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Friday, November 18, 2011

Keeping up Appearances

The more I become immeshed in Polish culture, the more I see my own.

In recent weeks, I have experienced an anger that I could not identify. What I am seeing is that part of American culture that I do not like: No matter what, keep up an appearance. This is that crazy desire to look good in all aspects of life. It is not about how one feels or how one connects to others ... it is all about "look how well I am doing!". "Look at my new car ... look at all the money I have!" "Aren't you envious of me and my stuff?!" I am as guilty as anyone in this aspect.

I recently had a client that is typical. She is a housewife with a husband that earns much money. This woman has all the toys and bells and whistles in her flat. She does not want for material stuff. Yet, she is desperately unhappy and passes this unhappiness to all she meets. She is in constant conflict with everypone. Others are always wrong and are often "just after her money". She brought this nonsense into our business relationship and thus ended it. Although she was a good client, I had to let go. Her attitude was not worth any amount of money.

I feel as if I am evolving because this would have not happened several months ago. I would have held onto this client no matter what. But as I see people practice greed, I have decided that I will not. That road causes so much pain and a feeling of being incomplete. I am seeking a real foundation for this life ... my sense of purpose cannot be tied into "possessions".

There is no value put on experience here as well. So many people have lost their job and have been replaced with a newer worker. I can only see this as inexperience on the part of an employer. Experience in one's field means nothing because experience cannot be worn or shown. One employer could not believe I did not have a certain certificate that can easily be attained by taking a class and of course, paying a lot of money. It did not matter that I have degrees from one of the best universities in the states as well as many years experience in my field. What mattered to this employer is a piece of paper I could show. It is all about showing ... all about appearances.

I am seeing a culture here that is so connected to status and appearances, I am being tuned off. The same exists in the states, but I also see many people in the states that have moved beyond this. Maybe Poland is still so new into this capitalism thing that there hasn't been enough time to truly evolve and see the danger of this road. As I walk around the center of the city, I see and observe the incessant and obsessive desire to be "the most ... the best ... the envied". It does not seem to matter if one is happy. What seems to matter is the chase of the material.

Every time I see a woman in high heels walking in the snow and ice, it is a wonderful reminder of how I do not want to live.

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