Move Past Survival

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Karyn Connor

Senior Editor @ GoneWithTheWord

In times of long gone (for most of us) survival was a daily struggle. We had to hunt food, avoid danger, protect or rediscover shelter, and avoid any threat the elements presented us.

Today, most of us in the western world don’t have to face such struggles. We have shelter, food and all our basic needs covered. This is thanks to an elaborate set of social systems set in place to ensure all its citizens have access to the basic needs. This, in theory, should allow us time and energy for other pursuits such as intellectual development, artistic expression or family nurturance.

Yet, with the worst of the threats eliminated, we seem to set out to recreate those threats and keep the fight for survival alive.

That’s nonsense, you say?


I know a woman who earns an excellent income. She could have had her small bungalow paid off years ago, and her child’s university fund covered nearly a decade in advance and enjoy a financially stress-free life. Yet she has a second mortgage on her house and credit card bills that equal some people’s annual salary.

Why? Because. She insists on a lifestyle of continuous spending. She must have whatever frivolity the fashionistas of Hollywood tell her is the mandatory item of the moment. She must have stays in expensive hotels rather than more moderate ones. She must have fancy five-star dinners and over-priced baubles.

In effect, she uses all her energy to create a threat against which she must to continue fight to overcome or evade. She creates the threat to her survival. After all, if she values her image and stuff above all else, to lose those things because she could no longer afford to keep up would mean failure: failure to survive in our material world.

Another friend does the same. He borrowed money from his parents to help him overcome a period of unemployment. But rather than use this money strictly for food and shelter and any other basic necessities, he bought expensive hockey tickets, rounds of drinks for his friends and a trip down south to escape his winter blues.

Why? Perhaps because having no real threat to overcome demotivated him.

Like so many people, he needed the stimulation and adrenal rush that comes with a predator in pursuit. Today that predator is rarely a lion. It is more likely the financial institutions that threaten people’s materialistic and image-centric survival.

How about giving up on that extra pair of shoes or expensive sports events? Why not refurbish the heels you already have, or watch the game on television and keep your life and energy free to grow and evolve?

After all, it is hard to outrun the proverbial lion while wearing Jimmy Choo’s.

#BeBold, by Karyn Connor is available noweBook and Paperback

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