Using ‘Paradise’ to embellish our lives

“Where is my life heading?”

I ask myself everyday as I re-live the same routine continuously. My family and myself tend to base ourselves in such a routine we regularly follow. For as many years as I can remember it has been our routine to fantasize about our dream holiday to travel the world.

I’ve always taken notice of the holidays people go on. Some to tropical islands around the world, or others to the Middle East and Europe all different from the other. And with each of these places, there is always an individual that posts a photo with a caption “paradise” or similar. Coming from someone who has never been out of Australia, I look at these photos and think to myself “doesn’t that look like perfection?” I can most likely speak for a portion of others who view these photos.

But this idea of ‘paradise’ is what I want to explore. What is ‘paradise’? Humanity uses this word often as a noun and in some cases an adjective.

Everyone is different; when I think of paradise my thoughts vary. Some people describe paradise by being on a tropical island relaxing by the calming water sipping on cocktails and watching the sunset or exploring the history and mysteries behind some of the oldest heritage points throughout the world. We tend to look at the physical aspects of paradise and attach it to anywhere beautiful and foreign. But then I also think of paradise to describe a world of peace and health, this is something I tend to be very oblivious to.

There is another alternative view of paradise, one that takes a religious outlook on the noun. An example would be Christianity, Heaven is paradise. A place with eternal life, love, health and passed loved ones is what many Christians want in the next life. This idea changes from religion to religion.

Moving away from religion and focusing on a universal idea of paradise, I want to understand why we don’t describe our everyday lives as paradise. I am unsure if others tend to do this but I forget that there are other parts of the world who are in constant war and poverty, not to mention those who are constantly ill or are suffering and incurable disease. I can be selfish in that way, and especially being bought up in steady middle-class family I have been spoilt with the opportunities and health I have been granted. It is a humanistic quality to have a constant desire of wanting more than what you have and being unhappy with what we are given. Its how we are made but also something that we can overcome.

What really sparked my interest into this thought was a commercial on TV, which showed poverty stricken African children dying from dehydration and the water the are forced to drink. Shortly after the charity began to show how joyed these children were to be drinking clean water. The smiles on their faces brought a smile to my face and was something that made me wonder how drastically different the idea of paradise can be between two classes.

To children and families who live in third world countries and are not exposed to clean drinking water but when are given clean water and food make the universe seem like they are in paradise. It puts into perspective what different people value more. Those who don’t have much utilise the necessities of life and health, creating their own paradise and what we class as ‘everyday life’ but those who have these necessities go to different parts of the world to find this feeling of ‘paradise’ and often forget that their everyday life is a state of paradise.

Of course paradise is going to explore a different country whose physicality blows you away and would only seem life a dream. But I feel like myself and many others fail to appreciate the everyday paradise we live in. Health, food, water and peace are what ultimately create paradise.  When we create a dream or goal these four factors are what make up our element of paradise and relaxation, although we are unconscious to this because we are masked by physical perfection.

Its funny how a simple commercial can make you contemplate your own ideas.

“We must prefer real hell to an imaginary paradise.” – Simone Weil

This quote tends to catch my attention, I feel as if humanity sometimes prefer the imaginary and those less fortunate appreciate the hell.

Just a thought.

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