On my way to a bar, my Uber driver said something to me that struck a chord in my heart. I wasn’t searching for anything profound. After all, I would soon be with an IPA in hand to take a load off, get mellow. But as always, moments, words come when you need them.
We were cutting the chase. Talking small. Where are you from? What do you do? The usual conversation starters. The stranger driving me reached for his Starbucks latte. He took a sip + said, “People never really get richer. They just find more stuff to buy + feel exactly the way the felt when they had their first job.”
My driver, Dave, continued to tell me that he had carried numerous jobs. He was a mail carrier. He worked on a college campus doing some sort of odd job he never mentioned–janitor? Groundsman? Who knows? It doesn’t matter. The point is, he never cared about moving up in the world via the ladder most Americans believe in–a ladder based on how many rungs or figures we can stuff in our wallets in one year.
In Dave’s eyes, success is measured by simplicity. Think about it. The smaller our houses are the less time we’ll spend cleaning or repairing them. Interesting to think in the opposite way we usually tend to live, eat and breathe, right?
Time is more valuable than money. It’s something we too often forget until we lose a loved one + remember that time is not bought. We tend to fill our lives with things rather than moments. And the truth is we should be having a lot more FUN! And we should concentrate our efforts on feeding our souls rather than stuffing our pockets.
There are a lot of people who give up life in the fast lane to slow down. I know several of them who gave up on larger incomes, on monetary success to become yoga teachers because their souls felt more fulfilled by giving than receiving. Teaching yoga may not lead to a bigger paycheck but there is a greater gift both given + received that cannot be measured.
This type of thinking was something I memorized by heart in the form of a lullaby my mom used to sing to me as a child. When it came to bedtime songs, mama usually took requests. And I always asked for “the penny song.”
“It’s just like a magic penny. Hold on tight + you won’t have any. Lend it spend it + you’ll have so many, they’ll roll all over the floor,” my mama sang. “Love is like a penny if you give it away, you’ll end up having more.”
Dave–the Uber dude–parks his car to let me out. He gets out of the car. I’m not used to that. Most drive on to their next job in a hurry to get to the next guy that needs a ride before their competition pushes the button to receive the request on the other line. He takes a big breath. He stretches to the sky. “Just taking a breath of fresh air,” he says as he looks me up + down. “So you’ve got the 60s thing going on. Bell bottoms. I like that,” Dave comments. He calls me a hippie. It reminds me of a phrase a friend of mine + I used to say often: Hippiness is happiness. In other words, simplicity is success. Peace is a virtue. Love is a gift. Give. Give suggestions. Give love. Give time. Give up on that which is material + give in to what’s calling your heart. Give more with less. Be free.