I know this makes little sense, but I often envy homeless people.
Many was the time I would see them sleeping peacefully under a freeway overpass, and admire how little they had to worry about.
No worries about paying the mortgage, or having the latest smart phone. No getting pissed off every time the cable TV bill arrives, and pondering for the billionth time whether you should be spending so much money on so many channels.
No frustration over the latest car repair bill or car insurance payment. No wondering how you will afford the latest clothes or electronic gadget your kid is coveting.
Some people even pay a monthly fee for a storage unit to house all the useless junk that they never use.
Of course, I could go on and on.
What a blissful life the homeless must have, I tell myself, freed from all these superficial burdens.
They can just go from place to place, no strings attached, and sleep under the stars. They aren’t tied down, working the same routine day after day and kissing the boss’ ass just to keep everyone happy and struggle to maintain a lifestyle.
The homeless must look at us and think we’re suckers.
But then I take a closer look, and realize that most of these homeless guys actually do have material possessions.
They are usually pushing around a rusty, rickety shopping cart that’s like their own personal storage unit. I’m not sure what exactly they have in those carts, but there must be some pretty useful items if they want to remain tied down to it.
Where is the freedom from material possessions that I was so romantically envying whenever I saw these people? Could it be that they are actually enslaved to this crap just like the rest of it, but on a more, shall we say modest, level?
I remember I once even saw two homeless ladies in a McDonald’s both pushing their shopping carts and greedily eyeing each other’s stuff while guarding their own carts.
So not only are they tied down to this junk just like we are, they also have to worry about it being stolen, just like we do.
So I guess even if we want a simple life free of monthly bills, a numbing routine, and all the crushing consumerism, there is some need within us, regardless of income, that makes us end up with obtaining, and being enslaved by, material possessions.
Sigh. Homelessness isn’t the answer after all. There really is no escape.