Monday, September 12, 2011

Living Life

I feel I need to address the issue of "Living Life". The concept is, you shouldn't want to sit in a cubicle all day, you should "go out and Live Life!" You must have heard people say this before, or have friends who chant this like a mantra: I can't be confined. I have to go out and really, "Live Life."

Uh huh, okay. But you know something? There is a little issue with that concept. No, really. There is. Honest.

These are the types of people who want to travel, they can't possibly sit in an office or worse, a cubicle all day long. They have to go out and do "real things", and experience the world "out there". But you know what? What is it you are really doing, going out and living all that life? Having fun? Being fascinated? Experiencing novel situations?
Nope, has nothing to do with ADD, but got your attention, right?
Sounds kind of ADD doesn't it?

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of going out and doing stuff. Traveling. Experiencing. Being titillated, fascinated, excited, satiated. I just think that if I'm out doing that, it's called a vacation. If I'm doing that a lot, like all the time, I'm on permanent vacation. If that is all one does for life, they are called "adventurers", or Explorers  maybe a "Student of Life", or some such thing.

My argument with this is that if you are doing that all the time, you really need to be doing something else, too. Document it. Write about it. Film it. Share it. Make use of it aside from your own selfish pleasures. Consider the rest of Humankind who have to slave all day every day so you can gallivant around the planet and have fun. Because if people don't do those menial, boring jobs every day, you won't be traveling around, eating food, being entertained and having fun.

Someone has to gather, cook and serve the food you buy (or for some of you, get free) as you travel. People have to supply the transportation you use to get around the planet. Someone is keeping the world healthy, and it's not you while you're doing all that traveling.

So, while you are doing all that traveling, think up some thing, some way, to give back to the world that is letting you do all this non boring, non cubicle, non office, non factory job, stuff.

Don't get me wrong, go for it. Travel. Have fun.

Just consider that maybe you are being just a bit selfish and you should try and find a way to share your experiences with those of us who cannot afford it, who have responsibilities, or who are supplying the services you are using to do your exciting traveling and experiencing.

In your travels, do something other than just have fun. Or better still, have fun adding in these kinds of pursuits. Think, "How can I make the world a better place, even if only by a little? How can I make someone I meet feel better about the world? How can I give a little of the pleasure I'm getting from all this travel, back to those people living in those (to me) exotic places that I'm visiting?"

Expend a little of your time, your personality, even your money, to those you meet who look like they could use, well... something. Something from a foreign traveler, something unique, novel, entertaining. Something from someone who has more than they will ever have. Even if they have all they will ever need, if they are part of the enjoyment you are getting from your travels, then give them something back, and I don't mean, just a tip on the bill. But a smile. A nod. Help in some way with their daily rut.

It could even be in your not saying something you were going to say; something, that might not make their day better, but remind them of how bad things really are for them. You may think that no one is understanding your words, especially if those words are English, but consider, English is one of the most common languages on this planet and the de facto language used to do business with, world wide and for many, many decades.

That "ignorant non English speaking" servant waiting on you, may just speak your language, and many people, are multilingual, I've met many Europeans for instance, who spoke four or five languages, English, typically being one of them. Consider how many countries may be on their borders, of those small countries, where they interact with "foreigners" on a daily basis. Many have been required to learn their own language in school, and English. It is normal for them to speak several languages before graduating High School.

While you are in all those other interesting and novel places, be sure to be nice to those you run into. Think about how annoying you are or might be... to them; and if not you, then how annoying so many of those other ethnocentric (typically, American), if not ignorant, or privileged types, might be. Someone needs to counteract all that nonsense.

Consider how your comments may appear to them, when you complain about your travels, your food, those indigent people you run into, when after all, you are the intruder in their country; knocking their food or amenities and consider that the "low level of quality" you are receiving for your hard earned (if it was even earned) money, may be  far enough above their own level of existence, and that they will never experience what is killing you to deal with. If you see what I'm saying.

So go. Have fun. Experience Life to your heart's content. Just remember, at some point you are just loafing and doing not a thing but stroking your own ego, or maybe just avoiding the one thing we would all like to avoid: not growing up and acting like kids for our entire life. No responsibilities. No plan. No future.

So, worry not. After all, your job in adventuring around the world is easy. All you have to do for guilt free fun, is be nice and enjoy yourself.

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