Socialism, Volunteering, and the Key to Life
While watching a documentary on the largest religious pilgrimage in the world “Kumbh Mela” I learned that my existence may have been in vain until this point. Maybe, my way of life isn’t enough. Maybe, the slight emptiness I feel at times is a sign that I’m not doing all I can. Maybe, living as a capitalist has made me a little shallow, self-absorbed and self-centered. In the film a guru was asked, “What is the key to life?” Without hesitation he answered, “The key to life is living for others.” This lead me to volunteer at Habitat humanity with Roundup Russy
How often do I live for others?
Well, I’m single with no kids and I do not support my parents, so my compensation for a 40+ hour work week is all for me. Working out, shopping, watching movies, reading books…. me, me me. In a given week I usually don’t devout anytime to helping anyone. I am a selfish S.O.B.
Why is it so difficult to do what’s “right?”
My theory is because wrong is beat into your head 24/7/365. 90% of reality shows are based on being young, rich, and flashy. The formula: The richer you are with the least amount of effort, the more of a star you will be on late night TV. Today’s revered are the wives/husbands, mistresses and relatives of people that used hard work and talent to get ahead. These people are famous for being famous and we adore them for it.
Is that what you really want?
The core principle of capitalism is the exchange of time/effort for money. We work -> we get a paycheck -> we use that paycheck to buy food, shelter, clothing and luxury items -> rinse and repeat. On the surface it sounds safe, easy, and secure. However, once you’ve seen or experienced a layoff, you soon realize that many of the things we hold as true are imaginary. There is no such thing as job security. Events outside of your control are always possible. Money itself is based on the belief that it exists. How is the value of an hour of your limited life determined and put into monetary form? What is the opportunity cost of that hour? Meaning, what else could you have been doing during that hour that you spent analyzing spreadsheets?
While volunteering a term was used often, “Sweat Equity.”
“Sweat equity” is Habitat for Humanity‘s name for the labor that Habitat homeowners expend in building their houses and the houses of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend investing in their own self-improvement.
How much time do you spend building your self, your family, and your community?