Sunday, 22 May 2011

The need of a dream

I'm not going to start pulling out numbers about the Royal wedding, nor talk about the 2,2 billion people who watched it on television- as we are all sick of the countless pictures and articles about the pretty couple. I would like to take it as a starting point for  reflection, however. 
I do admit, with slight embarrassment, that I  associate and include myself, with the charmed, moved crowd. Critics say it is a largely commercial, hypocritical event and everyone seems to have a word on the matter, but let's not deny it - we all need a piece of fairy tale in life.

I wish more governments invested in positive examples - in philosophy, in arts, in sports. There was much hype around Amy Chua's 2011 book about her tough parenting methods and the hours of piano practicing she inflicted every day on her 7 years old daughter Lulu. But the Chinese "Tiger Mothers" are just one example of how some cultures are educating their future generations.

This is something that cannot yet be said about our capitalistic, western world. Population's role models can be found in vulgar reality shows (not only the Big Brother, but also shows like the Only Way Is Essex, or the American Jersey Shore - an hymn to ignorance and impoliteness), it's heroes are football players and its biggest aspirations become those of having a bigger house, the latest fashion item or a faster car. Their end goal is consumption and their real God to the "Sir Money". 

I don't consider this a negative fact: ambition to have a better life is totally legitimate and a motor for growth. 
What is unacceptable about today's society is that rulers and self-made millionaires sometimes allow themselves to praise the fact that they have managed to succeed without having ever read a book or been any good at reading or writing. They actually offer their ignorance as a proof of their more serious devotion to the art of making money. 

Today's socially important characters have little to do with the citizens of mark of the Princes of Italian Renaissance or the Age of Enlightenment, who were as able to rule a nation as to compose poetry, play the flute or know history in-depth. I am unsure of how many modern politicians could defend the category nowadays, Sarah Palin isn't one of them.

Great Britain's royal wedding not only was a celebration of love, the religious rite and the tradition of marriage - it has given us a glimpse back to a time where well manners, decent dresses and formal kind gestures were a standard. Maybe an inspiration to look back to the centuries and dream of higher standards in terms of culture and education, a brighter future than just a dry, plain money making process that works in the short term - until the Tiger Mom's multi-talented children grow up.