How many times have you seen these scenarios:
The Professional Lemming
Joe Blo wants to be (or thinks he wants to be) an accountant (or any high paying profession). He spends countless hours at the library, weekends too. He gets good grades and lands a great job soon after graduation. He works for forty years, marries, divorces, has 2.5 kids, retires at age 65 and then, at this moment of being unshackled from any more of society’s expectations he says: “Hey, what just happened with my life? Where did my time go?
The Cheated by Society
At the other extreme, Jane Doe, a free spirit, locks herself in her bedroom to listen to music, experiments with drugs and works at low paying jobs. At 65 when most people are retiring, she is looking for another job at Walmart and has no savings to ever have a comfortable retirement. She says to herself: “Hey, I was cheated by society. How come I have to work until the end of my life?”
Is There a Middle Ground
Where is the middle ground for these scenarios? How can you avoid being the professional lemming whose life drifts away while sitting at a desk? How can you avoid being the free spirit that rebels against society’s expectations only to end up collecting soda cans in the streets?
I have no answer to these questions. We have to be aware of what is happening to us. We have to be conscious of all the stimulus in our brains created by the media and by the expectations of society. We are supposed to follow the social script of debt, consumption and submission.
Throw Away Your Television
Perhaps my only actionable advice is to throw away your television, radio and newspapers and read philosophy. The ancient Greeks use to teach people how to think. Little by little we will be aware that we have a choice of how to react. If our minds are free, we are free.
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Alain’s miscellaneous stuff
1. I started taking yoga classes with Shéila Yoga (Shéi). I loved every second of it.
2. I have a lighter teaching schedule, which makes me enjoy a lot more every one of my dance classes. I earn less, but I am happier.