Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


The Things I Want Are Not Things

(This article was originally written in July, on the 3 year mark from my accident.)

Today is the first time in a long, long time that I've been in any kind of pain. Normally, my surgical implants don't bother me much. Every now and then I might get a twinge, and the scars itch a lot. But I haven't had real pain from it in probably a year.

My work schedule is very sporadic. I spend most of the year doing documentation, gearing up for that short run where we go into production for a few months. We're in that production run now, and I'm spending 11 hours a day on my feet, running around helping people. I actually like my job, quite a bit, and I like to think I'm pretty good at it.

But regardless, I didn't wake up one morning and decide "Hey, I want to become a technical writer for a farm equipment factory." It's a job. I ended up here by the grace of God, and I'm thankful for what it provides me.

But in the end, it's just a job. It's not my life's calling, any further than I'm called to provide for my family.

These kinds of thoughts are the kinds of thoughts that will get you labeled as a "non-team-player" or worse in today's corporate world. It hinders your advancement opportunities, sometimes it could even cost you your job if you say anything detrimental to the "company".

I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of what corporate America has turned me into. I do enjoy some of the things it provides, but you know what? I'd be okay without those things. I don't want to waste my life away working for things that have no long-term value, and then not have time to even enjoy them. I want to make something that lasts, I want to pour myself out on a piece of paper and impact someone's life. I want to spend time building character with my kids. I want to sit in a hammock, and enjoy simply watching the sun go down. These are the things I want: they're not things.

My friends love their all-inclusive cable TV packages. They love their imported cars, their expensive entertainment systems. Their enormous houses that they only spend a few hours in a day.

I'm not condemning them, they are recieving their rewards for their sacrifice. But if I stand up and say "I don't want to sacrifice anything more than what I am now, I'm happy with where I am" I'm viewed as a slacker, not interested in self-improvement. Not an improving investment to the company.

But you know, I don't get my self-worth from a company name plaque anyway. I don't define myself by my title or pay grade. I just work harder doing things *I* think are valuable. Enriching the world with writing and music. Enriching my children by filling them with love and Biblical wisdom.

The world today just assumes you want the bigger house and faster car. The world assumes you want the most channels, the fastest download speeds, the highest thread count, the best brand tags. The richest leather! The newest whatever.

But it's all manufactured by marketing. There was no demand for these things until someone marketed them to us. Nobody cared about these "micro-luxuries" because really, they hadn't existed up until recently.

We're told to not be content with what we have. We're constantly bombarded with the urge to be dissatisfied. We're told to not like who we are. (It's implied... "your life could be better with ____!")

And I refuse to play their game. I'm happy with what I have... more than happy, in fact. I'm blessed in more ways than I can count. And that makes people uncomfortable. They have bought into the culture of "more" so deeply that they can't even fathom what it means to be happy with what you have.

I feel sorry for these people, I really do. They don't even know they're walking around in chains. They feel free, but they are only free as long as they play the game and feed the consumerism monster. As soon as you stop upgrading, the world shuns you. Because upgrading is for winners! And everybody else is a loser.


You might want to look at your lifestyle and think about what you're sacrificing to live like you do. Wouldn't it be nice to do what you love? Don't you hate always coming up short on bills and trying to keep up with the Joneses?

And yes... I have been known to buy expensive things from time to time. But they usually are either 1. designed to last a lifetime, or 2. replacing numerous pieces for much less than they'd cost separately.

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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