It's A Rat Race - but who is the rat?
Greetings. Derek from Tennessee sent me an exciting email requesting I discuss what is going on now regarding life being a "Rat Race." After thinking about this topic, I thought to myself. This is a challenging topic. Where do you begin discussing this topic? Life has been a rat race for decades. Probably since the beginning of time. As far back as when dinosaurs and other species walked the earth. Fighting for food, shelter, and other things that went with those times. Then came the human race and the discovery of new worlds. People fought for land, possessions, and other things that went with those times. We created currency. You can't buy things without money. Factors such as greed developed, envy, wanting more. Over the centuries, the rat race worsened because more was to be had. People wanted more. Evolution is not limited to the development and growth of a species. It introduces other problems. Problems that develop during the evolutionary process. Wars, depressions, recessions, wages, equal rights, and the list goes on. Oh yes, the history of "the Rat Race" goes quite deep.
WHEN DID THE RAT RACE BEGIN?
It began at the beginning of time. However, we will focus on life as we all know it today. None of us were around when dinosaurs walked the earth. Every family has grandparents who talk about 'back in the day.' Each generation has a 'back in the day.' The era that they were raised in. A time when things were different. However, although things were different, they too had to deal with "The Rat Race" of their times.
With each generation, the rat race gets worse. That is part of the evolutionary process. The reason is, as technology develops and there is more to be had, people want more. Many will go to great extremes to achieve them. Achieve materialistic things, more money, a better position, a larger home, a newer car. You name it, and people want it. It is our goal for a better life for ourselves and our families. Now we introduce government and politics into the mix, and we have a rat race for sure. We evolved to a point where goals were significantly dependent on the decisions others make in what they determine is our best interest.
WHAT ABOUT TODAY?
Today, things have reached or are quickly reaching a state of being out of control. Politics are a hot mess. People can't agree on much, competition in the workplace has escalated, the middle class is struggling like never before, and in some sense, teetering on being non-existent. THE WORLD IS NOT IN BALANCE. I'll be discussing that shortly. People are leaving the states they were raised in by the thousands. SOme for political reasons, some because they want to live in a state where their money goes further, health reasons, and the pandemic did not help. A pandemic that no one seems to be able to get under control. Yes, I have my theories on that as well. I will use Connecticut as an example since I am from C.T. before moving to Florida. Everything is on the rise: housing, crime, cost of living, and more. The same holds true for many other states. People are leaving by the thousands to relocate to other states such as the Carolinas, Texas, Florida, and others.
Is there si middle class in Connecticut? It is shrinking. New Yorkers who make the higher base salaries buy houses in Connecticut because they can commute to work in New York and NOT pay the higher housing prices and rents. This has driven the prices of homes in Connecticut to an alarming number. A number that the middle-class people in Ct. cannot afford. Connecticut residents do not make New York salaries. Therefore, they do the next best thing. They sell for the highest prices they can get and leave the state. These increased salary bases make the per capita income go up. Those living in Ct. who cannot afford to leave the state can no longer afford to stay. They feel and are stuck.
The stress rate goes through the roof, and the rat race goes on. People rush around to try to make ends meet, put food on their table, and try to enjoy any essential comfort in life. Will there ever be an end to this madness? Can there be an end to this madness? The end comes for many people when they leave the environment causing it. The ones left behind are those who suffer unless they can financially afford to stay and live where they are living. The pandemic has caused a great deal of concern for people concerning their rights. What they can and cannot, or should I say, should not be told what to do. As I said, the world is NOT in balance.
A WORLD OUT OF BALANCE?
Is our world out of balance? Let's take a look at the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is the largest geographical country in the world. It covers 6.612 sq miles. Ukraine is 233,031 sq. miles. Think about that. What the heck does Russia need with that little country? Yet, they will risk war and severe USA and Nato sanctions to prove a point. Leave the country alone. Let them live as they choose. Tell me where the balance is in that? That is only one spot in Europe. The Middle East is another cluster of crap.
You might be asking or thinking, what does that have to do with your life and your rat race. Everything in the world is interconnected. One thing affects another. Trade, importing, and exporting of goods. This affects the prices, which eventually comes down to and affects you. The backlog of goods coming into the West Coast of the U.S. has caused many items not to be available. The cost of transportation goes up, and that cost is passed on to us., the American consumer. In today's world economy, the more self-sufficient a country is, the better off they are.
I don't care which president you like more. Trump or Biden. From a fundamental economic standpoint, we are in terrible shape now. Look at gas prices as an example. I said earlier; everything is interconnected because it is. Anything that affects one end of the chain will affect the other end. I get a kick out of the phrase, "The highest job growth rate." Are we creating new jobs or just replacing the jobs that were lost? I will agree that getting people back to work is a huge plus. However, let's not take credit for jobs being rehired that are not new jobs, just jobs that were lost during our lockdown.
All of these things contribute to and worsen the rat race. A pace that, as people, we cannot afford to keep up. It affects our health, our economy, and world balance. It affects our families and not only our present but our future—the future of our children and our grandchildren. Crime is drastically on the rise. Murders are up in every area that suffers from this violence. Yet, our lawmakers are dropping the ball on getting it under control. The hands of our law enforcement officers are tied. The rise in medical calls for our first responders is staggering. Does all of this sound like a trend moving in a positive direction? I think most with a reasonable mind would agree it is not.
Therefore, who is the rat in the rat race? Isn't that the real question? We all are. We are all the rats running around in this maze we all call life. A maze that is semi-planned for us. All trying to find a way out and reach our goals, and I might add, with great opposition. It's a rat race because we allow it. We fall prey to it. We argue and fight amongst ourselves rather than hear a unified voice. We accept what is thrown at us rather than say. NO! That is not what we, the people want. Why is that? That question, my friends, is the easiest one of all to answer and is quite simple.
It is always easier to let others do the work.
A dear friend of mine who is a law enforcement officer once told me. "We do not worry about the everyday person. They are the easiest to find and catch because they have a set daily routine. They never change it. However, a criminal is always changing their moves. They are much more difficult to find." Those are true words. Think about your routine for a moment. You leave the house every day at the same time, you stop at the same place for coffee, usually around the same time, you also get home around the same time. It's similar to having a predetermined program running in your brain. That's your maze. You are not a rat in a bad way. You are only a rat in the sense that you are programmed. A program that you try to break without realizing it.
The bottom line is, in every society, organization, club, or other group, there is always only a tiny handful of people who do the work compared to the total number in the group. Eventually, those people doing the work get tired, and the job no longer gets done. Hence, the rat race thickens. Living becomes harder and harder. Making ends meet is now a thing of the past that was replaced with inflation and increased personal debt. Remember that chain we talked about? It is all interconnected. However, there is always hope. We can hope that if we are unhappy with our leaders at election times, we will change them. We can hope that we will all exercise the most incredible gift our founding fathers gave us as Americans—the right to vote. The right to peacefully and adequately let our voices be heard. In the meantime, we run in the rat race. We are trying to keep our heads above water. We are strong and resilient people. We have survived worse, and we will stay the course and survive these difficult times. That is the faith that I have in the American people.
Stay safe and be well,
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