I’ve spent the last few afternoons doing, well, not very much at all really. Apart from watching episodes of Smallville on the DVD, that is. I’ve enjoyed myself, by the way, and that’s how it is supposed to be when we are doing something that we enjoy. Or, in my case, doing nothing!
Watching the magical abilities of the heroes and villains that appear in the episodes has got me thinking about the things that surround us nowadays that we just take for granted, but not that long ago, they themselves would appear magical. I remember being mesmerized when I encountered my first electronic door in real life! I’d seen them on TV, but never in real life. I remember the feeling walking up to a door that opened automatically – and I loved it! OK, they’re everywhere now, and I think we are that used to them, we find it really frustrating when the automatic doors are out of order for some reason, and we have to open the door ourselves.
The DVD player that I was watching Smallville on has a remote control. At the touch of a button, I could start, stop, rewind and fast forward all of the action I was seeing. At the end of the DVD, I could press another button and the drawer would open. There wasn’t a button that would take the DVD out of the drawer and put the next one in, so I had to get up and do that myself. I then had to sit back down, press the button to close the drawer, and then press another button to play the DVD. Even though everything is now that much easier I can still find something that gives me reason to complain about! A few years ago, I would have had to have waited a whole week before I could watch the next episode, and then I would have only had the opportunity to view it once, unless the TV station was repeating the show, which wasn’t really done in those days.
Many people use mobile phones now. Years ago, there were queues at pay phones. If the call was disconnected for some reason, there was cause for complaint. Nothing has changed there, apart from the technology. We still don’t expect to be cut off mid-sentence, but take for granted that whilst we had to stand in a little booth to make a call a while back, we can now make the call in the middle of a field, or on a boat, or while travelling down a motorway at 70 miles per hour – as a passenger, obviously.
Think of the things that have been created to make things easier for us, that years ago would have taken us a lot longer to do the same job: washing machines, can openers, computers, even pens and pencils. We can now travel from one end of the country to the other by road in a few hours. We can fly to other countries (sometimes in the same time!).
If a visitor came to our time from, say, the middle ages, they would be mesmerized by everything that we use. They’d probably also be in awe of the buildings that surround us – especially the skyscrapers where we can reach the eightieth floor in five minutes. They’d look at everything, and think they have arrived in a magical kingdom. And then they’d see us all complaining because the automatic door doesn’t open, or we’ve lost signal on our mobile phone, or we have to get up to change the DVD!
Imagine if we traveled years into the future. We’d probably see things that we couldn’t begin to imagine today and think of them as magic. I wonder if the people of tomorrow will still complain?
Technology aside, look at the magic inside every living thing on the planet. The differences in every single human being on the planet. The animals that trust us to become our friends even though we do not speak the same way – and the animals that choose to stay away from us. The magic of the caterpillar becoming the butterfly. The fish. The birds. The plants. The trees. Every living thing on the planet could be viewed as magical, as nothing outside them is making them live. Life is within.
Now, if life is viewed as magical, and we are living in our magical kingdom right now, why don’t we all just start to really enjoy it, and stop taking things for granted? That’s what I’m trying to do!