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Deliberate Sacrifice and Personal Economics

This past weekend, I walked into a Verizon store and asked to downgrade from my smartphone to a “basic” phone with a simple talk & text plan.  Why the sudden desire to make this drastic transition?  First and foremost, I have debt.  I am in my mid-30’s and I am still in debt.

We live in a nation of debt.  We are slaves to the lender and we grow progressively more reliant on other people and systems that are becoming increasingly less sustainable.  I challenge you to disagree.

If we were to engage each other in discussion about the sad state of affairs our country is in, one thing that we would likely disagree on is the cause of the problem.  Most people continue to argue on the cause of the problem and who is to blame.  We spend so much time bickering with one another that we fail to realize our cities are going bankrupt until those cities have reached the point of no return.

 bankruptcy-map-of-the-usThis Map Shows How Municipal Bankruptcy Has Torn Through The US

We have been conditioned to look to the same systems that helped create the problem in the first place to provide the solution.  While I understand that many of these government programs have the right intentions, I’m quite certain that there is a reason the old aphorism exists about the road to hell and what it is paved with.  Rather than focus on the solutions we focus on the problems.

As Tyler Durden proclaims: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact…”

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Over the past few years, I engaged in a lifestyle that had me living out my own version of this story.  I slowly began passing through the various stages of awakening.  There are still days where I experience each and every one of these stages.  However, as time passes, the extent to which I experience the denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance become more tolerable.  It becomes more tolerable because there is only one person whom I have control over.  Myself.

When I began to accept this simple realization, I began to think differently.  Very quickly, I realized that action always beats intention.  I began taking active steps towards making a plan to live a different life.  I realized that none of this would take place very easily while I remained in debt.  As I continue paying down my debt, I realized that while I maintained this debt…I also maintained the luxury of connectivity.

Considering that I was just issued a smartphone for work in the form of a blackberry.  If I really needed instant connectivity, the potential existed through that.  While it certainly did not have the form and function of my beloved iPhone, the need was not there.  I simply could not justify it any longer.  The reality was that was once a luxury item in our society has suddenly become so very common.

We live in a country where we are losing touch with our humanity.  America is one of the few countries where the majority of people that live in poverty are obese, yet nutritionally deficient.  Moreover, we live in a country where the majority of people in poverty not only have smartphones but also likely have a flat screen HDTV or access to one.  America isn’t a country.  It was an idea.  We’ve lost our way.

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After making these observations over the past few months and years, it finally dawned on me that I need to stop complaining and start doing something about it…otherwise, I am no different than one of the very people that cause me to shake my head in disbelief.  It is time for me to get my act together financially and pay down my debt.  I will remain without a data plan until my financial goals are met.

Nothing will change until I change myself.  No one will change until I change myself.  There will be no one else to blame until I accept responsibility and begin creating the change that I wish to see in the world.  If you are receiving this transmission…YOU are the resistance.  Join us.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

About Rob Kaiser

Profile photo of Rob Kaiser
Rob Kaiser currently works on the sales team for one of the principal wholesale growers of quality nursery stock in Ohio. This locally owned and family-based operation encompasses approximately 160 acres consisting of field production, 15 acres of container stock, and over an acre of frames. He also works as the manager of York Meadow Farm and is the founder/owner of Deliberate Living Systems, an design and consulting operation in Medina, Ohio. Rob has a diverse and comprehensive background gained through 15 years in the green industry, focused on retail and wholesale nursery and garden center operations, landscaping and grounds management. Experience also includes utility and urban forestry, vegetation management, landscape design, outdoor recreation and organic farming. Rob is a member of International Society of Arboriculture and maintains his Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist certification. He is also a North Carolina Certified Plant Professional and has attended a Landscape Design Short Course at Cleveland State University. Recently, he has taken Geoff Lawton's Online Permaculture Design Course and a Restoration Agriculture workshop, hosted by Mark Shepard. Rob is located in Medina County, Ohio and is taking deliberate action and implementing all knowledge gained through a land lease with farm that he helps manage. All work is being documented development with the objective of demonstrating how to create a scalable, sustainable and beautiful sanctuary utilizing permaculture principles *without* owning land. Documentation will likely take place through a blog and podcast in an effort to share the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to live our dreams and exceed our own expectations.

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2 comments

  1. Amen, brother. The borrower is slave to the lender. While I am surrounded by neighbors who live in bigger, newer homes, and drive newer, nicer cars, I know for a fact that most of them are living paycheck to paycheck, and that crushing debt keeps them awake at night. I sleep very soundly because A) I’m debt-free, and B) we have a six- month emergency fund in place.

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