WORK-LIFE BALANCE / AUG. 06, 2014
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Stealing Our Self-Worth

I am sitting at the table while one of the female dogs rests underneath my feet. The propane man has been by, earlier. First they sent out a guy with two tanks on the back of a tow-truck. Because of the constant rains, and the shit field right in between our house and the neighbor’s, the truck absolutely could not be steered into the thick mud. A second man was out, later, in a pick-up. He informed us that they were our new providers for gas … and that if there was anything he could do for us, in the future, we could just call him.

Also he wanted $100 by the end of the week.

Another payment. On top of a payment. On top of another.

We are swallowed in paying for things. And now they just show up at our houses and tell us what we owe. Don’t pay? Men will show up at your door; your credit will suffer; your life could potentially be uprooted … now, more than ever before, we are paying for our rights to privilege.

And the delusion of taking things for granted is parroted everywhere. In addition, we are so afraid of losing ourselves in debt and ridicule and embarrassment, that we are manipulated into belief and action. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. We’ve been embedded into the social structure. We’ve been taught to measure our self-worth by how much money we make, what we do for a living, and how prepared we are for enacting out our plans for the future.

(There’s no telling, though, what happens when our plans go awry.)

It’s been conditioned into our consciousness, from birth. We do what we see other people doing, or what they’ve done before us. And then we grow up. Eventually we hit a wall, something that teaches us something. No one is immune to being knocked on their asses, whether metaphorically, spiritually, monetarily or physically.

When this happens, most people respond in similar ways: they feel that all is lost, they can’t possibly go on or turn things around. They give up on themselves. And their self-worth is lost to the demands of a society that never stops demanding something from us.

This is what it means to “count your blessings.” And that very adage from time immemorial, through the centuries -- from the philosophers wearing heavy robes and pointing at the stars to the natives living in harmony with the land -- has been buried in the soil of a continent that is forgetting what it means to be happy. Of course, it is the symbolism of working for our homes and livelihoods that carries us along. Showing gratitude for that is slowly and silently becoming a lost art.

Unfortunately we need something terrible to happen to us in order to realize all the good things that make life worth living seem more rich and invigorating. As we age, our souls are demoralized into putting ourselves to work. We forget how we felt as children, being awed at the sight of the sun pouring in through the windows, sending its light billions of miles across the galaxy. Our attention is turned outward. And we lose those sparks.

But is that our choice? Can’t we adjust to the lives that we want by staying true to ourselves?

Whoever can appreciate each new day is winning the real battle on this planet. That is the best gift any of us can ever receive.

However, a great many of us have to work to survive. And sometimes survival isn’t as pretty as Mickey Mouse would have you believe. Have you ever seen those Discovery channel shows, where the cheetah runs down the antelope? 

We have to believe that we are capable of more than being chased down by cheetahs. We have to believe that we are capable of anything. The borders and the limits which we give ourselves will only exist as the barrier between the changes that we need to grow and thrive. The status quo requires you to run on the treadmill your entire life.

But life is not meant to be lived on a wheel that goes nowhere.

We need something more than that, for our souls and for our sanity. Future trends and new heroes are necessary to push further the envelope of our manipulated society. We can adhere to these markets without losing sight of who we are, as people. Change should come from human beings. Not from cheetahs, nor from jackals or hyenas. At least not the kind of change which guides us to living better lives.

If we don’t play the game then we will miss out on certain opportunities of resolve and empowerment. Only dogs and cats get to lay around, sniffing assholes all day. But they will never know what it feels like to reach inside and do something that surprises even themselves…

Human beings are a special, and sometimes delicate, species. We need help and healing in order to combat our daily woes and relationships. Sooner or later, we begin to find out who we are, what we want, and how we want to go about achieving those ends. Most humans were born with something very unique to the universe: a conscious spirit that has a sense of morality.

This is being manipulated and subverted. For profiteering purposes.

And there are a growing number of people that have taken on these certain ideals as true and right, successful and prestigious. But what those people don’t realize is how many heads they have to trample over, in order to rise to the top.

So the next time you feel like your head is being walked upon, just realign your thoughts and remember that you are human. Forget all the shit. As long as you are open and willing, the rest will take care of itself….

Then you begin to see what you are made of. Shit, I might as well end it this way: are you a cheetah or an antelope?

Right on.

Now about that gas man…

 

Image Sourced: Cheetah

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