Why do so many of us put up with people who make our lives miserable? There’ve been times in my life when I thought I had to put up with one person or a group of people who made me unhappy. Looking back on those situations, I understand that I had alternatives; I was simply choosing not to take the steps necessary to free myself of the jerks and idiots. A friend just shared something that a fellow accountant recently posted on his LinkedIn profile: “I have rebranded myself into a Concierge CPA who provides flat fee services for a small group of clients. My main rule for accepting a new client is I have to like you. I don’t care about your politics or personality. But, no more jerks. I don’t care how much money you have, I’m too old to waste any more time.” This guy has taken control of his life and he’s not going to put up with people who make him miserable. Most of us could learn something from him. There’s no reason to allow anyone in our lives who’s making things worse for us.
You and I aren’t required to have opinions about anything outside of our own lives. We’re not even required to know about the idiotic controversies which take up so much time and energy in modern media. We can ignore them if we choose. We don’t need to be able to converse about what Celebrity X said or what “social media” is saying about Politician Y. The more we fill our minds with this extraneous garbage, the less attention and energy we have for the things which do matter to us. It’s hard to be active on social media or to consume much other media and still maintain this stance, but what that suggests is that maybe media consumption is making it more difficult for us to live meaningful lives — and maybe it’s time for us to make more changes in our habits. Taking back control over our lives demands that we know what’s important to us — and it demands that we say no to agendas driven by gossip and advertising.
More and more Americans are moving from their native cities to other countries, some for retirement and others because they see danger ahead for the U.S. Mary Taft is a retired teacher and school administrator from Massachusetts who wanted a comfortable and safe place to retire, because she said she saw “the social fabric is shattering” in the country where she grew up. She now thinks it’s a mistake for anybody to stay. “It is an act of insanity to continue to stay in the U.S.,” she told MarketWatch, in an article which looks at the factors that led her to choose Panama as her inexpensive retirement destination.