by Raju Peddada
(Swans - September 26, 2011)
What do we do when it rains?
Instead of reveling in nature's conversation,
we fly down to our basement to check on the pumps.
What have we come to, in raising our kids?
Instead of enjoying their energy and innocence,
we worry about what is arresting them on the Web.
What are we eating these days?
Instead of ingesting all of nature's bounty,
we stock our shelves with processed maladies.
What do we watch these days?
Instead of walking and observing the outdoors,
we're couch-bound, watching "Two-and-a-half-men."
What do the girls do today?
Instead of being well read, mannered, and modest,
They are encouraging pornographers.
Can we be bored just for a day?
Instead of squirreling around all day,
we can develop the capacity for quietness and reflection.
Why can't we lay off the plastic?
Instead of being hooked on instant gratification,
we could abstain from conspicuous consumption.
Why can't we learn to listen?
Instead of talking ourselves into dysfunction,
we could listen, empathize, and give the gift of attention.
Why is fame craved by everyone?
Instead of sucking up all that glitters, belittling ourselves,
we could love being oblivious to the glare.
Must we know everyone's sexual orientation?
Instead of flaunting or advertising our orientation,
we could keep everything private in our bedrooms.
What is it with our politicians?
Instead of buying their snake oil,
we can turn them around and kick their asses out.
What can I do to sustain my lifestyle?
Instead of selling things, cut your credit cards,
and become proactive in tightening the belt.
What can we do for our editors?
Instead of providing goddamn excuses,
Turn in your pieces, so the platform sustains our creativity.
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About the Author
Raju Peddada is an industrial designer running an eponymous brand, purveyor of ultra luxury furnishings of his own design (see peddada.com). He is also a freelance correspondent/writer for several publications, specializing in commentary, essay, and opinions on architecture, design, photography, books, fashion, society, and culture. Peddada was born in Tallapudi, a small southern town in south India. He's lived in New Delhi and Bombay before migrating to the West Indies and eventually settling in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked in corporate America until he chose to set up his own designing firm. He lives with his family in Des Plaines. (back)