As I was trying to do some research on my next course these days I ran into this comment on social media: “It’s funny how the economy is about to collapse because people are only buying what they need.”
Not only that I found there’s so much truth to it, but it also made me think of s
o many other aspects of how we choose to live our lives and how it actually impacts us. At a very basic level we don’t really need more than shelter, food and emotional safety and connection. And yet, the vast majority of our existence we spend procuring stuff we don’t really need, committing to work above healthy limits to make happen objectives that will not make a palpable difference in the quality of our daily reality and worrying about not getting that stuff or losing it if we already acquired some of it.
Reducing everything to basic needs again, it seems that most of our stress and striving for more goes against optional features to our lifestyle. This is an important differentiation: it is not a life, it is a lifestyle we are after.
The stress is at an all-time peak, mental health is more impacted in these times than ever before and our emotional landscape is getting deserted and poorer with every day we dedicate ourselves to support the lifestyle. Little that we understand that we are actually trading basic need resources for lifestyle choices. And when things are obviously off balance we over-commit to bringing in more so that we can “treat” ourselves.
The Corona virus crisis is an unfortunate happening. Lots of people fear for their health and survival, the isolation pushes many to the edge and brings out the ugly in us. The economy is not looking rosy and we all bite our fingers trying to picture what’s coming.
And yet, I wish we could all understand the amazing lesson we are offered here. Go back to basics! Understand what you really need. Not only that this time is teaching the distinction between necessary and optional, but it gives us the chance (painful sometimes) to have a closer look to ourselves. When you’re lone there’s little room to hide; eventually you need to look yourself in the eyes and admit to thins you’ve been avoiding for so long grace to the busyness of the daily schedule.
What would a simple life feel like? What if you didn’t have to worry about mortgage on a big house? What if you didn’t have to work 12 hours a day in a job that you hate but you “need”? What if you didn’t have to buy all that food, throw in the garbage a part of it and fight to lose the weight after eating it? And so on.
What would it feel like to be who you always wanted to be? What if you did what touches you deeply and makes you feel authentic, motivated, valuable and needed? What if all of us did this?
I understand the degree of utopia in my description but I wonder how many of us will get out of isolation assimilating at least a small crumb of the huge, amazing lesson we are graciously offered.
The world needs better people. This is our time to learn how to be grateful for how much we have, how much potential we have individually and collectively and start a more courageous life, based in authenticity, truth and service.