“Living” vs. making a living

“Never settle,” said Steve Jobs. “Stop hesitating and live your dreams,” insists all these inspiring tumblr pictures. “What’s stopping you?” asks another gorgeous picture of the Chile or Swiss mountains.

All these random bursts of inspiration make sitting in front of your five-figure laptop worthless. It makes reporting to a well airconditioned office and having a home to be in not so glamorous.

It makes annoying, selfish complaints such as “Why is it not Friday, and only a weekday?” sound justifiable.

I said that annoying, selfish complaint to my dad today–partly as a joke, the other out of boredom–and he replied in good humor (and advice): “You have a job. Tomorrow there are people who will wake up looking for one.”

And he’s right. In the end, us priviliged upper middle class citizens really have nothing to complain about. Count your blessings. Don’t wallow in your complaints. The world is facing is an economic crisis, and if you’re managing to live day by day with little worries, then consider yourself lucky. I may not be visiting South Africa tomorrow, but it doesn’t make meeting up with friends in Makati any less exciting or enjoyable.

Happiness is a choice. Why shouldn’t we seize it?

Yes, I realize this self-pep-talk doesn’t make my other problems any less real. It’s just that I’m sick of all these over hyped pep talks making a decent life seem worthless, because it’s not. There is nothing wrong with making a living instead of “living.” Some of us can’t go off and study without having to make ends meat, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some of us have to save for months before visiting the world’s natural wonders–and spending that hard earned money is part of the thrill! There is nothing wrong with doing what is necessary to get by. It may not be glamorous, but if it makes each day happen without any life threatening worries, then I don’t see someone working to support a family or him/herself any less dignified than a travel adventurer.


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