Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Permancy is greatly overated.

It seems at times that life is about playing the game. You know the game. Go to the right school. Have the right degree. Work for the right company. Drive the right car. Live in the right neighborhood. Not to do any one leads to diminished your achievements.

I never have been one to follow the rules. In fact I have it on good authority that I don't play well with others. Never have I been considered a team player. Always considered following the herd a bad ideal. Therefore when I tell you that to do as I have done will lead to  failure based on the formula for success set by others I speak from experience.

Even so let me urge you to follow your own instinct. Define your own sense of success. for failure to do so will only lead to a bad end. /The ideal of he who dies with the most toys wins is bull shit.  All it means is that he who dies with the most toys ends up with the most crap.

My wife once told me that while I was not a gypsy for birth I was one in spirit. When she told me this we were talking about allegiance to a home church. She said that I was one of those who home was where ever I was at the time. She was right in so many ways.

In the movie "Heat" the professional thief character played by Robert DeNiro taught his protege Val Kilmer, and I paraphrase to  never be so involve that he couldn't walk away from it in 30 seconds. For me that has always been a way of living.

I guess that is why I like things like laptops vs. desktops. digital cameras vs. film because they are portable. When my wife bought me my first MP3 player and was able to download all my music.I immediately fell in love with it. I mean no big box of CD's rather one little memory device in my pocket ready to go where ever i went.

Years ago I read a SciFi short story by I think Greg Bear in where the character never identified by name and told in the first person of a traveler in the future that involved catastrophic environment, scavenging and trading. where people used technology both high  and low tech to carve out what ever little existence they needed. By it self the story was not dramatic but it was a life that could be.

On that same line John Dunning wrote a novella or short story publish and sold by the association of antiquarian booksellers to help pay for book events. It told of a old man who had partnered up with a mentally challenged man and were making their living as book scouts.  As the story ended with the old man telling his partner that it was time for them to move on down the road. Point?

The point is sometimes and particularly in these times we live in I am wondering if we need not to be more mobile. To be more gypsy like means to me to know when we need to pickup and move on down the road.  To develop life skills that do not tie us down to one location.

My father for all of his faults was a lot like that gypsy. Loyalty to a company or a community he didn't trust as they had often let him down. Rather for him loyalty was to his paycheck and when it ended he moved on. His occupations were what ever he needed to do. I can remember him being a trader, card player, cabinet maker, finish carpenter, furniture restorer, welder. and tool and dye maker. But mostly I remember him being able to take something that someone didn't want and trading it or selling it to someone who did want it for a few extra bucks. I was 16 before my mother made my Dad decide on one place to live at least until I graduated from high school.

So what am I trying to say?

It is just this. I do not believe the economy will ever return to the same level it was at one time.  I believe we need to be more adaptable. You may be a programmer today and a book store clerk tomorrow and next month you may be repairing tires and by the end of the year you may be working the flea market circuit. Whatever it takes to put a roof over your head that night and food in your stomach that day.

You may live in a Mac Mansion in a suburb today but a apartment tomorrow downtown in the big city  and a travel trailer next month  in a RV park and a small house in small town by years end.

Bottom line don't lock yourself down mentally to thinking you don't have options. As it has been said think out side of the box and that will be the way we survive the times to come.

Current Reading

 I have been reading Robert Reich's book "After Shock" rather slowly for me. I find myself stopping and going back to reread passages to make sure I understand his point.  Not because it is difficult but rather I think he is saying something important and needs to be said and I want to be sure I understand so I do not get it wrong.

Basically government intervention to redistribute wealth by use of taxation of the ultra wealthy and expansion of earned credit to include more of what in past were considered middle class. Again I haven't finish the book and I will try to give a more detailed report


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