The Notion of Paradise
The last time we visited Joey’s family in Houston, Sharon (Joey’s mom), Joey and I were discussing the latest news about a new war starting in the Middle East. After I articulated some hot sports opinions, we got engaged in a very interesting discussion.
I was saying that if I could choose a parallel universe, and if such thing exists, I would love to live in a society where you don’t need to worry about other individuals trying to kill you, steal from you, ruin your name, sleep with your spouse, determine and regulate your sexual orientation, or dishonestly speculate with stock for their profit, making you lose all your retirement savings. I would love to live in a society where nobody is trying to “fuck me in the ass”.
Both Joey and Sharon argued that if I got such thing, there would still be something that would make me unsatisfied. They said that such transgressions are part of the zest of life, and that it is human nature to want more. In different words, I was hearing an argument almost for the fact that such individuals are needed in our society, maybe to help us go through shit and learn and become more evolved… I’m not sure that this is what they were saying, but you could argue this.
Here is my point: I believe that individuals definitely need challenges to fully live their lives and – let’s say it: “spiritually” evolve. However, I think that there are enough worthy challenges in life, for instance: raising your children, making a living, becoming a better person, making your marriage work, growing your business, working for a good cause, learning new things, dealing with the bad things life throws at you, coping with a loss, resolving your childhood traumas, going through adolescence, getting better at what you do, and so many more.
There are enough worthy challenges in life to also have to deal with those caused by individuals who just ruin the world for the rest of us: Terrorists bombing our cities, criminals killing our loved-ones, lazy talentless “vivos” copying our work for profit, disturbed mental freaks raping us, terrorists hijacking our planes, terrorizing our societies and ruining everyone’s air travel, unscrupulous amateurs typosquatting our business, friends or strangers stealing our possessions, guerrillas kidnapping us, corrupt politicians mismanaging resources, and all other losers that make us feel unsafe to live in this planet.
We weren’t getting to any agreement on the subject, so I finally concluded: OK, I won’t get what I want. It’s definitely not possible with the way how human brains are wired, and the awful disparities that exist in our societies… and I am no perfect Santa Maria… but if there is a HEAVEN, mine would be a society where it’s all about what I can do to grow myself, and help others in a contributing way, without trying to get stuff for me by taking it from somebody. I may not be perfect, but one thing I have is a very high sense of justice and ethics, and if such society exists somewhere, that’s where I want to live. If we all get to choose our paradise, that’s the one I want for me.
Sharon went next. She said she would want a white house that no cats or husband will ever get dirty. I was like, “Come on! That can’t be your heaven!… But she insisted: “No, that’s it: I want a white and clean house that nobody will get dirty after I’ve cleaned it.” Thinking about it, at a fundamental level, Sharon and I kind of want similar things. I want my world to be clean, so all dwellers can live and fight their personal battles without destroying the house and each other.
Joey’s heaven was a little different… Knowing him as I do, it made perfect sense to me that he would want a life where he doesn’t have to worry about making a living. I suspect he would want this so he could work on all the good causes dear to his heart… Those he can’t go for, because in our societies, it is very hard to make a decent living while working full time for the causes that really matter.