Photo: Stuart Webster
The case for solitude.
Gordon Gekko’s quote “Lunch is for wimps” is less remembered than “Money never sleeps,” but arguably no less important. He didn’t question the nutritional value of lunch. Instead, his quip was an almost misanthropic remark about the idiocy of crowds.
Workers wake up, go to work on time, and have lunch. So what?
“The richest 1% of this country owns 50% of this country’s wealth,” Gordon says.
Clearly, the other 99% are busy having lunch. “Having lunch” is Mr Gekko’s parlance for “fitting in.” According to him, the reason he wins is because he dares to stand out—and he is outrageously successful in what he does.
But, what if making money is not our thing? Could we stretch his lunch witticism to the broader realm of living? How about this:
Drinks are for wimps.
After a toilsome week of drudgery, stress and plenty of lunches, workers put an expensive-looking pair of shoes on, wear their stately wrist watch and queue up at the bar. Yes, they squeeze behind another lad who can’t stop passing gas as he desperately vies for the attention of the barman, so he can pay £15 for a glass of green leaves with ice. ”Going for a drink” puts a satisfying tick in a box.
It offers a strong sense of safety. I hold on to my wine glass, gossip and give nervous smiles. That’s what everybody else does. I am safe.
I spent half my adult life in the confines of posh-looking drink establishments. The only thing I can show for it is a beer belly. I didn’t know any better, you see. That’s what society told me to do.
Animals fall prey to instincts: survive and breed. Whereas humans can discriminate; they have bigger brains for a reason. Did Einstein brainstorm E=mc2 in a noisy bar? Has anything remotely worthwhile ever been conceived in crowd settings?
“Solitude shows us what should be; society shows us what we are.”
~ Robert Cecil
“When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death – ourselves.”
~ Eda LeShan
Want a friend? Get a dog.
Creatively maladjusted author and blogger, Jivamukti yogi, ethical diet advocate and corporate drone, Max Zografos loiters internet cafes, libraries (anywhere with a roof and Wi-Fi really) for hours on end until he finds inspiration to write or gets kicked out, whichever comes first. You can find him on his website here.