It is a long time aspiration of mine to go to college to become a jazz piano player/commercial music guru. This is just something I want to do. Sometimes I am afraid that I'll be poor my whole life. Sometimes I feel pressure from the world, from my culture, from my father in law, that I should go the "easy" route and go with the grain, doing a job that makes me enough money to support me and my soon to be wife. And I understand that.
But at the same time, I think all of it is bullshit.
In our world, particularly American culture, happiness and success are equated with a significant income, a big screen TV, a house with a yard, 2 cars and 2.5 kids. And even though everybody looks at that as the ideal, nobody is satisfied with these things. Hence comes the cycle of accumulating more stuff, and then the inevitable problem of what to do with it when you're dead.
Don't get me wrong. I've accumulated a lot of great stuff, and I'm sure a lot of that is from dead people.
But in the process of life, as I collect more and more things to haul around with me through this life, I long for something simpler- a life where I can play piano. A life where I can serve others. A life where I can please my God through simplicity.
When Jesus said, "Sell everything you have and give it to the poor", my first reaction is:
If I do that, I'll be poor. Then I'll just be waiting around for somebody to make the same fool move I did, so I can get back on my feet.
But the more I think about it, I realize happiness and simplicity go hand in hand. That the most important things in life become the only important things in life when you eliminate the clutter and the noise and take a second to breathe. I think everybody knows this. I just get so caught up in the lie of accumulation that I forget where to look for real happiness.
So this is breath number one. Cool.