Bill and I spent a week kayaking in the Great Bear Rain Forest. It was a great trip and you can see my pictures on Flickr here.
We had two kayaking guides, one who was a 25 year old man. One evening as we were finishing our dessert, he shared an underwater video he recorded a couple of years ago. During the off-season, he dives and explores the wild waterways in the region where we kayaked (we traveled with Mothership Adventures, you can see more here).
He shot the video for a regional conservation blog. He did it because of his love for the the flora and fauna in the Great Bear Rainforest area. I can remember being inspired and impressed by his work and dedication and commented to him that it is impressive how focused and committed he was at his young age (and made some comment like, "most of us were pumping gas and blowing our money on flashy shoes at 25").
On Facebook, I shared a post about a man and his family who took a year to live off the grid. They saved and planned and live well and slow. You can see that here. When he came back to "regular life" he was struck at how stressed and uptight his friends seemed.
Contrast these two examples with this one. When we got back from vacation, I checked Google News. In the list of "Top Stories" was a headline that Jessica Simpson, flubbed her wedding vows.That's a top story? Really? Do we really care about this?
It just got me thinking about the time and attention we waste on meaningless things. And the opportunity costs of living like this.
I am not suggesting that mindless entertainment is all bad. Relaxing and recharging is important. But shouldn't our downtime also be enriching? Or at least some of it? Shouldn't this fluff stuff be like the dinner mint that rounds our our life and not a major part of our experience?
And no offense to Jessica Simpson - I bet she felt the news story was ridiculous, too.
It strikes me that those who are making the greatest impact make more interesting and useful choices about how they spend their precious time.