You hear a lot of talk these days about how the everything is getting faster. All of our electronic time saving gizmos are allowing us to pack more and more "productivity" into 24 hours. I don't believe it.
I feel that life is moving too slow. We (as a species) no longer have to worry about survival; we worry about stupid things like our "image" and designer clothes. People are no longer valued for what they can contribute to a community, but for how much money they have, and what they look like. It's a strange time to be human.
I have no real worries. Oh sure I worry about finishing school, getting a job, having a family, blah blah blah, and all the other things we consider success in our society today, but I am never truly afraid. I never have an adrenaline rush because I am afraid, or because my life or someone elses is in danger. I am never really shaken up... I feel like I am sedated all the time.
I am living a life that is equivalent to that of a hampster in a cage.
Some people are better at adapting to this lifestyle then others. I find I have problems with it. I find it really hard to motivate myself to do as much as i could in regards to school work... but please do not think that I am lazy, if you do you are missing my point.
Think of it this way:
Billy is an avid skiier with many years of experience. He has skiied all over the world, honing his expert skills heli-skiing on some of the steepest mountains in the world. Robby is also an avid skiier, with many years of experience. While he can make it down the harder runs, he really doesn't enjoy it and prefers easier terrain. One day (remember, this is a parable so it doesn't have to be overly logical...) all the steep hills are closed, and the only remaining skiing can be done on bunny hills. Robby is happy with this arrangement and proceeds to rule the slopes. Billy take a few runs and quickly gets bored. He has two choices. 1: He starts taking more and more unneccesary risks on the hill just to get that adrenaline fix (see adrenaline junkie and extreme sports). 2: He can get bored and quit (see disillusioned). He doesn't quit because he's too lazy to ski, it's because skiing doesn't provide the level of stimulation that he needs.
I hope I don't have to explain the connections of that story to our lives today, as I think it is fairly straightforward. Robby is the model citizen. He will do well in school, get a great job, drive a nice car, etc, etc. Billy is a number of different people in society today. He is the underachiver (as in my own case), the bum on the street, the angry man in prison, the base jumping, cocaine snorting, alchoholic. He can also be a number of positive things. He's the fighter pilot, the race car driver, the fireman.
Humans are great at adapting. This is good because we have had a relativly recent shift of priorities (certain third world countries not withstanding) away from getting enough to eat, and having shelter, towards having more then enough to eat, and having the most lavish shelter. Having the bare neccessities is a given, we no longer have to worry about it. People who live off the bare neccessities are looked down upon as being poor, or even as being insane (see Unibomber (ok, ok, the bombing thing was bad, but I'm talking more about the way he lived off a dollar a day)). Passing on our genetic code is no longer enough, rather we look at the accumulation of material goods as a measure of success.
We must remember that however civilized we are, we are still animals. We evolved to survive in certain conditions, and this leads to problems living in society today. Killing someone over a disagreement today will land you in prison, but when we still lived in tribes you would be feared and respected. Some animals adapt to captivity better then others, and the same goes for humans. Take one wild tiger, and put it in a zoo and it will become apathetic and listless... and eventually die from a variety of reasons. Another one will adapt excellently and live a full life.
The moral is this: If you find that you cannot adapt, find something to do that will allow you to blow off a little steam. Take up kickboxing, croc wrestling, or hang gliding. Whatever it takes. If you feel that life isn't moving fast enough for you, then you've got to do something to speed it up. To be still is to be obsolete; keep moving.