We are a generation born into a culture of never enough. Of more productive. Of newer. Every day we are bombarded with images, showing us what a successful person looks like. What they eat. What they wear. What they drive.
Not only are we expected to continually “improve” ourselves – chasing bigger salaries, bigger houses, fancier cars. But we are held to this expectation at a time in our history when the economy has slowed to a crawl. We have lived through one “bubble burst” after the next – in the tech sector, in the housing market. With each burst the chasm between rich and poor becomes greater. Borrowing requirements become more stringent. An education becomes more and more out of reach. The “American dream” becomes more of a dream and less of an aspiration.
A week ago we had a yard sale with our neighbors. We sat on the front stoop, drinking coffee and watching people sort through our things. At one point in the morning, my friend turned to me and remarked, “doesn’t this seem crazy? At one point in time we bought all of this stuff, brand-new. We loved it when we found it wrapped in plastic on a shelf somewhere. And now we’re happy to sell it for a dollar just to get it out of the house and make room for more shiny, new stuff. And remind me again – what exactly is wrong with it?”
And just as I mindlessly discarded old possessions at our yard sale, our society has mindlessly discarded pieces of our culture. Rituals. Traditions. Making room for other things.
Sometimes we have truly found a better way of doing things. Modern conveniences like the washing machine (I mean – seriously), or the Internet. But other times we have simply forgotten about these special things because we don’t have time. Or energy. Or somebody convinced us to spend money on a new and better way of doing things – when in reality “new and better” really just meant “different.”
This blog evolved out of my love of gin.
I love mixing beautifully cold martinis, and discovering craft gins from all over the world. And I have found a number of really fantastic blogs that catalog and review gins. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I really loved was the welcome pause a martini creates in my day. For a moment, I sit with my wife and have real, meaningful conversation. We’re not trying to produce more, or to get something done. We’re just sharing our experiences and ideas with each other.
But martinis take time to prepare. And not only have people forgotten how to mix a delicious cocktail, they simply don’t have time for traditions like this any more.
How many other things have been forgotten or discarded in the same way?
This is the topic of my blog. Craft gins that have been meticulously distilled. Traditions that are quietly and unceremoniously disappearing. Not because we didn’t enjoy them – but simply because we’ve forgotten about them in the rush for more. Because maybe “more” was really never what we needed to begin with.
Is it unique and different? I hope not. If ever there remains but a single voice on this topic, the conversation will have died and we will truly have lost something special. As I see similar blogs and ideas around the Web I will pass them along. If you find this compelling, I hope you do the same.
I hope you enjoy the site. If you would like to contact me for any reason, please reach out on Facebook or Twitter (@thegindependent).