When I first travelled through Europe, and was away from my home city, Athens, Greece, it really caught my attention to see how food was wrapped in plastic.
Not only food that you would expect to be wrapped in packaging, but also the sort of foods that I would have never imagined one could buy in that form.
In the same way that I as a Greek person was astonished to see chickens sold in plastic packaging in Germany, I can imagine the surprise of an Egyptian being there.
On my trip to Cairo, in 2006, I was almost horrified to see how food was sold in Egypt. I never in my life had seen spaghetti sold wrapped in newspapers!!!
But which are the deep reasons for that? Are there any?
The superficial average Joe is going to say that it is because of hygiene and certainly, is right.
But is that the only reason?
The tendency to distance ourselves from the raw nature of things (and ideas) creates a feeling of security and control, and damned is the one that willingly or by nature offers (or talks) about things the way they are.
Have you ever thought about that? Is plastic packaging probably an extended expression of such a reality?
If we move away from food packaging, of the steak within a plastic box, where there is no scent of meat, no blood, it almost gives the impression that it is not a product that comes from an animal that has been killed some days ago, to be eaten on a nice plate, in a fancy restaurant.
How close to the primitive wild man or wild woman that lived on this planet 10,000 years ago, chased this animal, cornered it and slaughtered it with their spear, felt its fear and its anxiety, butchered it and removed its intestines and ate it, within just a couple of days, since refrigerators did not exist, is the nice, well-dressed couple eating that steak in the fancy restaurant?
How close to the blood-thirsty tyrant is the high executive of a company, donating part of the company’s money to a charity, while they have in the background savage “wars” with the competitors, but also within the organization, wars are being fought that cause anxiety, stress, and often drive people to extreme, desperate acts, wars that are caused because of him or because of his avoidance of acting against things that he could change?
The” packaging” of things brings the illusion of cleanliness in a raw and cruel world and distances us from the ability to see reality. To understand how people really are, and not only what they show they are.
The nice, civilized appearance might be welcome as long as it serves aesthetical or hygiene purposes, however the reason why it exists is far from that.
The reason is the illusion of progress and the construction of a whole culture that takes superficiality, civic courtesy, and nice packaging as the norm, and uses it to justify their acts and find comfort in its existence.
A culture that hides the unpleasant, that denies and avoids seeing the inevitable. Death is such a horror in our western societies today, although it is actually the most natural thing; it is a horror because of the denial of its existence. Ancient civilizations, but also nowadays in other cultures, where chickens are not wrapped in plastic foil, death has been less feared and more embraced as part of nature.
A culture where couples never have the difficult discussions that bring a relationship forward and live their life in the “should” of others.
Where crooks count on civic courtesy to act rudely and dishonesty, taking advantage of the good but naïve and harmless people, that would rather suck it up, than raise their voice and risk getting rejected from the environment they want to be part of.
A culture that ostracises and “cancels” those that have a different opinion, gives them names such as “vulgar”, “racist”, “low class”, with unspoken hate and rage, wants to eliminate them, to enforce its dominance and let the smart ones that do understand A and B, dominate the game.
A horror is also that person who is going to address the truth, see behind the facade and the curtain, and explain why things happen… in reality.
You are going to be impressed at how many people would prefer to see their businesses going down, rather than accept realities that probably are going to tear down their entire beliefs but save their business.
As an independent sales consultant, I often see how challenging it is to propose solutions that are not likeable, sticking to their own perception of what is good for sales, halting the potential progress.
Condemned are the ones that believe that the acts of humans are based on their “wrapping”, on their artificial appearance that projects and shows only the flashy and the positive, and which hides the negative.
“Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.” Howard Roark | The Fountainhead