I was doing my daily evening walks trying to stick to my ten thousand steps regime when my attention was grabbed by an elderly couple strolling by. They were holding each other hands and seem in the world of their own. It was an endearing sight. And the thought that came suddenly to mind is semper fi.
This little incident saddened and gladdened me at the same time because in my eyes Semper Fidelis is a dying practice/custom. It seems not the fashion anymore nowadays. With so many choices to choose from we are indeed spoilt for choice and practising autonomy as rational individuals is becoming harder than ever because most of the time we’re not making rational choices anymore due to the fact that our brains are suffering from information overload and too little time to process them all. So, often, we make an error of judgment and keep making them thinking: so, what? There are lots of selections out there; if this one doesn’t work there are always other things to fall back on. Much like when we confronted with a closet full of clothes, putting an outfit for the day becomes an ordeal when men can have a dozen combinations men could consider. And when one attire is not to our liking, we can always pull out other combinations, right?
What happened to personal favourite? The old and trusty ensemble we feel comfortable with? Gotten too old for comfort?
I’m not only talking from a consumer point of view but as a human being as well. I did not only grow up in a world where a choice is as simple as yes or no and “which” is an occasional option usually came with tags such as “afford” or “need.” That was also the time when one stick with one’s choice for better or for worse, not when someone or something better comes along.
Unlike these days that one can have as many options as fast as one can click the mouse, whether it’s a dress, electronic device or relationships, especially relationships. We have all sorts of things online. We conduct most of our association and connection via the internet. Our lives become virtual reality itself that we forget what truly real in real life is. We don’t do hard work anymore to keep trust, loyalty and faithfulness to anything or anyone we are connected with. Be it a company, a family, friends, neighbours, products or intimate connection to someone. Why, because there are too many replacements available out there. No real friends, no sweat, we can have lots of cyber friends. No real-time romance? No problem, there is this thing called cyber romance; and so forth and so on…
Gone is the time when employees work for the same company till they drop dead. The fastest way to the top is to do company hopping to ensure steady advancement in your chosen career. Loyalty on the work floor is a thing of the past. And sadly it applies to almost everything lately.
Shopping earlier today, I saw a family sitting in a restaurant; a couple with two kids, a teenage girl and a boy of about eight years or so. The man who was btw sitting a bit farther away with his chair and facing the opposite direction was talking on the phone saying he’s caught up in traffic, the wife was busy with hers and totally oblivious to what was happening around her, the boy was playing with an iPad and the girl was taking a selfie of herself together with the food. How’s that for family bonding?
Can we go back to the basic? Apply a little bit of semper fi again in our lives? Personally, I don’t think so. How much that I want to believe in a fairy tale, I am far too sober to ignore the facts. We’ve gone too far that clicking our heels will not take us home anymore, magic red slippers/shoes or not.
I remember a quotation I read somewhere about a couple when asked how they managed to stay together for 65 years, and the man said: “we were born in a time when if something is broken we fix it instead of throwing it away.” Says it all, don’t you think so?
For the meantime, to all of you; (try to) semper fi! 🙂