A nicer life for all
All that is fucked up with the world, I believe was not originally done with evil at heart. Sometimes bad things just happen & occasionally yes bad people do shady shit on purpose. Naturally, conflict will always exist and it’s humans who can choose to get over their fears and begin doing what we do best.
Last month I started to join the working world. I was given a job in the fast food service industry. Fortunately for me, it’s been several years since I’ve cashed a paycheck or owned a bank account. The concept of selling our time for money always did seem kinda silly to me. Sure it serves a purpose, but if money is all we want just for the hell of having more. Then we hold little true human value. Trust me when I write that I am no example of sustainability. Anyone that knows me knows I am Max the Maintained and always will be. Yet, now that I’m making money it is my challenge to be more human & keep a job. Simultaneously.
Perhaps, there was a time I cared about position & career. With little effort that employment hunger died somewhere in 2009. It was the year of stressful court dates & employers that never called back. It was also the end of a two year relationship which led to homelessness. All these sound like good reasons to get off my ass and seek a job with more vigor & purpose. Not me, I felt pressured to make money. So I defensively looked for another way to be comfortable & somehow still useful to society. The first was easy, the second is still very much in beta. Sadly, I thought that I was doing the world a favor by not working. With out work I could not shop or consume more than I needed. Certainly not more then I wanted. If I didn’t pay taxes my money wouldn’t go to wars that I disliked. Or if I had a bank account my soul would be in danger. All crazy excuses to sever bonds from fellow humans just like me. I was insanely wrong. My laziness was really fear. Fear of human corruption. And it was that fear that crippled my will to build for a common humanity. Still, the delusion was a very happy time. Mother & I got over our rocky relationship. I moved in her place and it turned out to be the most fun I can remember mom and I having together. I made memories with my little brother & practically lived at the public library. It was paradise. I was broke & happy. Poverty taught me some valuable lessons. Lessons like humility, personal justice and a healthy curiosity about sustainability. Because of those lessons I feel little desire for more money. I’m indifferent about buying a house, a car, a vacation, credit cards or having a good credit score. I fuel on food, books & friends. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky with amazing friends in my life, without whom I would be nothing. And this leads to an amazing truth about humans. A truth that took me a while to fully appreciate. In my life I thought I was unimaginably lucky. With some help I’ve recently come to understand that my luck wasn’t really luck, but countless obligations. My good fortune came from the work of billions of humans obligated to provide me with a decent life. Now it is my turn. I have a family that I love, but I never worked to provide them with many options. For me it was love that helped me understand why we risk human corruption. Why we push aside our humanity to make some money. We do it for humans that we love. Something so simple yet easy to forget. What I have begun to do for my family many others have been doing for years. It is what we humans do best. It is why I am a believer in human will. Imagine what we can do if we all loved our work & actually helped the world become a better place in the process. To have a job & to be human.
Aristotle once wrote that affection is the work of a city. “Affection is the intentional choice we make by living together” What Aristotle calls affection I call empathy. I think empathy is the way towards a better society. It is not only the choice we make by living together. It is the value that reminds us why we continue to survive. For each other. The power to see each other as equals provides a reason to help the starving child in Somalia. We are all linked. If we humans lessen hunger & violence in the world, the odds of future generations starving also decreases. If we simply reformed this money driven system to work towards human goals. Goals that provide more opportunities for all 7 billion on earth and counting. That is a society worth striving towards.