The Simple Life
“Americans have discovered the fragility of life, that ominous fragility that the rest of the world either already experienced or is experiencing now with terrible intensity.”
November 16, 1922,
Portuguese Author & Nobel Prize Winner
Our lives, as Americans, are changing. When I was a child, I vividly remember visiting the Norman Rockwell museum. I was enthralled with the “charmed” lives of the people in his art work, the simplicity, the joy. His work captured the innocence and mores of post WWII America. But even then, I knew these pieces of work did not depict my America. Twenty-five years later, I can say with great certainty, there will be no return to Rockwell.
In chasing after the post-war dream of individually securing our own piece of land on the outskirts of the urban center, setting up shop and settling down, we have naively created an economy dependent on our ability to travel great distances to sustain ourselves. We are dependent on our ability to travel great distances to sustain ourselves. We are dependent on fossil fuels for our very existence. And this oil-dependent economy is fragile, to say the least. With oil prices climbing to unheard of new heights, average Americans are having to choose between gassing up the tank—a mere $113.83 to $143.21 for the guzzling SUV to “bus” a family the many miles to work and school each day—or putting food on the table.
If the most commonplace acts of daily life are causing such individual hardship, then it is without a doubt that the cost of being a small business owner must be hitting many of our readership hard. I would love to hear from each of you. What is the most difficult challenge you are experiencing due to rising costs of energy, food and the sinking dollar? What measures are you taking in your businesses and personal lives to effectively cope with these economically fragile times? Share your stories with us, and in the coming months we will share your efforts with other readers.
While Rockwell’s depiction of American life may be an impossibility in the America of today, we can still find our piece of the pie, somehow, someway.