Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Why do we need more

Last week the general manager stopped by my office to try to convince me I would still have a job once the kiosk is operational. I felt worse when he left than before he arrived, but that's neither here nor there. While he was explaining to me that my job would be completely different but he had no idea how, he asked if I had any questions. Lol. I was laughing inside because he has no idea what people really think (bless his heart). But there was one thing I asked him - and I would still like to know.

I know mission/vision/purpose statements have sort of come and gone in popularity, but I still believe they have a place. They provide direction for companies, accountability, and give employees some idea of expectations. I have never known our company to have one - or any kind of "stated identity" for that matter. When I asked last week I'm not real sure he even knew what I was talking about. The only response I got was something about keeping up with industry changes and making money.

My point here is not to question the motives of my employer, but it has got me to thinking. Why is making more money such a motivator? Why is having bigger and better homes and vehicles and appliances, furnishings, vacations, etc., etc., etc.? What exactly does it gain us?

I watched a documentary the other night on minimalism and, quite frankly, I am intrigued by the concept. Minimalism does not necessarily mean doing without. It does however mean doing without unnececcary or unhelpful things in life. In this documentary, and others as well, they do admit that there is a certain base level of need (income and things) that provides for a better quality of life.... But beyond that, adding more just adds more stress to our lives.

I can remember from my lifetime when people worked jobs or went into a profession to provide not only for themselves but for the greater good as well. The grocer had a store to supply what the community needed. There was a plumber to do people's plumbing. An electrician, repairman, car salesman, service station, and on and on it went. Then one day it seemed we weren't content with that, or maybe somebody decided for us all, that it wasn't enough for us to depend on and provide for one another. I suppose it was a gradual move toward the idea of capitalizing on others. Be it the shrinking of the middle class or the lost work ethic - who knows if it was the chicken or the egg - we are now at a place where it's almost impossible to simply maintain a simple lifestyle without the need for more. And I find that sad.

Anyway, this is just a mindless ramble of thoughts stuck in my brain lately. I have a hard time not knowing what I'm supposed to be doing. I am not at all motivated by simply having "more." I don't know what I'm supposed to want more of. I don't understand people who are motivated by financial/economic incentives. And.... I want to cut down on the clutter in my life. Not just the material clutter, but time-sucking clutter as well.

I have to admit that sometimes I actually daydream about living in another country. I imagine a simpler life and a more basic subsistence. I'm sure it wouldn't be as grand as in my mind, but it does make me wonder if such a life would even be possible in this country right now. Hmmm