Here I want to talk a bit more personal about a point in my life when I felt most part of a community.
The happiest I’ve ever been in my life is when I was the poorest — when I was a college student.
I can list everything I owned in college right here:
- 386 Computer – that 386 was smoken
- Sega Genesis – Mortal Combat ruled
- Mini Fridge – salsa is all I ever had in it
- CD player and CDs
- Washburn acoustic guitar – all I could ever play was Redemption Song and some Metallica
- And some cloths
That’s all I had to my name…
But being poor never mattered, everybody there had nothing. And being poor wasn’t the part that made it the happiest of times.
What made it the best of times was that you were surrounded all day every day with people that you cared about and cared about you — friends. It was a very tribal way of living.
Everything I had my friends treated like it was theirs and likewise whatever they had they lent to the community. We all benefited from one another. When you needed a cup of milk for a recipe you never felt like you couldn’t ask your neighbor.
It’s not just about sharing — sharing is simply a result of caring about one another. But it seems like the more material possessions you have the less you are dependent on others and without dependency comes the ability to remove yourself from the community.
And I believe that is what we have today. No communities and as a result of every man being an island you have to bust your ass!
I submit that Egyptian workers, relatively speaking, got as much out of building Khufu’s pyramid as Microsoft workers will get out of building Bill Gates’s pyramid (which will surely dwarf Khufu’s a hundred times over, though it will not, of course, be built of stone).
It took Khufu twenty-three years to build his Great Pyramid at Giza, where some eleven hundred stone blocks, each weighing about two and a half tons, had to be quarried, moved, and set in place every day during the annual building season, roughly four months long. Few commentators on these facts can resist noting that this achievement is an amazing testimonial to the pharaoh’s iron control over the workers of Egypt. I submit, on the contrary, that pharaoh Khufu needed to exercise no more control over his workers at Giza than pharaoh Bill Gates exercises over his workers at Microsoft.
If I had the choice I would give up a lot of my possessions to have more free time to spend with friends, family and time relaxing. Shit – how much time do you have to just relax in a week?
I suppose I’m just ranting here?
But what’s your thoughts?