How much do you genuinely give from your heart? Are you living your truth, expressing and sharing and utilizing your gifts? Do you act out of obligation or inspiration? And do you charge or expect recompense for your services?
I use my music, articles, photography, and video work to observe, inform, uplift, teach, learn and awaken. But is it enough? How do you quantify or qualify it? Why is everything about metrics and comparison?
I don’t imagine the universe cares much about transactional nonsense — as in the more you give, from your heart, with no expectations — and ideas of that ilk.
I don’t make a living at all on the few pennies here and there from music streams or micro-licenses. I’ve only ever sold a few prints of my photos. The stock photo market provides a few more pennies… I despise the idea of paid promotion. It feels dirty enough to post links and shares with, “Hey, check this out, please?”
These days, I survive by sporadic work from corporate clients, selling off my belongings, or occasionally borrowing from family. I’ve had a few jobs, but they get old fast and never pay enough. It is certainly humbling. I’m no hustler and the idea of pounding the pavement and drumming up clients, over and over again, tastes awful.
What’s my point? Well, one is that this world doesn’t support the minimalist artist, or those who try to buck the system, as it were. And why should it, I guess? Regardless of how small I live, how little I waste, how considerate or kind or consciously I approach my life, it only gets more stifling… and lonely.
These are undeniably just elements of my story, beliefs I carry around, and really, lies and excuses and coping mechanisms. But I know I am not alone in this kind of struggle with social constructs, our strange idea of economy, and persistent interpersonal isolationism.
We all suffer to some degree of the market system virus and consumerism. Sure, we can unplug, live off the land or squat somewhere, but that seems oddly depressing, and life suppressing. Maybe I’m wrong…
We have governments who (while claiming to forever be in massive debt) will spend trillions of dollars on armed forces and wars and secret programs, rather than implement basic monthly income for its citizens, and other easily affordable universal services. This is beyond injustice, but I understand the general idea of the psychopathy that devised it. The entire Western world is constructed on a foundation of grandiose lies and ideological distortions.
It is upon us now to transcend it, rebuild it, and replace it. We have the solutions, but we’re terrified of crashing the ways that were during the necessary period of transition — even if we’re living in a persistent, quiet desperation. We’re worried about patents and payouts and being murdered and trusting ourselves and each other. We’re not sure if humanity is ready, or at a high enough level of consciousness, to truly progress out of the mire. Let’s just call that idea bullshit and move on.
You and I are here for a reason. A perfect reason. Let’s see what we’re truly capable of.
And make sure to watch again what’s obviously your favorite Bill Murray movie.