To us, we are the most interesting things of all

At  39,000 feet above the earth on a commercial flight, I can look down upon the world as if an angel. Without effort, I'm floating above cities as the earth turns away from the sun and the sky and the earth blend into one.

Despite the amazing view, I’m the only one looking out the window. Most people are watching a screen or trying to sleep. For our very first flight, there is a moment of excitement but it soon was normalized. Most flights are long and something to be endured not enjoyed. To not be bored with the view from a plane wouldn’t be considered normal. For most,  flying is not stimulating but something to be suppressed in booze and movies.

Yet there is a significant premium in our culture for a view. Not only for residential housing but also commercial. In an office I work at, they are negotiating a rent reduction as a new development will “block” their view. Obviously, when we say “view” it is assumed to be a premium as the view remains just perhaps a less detailed or commanding one. A “commanding view” is often stated when looking down from high and above. It suggests that a view is a position of strength. Companies, as well as people, want to have such a position and be seen at one. The high position in combat is always the desired one. Yet an amazing view from the commercial flight at generates little to no interest. Maybe it’s the lack of agency, we attach no status when the view is outside of our control. Consider the contrasts,  the poor compressed passenger yet with access to one of most amazing views available to anyone. Where one can see and almost experience the epic vastness of the planet let the universe. It's completely ignored.

Yet a premium for a view doesn't stop at vistas, as a Culture we prize aesthetics we will pay extra for a Californian bungalow. Or a beautiful exterior of a sports car. Yet for most of these objects we rarely look at them, I mean really enjoy their view, just the status. Fortunately one doesn't need to own something beautiful to enjoy it.

I too love beautiful things but the thought of looking at them for hours on end would be a torture. Yet I could watch living things for hours on end. Particularly people and more so family. Peoples unpredictability and movement are meditative. A simple interaction between a couple can be fascinating. Each interaction allows the mind to spin a fabulous narrative of their lives and how they might think and in the process learning a little about yourself.

As the pilot begins his decent we fly just above the clouds I am brought back into the view. As we glide, it’s hard to believe this sea of floating water vapor couldn’t be explored. The calmed stillness conceals the hostile reality if you were to attempt too.

I love a view, especially free ones. Most likely the most interesting thing of all is people, I suspect generations ago people knew this. We seem to have forgotten. Egged on with individualism we have forgotten we are a herd and to us, we are the most interesting things of all. Consider the cost to you not only when the view eventually is blocked but also how we tire of almost everything but people.