Thursday, January 26, 2006

No longer a rat

I lived in a city most of my life and had so much more than I do now. I had a big home, money to spend on most of what I wanted.
Now I live away from a city, not even close to a town or village.
Yet my quality of life is so much better. I have more now than I used to, though I have far less money to spend.

Living in a city, I lived a life that others expected of me. Living where I do now, I have peace within myself.

In the city, I worried about the risks to my survival as a person who strived to meet society's expectations of me. When you have much, you have much more to lose and recovery is extremely hard if fate deals you a bad blow.

Now I can look for alternatives for everything, something that was not possible in the city because society does not want city dwellers to have alternatives.

Living in a near-wilderness, I am growing in a way I could not in a city. I see city dwellers coming to their cottages, pretending that their lives are perfect, yet having to seek escapes just to keep them from insanity or breakdown.

I don't need escapes. I don't want to leave where my mind is now. Where my body is doesn't matter, except that society does not make constant demands on me every day where I live.

Here, people let you be who you are, without trying to mould you into something they want you to be.

People call the busy-ness of the city a rat race. What they never address is the fact that by participating in a rat race they label themselves. Only rats run in rat races.

I am not a rat, nor do I aspire to become one. I learned how to avoid being a rat.

Today I run my own race where my only competitor is myself. I'm a tough competitor, but one I can respect.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people avoid running in rat races.
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