Just in the last week, I heard this:
- People are working on average 70 hours/week.
- 60% of households have two adults working to support it.
- Almost 25% of baby boomers have difficulty paying their mortgage or rent.
- Only 60% of boomers have retirement savings.
- Healthcare costs families about $750+ per month.
- Childcare costs take about 40% of our salaries – the 4th highest in the world.
- The average paid vacation for US workers is two weeks/year – the lowest in the world.
So we’re working our asses off, and it’s not us getting very far. Nor does this place our country way ahead in the Super Power category. It should. But it doesn’t.
I’m totally generalizing. We don’t all fall into this abyss. But if we think about what most families are experiencing to keep up it includes so much scurrying around and not enough connecting.
Work, school, activities, housework, meals, exercise, more work, paying bills, then carving out quality time with our significant others and our kids.
The point is it’s not working for us. It’s a vicious cycle.
We have been raised to do this. We work hard and it’s supposed to pay off, right? But we are so scheduled in our own lives that there’s no relief. There’s no time for creativity. No time for allowing our kids to build a bridge across the stream, or a fort in the living room (yes, these are metaphors).
As we raise our kids, we spend most of our time telling them, showing them, this is what they need to do. Watch me work, watch me ( fill in the blank ).
Believe me, they are watching. If you are leading, they are watching.
And then last week we got hit with the world outside of our own: Charleston, South Carolina.
And we begin to question what the heck we are doing !?…or trying to do.
In the aftermath of each explosive hit, many people make great change. This type of crisis will push us to change.
I hope the recidivism rate of change for good is zero. It can be.
I hope we get more proactive with our desires, not reactive.
I hope we do more of what we love.
I hate that this recent despicable behavior creates so much hope.
But I do hope, like searching for the creation of a New World, that there’s a port of peace and prosperity. I challenge us to create one.
Gandhi wrote, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him… We need not wait to see what others do.”
Or as we like to quote him: Be the change we wish to see in this world.
The lesson here is to move closer toward those things you love to do, and loosen (or cut) the strings of what you feel tethered to. Let’s do this!