After my wonderful trip to Greece, it is time for me to make a serious effort to earn a living. I am faced with my usual dilemma as the easiest way of making money seems to be the most ethically questionable route as I would likely end up supporting a system that is, well, evil. I am exploring other options, too, and as I’ve pointed out before (here and here), avoiding evil altogether in an unjust society seems impossible, something I am slowly learning to accept.
I’ve been brainstorming a lot, though, and networking. As I am meeting more people, I realized that one of the key questions might be “what is your ideal job?” That’s when it hit me: I don’t have an ideal job! It seems like this question – and my answer – are pointing to the crux of my (mostly inner) struggles… I do have an ideal, though. I have an ideal life situation!
My ideal life situation would be to have my basic needs taken care of (food, water, shelter, health care, dance, hugs/touch), freeing me up to work on whatever is necessary! There is SO much work out there: From growing food (to teaching others how to do it) to giving empathy and all sorts of other stuff. That’s my ideal: Being able to step out of the money-based economy into a world that meets people’s needs – and contributing to meeting those needs big time!
It feels SO good to have had this realization! (Including what needs I consider “basic”!)
Well, the next question is: What’s stopping me from living like that? I know there are some people – who I admire greatly – who seem to live my ideal, maybe Mule and certainly Diane. Diane came to mind when I thought that living my ideal is impossible in the current world. It’s not. She is doing it. “But, but, but…” my mind went (and, yes, that’s the embarrassing part) clearly not wanting to admit that I could live my ideal if I really wanted to. So what is stopping me?
What is stopping all of us from really living our truths? Most of us are collaborating with the systems we abhor. Even right now, for example, when I am not myself building pyramids, as Daniel Quinn calls our slave labors, I am relying on quite a few people who do. Or a more simple example: I am still on Facebook even though I completely understand how that is enabling the income inequality in San Francisco and beyond. Why am I staying? What is keeping me from living my ideal?
Frankly, because there are competing commitments. I have experienced a lot of support through Facebook and I am not sure if I want to give that up to make a point because there doesn’t seem to be a good alternative online networking site. And I don’t live my ideal because I am terrified that it would be a huge sacrifice. I would have to give up so much! What if I can no longer dance? So, I go on with the status quo – and struggling with depression because I am telling myself I should live differently… Sigh. The thing is, though, I know that people like Diane and Mule are very important because they show the rest of us that a different way of living is possible. They point out the lie in our excuse for not changing. And, yet, even seeing that, I am having trouble following on their path. I have a sense, though, that figuring out how to motivate myself how to make that difficult change toward my ideal might hold a few keys on how to motivate people to wake up and notice the climate disruption all around us. Maybe that way, we can make the collective changes that will allow at least a part of humanity to survive.
P.S. about a half an hour after publishing: I am so tired of writing about the same thing over and over again and not changing… Yes, I know I am judging myself for not walking my talk… And it’s getting a bit old to have similar insights over and over again – and not doing much about them…
P.P.S.: Fortunately, my brain also keeps having similar ideas for interim solutions… Once I get out of the either-or-thinking I sometimes get stuck in, things don’t look quite as dire… 🙂
P.P.P.S. an hour and a half after publishing: I can hardly believe I’ve been missing this, you know, studying shame and all… I just had the huge realization that what’s been keeping me stuck is a huge big case of perfectionism! I have to find the perfect solution or else it’s not worth pursuing… Of course that would keep me stuck: There are no perfect solutions!