focus on the elements of our lives that actually DO add value. And there is nothing more valuable in our lives then establishing and maintaining strong connections with people, with our community, and humanity at large. Right now that connection is more lost than it has ever been in my lifetime.
Now ……. we are taring down these connections, and we don’t even have “retail therapy” to fall back on to give us a false sense of comfort; this is turn, just frustrates us and makes us angrier, especially while in quarantine.
Once COVID-19 passes, and it is time to rebuild, lets start rebuilding by reconnecting with our community and humanity. Once that is done, we will understand how to best rebuild our businesses.