Do you wanna bet I'll die before you?
Who would say that? It could be so random to hear it, but people are saying it all the time. Dying is not just about not being in the world, it's a lot more about not living with your entire soul and succumb inside because you're too busy doing what society wants.
The blindness of social status have got most people so hard it's even impossible to notice how wrong they are about the way life's been lead by the power of Occidental society full of targets, goals, impressions and pretension.
Macro or micro universes are usually full of this race to die first when what really matters is the journey...
Suddenly I was on this race, people were rushing on their way towards "The Goal". Everyone was wearing a colorful shirt saying: I'm cool because...! I guess each one would complete the phrase the way they think it would be more impressive. It was a long walk, something about a lifetime.
Some people were prepared wearing nice walking shoes, light clothing and light backpack containing extra clothes and some provision. Some were wearing jeans, boots and heavy coats... well, who knows how the weather will really be?
Right at the beginning some people were rushing, trying to get in front of the others on their way.
Almost everybody walking was part of a flock, team or couple. As I was part of one group I was trying to stick together and the group, as well, was rushing. I found it uncomfortable because when I walk I like to contemplate what is around... but there was no time, there were a bunch of checkpoints to stop by, people and teams we would have to pass, miles to count, the goal to reach, the sweet ice cream to catch at the end and everything to prove you did your journey according to the rules.
Well, - who cares about the rules? - I wonder and 30 thousand people would say: "I do!" My surprise is to see that so many people would rather hurt themselves instead of taking a break. What is wrong with that? What is the purpose of it? "There's a purpose!" - They say, but not a reasonable one. At the end they always wonder: Who has arrived first?
Keep walking! - The signs on the way were saying and I was wondering if we know already where the end of the journey is and how it is, why not slow down and smell the flowers, appreciate the landscape and feel more pleasure from your walk. Some people make fun of it and can't understand that the journey is more important than the arrival.
I'm happy that I could sit down under the charming short trees by the river and that I took time to see the details of the houses around... unfortunately, most people just at the end, when they are very tired decide to slow down and pay attention to all the beauty life brings us and they can't remember how beautiful it was the whole time.
Everybody gets to the end, the well-prepared people, the not-so-well-prepared ones, there's no reason to race but they keep betting, playing games among themselves. Everybody plays the games and races...boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and kids, siblings, bosses and employees... but every single person gets to the end and surely they are all exausted. Tired of the walk, of themselves and tired of the games.
Sadder than that is to see in their eyes the deception when they realize, (if they realize), that they have finished the walk without seeing how beautiful the garden was or, how greatful the smell of the blossom tree was, when the sweet ice cream was not so sweet and not so important to make it worth it to race and miss those moments we sometimes call life.
Photos: Vanessa Emmanuelle and Viviane Souza.