Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

Perspectives

Mary Johnson - Friday, May 24, 2019

Have been home from our travels for a couple of weeks. Been sitting with all I saw especially in Nevada. Now a couple of thumbs up for Nevada. They have loosened abortions laws rather than repealed them. Nevada has also elected more women to their legislature than men. Check out the link. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/17/nevadas-legislature-women-outnumber-men-first-nation-carson-city-may-never-be-same/) This happened after we were home. An unexpected surprise. 

That said, this blog isn't about the above, though there's much from my point of view to celebrate. It was about the amount of poverty we saw in our travels around Nevada. This is still reverberating for me! I have always had angst around money. This comes from my younger years and the very lean times we experienced. So the residual feeling (vs truth) hovers around not enough. Well, .... we looked unbelievably wealthy compared to what we saw down south. Gave us a deep appreciation for our circumstances. This triggered a discussion about our trip to Florida. Specifically to Boca Raton to visit friends a number of years back. Boca, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, these are places of opulence. Many of the world's wealthy 1% have a home in Florida. For years I had told myself I could do or buy anything I wanted. Realized my wants were pretty small in comparison. Neil and I lived in the land of chump change by comparison to the wealth that surrounded us in Florida!    

There are two powerful lessons here: 

 The first one is your situation can take on a different light depending on where you are standing! We looked lacking when we hung around in Florida and looked like kings when in Nevada. Neither of which was really true! 

Secondly comparisons create suffering. My 'not enough' theme was fed caviar in Boca Raton. Wow I really didn't have 'enough'. Fast forward to our trip to Nevada and I felt uncomfortable with how well off we were by contrast and worried about what to do with the harshness of lives we saw. This thinking helps no one. It's a waste of time and energy.

So I stepped back, focused on my circumstances vs eyeing someone else's, felt grateful for what I have (and it IS enough!!) and will do what I can to help others based on my values. This feels good. It is good. The gift of travel has allowed me to see sites and experience life outside my bubble. It's given me new perspectives. As I said in my last blog The American Dream, it's been an eye opening!  


The American Dream

Mary Johnson - Monday, May 06, 2019
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Being down in the USA is always interesting. While Americans are similar to me, they are a breed apart. They have a unique character and approach to life. Particularly in the mid west. We are down visiting our second son. He makes his home in Elko Nevada. We have enjoyed checking things out. What has overwhelmingly stuck me is the amount of poverty there is. Not necessarily Elko which is surrounded by multiple productive gold mines. That has afforded this town a degree of stability and wealth, ... for now. Not all places are so lucky.

We have traveled through lots of territory and stopped in many small towns. Towns that were once fuelled by mining most specifically but not always. Whatever gave the place it's appeal has long since left. Homes are terribly neglected. There is little pride of ownership. The spirit of place and it's people subdued or lost. Staying too in RV parks throughout the State we met loads of folks for whom the RV park is their home. They live in a variety of trailers from quite nice to pretty old. The sort of RV the they can pick up and easily move when fortunes turn. Or walk away from. Our son says by the mine there are several squatter villages. People rolling in to live as they can on the land doing whatever work they can find. Federal land is free and available for anyone to enjoy.

That's the thing. Individuals we spoke with love their freedom. The ability to live as they want without a whole lot of folks telling them otherwise. They feel they are living the American Dream. There is fierce sense of independence. They don't want any government interference, rules, regulations (that's the sort of things that shut down their industry we were told). They view themselves as free men and women. Independent souls who carve out a (what I would describe as marginal) living - but absolutely on their own terms. This is Trump country. In spades. He has spoken about making things great again. Once upon a time in these small places it was great. Or a heck of a lot better. Not anymore and nothing we could see would bring it back. Still capturing that sentiment has meant something in these parts and the people who live here. They want for something more. And in passing through these parts I can understand why. The glory days have passed them by and they'd like a taste again. (We have some of this thinking in Alberta! The good times will roll when those pipelines get built!)

That said I get some things more fully now. If it was me I would gravitate towards someone who recognized and spoke to my plight and held out something better. These aren't foolish people. They are a people who are looking to have back some prosperity, dignity and pride. It's been an eye opener for sure. 2020 will be an interesting time down here.