Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Simple Life

Sometimes I envy people who lived in the past: my parents, uncles, aunts, and grandparents. It's not that I don't know how hard life was compared to present time, nor that I'm unappreciative of how comfortable our life is today as compared to the past. I envy them because despite the lack of technology, they've got enough time to live and grow normally.

In the past, all you need to survive is to be persistent and hardworking. Your parents taught you to be self-sufficient from young; taking care of your siblings, doing house chores, running errands, learning basic things that you need to know so you won't die if God forbid something happens to all your loved ones and you're left all alone and have to fend for yourself. Life wasn't easy, but you can always find work and earn some money to support yourself. Just follow these simples steps and eventually you'll save enough money to buy yourself a house, maybe even be financially stable enough to be your own boss, and start your own family. Work hard, and life will take care of itself. Just like that.

Life is still hard today, because it's too easy. It's too easy to stay at home and rely on your parents to support you, because having gone through the hardship themselves they wouldn't want their precious children to go through the same process. It's too easy to slack off at home and be a student as an excuse to not work, because who wouldn't want to keep studying? Life as a student is great as compared to working life. There's always scholarship out there somewhere that you can apply for. Free money AND you don't have to go to work 9-5pm every weekday. It's also too easy to start something, and move on to something else when your original plan doesn't work out, because you don't need much money to venture into anything: if it's too expensive, just do something that doesn't require so much fund first. You dont' necessarily need modal to start a business anyway; just go online and you'll find infinite ways to make money using no money.

In the past, we might need a whole day or maybe even up to a week to prepare and send out our resumes for job applications. Today, we can apply for up to hundreds of positions of many different fields and sectors, all just by sitting in front of the computer for a couple of hours. There's no paperwork to certify, no forms to fill up, no running to the photocopier to make copies of your documents and no standing in line to post them to potential employers. You don't even need to lock yourself at home for the fear of missing their calls for interviews; that smartphone of yours will take care of your calls and emails for you. Pay your bills, order food, shop for groceries and everything else that you need online; we really don't have much purpose to step out of our houses other than to get to work. And speaking of smartphones, it's so easy to have thousands of friends that you've never even met, simply because there are social media that connects you to strangers that just so happens to share your interests. This also makes it so easy to 'fall in love' with somebody without ever meeting each other, all thanks to the internet and all that fancy programming that created apps that we take for granted, and because you've never really met each other in the first place, there's no problem in breaking up and never speaking to each other again. 

If it's so easy, then why is it hard? Because convenience messes with our heads, that's why. There was a purpose to live back then: to innovate, to achieve success, to be rich, to love, to protect, to nurture. There were so many possibilites and so many things to do. Today, there's barely anything left that we imagined that hasn't been invented by some scientist. In fact, even things we don't need are being invented and being promoted so convincingly that we will eventually hypnotize ourselves into owning them because we think we might need them someday (which we usually never will). We have gradually stun our brains from not thinking creatively and settle for the life of lambs and sheep: wherever the trend goes, we go. It's a simple life in a different way: it was simple back then because people are encouraged to work hard and they will succeed, it's simple life today because everything is already done for you even before you needed it to be done that we don't have to do much except to click on a few buttons and to make sure we continue breathing from one day to another. 

It's hard because it's comfortable; not doing anything/keep doing the same thing every day is such a luxury because we don't have to think. If we don't ask for too much then there's no harm living such a live. Hey, less is more, right? Religion have always taught us to not be greedy anyway. So screw those people that kept persuading us to get out of the 'rat race'. 

I speak from my own experience of being unemployed and being the one who listens to the stories that my friends told me about the working life. Some are doing well, some aren't. All wants me to be successful, all have different ideas and suggestions. So here's MY story:

All I want is to life a simple life, except, my simple is actually not so simple when I break it down to parts. I want to live in a cottage on a piece of land of my own on a hill/somewhere quiet and not too warm, where I can plant my own fruits and vegetables and have a pack of dogs, a couple of cows, goats and chickens. I want to spend my days reading, taking pictures, sketching and exploring nearby forests. I like to be by myself. 

It's bloody simple, but bloody expensive. Land doesn't cost as little as a pack of economy rice. And to buy a piece of land suitable for crops and animals and has a view, you can't do that with minimum wage. Keeping animals as pets do not come cheap as well; there must be a vet nearby, and caretakers must be hired to feed them and keep their places clean. Crops don't grow well without proper care as well. Living up in secluded areas means there must be a special place set up to provide electricity and clean water. Building your own cottage also requires quite a big budget to get it done just the ay I want it to. By the time it's done, I would be way into my 50s and waiting to die on my bed, which would also require money to hire physicians to take care of my sick self at my cottage. Considering how much this place spends, it must at least getting it's own income to compensate for the expenditure, so I might need to build some more cottages or chalets and hire a management team to run some fun family programmes and promote the place. It will not be only me living there by then. 

What a stupid dream.