When people ask why we moved to Ecuador. One of the first things that always comes out of our mouths is la vida tranquila.
Life is busy in Los Angeles. Anywhere in the United States, for that matter. The hustle is part of the culture. The basis at this point. Fueling Capitalism in the exact sense it means to. Keeping customers so exhausted and dulled by the never-ending ebbs and flows that even the most shocking headlines rarely garner more than a fifteen second heated response.
School shootings. Abortion is murder. Police brutality.
And so it goes.
I could go on forever about the damage that is being done to United States citizens at the expense of a society that is based on the financial enslavement of it’s people. About how there is no left or right. Only above. Filthy rich and wanting to keep it that way at any cost. But today, what I’m going to touch on is the impact this lifestyle has on relationships. And that the very fabric of our existence is dissolving under the weight of the perceived necessity for the unattainable, undefinable more.
Back to that life is busy part. At bare minimum, you’re likely to be working 40 hours a week. Again, don’t get me started on working conditions and legislation in the United States. It’s pathetic. No paid parental leave. No caps on maximum hours. No regard for living wages. And taxes…
It’s not a system built for people to succeed. But here you have it.
So you work a lot. Likely more than 40 hours a week. Maybe you get free lunch once a week and the occasional free t-shirt if you’re lucky. Factor in the things you need to do. Taking care of life. Paying bills and shit. Your car needs an oil change. That pain in your x,y,z that you probably should go to the doctor for.
At the same time, you’re probably trying to eat healthy. But on a budget. Work out occasionally. Keep your house in some semblance of order. Your email box clean-ish. Remember your mom’s birthday. To get more dog food. Not to mention if you have kids. Because that’s a whole other ballgame.
By the time you’re done doing the deeds. Maybe you can carve out a bit of time where you actually get to decide how you’re going to spend your time. And let’s be honest, those few precious hours are probably going to be the ultimate in self-serving.
You deserve it.
I’m not saying you don’t.
It’s just the unfortunate flip side of the that fabric I was talking about. The one that blinds us to the needs of others at our own expense. Leads to isolation. Add to that a culture relying more on social media than interactions in real life. And shit can start to get weird.
A recent study showed that the greatest indicator for happiness rests on the quality of our relationships.
But we’re forced to prioritize the relationship we have with ourselves and our families as a mechanism for survival within a tight constraint. An idea that is defining modern America leading to a mindset that has been trained to focus on intrinsic benefit across a multitude of constructs to attain maximum benefit to self.
Like I said, weird.
Because then instead of what can I do for you. It becomes what you can you do for me. And is that worth more than what I can be doing otherwise.
As someone who has moved around a lot. The ways in which relationships serve our greater purpose are of particular interest. Whether it be one amazing conversation that changes you forever with someone you’ll never see again. Or someone who doesn’t quite tick all the boxes, but is fine enough to pass the hours with. A difficult personality that you just can’t seem to kick. Or that feeling that someone might just be a lifer.
If each interaction is pursued from the perspective that others are only of value so far as they can potentially provide it to ourselves. We’re all fucked. It should really be the other way around. Life of service. What we can bring to others.
I don’t know.
This was rambling. But real. A hope for the future. Or something like that.