One of my readers recently told me that they love the things I write about, but asked:
"Why do you want to save the world, why do you feel so driven to do it? What have you experienced in life that has brought you here? Honestly though, I wonder what kind of life you had growing up."
I think this was an excellent question, and here is my response:
"This is why:
When I went away to college, many people from my school went to Mexico for vacation. While we were there, I saw first hand how poor people were in another country, and started to think more about worldly issues. In addition, for Americans going to Mexico, there are essentially no rules. That is where I realized it - All of the people vacationing down there had food, shelter, good people in their lives, and the freedom to do whatever they wanted - And everyone was happy. None of the material stuff mattered at all. And nothing bad happened to anyone the entire time we were there - no fighting, no negativity, everyone got along and treated complete strangers with respect and friendliness.
When we returned to school, the people in my social circle brought that energy back with us, and we had a really special experience for the rest of our time in college that most people in the world could never understand. It was like living in a utopian society. Anyone who wanted to be a part of it was welcomed with open arms. I started to realize that that was the way life should be and could be for everyone.
But after graduation, of course everyone went their separate ways, sentenced to work in cubicles having to be politically correct robots for the rest of their lives, chasing things that have high perceived value but mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. I for one, decided I did not want to spend my life doing things that way. I was on pace to make $80,000-100,000+ at age 23 as a civil engineer and real estate agent, but I walked away from it because I decided I wanted to do something more important with my life. I wanted to set people free from their misery, and show them how great life can be when we cut out all of the vanity and focus all of our energy on the things that are essential that have been lost in our society - openness, loyalty, compassion, true friendship, a sense of community, widespread positivity and most of all, love. I saw that it is possible for everyone to have enough, and for everyone in the world to be happy. Why do I want to do this? I want to be free, and I want to help others experience the joy that I have when we learn how to truly lose all of our inhibitions and become free of all of our pain and misery. I did not grow up in the greatest of conditions, and I know what it means to suffer because of the apathy and carelessness of people in power who do not treat others as equals. And it hurts me to see America, the wealthiest country in the history of man, with so much potential, chasing things that do not matter, and for the most part living unhappy, unfulfilled lives - while our corporations exploit third world nations and allow their citizens to work in inhumane conditions, in order to keep the wealth in the few rather than investing more of it in socially uplifting programs that could feed starving people and educate the poor and ignorant. It is so easy for privileged people who were lucky enough to be born in America to write off everyone else. What if the tables were turned, and countries in Africa and South America were the world leaders, and we were all starving here in America? What would we have to say to the citizens of those countries who are more concerned with bullshit TV and spending their money on things they really don’t need over giving us the gift of an amazing meal to fill our stomachs to live on to see another day? And what if they were coming into our country to create sweatshops for us to work in so that they could profit off of it? No matter what religion they would claim to belong to, and no matter how much they prayed, would we really consider them to be good people? Would there be any surprise as to why so many other nations would dislike them and want to see them crumble?
As I’ve looked into it to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes, I realized that our entire system is based on removing essential elements of a healthy society for profit. If you can afford the best lawyer, the justice system smiles in your favor. Unhealthy food is around every corner, destroying peoples’ health and creating widespread disease, because processed food is easier to produce (read: more profitable) than whole food. Poor people can not afford to eat organic, healthy food, something we both agree is a right to life. We have the media pushing their agenda on the masses, telling everyone that they are not good enough as they are, and commercializing love through jewelry ads and what not - leading to shallow, unbalanced relationships and super high divorce rates. We have huge corporations pushing away the mom and pop stores of old, and systemizing and streamlining everything about their company to maximize profitability, which dehumanizes the workers to act like politically correct, PG-13 robots for the majority of the hours of their waking life. How many people do you know that must use privacy settings on their facebook account, because their company actively searches through their private information, looking to fire anyone whose weekend activities or use of freedom of speech do not fit completely within their robotic corporate image? And you want to tell me this is a free country?
And finally, when everyone is sick, unhappy, lonely, and depressed, killing each other, cheating on each other, beeping at each other in traffic, fighting with each other on internet discussion boards, and walking to work with an expression on their faces that can only be described by looking at the slaves in ancient Egypt - we go to our doctors to fix our health, to which they overprescribe and overmedicate us with drugs that do not solve anyone’s problems, but create billions in profits for the drug companies. Then these powerful corporations use private funding to lobby for the political candidates that go into office, who then create absurd laws that mandate no student can go to school without a wide array of vaccines that the drug companies will profit off of, most of which we do not need, and some of which have been linked to the extreme spike in children with autism, something that my sister has had nearly all her life. So I refuse to be a part of that system. Everyone says that by working within the system, you can eventually get to the top and change things, but when you work within a system, the only way to move up is to sell out and stray from the reason that you are actually trying to get there in the first place. If there were a job I could work at that I believed was doing all the right things, made enough to pay the bills, and allowed me the freedom to completely be my uninhibited self, I would work there. But I have not found many companies that are more concerned with the social impact of their work over pleasing the shareholders of their organization. This is why I went the entrepreneurial route, and no matter how hard it is to build it from the ground up, I feel that the answer is not working within a flawed system, the answer is to stop being a part of the problem and start being a part of the solution.”