The reality of life: Like ants in a sugar bowl.

Why do many Americans, citizens of a rich and in many ways fortunate nation, feel a malaise, an anguish in living? I speak of the Americans but many others, British, French, Italian, German, Swiss, Canadian, Swiss perceive a sense of emptiness in themselves. At first glance this may seem very strange, but in recent years I have had the opportunity to know many people living with this problem and, in my own small way, I think I can understand the reasons.
To explain myself better, I will compare the inhabitants of the more advanced Western nations to ants that have fallen into a sugar bowl. Just think: they swim in sugar and gorge themselves until their stomach is so full and taut that it is transparent. And then, all they see and hear, their whole world is nothing but the same sugar they are full of. It is natural that they perceive a sense of emptiness. By dint of being inside a sugar bowl, many take drugs, seeking refuge in a self-comforting intoxication, others are unable to make it and commit suicide.
But while I draw this caricature of Americans and Europeans comparing them to ants that have fallen into a sugar bowl, I cannot help but think about the conditions in which developing countries find themselves, I have to represent them outside the sugar bowl, with their heads pressed against transparent glass, thinking about how nice it would be to go inside and do as Americans and Europeans do. They follow the traces of the grains of sugar and try in every way to enter the ranks of satiated ants. Certainly an unedifying development.
I would like to add a character to the caricature depicted so far: He too is out of the sugar bowl. He looks at the white-skinned men living in abundance and stamps his feet, fidgets and protests because he wants to attend the banquet. I’m talking about black Americans. At this point, to continue using my somewhat grotesque example, it could be assumed that the ants in the sugar bowl are in the best position, those who have not yet found their way into it are less fortunate, and those who vainly despair and fret. outside are the most unfortunate. Those who think so use the parameter of the economic animal as a yardstick. Looking at the whole in real life terms, all three of these ways of living are meaningless, even pathetic. Each of these three ways of existing is based solely on living in relation to others, having completely lost sight of one’s true being. Each of them is not living the life of the true self.
Taken from a book by Kosho Uchiyama: The reality of life