Who are these people?
Well, that’s sort of rhetorical.
Actually, I know who many of them are. That’s not the puzzle.
The puzzle is, who are these people?
What makes them tick?
What drives them. What propels them forward into their frantic life of unabashed and constant activity…an unending hum of aimless movement? Who are these people who never rest?
I’ve always known of people like this, but generally found it easy enough to ignore their maddening busy habits while avoiding consideration of the slow buzz which heralds the presence of their undeterred lifestyle. I used to be able to avoid it. But now, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, where we know each minute annoying thought and fart that everybody must announce to the world before they commence, I’m flabbergasted by the crazed incessant drone of activity many people drive forward as they indulge in this never ending stream of perpetual motion. A stream of uninterrupted and externalized amusement. And they never stop.
These people are like damned human bumblebees. Or humming birds.
They never land, they never stop, they never breathe, they never allow themselves to wade peacefully upon the idyllic surface of life. Hell no. These people do not stop fluttering about, buzzing and swooping along the cluttered pathways of an overly busy and distracted civilization. They seem incapable of introspection or accepting, peacefully, the sense of nothing. Nothing is important for people to consider and absorb into their hectic lives.
Nothing is something. It is the void center of life, the void is an element of life. To attempt to fill it with symbolic and obligatory activity is to not be human. But no, these people, they are afraid of the Rest, of the Sleep, of the Nothing. They fear the barrenness in their own minds and they fight it. Afraid to stop moving for more than 3 seconds, it’s as if they are afraid that stopping the locomotive train of their racing life will forestall further heartbeats. They will find themselves helplessly mired in stillness.
So to defeat the emptiness and the void, they do things. All the time. They clutter each moment with stuff.
They are everywhere at all times, eating, playing, escaping the void; their life is spent fleeing.
They are fugitives from the inescapable confines of life.
It’s difficult for me to relate or understand. The confusion is likely mutual.
Someone like me never seeks escape from the void. Someone happier lingering in the solitude and silence of his own mind than roaming sidewalks teeming with loud people and louder children. Someone who welcomes the void, and rather than flee it, chases it down with a hungry embrace. I can’t understand those who seek crowds, those who seek sensory overload. Those who fear restraint.
I know people who pride themselves on always being out, being somewhere, doing something. They value large social circles, flocks of acquaintances, inflated “friends” counts. They love to eat and celebrate and greet their self-driven helplessness to sensual cravings.
Such people are fond of boasting that this is how you “live life to its fullest.” Living life to its fullest, is equivalent, in their minds, to literally “filling” one’s life with events and people and other meaningless detritus. Hence the semantics. “Fill.” By “filling” your life you are essentially insinuating that filling, which is an opposite concept of emptying, is the only option available to leading a fulfilled life. When in reality a fulfilled life springs from within, not from without. A fulfilled life is one which sates our sense of purpose and peace. A goal which must be envisioned before one can live an appropriate life. In the presence of non-stop distractions, there can be no comprehension, and thus, no attainment.
The irony is that in the quest to dampen the void in one’s life through the collection of idle diversions, such people shoulder the delusion that they are living the utmost life, when in fact, through the aversion of the simple void that is central to life and living, they are truly failing to live. A day brimming with trivialities is one less day one needs to reckon with the necessary horrors of life. And that is life.