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La La Land, Part 4

Urbanna, Va.— This year’s discovery of the pen came to me while vacationing in Florida,  or what I refer to as “La La Land.” I learned that La La Land is many things to many people. It is not just my escape to Florida each year; it is belief in escape or fantasy. Going off to La La Land is what forever attracts, if only because of the very human tendency to believe in fairy tales. 

There are as many forms of La La Land as there are ways in which the brain deceives itself. One of the most fundamental forms is falsely believing that someone loves us. Being deceived through the heart or taken in by a smooth-talking romantic who makes false promises is the most common form of La La Land because most everyone has the need to be loved.

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by Mary Wakefield Buxton
Another form of La La Land is religion. The religions of the world make great promises, but there is never proof such promises will be delivered. Believing in fantastic expectation is a first-class trip to La La Land. For example, the Japanese Kamikaze pilots who crashed airplanes into American ships during WWII believed they would be rewarded after death for their suicide missions. They were really headed to La La Land.

Politics revolves around La La Land. Democracy, especially, could not exist without the many believers who fall for the usual round of campaign promises in every election. Candidates feast on our need to believe in fantasy. They say anything to gain power, promise us the moon, and even though we know deep down that no one can deliver us the moon, we still somehow believe that this time they will.

La La Land is a mental condition. It is thinking we can escape all responsibilities in life and that we will somehow be taken care of. That someone else will pay our bills, make our dreams come true, do our work, and provide us with all that we need and desire.

It is vogue now to believe that government will take care of us. We believe “the rich” can be taxed to pay our bills.  We don’t think about how this might come about. We cannot see that in the tax process of penalizing high achievers, that all incentive for making profits may be destroyed, and there could eventually be no more profits earned in order to pay high taxes that will pay all the bills.

It is fashionable to believe government can keep going into immense debt to meet our needs, and that somehow we can still keep on going. We imagine our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren not yet born will somehow manage to pay off the debts that we accrue. Such belief is the mother of all La La Lands.

Experience teaches us there is no such thing as La La Land. In the end we must be responsible for ourselves. A letter writer expressed this in the Sentinel several weeks ago, reminding us once again . . . “There is no free lunch.” There are always strings attached.

A sense of humor can protect us from a journey to La La Land. When we hear the same old promises and feel something flutter from within, we know that the La La Land Express is beckoning to us. If we could laugh a little more at ourselves, it might help us from jumping so quickly on board the train.

We should question and doubt more of what we hear and read. Science can help, for it trains the mind to use empirical reasoning and the scientific process in order to think and reach conclusions
Lastly, remember our innately vulnerable human nature. A sucker is born every minute, or so that was what circus man P.T. Barnum told us. Our propensity to be trusting of others is built into our beautiful human genes. We naturally want to believe what people promise us, especially when the words are like music to our ears.

In spite of all that I have learned this year about La La Land . . . like most people, I still yearn to go there. I still hope that someone will love me, take care of my every need and, especially, pay all my bills.

Hurrah for La La Land! Long live La La Land! Oh, La La Land! Where art thou? (Conclusion) ©2009

http://www.marywakefieldbuxton.com
 

posted 03.25.2009

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