A Case of the “I Wants”

Symbols of Social Status, Hutong

Symbols of Social Status, Hutong

Society’s version of a good life is to live well. Live well seems to translate to: make lots of money, connect with wealthy and famous people, have perfect children who go to the best schools, and make sure you build a financial empire and legacy to leave to your children and grandchildren.  Nice vision if you only drink society’s cool-aide and don’t look for any gaping cracks in the definition.

 It doesn’t seem there’s much room in that view for life happening in a way that says it’s ok to be a carpenter, make the decision to be a stay at home mom, be a  firefighter or a librarian. Not much room to simply prioritize and  focus on your family, a better community and a defined spiritual life no matter what your social status.

 When I finally took time to examine my beliefs, upbringing, and life experiences after a long career of chasing the ‘good life’ I come to other conclusions. Even though some of the professional things I did put me in the ‘good life’ category I also realized that it wasn’t real, wasn’t enough, and contained a very large dose of ego and delusion.

 Now, for instance,  I try to be aware of when I’m using money exclusively as a way to provide entertainment and instead  choose to use my brain, my hands, my body to see what I experience and see what my heart discovers that comes out my mouth…… should I choose to speak.

 Also, I don’t want anything to do with war or killing, I am willing to make judgments on principle and live with the consequences and gossip be gone!

 I’m willing to be an ordinary person, totally honest, especially to myself, and be simple, hidden, quiet and small.

 Finally I want to live an interesting, meaningful life…… as I define it.

 What are your definitions of your good life?

 

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2 Responses to “A Case of the “I Wants””

  1. bobritzema Says:

    What the Old Testament prophet Micah said about the things God desires of us also serves pretty well as a description of the good life: it is to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

  2. Zen mind is satisfied with a sunset and a thimble full of tea.

    That simple line is one of the greatest treasures my zen quest has bestowed upon me.

    It made me realize that all I need is air and liberty.

    I feel it deep in my soul now. I could be abandoned in a frozen wasteland or starving in a desert. I am at peace always.

    The trappings of this human world are largely unnatural, manufactured, invented.

    Who decided lawyers were better off than farmers?

    My friend the lawyer is paying over $2000 a month on her daughter’s Manhattan apartment while she goes to med school.

    Her other daughter is a heroin addict. Life is a thread.

    My daughter is a farmer, and I couldn’t be happier for her. If it wasn’t against my grain I’d say I was envious. Okay, I am.

    She wakes at home and stays there to work. How’s that for a commute? She spends the day with her beau and her dogs, moving through fields of flowers, working in the summer sun.
    She is a beautiful thing in a beautiful life. How much money do they make? I don’t care, and neither do they.

    A definition of success? For a trained racing greyhound, it’s going all the way around an oval, quickly. Fastest is best.
    Run around in a circle and return to the place you started. Repeat this over and over, day in and day out. Not running through fields or woods, not stopping to smell everything that has a scent. Not chasing real rabbits, and never catching one.

    For the trainers, and maybe even for brainwashed & rewarded dogs, they call this success. I fear there are many brainwashed & rewarded people in this world, going in circles.

    From my perspective, the poor animal is deprived of the experience of this real world. Good, bad, beautiful or ugly.

    I strive to make my dog’s life a…well, a dog’s life. We walk together, without a leash, without speaking, through our fields and woods. He is free to run and chase and smell as he pleases, as is his nature.

    When he wants to go out, we open the door and let him. When he wants to come in, he knocks on the door or barks.

    “Don’t you worry about the road?” folks ask. “Don’t you worry he could be struck by a car and killed?”

    Of course I do. I’m not an idiot!

    But life on a chain? In a pen? Going ’round in circles?

    Either one of us may be struck and killed, y’know.

    It is the price of liberty.

    Be at peace,

    Paz

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