It wasn’t until I had a chance to take a good look at this photo that I realized how very busy the photo, and our lives are. Poles, trees, wires, cars; it’s a jungle out there. And yet, everyday we venture into the hustle and bustle of our increasingly busy lives. We’re achievers if we hustle and bustle, and make money. We’re professionals, if we make money, and have degrees. When meeting someone, one of the first questions often asked is, what do you do?
I wonder what would happen if that question went in a different direction than we’re used to…..
Jane: Hi, my name’s Jane.
John: Hi, Jane, my name is John.
Jane: What do you do, John?
Jane: Oh, haha…no, I mean, what do you do for a living?
John: A living? I breathe, first and foremost. I try to eat health-sustaining, nutritional food, and drink adequate amounts of water. I stay close to my loved ones, and keep connected with my community. I try to be in nature whenever possible. What do you do for living?
Jane: You’re too funny. I’m a sales rep. for a large corporation. I work 12-17 hours a day. The pay is good, and I have a nice vacation package. I’m like fourth in my………(John interrupts)
John: That’s what you do to live! When do you have time to really live? That sounds like a lot of hustle and bustle. When’s the last time you went for a stroll with a friend? Or sat on your porch and took the time to hear what your neighbors are up too?
Jane: Now wait a minute – John, is it? – I don’t judge you, so don’t judge me! I make a lot of money doing what I do, as well I should with the degrees I have. I’m an asset to society and what I do with my time is none of your business.
John: I apologize, Jane. When you asked me what I did for a living, I had no idea you wanted to know in what way I used my time to make money. Money comes, and it goes. It has never truly brought me the kind of happiness that produces living. Sure, I have income, but it’s not my main focus, and since I rarely experience the kind of living I enjoy, by purchasing something, the amount of money I make is secondary to the kind of living I make of my life.
Jane lowers her head, humbled, and lacking words to reply. Most of the time she’s thinking about her job, and how to get there on time, and who she can network with along the way, much more than how she actually lives.
She was about to continue the conversation, in hopes of gaining insight on how John has managed to survive in this mode of living, when she saw her bus approaching.
Jane: Look John, I’m sorry too, that we got off on the wrong foot. I’d love to chat more, but I’ve got a bus to catch, you know, so I can get to work on time. Maybe we’ll meet again.
And off she ran to catch her bus.
John continued his early morning stroll, excited to be approaching Mrs. Levin’s house. She is always on her porch at this time of the morning, eager to chat with him about her planned activities for the day.
And so, the lives of the people, in this little town went on – in their many forms and ways.
It turned out to be a nice day in the neighborhood.