A Desire for a simple life…

Isn’t it perplexing that the progress of today’s society leaves one feeling empty and unfulfilled? What with speeding traffic, cell phones, pagers and fully booked time schedules we are left at the end of the day wondering what it is we are doing all of this for. At least I am. Is it for the money, the prestige, the ability to say at the end of my life that “I was able to work to the point of exhaustion every single day of my life for these few material possessions?” What material possessions… a home that I don’t even own… a piece of land that I rent from the state and must ask permission before I make any changes? At what cost? What price to I pay and do those who crave time with me pay for my successes? Can I truly call that which I accomplish a success? Is it successful to go to bed at the end of the day feeling that everyone else owns my time but me? I have approximately fifteen wakeful hours per day, that’s seventy five waking hours per work week. My employer owns forty five hours of my time not including the hour drive to and from work… Of that fifty five total hours of employer owned time – ninety five percent of the earnings are contributed to the utilities companies, the mortgage, the bills, the groceries, the taxes… gasoline for the car so I can return to work the next day… and the list goes on and on… The remaining twenty hours of wakeful time in my Monday through Friday work week are spent doing all that needs done for those who do or don’t work such as laundry, dishes, house cleaning, cooking and tending other daily chores like milking the cow, feeding the livestock and on and on… Mind you, I don’t mind working hard for what I have. I simply don’t want to be told that I have to be part of the ‘rat race’ to exist today. However, looking at how society exists at this present time one must… I must play the game.
Whatever happened to the simpler life, the ability to purchase a piece of property and truly work the land to see a benefit at the end of the season? It’s a trade off really… I trade that ability to my employer for a pay check. Instead of planting my garden and slaughtering my cow I trade that pay check to the grocery store for my food. Food that is processed and irradiated to last longer on the shelf than it would had it come from my garden or my gun… I trade my pay check for the right to live in a home by paying the mortgage and the utilities. Can I do with out the utilities? Sure I could, but society would deem me an unfit parent to have my home lit by candle and cook my dinner on an open flame each evening, besides… who has the time? Could I do with out the home? I could… but the state won’t let me live on undeveloped land. It’s against county code. I could build a rustic cabin, put in a septic tank and a well all powered by solar energy but that still wouldn’t suffice… because then I have to pay and maintain that which keeps me in good standing for county code… back to the rat race I go…
So, it is with these thoughts, a heavy heart and frustration that I accept my role in today’s society all the while closing my eyes each night dreaming of something simpler…

N.J. Sparks
3/17/2005

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