Warning – this is a rant. Pure and simple.
I’m pissed off. Not at anyone in particular but everything in general.
For months, my kids have been watching me run around from one bureaucratic station to the next, with my phone in hand, and my heart racing. Why? So I can run a very small business and generally live my life. My astute 11-year-old son asked me yesterday why everything is so complicated and in trying to answer his question, it occurred to me.
Our society is akin to living in the same house with millions of people for 2000 years. There is way too much clutter to navigate through and we don’t throw anything out. More than anything we are cluttered with information and so called experts. I’m supposed to be an expert in fitness and to an extent – I am, but what I’m increasingly becoming an expert in is wading through minutiae.
Anyway, I looked at my son, who is bright, already has a strong work ethic and is infinitely creative and he said, ‘well, I’m never going into business’ and it kinda broke my heart. I come from a family of small business owners. Business owners are dreamers – we don’t see things for what they are, but for what they could be. Everyday we hold to the dream that we are adding value to society and people’s lives. This is the small business mantra.
In my parent’s age, to grow a business you needed a good idea, a strong work ethic and devotion to your customers. Those things still hold true, but now you also need to be an expert in new media, branding and marketing, business law, accounting, insurance, rental law, tax law, real estate law, ever changing government regulations, and municipal code requirements, to name just a few. And to run a household, you need, oh don’t get me started…
But I’m no different, it seems that everyone I talk to, whether they are working or not, is so overwhelmed with the demands from everyday life that they are moments away from spontaneous combustion.
It’s death by a thousand cuts.
I read somewhere that the Mayans, every X amount of years, would forgive all debts, stop all wars, and begin fresh. We have no way of knowing if that is true, but imagine if society had a reset button. If we all decided: ok – as of 2012, we will purposefully erase all our knowledge – purge all our computers, burn all our documents, and start again. It’s impossible, I know that… but when I consider how much new information has been made available, and more importantly – made to be relevant – I wonder – how the hell are my kids going to wade through all this clutter to find meaning in their own lives?