A fantastic start to a rambling post, wouldn't you say?
I have noticed lately that in blogs I follow many seem to talk about the same topics at the same time. It's like one person along the way comes up with a great idea for a post and then everyone else jumps on the bandwagon and writes about the same topic, but no one ever really references where the topic started. I, too, have been guilty of this. When I can't think of something brilliant to share, I will often respond to something I've read somewhere else.
Now? It just annoys me. I don't really want to read everyone's take on the same topic. (unless I do want that, in which case I will google the topic in question.) The current hot topic is about privileged minimalists. It is actually a worth while conversation and people definitely have some interesting things to say. (if you are interested, check out this Those Privileged Minimalists) There are many pretentious minimalists out there. People who quit their big fancy jobs, sell all their stuff, live in a trendy, naked loft, always wear a white shirt and a pair of jeans, tap away at their iPad and make more money than ever selling their latest ebook or presentation on how to acquire the great happiness that they have found. (we have talked about this before, so if it is sounding familiar, you are not crazy. Well maybe you are crazy - who am I to judge?) There are also other minimalists who are more practical (mostly moms) and have simply been overwhelmed by stuff and chaos in their lives. Anyways, the point is, none of that is really what any of this is about for me. When I started selling my stuff it was for the plain and simple reason that if I didn't sell something, we would not eat. As I got rid of more and more stuff, more and more things made sense to me. I started to read about minimalism and I will admit, I got caught up in the air of it all - but only until my own reality of empty cupboards yelled at me to get something else on Craigslist. My point here? We all make choices about how we want to live and somewhere along the line we get put in a box with a label and often we even do it to ourselves. It is not that simple. Yes, there is a popular trendy lifestyle to be lived called "Minimalism", but there are also real lives that need to be lived and people who are willing to do whatever it takes to live said lives well. The bottom line is we don't need the vast majority of things that we have or want. It is not that hard to live with only what you need. Finding a balance is important though and it is going to look different for everyone. The byproduct of living this way is that there is much less chaos and clutter in my life and that was one of my big hopes when I started all this. I have learned that the concept of living with less and to live a simple lifestyle is a journey. And let me tell you, after walking through a department store yesterday looking at all the pretty things, I don't expect my journey to end anytime soon. I still want things that I see and like, but definitely don't need. We live in the first world where even being "poor" (by society's standards) we are privileged. I am typing this on a MacBook for goodness sake. Where I live, even if I can't "buy" groceries, we are not going to go truly hungry. The same can't be said for a family living a simple life in some second and probably all third world countries. I could go on forever on this, so I'm going to stop. Our journeys all started for different reasons and will have different endings - let's respect that.
Lately I have been over-run with thoughts about selfish, disrespectful, entitled attitudes in people. I'm not sure if it's a reflection of some behaviour that I'm not happy with in myself or what, but these people seem to be EVERYWHERE right now. (I know there are always people like that, but I seem to be noticing it way more than normal.) It all started with watching the Biggest Loser this season and every time I sat through it I ended up yelling at the TV. Anyone out there know what I'm talking about? What a group of spoiled brats. I know there is editing and all, but come on!
And don't get me started on hockey. (too late!) It is a game. One team is going to win and one team is going to lose. That is the nature of a game. I am all for passionate fans, but again, COME ON! Last year it was rioting in Vancouver, this year it's a slew of hateful, racist tweets against the guy who ended Boston's run at the Stanley Cup because he is black. Are you kidding me? Grow up. From one human being to another, I am sorry Joel Ward that you are the target of idiots right now. Good goal!
Then there is my own kid. It is driving me CRAZY that he is making choices right now that do nothing to demonstrate common sense, or look out for anyone other than himself. I know, I know... he is a teenaged boy and of course he is only looking out for himself. WRONG! I expect more and he is NOT delivering. He is going to fall victim to the consequences of his actions sooner or later and that may be the only way he learns and grows. I really, really hope he learns and grows.
There is a loose thread that connects these thoughts and that's the basic "I'm better than you are" philosophy. I literally could write for pages and pages examples and stories that I have come across in the past month or so that demonstrate how prevalent this philosophy is, but I will stop because it makes my blood boil and then I get a headache. I just want to know how we have lost our way so much. Why is it so hard to understand that if we just stop and think of other people first, so many of our problems wouldn't even exist. It doesn't have to be all about me all of the time. Some of you will be reading this thinking I'm going to jump in to a religious spiel, and this has the potential for that, but it can also just be about common courtesy between people. You are NOT better than me, and I am NOT better than you. We are people. We all have GREAT flaws and do our share of stupid, selfish things. Some people recognize this and are working on doing better and some people don't have a clue yet. Sometimes the clueless people just need to be shown a different way so they can start to do better and sometimes people will NEVER seem to get it. Just because people piss me off does NOT mean that I need to be that way in return.
This all falls in line with choosing to live a simple life. It is easier to be happy than miserable. It really, really is - I am speaking from hard learned experience here. It is less stressful and it is WAY less time consuming. So, to go along with all our stripping, lets strip away some of the attitudes too. We all have people or situations that we could be handling better and we certainly all have many instances in a day where we can choose to be selfLESS rather than selfish. Agree? Disagree? Thoughts to share?
Is anyone even still reading?
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