I'm going to start by stating the obvious by saying we honestly don't deserve dogs. They don't really do anything but unconditionally love their humans, play fetch here and there, and sleep. Sometimes they are the perfect listening ear when nobody else is around. Let's face it, dogs are living creatures too and they come with the ability to listen and best of all, not judge! And who are they going to tell? They can't speak English (but how cool would that be?!) When there is nobody around during the day, and I find myself alone (again) and then look over and see my little friend sitting there, I start to pretend he can listen, understand, and maybe give me his opinion.
Please don't read if you don't want spoilers!
Okay, we're good? Let's begin.
My mom got me the book "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding when I was still in high school. At first, I didn't pay much attention to it because I thought it was going to be just another classic book that I was required to read. It stayed on my bookshelf for years; and by years, I mean five years. This summer, after feeling like there wasn't a lot of things for me to do, I picked up the book and began skimming through the pages at my own leisure. Before long, I was wrapped up in it and reading through it on my commutes or when I had free time.
I'm just going to jump straight into the parts that hit me the most.
The deaths of Simon and Piggy were of the most gruesome in any literature I've ever read. In the movie, Simon is just stabbed to death with blunt sticks but in the book, he is clawed and scratched and literally ripped apart by the boys' hands. The reason they did this was because they thought of Simon as the beast. At the time, Simon was coming out of the forest to tell them that their "alleged" beast was in fact just a dead man. The boys were so wrapped up in their own fabrications of their beast theories, that they confused fantasy for reality and almost instinctively brutally murdered their friend.
For many, Piggy's death was even more tragic as throughout the entire novel, Piggy was the most rational yet laughed at character in the book. The name he was given, "Piggy" even sets up a derogatory insult at his weight. What's more- Ralph, his first friend, doesn't even treat Piggy with the slightest hint of respect until he himself has lost all his power, hinting at the subtle effects of power play throughout the novel.
What made me so sad at the end was perhaps the scene where Ralph was saved by the naval officer. Once the slightest sign of civilization, where rules and regulations held people together were present in front of the boys, all chaos came to an end. Jack's crew stopped trying to kill Ralph and everyone stood there stunned. As quickly as they descended into wild beasts, they were able to quickly regain their sense of civilization back to them. The boys began sobbing and heaving at the mere reflection of what happened in the few days on the island. It's hard not to cry in this scene because it's so much to take into account. The boys murdered two of their friends and honestly, you can't even blame them as they themselves are victims to a more sinister side to human nature that craves for power, bloodlust, and lucrative gains. We see that the boys have not escaped this and merely just ascended into a society where these traits are more hidden and that hides in more subtle ways in reality. People are often money hungry and will turn to immoral ways to earn power and money.
In retrospect, this is one of those books that changed me. It felt like a parable of reality with its not so sublime messages, ingrained into the harsh truths of our own world. I guess that's what brought me to a thought-provoking question of how quick it would be for us to descend into that level of madness once the laws and authority of society are broken down. I'm so happy I wasn't forced to read this in school as that might have taken away some of the enjoyment that I have from reading this book.
Okay awesome! Now that I have your attention, I'll keep it quick, but I want to tell you something that everyone needs to hear....PUT THE PHONE DOWN!!!
We have become a society that is completely glued to our phones-any moment that needs to be filled, we reach for it. I'll be the first to admit, I am 10,000% guilty of this. Just yesterday I spent the hour and a half before my flight from LA on my phone, and then once we got home, I spent the car ride back on it as well.
This past week I spent Spring Break in LA with my cousins. We went everywhere--Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, the Getty, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory and so many more places... What do they all have in common? GREAT PICTURE PLACES!!! The weather was great and so were the views, so naturally I whipped out the camera to capture the beauty. But in the back of my mind the little voice said stop! stop! stop! just take in the view instead of through a camera. (Which by the way, can't even begin to capture the beauty of the places we saw.) I love taking pictures, in fact I'm constantly taking pictures..which my brother and sister have pointed out many times. I never saw anything wrong with it, because taking pictures is a great way to capture a moment, a feeling or a memory...and I love looking at them!
But when it gets in the way of the experience, is it worth it?
This was a huge challenge for me over the past week. I really tried to balance phone vs. views. Yes take the picture but then put it away and take it all in. We miss so much going on in our lives by not being present in the moment. When looking around the balcony we were on, overlooking LA, there was not a single person not on their phone, posing for a selfie or taking a group picture. A few people strayed into flower beds in the gardens of the Getty or bumped into people on the path because they were looking down. They missed the migrating butterflies or the small tadpoles in the Beverly Hills pond.
Being home now, looking at the pictures I took-yes they are nice and great to have. But the picture in my mind of the true beauty is so much better. The green of the trees and the mountains, the brilliance of the sunset, the blue skies, the laughter of doing random Buzzfeed quizzes after a long day of adventuring, the warm California air and the joy of being in Disney cannot be captured truly in pictures or texts... it is in moments and memories that we are present.
I know its contradictory to tell you to put the phone down because you're probably reading this on your phone or laptop. But challenge yourself... less screen and more seen. Be present, I promise its worth it :)