The New Theory of Relativity

How to (not) measure your self-worth

Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

Ten years ago, I’d wonder why grown-ups are so stuck with wearing their dull timepieces if you can just look up the time on your phone, like us digital natives do. Now, the soothing tic-tac comes from my own wrist, as I enjoy an opportunity to learn what time is it without being sucked in a tornado of notifications.

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Twenty-eight years ago, my mother married my father in a wedding gown made from a curtain. My childhood dresses were remade from other family members’ clothes. I was taught to repair holes in my socks and to never, ever throw out something that works. It felt so deeply, irreversibly uncool.

Two decades pass — and here I am, sitting at some fancy international summer school, listening about sustainability, upcycling, and this new wonderful trend of DIY. Suddenly, upcycled clothing is what the cool kids are up to: a brave act of conscious consumption.

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Two hundred years ago westerners colonized India, aiming to bring civilization to this obviously undeveloped country, and find an application for its resources that would suit the enlightened nations better.

Generations after, westerners come to this country, staying in ashrams and obediently following rituals, learning yoga and meditation, and desperately searching for the answers on how to be happy, at last.

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First records of anti-Irish sentiment in Britain date back to the XII century. For ages, Irish people were slaughtered, oppressed, marginalized and discriminated against. And then, at some point in time, an Irish guy named William Sheeran married a girl named Nancy Mulligan. This family had eventually moved to England and raised one of the most valuable treasures of British pop music.

Honestly, what would this world be worth without Ed Sheeran in it? To me, not much.

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“Diversity”, “pluralism” and “cultural preservation” are not some buzzwords or the ways to feel yourself a good Samaritan. Those are the intelligent ways to ensure our survival and prosperity as species. You don’t know the future and are not smart enough to foresee it — so just be damn proud of the things you have, and respectful of the ways of other people. You never know when you’ll need them.

***

In Australia, there are aboriginal tribes that believe that reality and the dream are the same, and form their spirituality around the experience of Dreamtime. There’s no past and therefore no “progress”. Ridiculous, right? I wonder when this point of view will become the new normal all over the world.

I would like to live long enough to see that.

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