An Unexpected Lesson

Emily - Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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A couple of weeks ago, I had my purse stolen. I was at a really busy venue and had looked away for a couple of seconds from where my purse was sitting, which was right next to me. I looked back and it was gone. I can’t even begin to describe that initial panic. It is not an exaggeration when I say that my life was in that purse. I felt as though I had lost everything that had any value to me. My iPod, my digital camera, my cell phone, these were the things around which my life revolved. Though I desperately tried to cling to the hope that my purse would miraculously appear, I began to come to terms with the horrific realization that my purse, my life, was gone. I felt empty, like a part of me was missing. I kept reaching for my cell phone, only to panic when I realized it was not there. I tried to tell myself that I only lost “stuff”; it does not matter as it is replaceable. But in our technologically advanced world, this just isn’t true. My technology was my connection to the world, my life line. And now, I was lost.

Later that day, I went for a bike ride. As I was riding, I began to think about how pathetic it is that I put such a high value on technology. I mean, didn’t I still have my health, my freedom, my family, my friends? I really had only lost a couple of hunks of plastic, metal, and wires. Sure they cost a good amount of money but it wasn’t the lost money that I was initially upset about. I was so upset because my “stuff” was gone. Why is it that as a society, we place such a high value on inanimate objects? I mean, here I am, pitifully mourning the loss of what? A purse? This is about the time when I began to lose the little faith I had left in society. As technologically connected as we are, when it comes to what really matters, our society is completely disconnected. This realization really hit me as I looked around, on a beautiful, sunny day and saw people sitting in their cars, the majority of them talking on their cell phones or playing with their fancy “Blackberries”. I believe that as a society, we are too technologically dependent and it is this dependency which is inhibiting us from really enjoying life. If people would just stop texting and take a moment to appreciate the environment around them, then I think the world would be a better place. We do not appreciate the beauty of the world as we are too caught up in our cyber-worlds. I know that now, after being separated from my technology, my values have definitely shifted. This experience has taught me to better understand the things that really matter in life. Though I am still upset about the loss of my purse, I now am able to appreciate things that I had started to take for granted, like a nice, long bike ride.