Alongside our aspirations of trying to do better, I think 2024 will be the year of what Les McCann said in his 1969 song, “tryin' to make it real—compared to what?

Here’s what I mean. It’s a mystery to me that with all the modern conveniences and time-saving hacks in our hands, how is it that we’re all so tied up, busy, and overwhelmed? Why is this?

Technology has given us access to a steady, tireless stream of information and knowledge, where we get to know practically everything about anything, anywhere, anytime.

And with the onset of AI, the use of this information and knowledge is about to change radically. It’s going to transform us, and our human experience, entirely. In fact, it’s already happening.

We face some daunting challenges that will require us to reach beyond what we know to create and build on what we can imagine.

I mean, how else can we truly remake our world—our inner selves or external lives—anew?

What will matter about us going forward is our realness in the world—our human realness.

A good example of this is how over the years, technology has managed to rewire us for convenience, distraction, and shortcuts.

Somewhere among the Internet of Things, we have gradually and persistently been weaned away from the small daily pleasures of real life.

Why has the simple, mindful act of brewing a cup of coffee gone from a pleasurable morning ritual to a chore we must somehow endure?

We’re slowly dispensing with our small pleasures—like making coffee or taking the time to moisturize our bodiesin trade for convenience and saving time.

Here’s the thing about convenience, it comes at a price, one that slowly creeps up on us—and we pay for it in our day-to-day living. To get a full accounting, we have to pause and reflect.

So yeah, I believe beauty and imagination will ultimately put us in direct contact with what is real—and what it means to be human.

More to my point, our bodies keep score. And there’s nothing more real than being in a body and living all its pleasures and pains.

By engaging our imagination and beauty—genuine, powerful forces of life—we can find new ways of “tryin' to make it real” amidst the world’s outer chaos.

Of course, beauty is not convenient, and it never has been. But convenience doesn’t always offer a better life, and definitely not an enriching one. The very best things in life spring from the little in-conveniences that interfere with conventional ambitions of making progress.

Lucky for us, enrichment comes from the realness of things—real places and real people. So, in 2024 the call to beauty may be shy but it is urgent.

Here’s to answering beauty’s call and following our bodies’ innate ways of knowing and being.


eu2be founder charla jones signature

eu2be founder/ceo Charla Jones

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