The Coincidence Cavalry Is Riding At Our Heels

I’ve been thinking about the value of things lately. Most things we consider valuable is the value we give it or the belief in those who set it for us. We value our cars, homes, appliances and all the comforts that come with modernity. We do after all rely on these things everyday. In this sense, I suppose they are valuable and worth obtaining. However, at what point do we begin to depend so much on them that they become an absolute necessity? Instead of contributing to our life as designed, when do they start controlling it?

Just observe the ipad and iphone crazes or when the latest sneakers come out. People will camp outside of stores just so they can be the 400th person in the door. I read a story a year or two ago about a South Korean kid, or maybe he was from Japan, who sold his kidney so he would have the money for the latest playstation. I’ve read stories since the financial collapse where men blew their brains out because they lost their investments and 401K. Some even killed their family before doing it.

Have we become nothing more than the sum of our gadgets, gizmos, appliances, and checking accounts? How can a nation with so much, want more? The latest version. New and improved. Bigger, faster, better. We are on a constant quest to get more stuff.

Those poor people in the northeast lost their stuff. Now they just want to be warm, fed, and secure. Undoubtedly some have lost all hope and perhaps abandoned life. Their identity and livelihood came from their possessions. Others are thankful to be alive. Thankful that yesterday has passed. Thankful they are one day closer to recovering and getting on with their lives. Thankful that heart of theirs is still ticking.

It’s written in the book of Luke “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I don’t know much about the future but I know one day the Coincidence Cavalry will catchup to me. They’ll come to collect. My party, my easy life, will be interrupted.

It’ll go about like this.

CC: You’ve been living well.

Me: Yes I have, thank you. Worked hard for it, too. This life thing isn’t so hard.

CC: Hard? Life is nothing but coincidences running wild inside a timeframe. And you’ve been borrowing a lot of that time. That’s why we’re here.

Me: I’m sorry?

CC: We’re the Coincidence Cavalry. See our uniforms. We’re here to collect.

Me: But there must be some mistake. I’m one of the good guys.

CC: Good, bad, or indifferent, all share the same fate. It’s already been determined. Did you really think this stuff was yours forever?

Me: I don’t know if I can handle what is about to happen to me.

CC: Not our concern. You’re just a name on our list. But let us ask you this: What were you before you had all this stuff?

Me: I don’t know…I guess I was me. You know, the same person as I am now.

CC: Ah. There it is. It’s not like you always had this stuff then.

Me: No.

CC: Then what’s so different now?

*I write these words from my Mac notebook, using super high speed internet while checking the stats of my NFL fantasy team (losing).


5 thoughts on “The Coincidence Cavalry Is Riding At Our Heels

  1. Nice post. In “One Particular Harbour” Jimmy Buffett wrote: “Now times are tough/ and I’ve got/ too much stuff/ can’t explain the likes of me” True words, those. As a society (as a species?) we’re all about having the next best thing (or, more specifically, having it before the neighbors). All I can reckon is that something went haywire after the industrial revolution and we started getting off the bottom rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy. Now, in the Northeast, there are folks that are back down to the bottom rung – they’ve got air and that’s about it.

    This is not to say that money is not important, nor is it wrong to want an iPhone 5 – but when you focus on those things to the detriment of everything else the problems start. Also, what a lot of folks don’t realize is that it’s a treadmill: The folks that bought the original iPhone were instantly outdone as soon as the second iPhone came out…then the third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Also, it means that you can be easily acquired: How many people gut out intolerable situations (at work or at home) so they can continue to have money to buy the next Bright Shiny Object?

    • Like your about! You’ll fit right in around here. Though I don’t have the guts you apparently have.

      Go get your cabin!

      I’d say you’ve nailed our social interests as they have been defined in the modern age.

  2. Very interesting as usual, A.H. And very true.
    I think we are all kind of stuck in the game we have been playing for a few decades now: the GDP has to go up (in the US almost 70% of it is personal consumption driven!) and big corporations need to keep their shareholders happy, so it is *necessary* to find ways to keep us spending on the latest gizmos or a new car every few years, or the merry-go-round would stop.
    Sometimes I hear people outraged at how much the U.S. imports from China and why oh why don’t we make the same things here. Which would of course be fabulous if only those same people would be willing to pay substantially more for the same product! Because it is fairly simple: in China labor is dirty cheap and this alone (beside their keeping their currency so low) makes them super competitive vis-a-vis a mature economy like the U.S. (or Europe for that matter) where labor is more expensive because employees have more benefits and earn more than their Chinese counterparts. China is what made so many things affordable to the average Joe that would otherwise have been out of reach.
    Just my 2 cents, of course 🙂

  3. Stefano,

    That is all correct. China exports are affordable and in bulk for our thriving consumer driven economy. We could produce more, sure. As you said though, there would be less of it and a lot of it would be out of reach to the average Joe.

    China offsets this problem in their own country by devaluing their currency as you pointed out. They do this to protect industry and business at home. If a New Jersey suit maker makes and exports suits at $400 a pop, then that’s how much he needs to turn a profit and stay in business.

    The Chinese citizen wants a suit and so shops around early in the week. He likes this imported suit and plans to buy it on Saturday. By the time Friday arrives, China’s currency has tanked compared to US currency. As a consequence the suit will now cost $600. The Chinese citizen now has some new options to consider. Does he fork out the extra money or buy a suit from the local suit maker at $300. He’ll choose the latter almost every time. Meanwhile, the suit maker from New Jersey loses business and his ability to compete.

    That example plus a million more explains our annual trade deficits.

  4. Pingback: What is it That I Have in Store for Myself? « The Mind's Cabin

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