I caught the tail end of a weekly show on ESPN called “Jalen and Jacoby” in which two former athletes exchange what are supposed to be barbs but which come across as a high school sketch gone terribly wrong. In any event, David Jacoby mentioned that Jalen Rose loved “etos” chips — any chips ending in “etos,” especially Cheetos. He was reminded that Cheetos are made with palm oil which comes from the rain forest and that every time he eats a Cheeto he is killing one more branch of a tree in the rain forest (grin). Further, he was asked: knowing that we depend on trees to breathe don’t you care about life on earth or the earth itself?
Jalen responded that he does care about clean air and the planet but “I’m not sure I can give up my Cheetos.”
This was supposed to be funny, I suppose, tongue in cheek. But it tells us a great deal about the man Jalen Rose and about so many other people on this planet who are just like him. We don’t want to give up what we want in order to benefit later. We focus on short-run pleasure and while we may pay lip-service to the long term, we really don’t give it any serious thought.
I am reminded of the story going around about the frog. If he is placed in water and it is brought to a slow boil, he will die. If you try to place the frog in boiling water he will make every effort possible to escape. It’s all about the here and now for me and not at all about the future. Not just for frogs and not just for Jalen Rose. But for so many of us.
Unfortunately, he is an example of far too many of us.
We are encouraged to live in the moment; appreciate each moment, forever is composed of nows, do not think of the future. So people smoke tobacco, binge alcohol, don’t exercise. They know the risk but live for the moment without considering their future. Saving the earth for future generations is merely an extension of that attitude. Like Cassandra who prophecies the truth but no-one believes her.
I understand the phrase “live in the moment” a bit differently. I take it to mean to take in all around you and savor it every moment of your day. Focus on the “now.” But to ignore the consequences of one’s own actions is just plain stupid. One can live in the moment without being oblivious to the future.
Yeah, I agree on both counts.