You have probably never heard of Jose Mujica.
His words and heart felt wisdom continue to haunted me. They have haunted me ever since I heard him for the first time, in the brilliantly magnificent documentary, simply titled; Human.
(Not only human, but Human).
Forget binge-watching whatever is on your list and see it for free online.
His words were planted inside my mind a while ago. They have grown much and continue to sober me up.
I am grateful for his candor and his message. His suffering and his call to happiness.
If you are not familiar with Jose Mujica, you should know that he was the president of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015, but prior to that, he led quite the life and suffered as farmer, a freedom fighter, a prisoner, for over ten years, and a hostage.
Today he preaches the philosophy of sobriety.
Not an easy idea to embrace or sell in North America.
A consumer society, in a progressively vicious battle between a culture of life and the culture of death.
Sobriety is somewhat contrary to our materialistic, consumer wants and desires. Somewhat sobering, as we recover from our New Year’s celebrations, and the universal hangover that slowly dissipates from our collective consciousness.
Somehow, I don’t believe there are many people are ready to listen, but they should.
We need to study the philosophy of sobriety.
I think its best you hear Jose Mujica for yourself, but I while I have you here I will guide you through some of his insights, if for no other reason than some safekeeping.
I take no credit for any of his thoughts. They are his ideas. Earned through years of suffering. Years of meditation. Years of practice.
I only offer a bit of commentary. Because as brilliant as they are in their own right, without my words and yours, they will never spread. And they should.
They need to spread deep. The need to fly far and wide.
Deep into every human soul. Into every crevice of your mind.
You need to take it easy on yourself. Stop beating yourself up for not having or not doing what you imagined you should be doing by this point.
You are not a cog in a wheel. You are not a drunken sailor.
But you do need to renew your love affair with life.
You need to fall in love with the act of being, and it can’t be done half assed or on a part time basis. At some point, and hopefully this happens for you really soon, you will dare to leap. To jump, go all in, and finally embrace, once and for all, everything, in its totality, and allow the act of living to permeate your life.
“Either you’re happy with very little, free of all the extra luggage, because you have happiness inside, or you don’t get anywhere!”
You don’t need to get anywhere.
You have everything you need.
You either have it already, or if you lack something, it is readily available to you. It is not easy to get, of course. Worthwhile things are never quick or easy, but they are abundantly available. The problem is that most people never try, but they are yours, if you only reach out and take the time to look for them.
Ask and it will be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be open.
This is not a call for a life of poverty. It is an invitation for sobriety.
Jose Mujica believes that we have either invented, or else, inherited a consumer society, and a progressively sick mind. A society that today, probably feels a bit exhausted, from all those Black Friday deals, and Boxing Day sales. I bet there are many poor souls who are probably not even clear headed enough to realize, that those credit card bills, that took so little effort to accumulate, will take a lifetime and years of labour, to have disappear.
“When you buy something, you are not paying with money. You are paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that money”.
Think about that.
Tell me that this is not a sobering thought?
Tell me that this doesn’t change the conversation about the worth of our salaries, and how much time we should be willing to sacrifice to earn that money? Tell me that it doesn’t sober you up, in terms of how you spend your life earning a living?
“The difference is, that life, is one thing money can’t buy”.
You will never get more time.
You can’t buy it, but you can always find a new way to earn a little more.
Hell, leaving the country and converting all your dollars into some pesos, for example, would create a whole new reality in your life, if you were willing to be a global citizen, and not just a Canadian one.
Our school system doesn’t help either.
The ‘normal school’ is nothing more than an old, worn out, industrial factory, nudging students into three pathways, so they can become very dutiful consumers, or at the very least, won’t become a financial burden to our society.
“Human beings may be the only animals capable of self-destruction”.
It doesn’t take much effort, or thought for that matter, to realize how true this is. It doesn’t take much time to come to grips with the truth how often we become our own worst enemy. Hindering and spoiling our own happiness, instead of living in the moment.
You are never truly finished.
“You can always pick yourself up again. It’s always worth it, starting from zero again, once, or a thousand times, so long as you’re still alive”.
A thousand times.
A hundred thousand times, a million-million million times.
Your mistakes are never fatal, as long as you continue to have life in you, or the desire to begin again.
Don’t kill your dreams. Don’t let them die.
It is never easy to rise from the ashes, but you have to believe that you can. You have to keep a hint of a spark and always pick yourself up again.
“You are never defeated until you give up the fight”.
And it is never good to give up the fight.
So, keep fighting. Keep kicking. Keep punching.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
Keep dreaming. Keep living. Keep hoping.
Rethink what you need. Reimagine what you can’t live without.
See money as a tool and don’t let its love steal your time.