Intensity is everything, isn’t it? Making time for extreme fun is not only a vital marker of social recognition, it is a pre-requisite for a happy and healthy life.
You’ll know that – to be a real and successful human – you should be living your life in a whirl of parties, true love with your soulmate, travel to exotic places, buzzing social contact with large groups of friends, extreme sports, and shopping. Oh! and if you really want to excel, you will throw in a cool and quirky hobby or two (and maybe a small dog).
Just to make sure that everyone understands how good you are at Life, you’ll post loads of selfies on social media. In case pictures of your most recent meal, your children or your pet don’t look convincingly Fun, you’ll pull the obligatory silly face when you have your picture taken. Because silly faces mean Fun, right? (this has become pervasive that no three-year-old can sit straight-faced in front of a camera).
Speaking of three-year-olds, it’s great to start ’em young, and canny parents are helping prepare for their little ones’ futures by packing in as much activity in their tinies’ lives as they can afford (financially and emotionally). After all, well-rounded little ones grow into well-rounded big ones, don’t they?
Re-reading this makes me a little anxious and breathless. Fortunately, as one of the over-fifties, I qualify as ‘old’ and so I’m excused some of the above. But I’m not totally exempt. To count as a successful person I still have to fit in frequent cruises for the silver-haired, sedate cycling and a huge about of time smiling in a relaxed and knowledgeable way as I care for my accessorised grandchildren, whom I adore (the selfies prove it).
Of course, there are many people in the world who don’t qualify as ‘successful’ at Life because they can’t meet these criteria. But that’s OK because as cultures ‘modernise’ they’ll gradually be indoctrinated, as I was, by the subtle and pervasive hype that goes with what has come to be known as the westernised lifestyle.
And for those who don’t make it in Life – because their social and economic circumstances won’t allow them to have Fun – my moral superiority is also tinged with compassion, which shows what a good and caring human being I am.