Essentials & Basics of the Good Life… 

Anybody out there remember rotary dial phones? How about dial-up internet and AOL’s patented “you’ve got mail” notification as you logged on? For those of us north of 40 years young, we recall a time when we had direct access to far less. No high speed anything. No smart phones. No cell phones at all! Less immediate Entertainment, Stimulation and instant Muse. And we liked it!! That’s right I’m going old-timer on you. Not that I have any right to whatsoever. I do not. But I do remember a time when there was less distraction, noise or what is now commonly experienced as Diffusion. In so many ways we’re “checked out” as a population, fixated on our screens. This is not news. Focused on material rewards, most of what we’re tuned into is the instant gratification associated with attention and that fleeting moment of artificial high that ensues, before we return to our ordinary life. So how do we define ordinary? And how did it receive this negative label that more closely resembles taking a shower with your clothes on? If that’s ordinary, then how do we define Extraordinary? Extra-Ordinary. Isn’t this more of what we think of as, boring? What we’re gradually being force fed right now is truly extraordinary. That’s right, Extra-Ordinary: A return to more basic core values that we’ve had access to all along. So why haven’t we embraced them to this point? Because no one or no-thing has forced us to. Until now… We all need to be reminded from time to time. Our current reality check is alerting us of what we’ve had access to all along: Core Values, and how they allow us to return “home” to an earlier time, so to speak. Forced away from more shallow pursuits, we have the chance to appreciate that the grass was always greener on this side. What’s commonly referred to as, SIMPLICITY. The basics of life: Family, friends and a dinner table to share with them. Who knew? Many of us still do not and will not, until this global crisis eventually advances to the point of scaring the humanity out of us. Fear motivates. We’re witnessing this shift right before our eyes. 

What is it we’ve been chasing after anyway? Bigger house? Nicer car? Higher paying job? If you’ve recently succeeded in any of these pursuits how much better do you feel as a result? Given what we often sacrifice in these pursuits, does it still feel so amazing? Or does it more closely resemble that treadmill with laundry hanging on it you bought as part of a New Year’s resolution? How long before you crave still more? How much is enough? We’re wired to simply want more. More everything! Money, Attention, Influence and the comparisons that accompany modern incentives. But when is it actually enough?  Once we acknowledge a stated threshold, we’re free to genuinely enjoy the process of any undertaking without measuring or comparing the results. We have arrived, in a sense. And then it hits us: We genuinely enjoy the process more than the results. NOW, we can actually create opportunities and ideas that build the foundations to a more meaningful kind of “wealth”. Sustainable achievement that allows us to truly grow and evolve by being anchored to a specific code of our own values. For now, let’s just focus on basics like the present moment and why it’s as good as it gets. Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Especially in the world in which we currently reside.  

 For example, what’s for dinner tonight? Who’ll be part of the melee in your kitchen? The more the merrier as they say. (Obviously, this is restricted right now due to social distancing and isolation measures), but who can you invite over, once society returns to some semblance of normalcy?  In addition to immediate family, maybe that neighbor or brother in law that drives you nuts? Yeah, I know them too. Invite ‘em over. They’re “family”, extended though it may be, in the spirit of the message here. The takeaway from this dialogue lies in our ability to expand the so-called “family” within our community or neighborhood. Engage them in conversation, as they share thoughts that are in stark contrast to yours and let it all truly slide. Opinions are a dime a dozen, nothing more than demonstrations of the right to shape our own. Deal with it, and understand you may have something to offer them. It ain’t just about you. Notice the differences in yourself in this exercise and feel that smirk cross your face as you attempt not to laugh. This type of conduct is contagious. Others will follow suit for reasons they can’t even explain. Laughter makes people wanna be part of anything. Post tonight’s menu and extend invitations to people who would otherwise be home wondering why the hell you’d invite them to anything. For those willing, hand out assignments, pot-luck style. No item too small, everyone’s got something to offer. That’s the whole point. Besides, when everyone ‘brings something to the table’ it’s easier to tolerate their nonsense, as we grow our capacity to see the bigger picture and realize that we may not be any picnic either. It won’t happen overnight, but it is possible. Given pending economic circumstances, we’re already trending in this direction. Why not embrace it and initiate a new concept? Besides, it’s so much easier to do anything when it’s your idea. And the only thing more difficult than embracing reality right now is attempting to run from it. This is our chance to welcome more challenging circumstances as a community. Take it and run with it… 

-Buddy Kane


Posted by Buddy Kane on


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