38 Comments

Really well written. Makes me think; perhaps should make us all think a little more. Thanks for sharing.

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For me, having a vocation is like being a ski bum, except I make money doing what I love. I’m always learning and my clients appreciate my enthusiasm. I take a vacation every six weeks and live a fairly austere life. I’ve never been a good traveler, and I don’t feel I miss out on the more expensive things in life. My travels are in my mind to learn new things to help people heal. There is all kinds of freedom and having a vocation is one of them.

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Have you seen the Showtime series Billions? I think it gives an accurate depiction of what it takes to have and keep the power of money. Mark Cuban has a recurring role as himself. Great series. It proves the old adage "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"

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I've never intentionally planned on a period like that, though I've stumbled into it a couple of times after being downsized/packaged off. After one such parting and being a keen scuba diver at the time, I went down to the Caribbean to take my dive instructor's course, thinking I might stay down there and do that for a while.

But, I blew a hole in my eardrum and couldn't dive (or fly home) so it turned into a 3 month-long trip from Honduras to Toronto by a combination of sailboat, chicken bus and greyhound; Honduras to Guatemala, across Guatemala to the Pacific, up into Mexico, across Mexico back to the gulf, up Mexico to Texas and across the US by bus.

Along the way I found myself on top of a pyramid at El Tajin, on a Tuesday afternoon, virtually alone in the ruins thinking yeah.. This kind of worked out perfectly 😊

I've long since been back to working for a bank 🤔

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No truer words have been said. I lived my 20’s after a stint in the USMC working enough to survive. All that time I spent trying to become a writer, a game designer and zine publisher. (That last one shows my age)

I then met a woman that desired a more secure life and I started on the career path I am still on. I’ve become successful but am always drawn to walking away to become that artist again.

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founding

Very interesting article and the lure of just doing something because you love it as opposed to securing health insurance and an income stream from eventual boring employment is tempting but then mortgage payments, children’s college expenses and not being a sycophant on other people’s wages because of personal choice jolts me back to reality

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Thanks for allowing us to share Jay Allen Wolfe's passion. No, I never did go off the radar, living my fantasy. But I relished the idea - a vicarious moment with Mr. Wolfe.

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I'm not an ' all or nothing ' kind of gal. I loved Mr. Wolfes story and truly get the message but I think there is plenty of opportunity to be both ... somewhere in between Mr. Wolfes experience and Elon Musks. Find balance and we can have it all. Work, play and sometimes take naps.

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Bingo! Balance is the key. And recognizing (and respecting) that it takes all kinds. After all, there are so many ways to live a life.

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The proverbial ski bum is a reminder that all that glitters is not gold. In fact, I might suggest that the ski bums of this world, while perhaps lost according to societal norms, recognize that we were created for something more than what our society upholds as the “American Dream”. To the point, and speaking from my position as a pastor, because every person is created in the image of God, we were created for an intimate and personal relationship with God; and so deep down, every one of us has this yearning, this understanding that we were created for something more than going to a lifeless job, typing on a keyboard or making widgets, or whatever. Work is a gift from God — it existed before the Fall into sin — but like every thing else, it has been corrupted in various ways that we try so desperately to find our identity in our work, rather than the One in whose image we are created. There’s something to be said about doing what you love. It’s not the end all be all, but until we’re given eyes to see by God, it’s the closest thing we’ll find to true satisfaction that approximates that for which the ski bum seek after.

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“I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with 'you' in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.”

― Christopher Hitchens

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Thanks for sharing, Darrell. Don't agree with Hitchens's overall sentiment (let alone his overarching worldview), but thanks for sharing.

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We both have our own versions of an overarching worldview. I happen to share mi e with someone more earthly.

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When people chose to bring religion or politics to the table I am compelled by nature to establish balance. Here is someone whom I suspect you might agree has a less confrontational worldview:

"I like your Christ, but I don't like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ"

-- Mahatma Gandhi

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Again, thanks, Darrell. I wasn’t offended by your Hitchens quote. And I’m not offended by your Gandhi quote either. He was wrong precisely where He was right. And I appreciate your confession of compulsion, too. I appreciate your desire for balance. Thanks for your friendly banter!

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I was not attempting to be offensive; it is interesting that you mention you were not

offended. Being “compelled by nature” is quite different from a compulsion. I feel no constraint and consciously recognize nature’s ability to make the need for balance evident by abhorring a vacuum.

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Oh, my experience is that some people have precarious views of Christians, thinking we’re easily offended by anything and everything that doesn’t agree with us. Come to think of it, there are some for whom that’s true, sadly. But my point is that I wanted to communicate to you that I wasn’t.

I abhor vacuums, too; unfortunately that doesn’t ever seem to be enough to get me out of that chore. Compelled, compulsed, or constrained, I appreciate your perspective. In the meantime, enjoy your evening!

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Oh how I love this! I’ve devotedly stayed on the treadmill professionally and been “the responsible one” all my life. But I’ve pretty nearly only loved artists, mystics, and “ski bums” with various different specific passions . Freedom of the spirit is the only REAL thing and I too wish it were more highly respected and valued.

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Ski bum:

Oh, there are people exactly like the ski bum around you every day. Truckers. They live in their own world. They work outside at a job who just really appeals to them. It's definitely not a 9 to 5 gig, lol.

Most don't have a brick and mortar home. The truck is home. Address? It's a P.O. Box. You just pick a town you go through a lot and that has a Post Office you can swing an 18 wheeler close to. There's your new home town. I have "lived" in some pretty neat towns doing that.

Every day is new. Yeah, it's the same truck, but everything and everybody you encounter that day will be unique. It can take years to understand that fact. A lot less if I trained you, lol.

The freedom you feel by not being connected to the "straight" world is intoxicating. People say the road is a mistress. They're hitting the bullseye on that one. Anywho, wave at a trucker. It'll make their day, trust me.

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Shooters:

What is it with shooters being so young? Teens and early to mid twenties. What, or who, is telling them that going out and shooting a bunch of people will improve their lives?

I do believe that it's time for a shift concerning how active shooters are dealt with. No more "take them alive". Nah, you shoot up anywhere and you're gonna be so shot full of holes that God himself won't know who you are. A burial plot? Please. We're just going to toss you in the closest landfill and call it a day. Serves you right.

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Jul 5, 2022·edited Jul 5, 2022

The challenge with the “don’t take them alive” philosophy is that the highest percentage of these shooters do so as a means of suicide. They, more often than not, know they will be going out in their “blaze of glory.” They don’t believe this will improve their lives, they believe it will end them. But, their lives are so far gone already, they want to take others with them, and their regard for any human life, especially their own, is so low that a statement, (of despair, of evil…who knows?) is more important than a life. That said, I’ve never been privy to the “take them alive” plan. I always thought the goal was stop them immediately. Use whatever force necessary. Well…at least until even THAT seemed broken in Uvalde.

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True. The main point I was trying to make was that the shooter would get no glory. No name mentioned once they've been killed.

Or, as you're saying, let's deny them their "glory". Let's lock them away in some dark, dank, and dingy cell for 23 hours a day. Your 1 hour of " exercise " is at 2 in the morning. Deal with it. For the rest of your life.

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The shooter always gets what they are looking for, one way or another, once they pull the trigger. Being able to shoot 40 rounds in 60 seconds is a bit more weapon than most deer hunters need. He might have shot less in that two minutes if he had to pull back a bolt for each shot and actually aimed rather than sprayed like a water hose.

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So many things wrong with that essay. He pushes back against people who say he's wrong to have this ski bum passion, but turns around and does the same to those whose passion is success. That's our country in a nutshell. If my passion is right, yours can't possibly be.

The writer leaves out the fact that his wish for Mark Zuckerberg to have left school to pursue a life as a ski patroller requires people with money to afford the ski trip. They are mutually dependent on each other. It's like playing 6 degrees of separation. Use any blue collar job against a white collar job and you'll see the co-dependence.

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founding

So we’ll put. I just read it lightheartedly so didn’t see that what you are saying is the truth. We all depend on each other and I appreciate reading the thoughts of those who see the world differently.

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founding

Well not we’ll!

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I understand his point. I believe Mark Zuckerberg and his selfish construct is responsible for much evil. I refuse to use FB or have anything to do with it. Not on Twitter either and only used LI for work. All are a useless time suck.

I don’t begrudge people making money; hell, I retired at 62 and am not taking SS until full retirement. No mortgage, car payment and life is no different other than simpler. I did OK. It did take me 62 years to live the life of a ski bum (actually, riding my mountain bike, hiking and cooking) and I relish every 3rd cup of coffee during my leisurely mornings.

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I enjoy FB but do not have TV as THAT was a huge waste of time. I do not cruise FB and have eliminated folks who are negative or spout hate. I retired at 60 and travel extensively and am not going to take my SS until I turn 70. We small tent camped during the two years of the pandemic and met amazing liked-minded people from all walks of life. My doc only lets me drink two cups of coffee/day but I’m okay with that. Love my coffee!

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I wholeheartedly disagree on the definition of a "true artist" in Jay Allaen Wolfe's writing. "True artists live and work without much chance of success, without grant money, sponsorships or the safety net of a comfortable teaching position." I am a true artist, and no-one can tell me I'm not. My art medium - fashion. And I make a living making my art. And my art makes people's lives better, it makes people happy, it brings freedom to people, and it allows people who haven't been seen or heard by other clothing companies to be seen and heard. I don't live or run my business with any grant money, sponsorships, or any safety nets but my hard work. And I have had success with any art I have produced in my life. I may not have the financial success of Mark Zuckerberg, but as a true artist, I have fed my family, have created jobs to feed more families beyond just mine, and I've made our customers happy. The idea of the starving artist is not healthy, not real, and it hinders or stops artists from pursuing their passion because of the fear they won't be able to make a living off of their passion. It's with this mindset of lack that you find artists "sitting in an office as his heart unwinds, beat by beat, second by second." If you want it, go get it. If it's important to you, you'll go do it. If it's not, you'll find excuses. But don't say a true artists is a starving artist. Just my two cents.

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Having gone straight form school into a successful 40+ year corporate career, I often looked back and jokingly said I should have taken some time off to be a ski bum. However, I've always been passionate about my work - work that has always afforded me a very full and rewarding life. So I guess if I'm being completely honest with myself, taking the ski bum route might not have turned out to be the best path for me. Thought provoking article. Thanks for sharing.

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Wow!

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