I Made a Mistake
JetSetCitizen is not a very good name for this website. The idea of jet setting to exotic locales, while exciting and romantic, is definitely not the message I want to promote. My idea of a JetSetCitizen is more about being a global citizen and the personal responsibility that requires. Really experiencing foreign cultures and connecting with people around the world can be transformative and enlightening, if you let it.
Travel is Not a Competition
Travelling for the sake of getting passport stamps or crossing items off a bucket list are just other manifestations of our rampant consumerism. Some travellers compete by how many countries they have been to or attempt to regale in tales of how authentic or exotic their experiences are. How different is that from trying to one-up your neighbor’s latest purchase? Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, many of us are keeping up with the Indiana Joneses.
Maximize Profit or Maximize Good
We have been sold the idea that we have to produce and consume more to ‘advance.’ The strength of an economy is measured by growth in total production, whereas other measures like happiness, health, social relationships, clean air, wildlife, access to water and countless other factors that make life worth living, are ignored.
So much of what we do seems focused on making as much money as possible. Look at the late night commercials for ab machines, fake antique coins, replica jewelry and countless other falsely advertised products. Sure it is possible to profit by selling get rich quick schemes, promising easy weight loss, or marketing over-priced affiliate programs, but is that really how we want to spend our lives?
All of us on this planet, particularly those of us fortunate enough to come from developed countries, are a cost to the planet. We consume, waste and destroy to live and entertain ourselves. The impact of our individual environmental and societal footprint varies by our life choices, but definitely all of us are a drain to the ecosystem in some form or another. We can choose to live a self-centered life and take as much as we can for ourselves, or we can find ways to give back.
An Excellent Life
I have been thinking about these issues for a long time. The search for more meaning is a big reason why my wife and I sold everything to live a nomadic lifestyle, but the real inspiration for this post is this video of Dwight Turner and his work helping urban refugees in Bangkok, Thailand. I am not going to summarize the video, just watch it. It is only a few minutes of your time. Better yet, visit his website and watch it there. You might just be inspired to click the donate button on that page to give a few dollars and have a major impact on the lives of a family you will never meet.
Food for Thought
At the end of every single day ask your self this question:
Did I give more than I took today?
If you are answering”no” for too many days in a row, maybe it is time to change what you are doing?