The Crunch — finding peace and contentment in the craziness
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Life Crunches and a World of Dissatisfaction
The Boomer Generation is fuelling the current crunch, as they have fuelled pretty much everything since the 60’s.
Caveat: I know there are tons of you out there, reading The Pathless Path and belonging to one of the “younger” generations. Please, bear with me. I know you’re sick of the Boomers, and I understand, even though I am one.
The Boomers are the first generation in history to dictate the way the world works. It’s a numbers thing.
So, what’s been happening is “the generation‐izing” of entitlement. For the Boomers, the status quo has never been acceptable.
The Boomers drove, and continue to drive, the economy. You can see it in advertising.
- I mean, “Botox?” Imagine what past generations would have thought: “Soon, people will be injecting botulism into their faces to look younger.”
- Or take “Depends.” Fashionable incontinence underwear. I wonder what people leaked into before the Boomers “reached that age?”
- Or Viagra. Did the Boomers “invent” impotence? Nope. The Boomers refused to settle for limp noodles.
The Boomers are never satisfied with the status quo. What was considered normal for our parents, (like ageing) is now considered to be ‘the enemy.’
At the same time, Boomers are driving Trumpism and far‐right groups and politics — “We are supposed to be in charge, and everything is supposed to revolve around us!!”
Let’s shift to work for a moment, which replaces sex for many as their principal turn‐on. Money and power have been co‐mantras for Boomers, and this has certainly filtered down through the generations that followed. This weird focus is captured in the 80’s bumper sticker, “The man with the most toys when he dies, wins.”
The problem? Many people die before they ever had a chance to live, so caught in the money trap are they. Some won’t even take vacations… “I don’t deserve down‐time, for me. I have to work hard, all the time.”
I thought this was captured quite well in a brief e‐mail I received:
Gad, but you really do get confused about dates and time when you don’t work! I don’t think that I have ever been truly cognizant as to “time” while I was working. You got up on Monday, you came home, you worked till Friday and behold! You had a weekend! That “special” time that was almost a “holy,” something that we had dreamed about for a whole week. Forty hours we gave up to dream about Friday. Forty hours of our live’s clock, ticking, and ticking and we dream about Friday!
How incredibly sad that our life passage is judged from Monday till Friday! How weird, that all of us, across all nations, spend our lives waiting for “Friday.” Or the “great weekend” which turns out to be — in reality — just a day that we don’t go to “work” but still a day where we “work.” We cut grass, we “re‐do” the house, we invite friends over for dinner and “work” to make an enjoyable evening — instead of letting life absorb us and enrich us and take us past “work.” We “work” as we get ready on Sunday to go back to the office to tell everyone what “a great weekend” we had. But that is yet another type of “work.” Make it sound good, or “we” sound unfulfilled, in some sad way, we feel bad. Funny how we make life turn out, isn’t it??
How many have realized they can’t have everything, and have “settled” for endless hours at work? This choice, which is socially acceptable and even encouraged, means life is measured in dollars, promotions or “visibility.”
This is our life, as we’ve made it.
Politically, we’ve had an unprecedented chance, since the 60s, to create a world where everyone has an equal chance at having a meaningful life. That this hasn’t happened is due in part to our unwillingness to share — again, a Boomer trait.
You see it in the current blatant “blame game” — I am getting older, and my life is not the way I dreamed it would be — and — it’s someone else’s fault. Immigrants. Women. Socialists. Welfare recipients. It’s always a “them” — an identifiable, visible other.”
Or, It’s genetics, how we were parented, our spouse, our ex‐spouse, our kids… them… “keeping me down, making me unhappy.”
Anyway, this is just a bit of a rant. I want to explore how life might be lived with satisfaction and peace and joy.
The alternative is an openness, a willingness to explore what really turns your crank. And a willingness not to settle for the status quo. For good and for ill, this is the only hope for the 21st century.
A friend asked me the other day if I was still meditating. In all honestly, I sit seldom these days. She’s an artist, and I said, “I find the most meditative thing I can do is paint.” She totally got what I meant.
I find my focus and my direction as I sit quietly with Darbella, and talk about life. I find it with a paint brush. I find it as we travel — opening ourselves to other cultures and norms.
I’m glad for my 32 plus years of doing counselling, but In the last little while I’ve found myself letting go of making that role who I was / am. I’m seeing more and more how what I did was the way I funded exploring who I am.
Stop making excuses for not finding yourself. Stop thinking you’ll do it some day. Stop letting “that’s just the way it is” keep you from wholeness.
Press the limits of what you are capable of, at work, at home, in your interior moments.
Maybe it’s time to get over ourselves and our resistance to being human. Maybe its time to find a better path. And maybe that path is part modern science and part mysticism and part returning to our bodies. I know this for sure. Leaving “well enough alone” ain’t gonna cut it.