I saw a headline today about a guy who lives with no income. Hasn’t had one dollar, one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar, for about the last 10 years.
My first thought was, “This guy must live in a cave.”
And by golly, I was right. The opening line mentioned that he lived in a cave that was about as big as a one man tent, or smaller.
Lives up among the desert wildlife outside Moab, Utah. Believe me, life outside Moab, Utah is neither “wild” and it ain’t no “life.” Unless you’re the kind of person who would rather live in a cave, of course.
He used to make a fairly good living but decided he was looking for something “more.”
Enlightenment, if you will.
After getting a degree in anthropology at the University of Colorado, he went to work in the health care field, eventually finding his way down to Moab, where he spent five years working with a woman’s shelter.
Said he felt bad about getting paid for work he was wanting to do.
He decided to join the Peace Corps and ended up in Ecuador, working with a tribe that gave him great satisfaction until they got caught up in Western ideals.
He felt deflated when they wanted televisions, sugar, white flour … the sort of things that a lot of Americans have in their own homes.
It saddened him to the point that he later scraped his savings together and flew to Asia, where he lived in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. From there he went to India, adopting the life of a sadhu, those folks who go penniless for their gods and pretty much wander aimlessly seeking “enlightenment.”
Hmm. Sounds like a family member of mine….
He decided that it was no real test to walk among them in a country where most people were fairly poor anyway. No, the real test was to come back and live as a sadhu among his own folk. Good ol’ money-worshipping, materialistic Americans.
Hallelujah. I proudly count myself among the millions of those.
This fella goes into town, walking the hour or so it takes him to get to Moab and scrounges for what he can find. Shoes, clothing, blankets, what not. He has a bucket of rice and a bucket of beans, which he cooks up in the little pot he found in the trash somewhere.
He can call it what he wants. Sadhu, sad sack, sad for ya. There is another term for it. We non-Sadhus call it “homeless.”
Not that he has to be homeless or calls himself homeless, but essentially, that’s what he is. If you’re of a sound mind and relatively sound body, yet you decide to live in a cave and scavenge through someone else’s trash for your daily bread, that’s homeless. Crazy homeless.
Some folks consider him a “prophet” of sorts, others think he’s just out of his tree.
I have never once in my life thought it would be nice to get rid of all my possessions and surrender myself to Mother Nature. If by some twist of fortune I was forced to do it, that would be one thing. And if that is something that floats your boat, by all means go for it.
I, for one, do not think dragging a hunk of road kill down to your cave and carving it up for your larder is considered “fast food.” Ew.
I know there are lots of folks who go dumpster diving for the sheer pleasure of it, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, honey…” but it ain’t my bag.
This guy never did say whether or not after 10 years of living in a cave he had actually become “enlightened,” but you gotta kinda figure maybe he isn’t.
I like indoor plumbing. I like refrigeration. I pay homage to the person who invented air conditioning, because I don’t think I could ever live without it again. We didn’t have it when I was a kid, and it was miserable.
This fella once got deathly ill from eating the wrong sort of cactus. Thought he was gonna die so he left a note to who ever would be unlucky enough to find his crusty carcass amongst the cans of rice and beans.
See? Cactus. That shoulda been a no-brainer. Oh, I guess it was. No brains, eat cactus.
Just because it grows up outta the ground does not mean it’s fit for human consumption.
Having said all this, however, I realize one very important thing. It’s extremely important and it sets the course for the next few years in our country.
This is exactly the kind of guy the Obama Administration seeks out to make their poster boy. He is the man they want to “raise up” with their health care program.
Maybe this guy isn’t so screwball after all.
Maybe after eating one too many of his fried-cricket breakfasts, he had a vision of what was to come in this country.
He did just want my grampa told me I should do.
Run for the hills.
Had I known he meant “dig a hole and live in it,” I might have listened.