In the daily rigor of life, or in the occasional break from routine in travel or in holiday, we are all offered a glance into the “real.” In the human race, we have been blessed (or cursed) with the analytical powers that other species lack. Each sense brings to our being, a window to everything which surrounds us. The fragrant waft of a neighbor’s freshly baked apple pie or the stench of a city’s underground sewer system after a rainfall. A cirrus cloud-painted sunset, or a grey, smoggy, damp mid-day. The tactile recoil of gum or spit on our handrail in the subway system. The sweet explosion of the French bakery’s first morning raisin loaf. A distant practice on the grand piano, echoing through the defiant road map in the suburban neighborhood. What to do with the information is up to the individual who receives it.
We all create our reality. Do we wear rose- colored glasses to obscure it? Do we allow our conscious to consider the dilapidated news stand, neglected and stained with graffiti and piss? Can we empathize with the homeless veteran? At what tolerance level have we allowed our body and soul to reach? In the end, it matters not our opinion of how people “should” react to their surroundings. Humans are autonomous beings, and they get to decide.
Therefore, a traveller to the high streets of a shopping Mecca can salivate over every fine dinner at the highest rated restaurants in the city. They can enjoy and subscribe to the consumer tourist role. Every swipe of the credit card and bring to their minds a new vision of the happiness that product will surely conspire. They can have it all.
Or the casual observer, the sociopathic, backpacking artist can look beneath the glitter and gold of the holiday window displays. Stopping to admire, the effort and trickery of it all, participating casually with the consumption, but keeping an eyebrow raised. Notice the counterculture; what are the messages they are shouting from their protests? What is the subconscious whispering into our ear?
At the end of the day, we are the ultimate consumer with the buying power over our own “reality.” What is the value of yours?