I remember, every now and then, seeing those in life that marched to a beat of their own drum. They had these “outlandish, odd” theories about humanity being “over consumers” and gluttonous in how they lived off the fat of the land and were spoiled by the materialism of society. They went on and on about how we robbed the plant and ecosystems of all natural resources for our selfish greed and the universe would one day require payback. They were often the people who lived on street corners and had no real earthly possessions. My parents, and many of yours, called them “bums” and trained me to avoid that lifestyle.
I did what I was taught to do: go to school, get a “good education”, work hard and “apply yourself” and soon you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. What I soon discovered was . . . that was a lie.
No, we all can’t be bohemians but they did have some valid points through the ages. Americans are often guilty of consuming more than we produce. We build our entire lives and existence around doing whatever it takes to obtain the highest degree of wealth so we can spend our lives enjoying the materialistic things of this world. Some of us are so dependent upon the quest for riches and luxuries that we sacrifice our children, relationships, health and overall well-being to do so. Some take it a step further and will step over, manipulate and sacrifice another for personal gain. If one of the “bohemians” would ask us why, the real answer is “because we know no other way”.
We have become so conditioned in these man-made ideologies of what we “must do” and the “status quo” that many of us have become mindless robots that ceased LIVING a long time ago and we are simply “existing”. We take pills, potions, tonics, shots and a multitude of other substances to smile, ease the pain and restore youth. Even if we have material wealth, we often misuse it and don’t truly “enjoy it” although keep up appearances as if we do. Too many live in empty palaces with luxury cars in the driveway, children and partners that spent as little time as required in their presence and relationships that are just as shallow as their picture perfect life.
I equate life’s balance to noise: if you cannot hear any noise, you are considered deaf or hearing impaired. Too much noise is deafening and strips you of your natural ability to hear. Notice the difference of the pendulum swing? Now apply that same model to your life and you’ll find the plethora of ways that life’s monotony and status quo has deceived and impaired you.
“Once you know better, do better.” Will you?
–Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru
Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker and Best Selling Author
CEO, Alesha Brown LLC