A look at life’s decisions and where they can lead you.

I sit at the crossroads of life.  Roads lead off in every conceivable direction.  Some are major highways and others dirt tracks.    Life is not always simple and the decisions we have to make are not always clear.  I can only guess where each road will take me, and how long the road might be.  At every step another option appears, sometimes a billion options appear.  How am I supposed to know which road is the best?

The answer is simple, I cannot know.  I can only look behind me and see what the roads I traveled so far have revealed to me.  I can see from past experience what might yield the best results.  I know that each life experience, both good and bad, help me reach the choice that is the best for me.  Sometimes that is not enough, often I must make decisions for others.  I now am responsible for my wife and our small family.  During my working hours I am also responsible for my crew, and the people who own the business I run.  This weight is sometimes unbearable.  Often I ask myself what I am doing, how I got here, and how do I get myself out of here.  These of course all lead to different roads.  I do not know if I am willing to face the consequences of my actions.

It is easier for most people to delegate the role of decision maker to others.  They will work for someone else their entire life, they will always follow rather than lead.  This was not the way I was raised though.  My father showed me what it was like to work for yourself, to follow your dreams, and be the own measure of your success or failure.  So I lead.  It is lonely at the top they say, this is not because it is hard to get there, but because no one else wants to be there with you.

I believe that a lot of the trouble America faces today is due to this.  We have exchanged our leadership roles for wage slavery.  In the 1800’s almost every American was self-employed, now almost no one is.  When you work for yourself you get a lot more accomplished, you do it your way, and you build your own dreams.  When you work for someone else you exchange ya piece of your day for money.  There are a lot of benefits to working for yourself.  I believe those benefits are wearing thin though.  It used to be that you found yourself a good job, worked forty hours a week, maybe an extra shift one or twice a month, and you could afford a home, two cars and 2.5 kids.  Now a two income family struggles so that they can make a mortgage.

It used to be that you worked for a company for your entire life, until you retired with a pension.  Now people change jobs every year, and the thought of a pension makes most people laugh.  With the current state of the economy no one knows what business is going to be open next week, or how long they are going to have their job.  When someone tells me they are going to quit, I just sigh and tell them “good luck.” 

I look back at my father’s generation and the toys that he had as a kid.  I look back even further to my grandfather’s generation and look at their toy allotment.  I am sure I do not tell you what I see.  With each passing generation our idea of what the “basics” are changes.  It is no longer that we need clothing, food and shelter.  Kids these days need the latest gaming platform, be it the Wii, or the X-Box.  They need an iPhone, a hot new desktop computer, and a stack toys as far as the eye can see.

These generate our income though don’t they?  Without these purchases, the economy would fail.  Yet the people who manufacture these wonderful devices are not even Americans.  So what happens when we spend all of our money in other countries and not our own?  I think you can look out on the street and tell me.  We all know these truths to be self evident.  So why can’t we just knuckle down and do what is right?

Maybe it is because we are not strong enough.  Maybe we lack the heroes to lead us in the right direction.  I can lead, but I am no hero.  I am not willing to sacrifice what I have gotten for what I may receive in return.  I can afford to make my house payments, my credit card has some serious debt racked up on it, but I can mange it.  So I take the safe road, I keep working for someone else, letting my paycheck squeeze me by, just barely. 

The thought does occur though, what does make a hero?  Maybe if I lost my job, or something was really taken from me, I might respond as one.  I suppose that heroes are made, not born.  So in saying that I may one day become a hero, but I doubt it.  I don’t doubt though that if things don’t turn around soon we may yet see some heroes come out of the woodwork.  When they do you better decide what you want first.  Do you want the status quo, or do you want freedom?

I do not know what it is going to cost to get us free, I do who will have to do it.  The little man, because they are way more of them down there, than there are on the top.  It is lonely up there after all, I know, not many people seek to lead.  Those that seek it for power, do not share their power.  Make no mistake in a Capitalistic government, wealth is power.

So the next time you stand at a crossroads, thinking about which path to walk, try and think more about where the path will lead, rather than where you have been.  If you know where you want to be, you stand a heck of a better chance of getting there than if you do not where you are going.  I wish you all the best luck in the world I have to offer.

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