I walked to the Skytrain this morning drinking in a magnificent Spring morning. The sun played and danced over the gentle ripples on the river. My daughter has been using the car the past couple of days for her move.
I curled up on the train and pulled out my latest read and let the words tease me. I’m reading Hellgoing by Lynn Coady.
As I disembarked the train a breeze greeted me along with a snow of pink and white. The blossoms are beginning to fall off the trees giving way to lush, green leaves. I tried not to step on the freshly fallen blossoms. Somehow it seemed cruel to step on something so beautiful.
Perfumed air washed over me as I walked up to Robson Street along Thurlow Street.
The bushes are all coming into bloom. rhododendrons, heather and a few others inhabit and grace the downtown corridor in certain areas.
A memory came to mind as I stood waiting to cross Georgia Street.
We stood in awe leafing through the pamphlet. It smelled of money. Speculation of how much had been spent on this advertising campaign and the cost of these promotional items abounded. The pamphlet was approximately 12″ x 10″ in size and contained about 20 pages of parchment with images that had been glued to the surface of each page along with inked script. The whole of it was hand bound in soft leather.
The pamphlet had showcased the building that stood before me at the moment as I waited for the light to change. The Shangri-la Hotel in Vancouver.
I found myself considering that type of wealth. This pamphlet had been sent to a select few who were swimming in the same financial pool. One of our clients at the time who is a multi-millionaire had brought it in.
I recall turning the pages gingerly and running my fingers gently over the seagrass that had been braided then fed through holes to bind the document together. The leather had the rich feel of butter to it. Each page of parchment adorned with a handwritten script not often seen these days. High quality images promised a life of never-ending luxury.
Gently I had closed it and passed it along to some of my work mates in the back of the office to coo over.
I had guessed the cost of each pamphlet at approximately $500 to $1,000. I have no idea how much they were but only about twenty-five had been made and couriered to a handful of the wealthy in Canada and likely a few abroad as well.
I thought of the commercials they have up here in British Columbia for the lottery. They show the world as your playground and people living out their fantasies without a care. A woman sits in a helicopter holding a $6,000 camera with a lens that likely costs twice that amount.
Another woman is on a safari in the Serengeti.
The message a simple one. Buy a ticket and you could be living this fantasy life. They’ve had some interesting commercials for this. They’ve shown guys driving Land Rovers across the mountains while another is flying in a twin-engine plane as they play a round of Tag. Yes, that child hood game we enjoyed as children now being played out in the extreme.
You might say that it sounds fun.
When I see such things though, I see a great deal of excess. I see waste actually. A good time to be had for sure, but at what expense? Oh yeah, I would no longer have to be concerned about that, would I?
The thing is I would be concerned. And I should be concerned.
Make no mistake that if I were fortunate enough to come into a boat load of cash I would certainly enjoy some indulgences.
And while I currently am trying to make this world a better place, I wonder if having all that money would be of assistance in this endeavour. I can’t force the idea of my utopian world on anyone. I know that.
Still, I have an idea of how certain things should be and I would like to see everyone on this planet have the basics at least.
The basics to me are food, clothing, shelter, an education and love.
I could say peace and happiness for all human kind. As wonderful as it sounds in theory I don’t think it will ever happen. We will always have our differences.
So let’s focus on the basics. Give everyone a level playing field and see where we go from there. It won’t happen in my lifetime but I’ll support initatives that are working toward this.
I stopped and got my morning coffee. I’ve gotten to know the crew over the years. Many of them are students with big plans for their life. We chat about art, movies, travel, etc. They inquire about what I do, I inquire about what they are studying.
I came out of the coffee shop feeling the warm breeze once again slip over me. It’s like a summer day today. No jacket required. Sandals on with a pair of loose fitting capris and a Tee Shirt. I’m not dressing particularly corporate today.
I’m fortunate that I live here and have the opportunities that I do. And I will never take it for granted.
Happy Friday everyone!