Friday, October 12, 2012

Free Form Friday

Forgive me if I've done this before.

What would you do if your "livelihood" did not depend upon it?

Before anyone gets too Republican, I'm not advocating for "socialism" or an end to work.  I also understand that the principle of survival has always entailed efforts beyond one's inclinations.  Today, that survival is dependent upon money.

What would you do if you didn't need money?  Try this as a mental exercise.  I predict that there would be a segment of people who would still continue to buy and to sell and to aim their efforts towards the acquisition of wealth.  Commerce for them is important and inherent to their being.  There would be yet another collective who would engage in...nothing.  I wouldn't call them lazy, it's just that their leanings may be more towards the micro end of the spectrum.

But there would be yet another, perhaps most sizable contingent who would throw themselves into something altogether different from what they are forced to do now.

What would you do?

Would you be a forest ranger?  A painter?  A gardener?  Or worse yet...a writer?

I have a hunch it would be something creative.

It seems to me that these pursuits are indicative of what I would call "an authentic life."  Don't ask me to define that.  It's a lot like the Supreme Court's definition of pornography: I know it when I see it.  There is a sense that comes with such a life calling.  Something inside the stomach, causing it to spark active and transmit a message to the brain: this is who I am and what I am supposed to be.

How many of us, however, truly get to live within that zone full time?  If you do, great.  But understand that many others have not.  Of course a popular argument would be that those individuals who have not are "just not working hard enough."  Uh-huh.

How many of us live what H.D. Thoreau called "quiet lives of desperation"?  The artifice of "the system" denies a great many of us "an authentic life."

None of us asked to be born.  Think about that for a moment.  Might sound silly or facile, but it is the truth.  We are expected to pay for a place in a world (to "earn a living") that no one ever consulted us about joining.  If you knew all there is to know about this life prior to birth, would you still sign up?  I assume that many would say "yes" out of fear of contemplating the alternative.  Me, I would give strong consideration to oblivion.

I didn't ask to exist and yet I do.  For that fact, I am expected to earn and to pay.
Consider that when you next confront someone who does not live according to American philosophy.  Be not vindictive towards them, but magnanimous.
So here's to hoping for "an authentic life" before we all meet by and by. 

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