“People wish to be settled, but only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“People talk about my getting shot like it represented something special. They act like they’re not facing the same thing. But some day everybody has to face a bullet with his or her name on it.” – 50 Cent.
Welcome back, my friend, to a new day. Each day offers a new chance, a rebirth. But do we take it?
As chance would have it, yesterday I found myself on a commuter train returning from the big city at the end of the working day for the passengers. I’m sure you know the scenario: not a spare free seat in the house, people with their head down or glancing suspiciously at fellow passengers, the drone of the tracks, and the sway of the carriages. And an invisible cloud of impending doom over them all.
As we zipped past a graveyard I pondered this existence, an existence that countless numbers of people endure. The same train at the same time taking them to and from the same place every day. Get home, eat, sleep, and do it all again the next day. And these are the ‘lucky’ ones who have jobs…
I gazed around the carriage and felt genuine sympathy. With the state of the economy, they were all clinging on to this existence for dear life, I imagined. But even when times were good, and I travelled this way, I can remember that discontented look on their faces then too.
And then I studied them more closely, and my sympathy for them evaporated…
They were clearly unhappy or bored or both, and faced unprecedented challenges in the employment market. Uncertain times. Their livelihoods and existence in jeopardy, even for government workers. By any rational measure, this would be a time when they should all be working on safety nets, a ‘plan b’. I mean, if the light at the end of your tunnel is fading, doesn’t it make sense to find another light?
But when I studied them more closely, at how they were filling this dead time on the train, what do you think they were all doing? Making calls to run their new home business on the side? Typing away on creating a new marketing promo for their website? Making a lucrative trade?
They were playing video games on their iPads, falling asleep, gossiping about nothing, staring out the window, etc. etc. I imagined it as a livestock carriage full of bleating lambs on the way to the slaughterhouse.
“Hey, but just last month you were saying how life needs balance!”
Correct, and it does. BUT, this was dead time on the train. Potentially, this was a whole hour that could lead to a successful business endeavour or money-making venture, NOT out of greed, but necessity for these people. These same people probably complain that they don’t have any time to run a home business or improve their lives, but they all have time to screw around in a dead hour on the train. Just like they have time to wait in line for expensive coffee, smoke cigarettes, and get tattoos.
My hat off to you. Those people do not read newsletters like this one. They are sceptical of home businesses, finance, property, and generally making money. They believe it’s safer to do what they do. They never really left school- they just continued in the pattern that school taught them: show up on Monday morning and count the hours to Friday, living for weekends. A rush of euphoria on Saturday morning slowly slipping into a dark depression on Sunday evening.
Apathy kills. We are headed into an economic tempest the likes of which hasn’t been seen in human history. Major sovereign states running out of money would have been an unthinkable and frightening topic of conversation only a few years ago, but now we discuss it as if it was something normal.
This shouldn’t frighten you, it should excite you. Because out of chaos comes order, and you can be a part of that new order if you resist apathy.
Imagine if I’d have stood up on that train and made this announcement that I’ve just made to you about apathy: “Yeah, so there you go. How do you all like them apples?”
How would my message have been greeted? With anger, right? But why?
Have you ever heard of or witnessed the phenomenon of crabs in a bucket? If several live crabs are caught and thrown in a bucket headed for a restaurant, and one crabs tries to climb out, do you know what the other crabs do?
I would like to think that they would help out. “Here you go, mate, let me give you a ‘claw up’! Good for you for trying!”
But sadly, this is not in the nature of animals (and humans are animals). What happens is that the rest of the crabs in the bucket pull that escaping crab back down with them. The message is quite different in reality: “Hey, who the hell do you think you are? You’re not better than me! You get back down here in the collective with us!”
How often does this happen to you in daily life? People can’t help themselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s your dearest and closest friend, your beloved spouse, your parents, your co-workers (they’re the worst), they will all act like crabs in a bucket because that is human nature.
And the trouble is that you (understandably) trust those people more than me. You listen to them, you are heavily influenced by their compulsive need to pull you back into the bucket. And if you lost your livelihood, they would also be pushing you to do things the same way all over again even though it led to your demise.
My advice is, and always has been, to keep your personal goals safely tucked away where nobody can see them.
If the crabs can’t see you escaping, they won’t pull you back down. Don’t stand up on that commuter train and try to convert or help others, because they’ll shout you down: “No, you’re wrong… you stay on the zombie-train with us,” they groan, drooling, and shuffling towards you with arms reaching out for you, clutching iPads with a playing card game on the screen.
You’re reading this because you’re a special kind of person. At the very least, you questioned the existence we’ve been programmed to follow. But do you take action? That’s the key.
And how much of your INACTION or APATHY is because you can feel the other crabs in the bucket pulling you back down? Are you on the train of thought… or apathy…?