One time, a minister preached a sermon entitled "Who Switched the Price Tags?" It was based on an incident where some teenagers broke into a department store and switched price tags on merchandise so that a toaster cost $500 and a new stove cost $10. His point was that we value things that are temporary and devalue things that are permanent and/or eternal. I think that is a good metaphor for our time, perhaps for all time.
We live in a time of fast food, constant stimulation, "what's trending now", people famous for being famous, and we ignore problems like the growing gap between haves and have nots in the US, education curriculums that strip all of the arts out of schools, the growing number of our fellow countrymen who lack basic health care, and the fact that our planet is being depleted of everything that sustains us.
Of course, I am tempted to say, it has ever been thus. Brother Thoreau criticized his countrymen in his time for having busy lives without really living.
Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip.
I have a little motto that I think I'm going to turn into a poster or plaque. It will read WWJD? What it will mean for me is "What Will Justice Demand?" For me, this is the true meaning of my existence, to see that my life has in some way advance the progress of creating a just world. So I hope that all my actions will be judged in this light. That does not mean that I will not make time for innocent pleasures: the company of friends, the enjoyment of play, the time to appreciate art and nature. But I hope that at the end of it all, the thing I am best remembered for is that I tried to bring a little more justice into the world. If that is what is said of me, then I will have been successful in the art of living.