Sophia is an everyperson. Her life is comfortable and follows a predictable routine. Her home is cozy and full of memories. It’s in a nice part of town and she likes her neighbors. There is just enough upkeep needed for her to stay busy and allow her mind a break from life’s many obligations.
Her car isn’t all that much to look at but it’s reliable, fun, useful to her lifestyle and she likes knowing its little nuances like having to jiggle the compartment door where she keeps her sunglasses and having to hold down the middle radio button for an extra second before it changes stations.
Her work isn’t terribly fulfilling but it’s reasonably enjoyable none the less. She gets along fine with her colleagues and even enjoys the odd drink at the end of the day or lunch out with the gals sometimes.
If Sophia’s life was to be the cover photo on a magazine it would look like nothing to complain about. Sophia doesn’t need, or even want, a more prestigious life. But lately, even though she has no desire for anything more, she has been feeling like something is missing.
She’s been questioning what her daily toiling is accomplishing and noticing inconsistencies between what is portrayed as “the good life” and where her desires are actually leading her. Sophia is one of the billions waking to discrepancies between who she is as a person is and what she does as a member of society and she is finding it increasingly difficult (overwhelming at times) to ignore these questions.
What’s going on here? Where is my life leading? Am I here just to spend my days maintaining my stuff and going on vacation whenever I can afford it? I suppose I wouldn’t mind a few items to spruce up my wardrobe but for the most part I don’t want to accumulate any more stuff. What am I working towards?
I will need to replace my car in about five years. By that time my salary will have increased by pretty much exactly what a car will cost. I might be able to accumulate a few extra bucks in the meantime but it doesn’t really leave much of a buffer for any emergencies? Right now I’m healthy and self sufficient but what if something happens to me that I can’t maintain this income? Or what if a family member needs me to care for them or pay for something?
Everything seems comfortable now, but really, if I look at my situation objectively, I’m just barely above a minimum standard and I am nowhere near any type of security should something out of the ordinary pop up. The only security I really have is my life being uneventful.
And that’s where my plight begins. I can only experience security if I don’t experience life. And the only way for me to get out and soak up all life has to offer is by forfeiting security. How can anyone be asked to choose between those? Why is it a one-or-the-other scenario? I want both. I want to feel safe while at the same time have freedom and opportunity to experience the world and explore all that I can about myself. I don’t want any more ‘things’ but I do want more.
I’ve looked into various options to get ahead but they all lead to the same place – sacrifice. The opposite of what I want.
I could take night classes to upgrade my certifications or even learn a new skill entirely to boost my pay rate. But that would mean money out of my savings to pay for the classes, time out of my evenings to attend and it would end up putting strain on Dave and Mary to have to increase my salary. Why would I want to shift my burden onto someone else?
I could take on a second job. I would be learning new skills while adding to my savings. That’s great, except, again I would have to take time out of my life, miss out on social activities and probably burn myself out in the process making my the life I have now less enjoyable.
Entrepreneurship is another option. I’d certainly be learning business skills, and in exchange for any extra time taken up by running the business I would be facing new challenges and pushing my boundaries. This option seems like the best way to increase my standard of living while at the same time growing as a person. However, like everything else, it still requires me to put my own risk up front with absolutely no guarantee of the return I want.
It’s a ridiculous paradox where the only chance for me to enhance my life is if I give up more than the enhancement.
And how about those feel good rags to riches stories you hear about? I’ve looked into a few of them hoping to find some kind of common denominator that would increase my chances of striking it rich. In all cases, working hard was not the only piece of the puzzle. Timing, connections, specific combination of skills, a certain ability to recognise opportunity and countless other variables all contributed to these Cinderella Stories with many of the factors only known about in hindsight. There is no tactical formula to predict success. If there was, obviously everyone would be doing it.
I’ve been on this earth and played in this game long enough to know the plain fact that the system we use to govern our society is not designed for people to thrive. It may not even be meant for people to benefit at all. Somehow it has become a societal system where the individual human is expected to supply all of the risk and effort up front only to have most or all of it disappear into some vacuum. Any benefit that comes to people seems only to be an unfortunate by product. Like exhaust from a tailpipe.
I work eight hours a day, make more than a thousand dollars for the company during that time and I get $120 back (before taxes!) in wages. Some of the revenue is taken as profit by the owners but the majority is eaten up just to keep the business open. All I get is the leftovers, just the dregs. But without my efforts the revenue couldn’t have been made in the first place. I’m being used.
As I see it the best our current system can do is scrounge together a few resources to offer a bit of assistance, in the form of medical care, welfare, emergency services and other basics, only when I am desperate and at my whit’s end. There is nothing to help me grow and reach my potential. It’s like I’m cared for only as far as I can keep working at a job that retains 90% of my effort. What’s the benefit to me? Just keeping alive?
If our societal system was meant to benefit average people like me, we wouldn’t be struggling, we’d be thriving. No?
Recently I started down a few rabbit holes about society, money, medical discoveries, secret societies, spirituality and even the history of our civilisation and how the facts don’t add up to what most of us would have learned in school.
From logically putting these pieces together it seems that the struggle so prevalent in the world today is not as organic and haphazard as it seems. There are people who actually benefit from our struggle. There are people who benefit from us being sick. And there are people who benefit from us not having room to grow and expand as human beings.
There are huge incentives, in the form of money, prestige, fame and the like, for people to engage in this system. The prospect of learning the holy word of business, abiding by the rules, playing the game long enough and sacrificing oneself sufficiently promises attainment of a lifetime of riches. It was the story I fell for too, which ironically, started me on this path and led me to realise that it’s just a story.
I find it tough to blame the people who do perpetuate the system though. They’re in the same boat as us. It’s just they’ve been given opportunity to gain more than the rest of us. These people have families and loved ones to think about too and I suspect they are following their own internal drive to grow and provide for those around them. You can’t blame someone for that. I say good for them. But it needs to be good for everyone.
So, the problem is not so much the people who benefit from our struggle, although it would be nice if they had the courage to share. The problem lies in the antiquated system of competition that allows one person to gain only if another looses.
We don’t live in the medieval times anymore, with grass roof huts and mud cart paths. We live in the most prosperous time in recorded history. At this very moment there is more than enough of everything for everyone. We have storage facilities and transportation well established and a twelve year old could probably design a distribution app that would see everyone on earth receive what they need. Plus, when you consider 3D printing and all the sustainable materials, manufacturing and farming available today, the system we still use is undoubtedly so so SO far out of date. It is based on scarcity and we have long passed that threshold.
It’s this incessant drive to accumulate money that keeps everything lopsided. If the things we needed were distributed equitably, as the human body (and indeed every other system in the known universe) does, then maybe we could finally get over this lunacy of measuring ourselves by comparing arbitrary pixels on a screen and on with the business of living!
The way I see it money can only do one thing – alleviate the limit it set in the first place. Acquiring a kayak, for example, is only available to you by handing over money, but it is only unavailable to you because that very same money stands in the way. Money is the positive and negative integer in the same equation. It is moot and irrelevant because there are more than enough kayaks for everyone who wants one.
This whole scenario feels so icky and stifling. I know we can do better than this. I know there is more. I have more. So much more! There is so much I have to offer the world. Or at least explore about myself. I just don’t have the opportunity. I have no option but to work my average job in order to barely maintain my average existence.
And I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this either. My neighbor Tony is an incredible cook but he’s stuck working at that god forsaken factory pulling a lever that a robot should be doing. His talents are totally being wasted. And my brother, he is such a great listener. He knows and learns so much just by genuinely hearing what people are telling him that the advice he offers seems to come from some kind of mystical realm. With just a few pointed words he can change your whole outlook on a situation. These people, and thousands (millions!) of others should be free to develop their skills and put them to use in the world. And not just because of the “should” of it. If you were a big business tycoon wouldn’t you want from an employee all that s/he has to offer? Why would you want an unenthusiastic doozer who doesn’t really care about you or the work?
Well you know what?! I’m fed up. I’m fed up with being held back. I’m fed up with this stupid antiquated system that keeps me from growing and learning and exploring the world and myself.
Not only am I fed up. I’m ready to do something about it. And I don’t mean volunteering at the soup kitchen or donating five dollars to a cause. Saving the whales doesn’t cut it anymore. If I want a better world it needs a complete overhaul of the system that creates and perpetuates harming the whales in the first place.
I’m not afraid either. I’m at the point where I need to make a binary decision – either continue to support the system that holds me back or work towards an alternative. I’m not a pushover. And I’m not a loose cannon either. I am smart. I won’t be careless with where I put my time and efforts.
Even though I know it will be a long road to travel, I see this change as inevitable. But if I’m going to take any risk for a better life for myself I have a better chance at the unknown than I do at the system fundamentally designed to keep me struggling.
I will not let myself become yet another person on their deathbed with only one regret – everything I didn’t do. I am going to spend my energy on something that may give the next generation a chance. Even if that chance is small the odds are still better than a system designed to suck the life out of me and everyone else after me.
I am aware that this will be a long road and I may or may not even live long enough to bask in the accomplishment but this lunacy has to end. A generation has to step up at some point and say enough is enough.
Starting today I will be traveling towards a better life for me and a better social system for all.
And I am ready to grow as a human being while I travel this road. I am so much more. I am not afraid. I am ready.
Activate Us is a project for all the Sophias in the world. It practices an economic model called Aikido Economics that unlocks financial wealth previously siphoned off by the Capitalist Shareholder model, rerouting it back to the people and businesses they work in.
Activate Us also practices a collaborative social structure far more dynamic than the limiting hierarchal style. Organisations are directed by the people who work in them, and evolve based on their needs and the needs of the community and environment they are a part of.
This union – of a more powerful economic model with the guiding principles of intuition – combine to form a bridge, taking us from the groundless logic of our current Finance Based Economy to a Resource Based Economy much more in tune with human consciousness and natural environmental rhythms.
The Bridge is altogether more superior than any socio-economic model in modern history. It balances responsibility with prosperity by fostering and exploring humanity while increasing our standard of living along the way.
When RBE is commonplace Activate Us will have done its job and “the Bridge” will also become obsolete.
Sophia is right to want more. Because there is more. And the time has come to Activate Us all.