Life · Poetry & Shorts

Three day quote challenge – connect to camus


Thanks for the nomination,Cassiesanty. Now, I rarely remember quotes, but I love reading  so I’d go with something that has resonated with me, recently and on other occasions. This last bit requires elaboration.

There are quotes that are used for the sake of starting a book chapter, or an essay, just to lend weight to an argument. There are others that the master of second hand quotes would throw just to come across as an erudite. [Cheap date experiences, anyone? ]

And yet, these days when most information including quotes are likely searched than remembered, some stick in a crease of my mind for a long time – they’re beyond a usual politician’s line or a stand-ups jibe. They transgress the boundary of a quote and approach a creed.

I recall one from Albert Camus –

“It is a kind of spiritual snobbery, that makes people think they can be happy without  money”.

These words have been debated and pondered over extensively, and many believe that these are to be taken literally without imagining an overlay of a schoolmaster’s prudishness or an undercurrent of a capitalist’s sarcasm.

Today, in this era of the attention economy, Camus’ words finds renewed relevance. Many forms of presence on social media, from Facebook pages to solo blogs start with great fervor. Topics are as varied as there are people in this world.

We all know , in our immediate real world circle, men (and women) of purpose who stay perpetually logged into these screens of endeavor – laboring tirelessly to improve with each passing moment what they consider akin to growing their own garden. Each paragraph perfectly manicured, each post reviewed and edited thrice over – just so the reader’s attention doesn’t waver, each photograph processed to obsession. Dinners may go cold and the spouse fall asleep but a little colored blip on the screen is what fuels us as much as our morning coffee.

We love our ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘mentions’ – but sometimes, it does not lead to anything else. There is often a gap between this immediate burst of self expression and an offering that would fetch any money. A gap that’s sometimes not even felt by those who live on social media – for they, like anyone else, have genuine physical needs – hunger and comfort for example.

Pandering to our inner narcissist, and naturally amenable to introverted personalities, these channels of impersonal communication shield our inner child from direct and immediate criticism. We bathe in the reflected glow of our screens, eyes reddened and dry, hunched back, stooped neck and elbows that hurt, yet we keep going. Ignoring our immediate physically present social ties, people who care – who might feed and clothe us when we are sick and tired – we respond to random and rank strangers in the middle of the night. Yet it feels like ‘the right thing to do’ – almost an obligation – like an inner urge to heal the universe.

So that reminds me of the quote again – and what was said decades back when life was less dependent on machinery than it is today – when the urge to feel Connected could not be satisfied immediately. At a time when these words are used routinely to sell personal finance books (even Kiyosaki didn’t spare the french philosopher), an appropriation i suspect would have made Camus to shudder.

I could research this ad infinitum, but that’d bore you and tire me – so best to counter Camus with what can possibly counter him – Camus.

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others”

Talk soon, dear reader.

____________________________________________________________

The rules to be followed are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers everyday

I nominate –

  1. RonniN
  2. Stardust
  3. Zorazebic

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