Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just Enough To Pay The Rent

One of my friends is 72. She’s retired, and lives off a fixed income. It’s not much, but she keeps her expenses down and is able to make it. She also runs a small used bookstore at a local artist collective. She rents half of a stall for her store and only sales a handful of books every week. (She brings in much more than that though, so she’ll soon be out of room!) Most people wouldn’t keep going. It wouldn’t be worth it to them if they weren’t making any money. However, she’s not in it to make money. She does it just because she enjoys it. She says that her only goal “is to make enough money to pay the rent”. And she does, though sometimes just barely. It’s funny to watch her after she’s made the rent and a little extra. She’ll leave her stall when she doesn’t have any customers and wander through the market, chatting with and patronizing other artists. She’s not afraid of people stealing her merchandise; she says that anyone who would steal a book needs it more than she does!

I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. My thoughts have been along the lines of what the world would be like if more people had her view. What if everyone only cared about making enough to meet their expenses, and a little bit more? What if there wasn’t all of this greed, all of this striving to accumulate the most stuff and the most money, regardless of the costs to others? What if we all did something just because we enjoyed it? I can’t help but imagine a world like that.

I think it might just be a much better place.

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