The Art of Being Unreasonable

Now there’s a good book title for a memoir, am I right? This is in fact a book I’m reading written by Eli Broad, a wildly successful entrepreneur in the US of A.

He’s a man who grew up during the Great Depression and got educated at a university when many others could not. Then he bucked against convention when he dropped his boring accountant job in favor of building his own business. To raise the needed seed money he somehow convinced his new wife to sell their wedding china.

It’s doubtful he would take the same path to success in modern times. First of all nearly everyone nowadays has an undergraduate degree so he wouldn’t think he was anything special. Upon graduation he would get the boring job and stay in it to pay his massive student debt, and by the time he was done with that he would then buy a house way beyond his means which he would then resign himself to paying for over the next 30 yrs. He wouldn’t have sold his wedding china because everyone on Craigslist expects a good deal. And that’s assuming he ever received wedding china as a nuptial gift at his destination wedding in the Bahamas.

It’s funny that what, 70 years later? we as a people still see getting a white collar job to be the epitome of living a good life. One where you have a family, house, car and vacations. Your routine on weekdays becomes a comfort and soon enough you can’t imagine what you would do with your time otherwise.

Mr. Broad certainly took risks and built an empire by virtue of his own blood sweat and tears and a supportive spouse. No doubt about that. So it falls to us then, to carve out our own rebellion in order to find modern success. At this moment I am furthering someone else’s vision instead of my own.

MJ DeMarco says over and over again to become a producer not a consumer, otherwise become content with your 9-5 mon-fri existence. I’d love to hear from someone who works in a cube farm tell me how much they love their life. At my workplace there is a guy there in his early 60s who is a lifer and he is probably the saddest sack I have ever seen. Add to this many of my coworkers have significant commutes to work, and you have to wonder if there is a better paradigm to follow. Or at least I wonder that.

I also see lots of stay at home moms in our neighborhood around the school, dropping off and picking up their offspring. They look happy and unfashionable. Is that mean? Just telling it like I see it! Let’s focus on the happy part though. I wonder if their husbands (as most if not all of these families are hetero pairs) are as happy as they are?

I never did get around to watching Revolutionary Road, that movie with the story of a couple living the North American dream and then not getting the happiness and satisfaction as promised. I do believe that would make me want to move off the grid to make my own clothes and grow my own food.


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