Happy Sunday, wise readers! My dad recently introduced me to a reggae artist named Mike Love. He is from Hawaii and he is wicked talented. His music speaks to me on a personal level, so I thought I would share “Permanent Holiday” with you. Reggae is linked with the hippie culture (even if the Rastafarians wish it wasn’t). This got me thinking about my own philosophies. On some level the hippie philosophy speaks to my core beliefs about work, life, love, politics, and money.
So, let’s talk a little about work. I am extremely fortunate to have the ability to work for myself. But this is not an option for a lot of people. The reason I like Mike Love’s music so much is because he encourages us to get back to who we really are. No matter your job or position, we are all people. And lucky for us penny pinchers and student-loan-strapped millennials, we really need very little to live fulfilling and happy lives.
Unfortunately, American society tells us otherwise. We are incessantly bombarded with marketing and advertising. We live in a society that tells us that our individual success can be a tangible and measurable thing—how much stuff do you have; how much money do you make; what kind of car do you drive; how big is your house? I very much doubt that anyone ever laid on their death bed and said, “I wish I had bought that [new car, bigger house, more shoes].”
The reason for this phenomenon is that material possessions can never satiate the human spirit. We aren’t built to live such a materialistic life. We thrive on companionship, new experiences, community and purpose. Most of us are missing one or more of these things in our lives and if you have not guessed by now, missing any of these things does not make us better citizens of the world. Rather, this loss of human nature keeps us from gaining valuable perspective, developing empathy, and it handicaps our ability to move past our own prejudices and presumptions.
We work tirelessly in jobs that we hate. We fear our bosses’ irrational mood swings and the dreaded, “I hope you don’t have any plans this weekend” speech. It always seems like their lack of planning and managing their time and projects perpetually disrupts YOUR life. And cleaning up the mess your boss leaves behind at the end of each week on your supposed “days off” is not a foreign concept to you. But, you deserve better. We all do.
My philosophy on work has always been, “Work to live, don’t live to work.” Mike Love sums it up perfectly when he says:
10,000 years of captivity, we must eventually open up our eyes and see
They’re manipulating we. With so much uncertainty and so many mysteries,
Why are so few questioning the unnatural state of things.
It’s a nightmare, we’re living in a nightmare, everyone’s living so scared
They’re virtually unaware of this fear that rules their lives, occupies, consumes their minds
This fear of bankruptcy, financial impotency. It’s money, money , money.
It’s all this digital currency. It’s all this monopoly money that keeps us from ever being free.
And so it seems we’ll be in this prison for life
Cause If we keep buying then they’ll keep selling the lies
And so it’s up to I & I
I won’t be manipulated, mind-controlled and inundated,
I will seek the revelation, make my life a celebration.
I’m gonna be the change I’m seeking, manifest the words I’m speaking
I refuse to be imprisoned I will make my own decisions
For all of the music aficionados, you will be fascinated by how talented he is. For all the over-stressed workaholics who just need a break, take ten minutes to relax and listen to a beautiful song. You deserve it. And next time you feel stressed, feel free to repeat this life mantra to yourself (courtesy of my wonderful dad), “Work like no one is watching, dance like it’s going to hurt, and make love like you need the money.”
Peace and love.