Being a Responsible Adult
I get comments from time to time, from people that tell me I should “grow up,” be an “adult,” live a “real life,” be responsible, etc.
If you’re one of those people who think that I’m not responsible because I travel a lot and I don’t want to have a career for money or a child, or whatever else makes you a “real adult,” I think that you should think twice about what it is that you are being so responsible about.
In my blog, I never imply that everybody needs to live like me. I understand that not everybody can live like me, nor does everybody want to live like me. In fact, I think the majority of people would be scared shitless to live like me. I started my blog because so many people complained to me about their lives, and told me that they wished they could live like me, but that they couldn’t because they didn’t have enough money. I saw it as important to explain to them that it really wasn’t the money that stopped them from traveling, it was their mentality. I figured out that one of the biggest differences between my mentality and that of a “normal” person is precisely this idea of “being responsible” and having a career.
I’ve never had a “real job” in my life. The only jobs I’ve had were ones that almost anybody can do- cleaning houses, babysitting, waitressing, bartending, working in coffee shops, ice cream shops, delis, whatever. I’ve never worked one consistent job for more than 7 months. Probably about half of the jobs I’ve had were “illegal” and I was paid under minimum wage. Yet I’ve managed to travel all over the world for over 10 years and have basically done everything that I have wanted to do in life. So really, it’s not the money.
Please tell me, how does settling down and becoming a full time slave of the system really make you responsible? Yes, there are some great jobs that contribute to society- doctors, scientists, teachers, and more- you can say that you are responsible because you help people. Good! And if you enjoy doing this, that’s awesome, keep at it! Again, I’m not telling everyone to live like me.
However, since the entire system we live in is based on the consumption of an infinite amount of resources, yet we live on a planet of limited resources, I don’t see it as responsible of me to spend the majority of my precious time on Earth working at some kind of career that just exists to keep the system going. That’s what most jobs today are. In fact, most of these jobs can already be replaced through automation. Here’s a fantastic book that describes this in detail:
Think about it, people don’t generally say that an accountant or a lawyer is irresponsible or not “adult,” yet when it comes to a girl who works as a waitress on Hawaii for 4 months and then travels around the world with no job for one year- that’s totally irresponsible, right?! Why? Cuz I’m not contributing to society, right? I’m kinda taking advantage of it here :D
But think about what it really is that I’d be contributing to… Why would it be responsible of me to contribute more to an unsustainable system?
I quit my last waitressing job in March 2017, so I haven’t really worked in 14 months. I spent the last year without being the least bit concerned about having to work for money. This allowed me to have lots of free time. What did I do with my free time? Well I traveled, but I also spent a lot of time studying (and experiencing) how our world works; examining problems, talking to people and learning about solutions to these problems.
Most “responsible” people with “real” “adult” lives have no time to learn about the world’s problems, let alone about solutions to these problems! That’s why many people don’t even understand that there are problems on Planet Earth; and most of them certainly don’t know about realistic solutions! You know how hard it is just to get people to read a book? No one has time to read a fucking book, they’re too busy working and being responsible adults!
In my last TROM discussion in Irkutsk, I asked everyone in our meet up what they did for work and what they would do if they had $5,000,000,000. The first half of the table went straight to quitting their jobs and doing something good for society-investing into scientific research, education, healthcare, childcare, etc. Then one guy flipped the switch and got everybody onto the idea that $5,000,000,000 was not enough to secure yourself, so first you would have to invest this money- to make sure you could get more of it in the future, and once it was invested and your future was secured, then you would be able to put money into good deeds- and actually, then you would have more than you started with, so you could contribute even more money to good deeds!
I found this interesting. The reason I choose $5billion was because I thought the sum was large enough to get the picture of money off the table. But apparently it wasn’t enough, and those who were still concerned about their future, still prioritized making money over doing good deeds. I think that the guy who first mentioned this is not more selfish or an asshole compared to the guy who would invest the whole $5billion into aging research, this guy was simply thinking logically about securing his own future in our world. The aging scientist might end up dead broke in the end, who knows.
So it’s important to understand that people will prioritize their own safety and security before they prioritize doing good deeds for others, which is completely logical. The sad thing is that in the system we live in today, this means that we often prioritize making money over doing good deeds.
In the monetary system, to have a secure future, you must have a constant inflow of money. But no one can have a perpetual inflow of money without working for this. So if your priority is to have a safe and secure future, then it’s logical that your priority is to make money. Because in the monetary system, money= security.
That’s why people see having a career as being responsible. They are responsible adults who are doing what they can to make sure that they can have a decent future on our planet. People may say that I am not a “responsible adult” because I haven’t established a secure way to make money for myself. And they are scared of living like me precisely because of this idea- that a constant income means a secure present and future.
However, I don’t think like this. I think that if I were to live in one place with one consistent job that I depended on, I would be more vulnerable to disasters (like an economic collapse or a stress-related disease). Now, at least, I have friends all over the world, I have many little traits and ‘talents,’ I know what life is like in different places, and I know that I can pick up and leave any time I want. I also don’t need much psychologically, I’m comfortable living out of my backpack and tying up my hammock in a stranger’s backyard. If shit really hits the fan, I might search for a yacht to hop on and sail away to a tropical island. I would feel confident doing this because I have had experience sailing. How did I get this experience? It was just offered to me. How? Because the people that know me, know that I’ve never had a “real job” in my life, so if they offer for me to say, crew a boat from the Caribbean to New Zealand, they know that there’s actually a high probability of me saying, “fuck yeah!”
I didn’t make it all the way to NZ that time but I did learn a little bit about sailing :)
So maybe you can see that my idea of security is a bit different from the average person’s. Also, the average person’s idea of security is not tied to my idea of “being responsible” on Planet Earth.
The people in my café meeting all seem to want to do a lot more good deeds than they have the ability to do in the “real world.” So it seems that people do want to help each other and make a better world on our planet, but our system limits our ability to do so.
I mean, how do billionaires today stay billionaires? Their first priority must be to figure out a way to keep earning more money, not to help other people.
So long as we live in a monetary system, where we need to work for money to secure our own safety and future, we will prioritize working for money over doing good deeds, regardless of how much we really want to help each other. I am no exemption by the way; when I run out of money, I also put all of my energy into earning money to “secure my future” for a limited amount of time. There would have been no other way for me to save $20,000 in 7 months working as a waitress. I had to make work my #1 priority. I had to put everything else to the side and concentrate just on making money for 7 months, so that I could spend the next 2 years with no job. I hate those months when I have to play the job game. I would much rather spend my time writing this blog for free, or doing something else that helps people. Working for money is such a waste of time and energy, and does very little to contribute to society. But it’s something that we all must do if we want to survive in this trade-based society.
Oh and how about this tio named Tio? (The one behind TROM) His parents told him to be a “responsible adult” and get a “real job.” Instead, he spent years doing research, writing books and making a 14-hour long documentary that describes our world, our problems, and realistic solutions to these problems. He started this project in very uncomfortable conditions- on a bunk bed in a crammed apartment with an overheating computer, sometimes on a freezing cold balcony in the middle of winter, while his parents bugged him about being responsible and getting a “real job.” Had he listened to his parents about how to be “responsible” on Planet Earth, he would not have had enough free time to research how our world works and create the amazing free sources on TROMsite.com. By the way, he also cleans houses from time to time when he needs money. So please do donate to TROM if you can and if you find it useful, so that Tio can continue to write new material and not clean houses.
One more point. If you have children, I completely agree that you need to spend a lot of time taking care of them and raising them to be decent adults.
But I don’t have children! If you think it’s irresponsible of me to not want children, you should consider the fact that we are already 7.44 BILLION people on Earth, and again, that we live in a chaotic system that’s based on the consumption of an infinite amount of resources! Take some time and study what we are actually doing on the planet and then think about how responsible it really is to have a child right now. Click here for more on this topic.
To conclude my rant, the monetary system not only creates a situation in which people must prioritize making money over doing good deeds (because that’s what’s necessary for them to secure their lives), but it also makes them so busy just trying to survive, that they have no time to research global problems and realistic solutions. Imagine if we lived in a world without the need to spend so much time and energy on securing our own futures. Imagine how many good deeds people could do for one another.
Read this to learn more about this direction.
P.S. This is not meant to be a personal attack on anyone, all I would like for people to do is think a little deeper ;)