Billboards and Life

One of the nice things about living in the woods of a National Park is the absence of constant media bombardment. Even the nearest town was devoid of the intensity of direct advertisements. Perhaps there were magazines that could be thought of as bombarding, but I never frequented those places. I had been in the woods for four months. The first ad I was blasted with read this:

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Hustle.”

I was immediately put off by the message. It reminded me of the lifestyle I didn’t want. Take a moment to think about the last part, “the pursuit of hustle.”

It is conveying that we are not moving fast enough. That life is about rushing from one thing to the next. Do this quickly, now quicker, now even quicker. No longer is the focus on enjoyment, peacefulness, and doing things at your own pace. Life is about the pursuit of the hustle. I kept staring at this billboard, perturbed at its message and what it conveyed to others. How many people think life is about rushing from one thing to the next. Does it even matter anymore what those things are? Or is it about how quickly you can blast through everything.

Again, this message was in drastic contrast to how I had spent the last four months living. In the woods, I did things at my own pace. Some days I would wander through the trees, walk barefoot across the moss, and then sit on a log in the middle of a river. Eyes closed I would press my face into the tree’s bark, feel the curled moss envelop my hands, listen to the wind and rushing water; no other sounds. There was nothing to rush to, nowhere to be, nothing that had to be done. It was me and the earth, existing together, peacefully, quietly.

And then I come back into civilization; to companies telling the people to hustle, to move faster. But I want to tell you to relax. There is no need to hustle, to rush, to quicken. Stop, breathe, and enjoy.

Enjoy quiet,

Enjoy stillness,

Enjoy peace,

Enjoy being.

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