A village in Tajikistan

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It’s really a religious holiday, a rite of spring that will go on all night under the Milky Way. The huge caldron will boil the tender, young wheat shoots until it’s almost a porridge. It’s a time for high spirits, dancing around fire light and young boys and girls slipping away into the dark. There will be laughter and good will all around.

I bought a new car. It’s a 2007, BMW 328xi. It makes me feel important when I’m driving somewhere and even when it’s just sitting in my driveway. If I’m home, I’ll sometimes look out the window to admire it.

My previous car was a 2005 VW Jetta with paint on the seats and a broken heater, emergency brake and muffler. Some say it was an embarrassment. If I had to park on a hill, I had a block of wood to put behind a tire so it wouldn’t roll away. There was something very earthy about doing that.

   In the village, to help them stay healthy there’s a medical clinic, a recognized shaman and many interesting home remedies that have been passed down through the generations. The people use them all to solve their physical problems. It’s a little like holistic medicine.

I went to a local restaurant the other evening with some friends to celebrate the completion of a novel I wrote. We laughed and joked and had a good time.

I understand our cultures are different. I don’t think they’re any happier in their tradition/family oriented culture than we are in our materialistic /feel good culture. We’re as devoted to ours as they are to theirs.

Generally speaking, our culture is Christian. But, it doesn’t seem to make any difference. We treat each other just like everyone else in the world does.

Of course, Americans think our way is best. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. How would know. I’m a product of the American culture. I do believe Americans are hooked on material wealth. We feed on it. We drive our expensive cars to the shopping mall like cattle going to a lush pasture.

Our economy would collapse if we stopped being so materialistic. Businesses would fail overnight, jobs would be lost. Materialism is our culture. We created an artificial culture to keep us happy.

On the news today it was reported that 53% of Americans are feeling confident about the nation’s future. Great news! It means more of us will be going out to buy more stuff to feed their happiness addiction. Businesses will need to hire more people. Manufacturers will increase production. The stock market will rise. We’ll be richer than we already are! In our culture, all it takes are positive thoughts.

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