I was reading a post on “Goin’ RV Boondocking” and it got me to thinking.  Why do we, nearly to a person, get a job and work for the man?  Why do we spend 30 years or more slaving away trying to save enough money to pursue our dreams and indulge our passions?  Why don’t we do just do that from the start?  Why do we engage in a career that many of us come to loathe over the decades while postponing what we really want to do with our lives?

In a country that still, barely, rewards self-reliance, risk taking and entrepreneurship, why do so many of us opt for the security of a 9 to 5 job at Mega-Corp?  Is that it?  Security has become so important to us that we are willing to work our lives away making some other guy rich?  We’ll slave away hoping that nothing bad ever happens to us, but if it did we’d be covered in some manner.

Ben Franklin once said,  “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”.  But we do exactly what Franklin warned against every day.  We work a job we don’t like, to get money, health insurance, a pension, etc.  We give up our freedom to purchase a little safety.

Look, I am as guilty of this as the next guy.  I can’t remember how many times I thought it would be great to open a business, write a novel, or work as a graphic artist, but I didn’t want to give up my steady paycheck and pension.  I mean, I’m glad I have my pension but I’m still counting on the State of Nevada to live up to its promise to continue paying me.  If they don’t, I’m screwed!  That’s not freedom.

I’ll admit that society compels us to find a career and settle in.  My oldest son is a freshman in high school and everything is geared towards him getting a good paying job.  Not finding his passion, not living his dreams.  Get good grades, apply for scholarships, go to college, get a job and fit in.  I think many of us know what poor decisions our 17-year-old selves made about our career paths, but high school kids are being told everyday to make that decision or they’ll be a failure.

We are also inundated with demands that we buy this and buy that.  I mean, how did we ever live without all this stuff taking up room in our house, mostly unused and gathering dust?  I mean if you live in a giant house, drive expensive cars, go on lavish, but rushed, vacations, and own every gadget known to man, you’re labeled a patriot.  You’re living the American dream, stressing over your crappy job you have so you can pay off the debt you incurred to buy all that stuff.

I guess my point is we should be living life to the fullest from the moment we become an adult, not trying to save enough money to get there someday.  We should open that business, write that book, create that art now, not wait until we retire.  But our society just isn’t built that way anymore.   We are expected to earn money and buy goods, even if we don’t need them.  We are expected to fit in, earn our keep, support our families and do it in the way we’re told.

I am trying to break out of this mold, as are many other people, including Brian over at “Goin’ RV Boondocking.”   I just wonder why it took me, and so many others, so long to realize the truth that life is about more than making a buck or feeling secure.  You gotta take risks and live on the edge now and then to really feel alive.  Maybe most of us just have to learn that lesson the hard way.  I suppose, like Franklin tried to tell us, we get what we deserve.

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