Hey crazy man

I just got back from a week in Belize. I stayed on a small island off the coast and spent most of my time relaxing.

The pace, the stress, and the demands of modernity had worn me down and I needed to chill out. This vacation was the perfect remedy. For the first time in a long time, I felt relaxed and refreshed.

On the island I met a guy who seemed crazy. He stood near the beach with no shirt, smiling, and enthusiastically saying, “sunshine!” as people walked by.

He seemed happy.

The first time I passed him, he looked at me and said, “Hey crazy man.” I thought that was funny, because if either of us were crazy, it was him.

I passed him again a few days later and again he said, “Hey crazy man” to me.

This time, I realized that he may have a point.

He seemed happy just being in the sun. I had worn myself down so much that I flew to a different country and then took a boat to a remote island just so I could relax.

Out of the two of us, I probably am the crazy one. He was happy and relaxed where he was. I needed to temporarily flee my life to find serenity.

The Western World is wired so that the default mode is over-scheduled, over-caffeinated,  over-connected, high stress, and blindly ambitious. This blends together and produces people like me, who are (almost) incapable of simply standing in the sun and being content. Honestly, it doesn’t even occur to me to be present and connected like that.

We have collectively gone crazy. It’s not your fault or mine. It’s just an artifact of modernity.

The “crazy man” taught me that it’s my obligation – and yours too – to periodically step back, breathe, and appreciate the sunshine.

It’s our obligation to reconnect to the human experience. To reconnect to life, and love, and the present, and wonder, and the natural world.

The first step is to pause, breathe in, breathe out, and appreciate life. It’s the antidote for the societal insanity we quietly and invisibly suffer from.

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