This week, we read a random story by Cory Doctorow called “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.” It follows these futuristic characters who work/live at Disney World (something I always wanted to do, so I did interviews and went to really boring information sessions, but I got rejected) and who basically can live forever by freezing themselves and coming back to life later. One of the characters goes through an existential crisis because he loses all his Wuffi (self confidence is currency in the future).
Now, I think the self-confidence as currency is nice, but I don’t know that anything will ever replace money. Or, for that matter, doesn’t our money in America sort of already act as self-confidence? People put a lot of emphasis on money, how much you have, how much you don’t have, and who else has it. America is very fond of capitalism, and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. (And on a side note, you’d think we’d be out of this recession by now because people are usually so fond of spending money.)
Our class discussed all the different words which described what Wuffi was to them: self confidence, respect, knowledge, good will, credibility. These are all things most people would be pleased to be judged by, and only by these things. After all, I am pretty sure that these are all that matter when it comes down to it. In a fire, you grab your people, your photo album (if you can get to it), and get the hell out. The things that matter the most are not the tangible things.
Huh, you’d think with all these brainstorms I am having that I would have an easier time of unpacking the last few boxes from moving in August. And maybe that I would throw things away easier. Nope. I like holding onto objects.
Connections matter a lot. In one of my other classes, part of our grade is our ability to network and reach out to professionals in our dream/ideal career and make contacts for ourselves. The professor doesn’t want us graduating and not having a clue what to do or who to contact to get our name out there.
Also, one of my classmates suggested no one does things or favors for other people out of the goodness of his/her heart and that it is all driven by avarice.
I am forced to disagree. Avarice is actions driven by a need for wealth. I specifically identify avarice as associated with money and excessive shiny, pretty things. Avarice doesn’t drive people to take volunteer vacations in less developed areas and construct shelters and homes for the needy; goodwill does. Avarice doesn’t drive people to put money in the donation plate when it is passed around at a church service; goodwill does. There are a few people in this world who are genuinely good and want to do nice things for other people because it is the right thing to do, and they are able to.
Plus, I just have a really hard time construing people who volunteer as “greedy.”