A few days ago I was at a café in London and overheard two city slickers talking big deals. Then one turned to the other and said: “But you know, what do you do when you get to 46 and have a bit of money saved up? Do you really need all this?”
As I thought this was a very good question, I took the liberty of butting in. With appropriate apologies and deference, I pointed out that it is indeed a very good question, and surely the right answer is to take it easy as soon as you can.
They said: “Easier said than done. Any idea what it costs living in London?”
I said: “Well, you could live in Yorkshire. It’s cheaper there.”
The one chap said slightly squeakily, pharynx tense with indignation: “I would shoot myself. I would shoot myself if I had to live in Yorkshire.”
“With the boredom,” I asked?
“No. Not the boredom. The mere thought of the boredom. I’m not that kind of person. I need the buzz.”
Bored in Yorkshire? With its wild moors and bleak Pennine hills and its lurching crags and wind-worn coast?
We parted agreeing that there is great value in being able to take pleasure in simple things.
Our sensory systems need resetting in order for simple, quiet things to provide contentment. We have cranked up our demand for speed and risk and excitement too high – the world cannot accommodate 7 billion people seeking such a high level of stimulation. Sensory reset would be an important part of an effective climate policy for a world of 7 billion busy people. We should research ethically acceptable sensory reset technologies accordingly.