Devil’s Tower: Not Enough to Move the Needle

Devil's Tower, WY Sept. 2013: Click to enlarge

Devil’s Tower, WY Sept. 2013: Click to enlarge

I drove to Devil’s Tower, the famous Wyoming monolith so popular with Sturgis bikers, on my way to Michigan.  I could see the Tower from just outside the entrance and, unimpressed, did not see fit to enter the park.  Never before have I been so disinterested in a destination as to strike it from the itinerary upon arrival.  Perhaps this is what happens when one sees the number of special places that I have, and has the brain wiring of an adrenaline junkie as I do.  The neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky has noted that when the brain is conditioned to respond to thrills, an ever-increasing level of excitement is required to move the proverbial needle.

I once studied with a talented Spanish professor who said, “To the poor man, a loaf of bread is a banquet.  To the rich man, a banquet is nothing.  In this way, the poor man is richer than the rich man.”

To my observation this statement holds true often in life.  I was unimpressed with a destination that many people will rave about forever.  Elsewhere in life others may take for granted the valuable things they have, unaware of how much others would want the same.  I can’t change the way I felt at Devil’s Tower, but I am more conscious of the things I have to be thankful for.