Climate for a new Shangri-la

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Friday, November 21, 2008

Conditions around the world seem somewhat similar these days to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

And with all the doom and gloom around, people are looking for some relief, some hope, some light at the end of the tunnel.

I guess it is a psychological thing, the hope that things will get better. Maybe the need to find a geographical cure. Or solace inside or outside oneself.

Here's a piece from El Paso, which will be one of many appearing as the skies darken and we all wish we had saved our cash under our pillows . . .

Shangri-La not far, with work, imagination

EL PASO - For some reason we got to talking about Shangri-La the other day.

Shangri-La is supposed to be a utopian hideaway, way up in the Tibetan mountains. Many people have tried to locate it, but no one has ever found it, so it has become a myth, and many of us have our own idea of Shangri-La.

After living through very tough times during and just after World War II, my idea of Shangri-La became the United States, and it didn't disappoint me. Grocery stores were full of foods, many I hadn't heard of or seen in years - like mayonnaise! I ate it with a spoon right out of the jar (still do sometimes) and department stores with racks of beautiful, fashionable clothes and high-heeled shoes. It was unbelievable, particularly after being rationed to one dress and one pair of walking shoes per year for a long time.

After seeing most people in Europe riding bicycles for many years, it was amazing to see that almost everyone owned a car. Sometimes maybe just an old jalopy, but it was a car!

The neighbors were sweet and friendly, and the accommodations modern and comfortable.

Of course, it didn't take long to find out that none of those goodies came free, but I also found out that if you applied yourself and worked hard, you could enjoy them soon enough, and that was wonderful.

Really, think about it: Would you actually want to live in a place where milk and honey ran in rivers, where it never got too hot or too cold, where you lolled around under a shady tree and fried chickens flew into your mouth and beautiful music wafted through lavender-scented air at all times and nothing bad ever happened? Even the Bluebird of Happiness wouldn't dare to let something drop on your head as he flew above.

It would get pretty boring in a short time! If nothing bad happened, what would you have to gripe about? All the policemen, lawyers, repairmen, Enquirer-type newspapers, etc., would be out of work, and that wouldn't be very nice.

Let's face it - a good challenge now and then is what makes life interesting and worth living, and gives your self-esteem a good boost when you are able to overcome it.

You can pretty much build your own little Shangri-La if you try hard enough. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to keep from getting old and sick.

If you have, let me know.

If you add that to what you already have, things would be almost perfect, and you could quit looking for Shangri-La because you've already found it!
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