7/18/11

Less is more, or is it?

New York in the summertime is far from easy and in many ways is both a blessing and a curse. These last few days since I've been back have been bittersweet, and suffocating in a whole other way--partly because of the heat but mostly because of the economic climate that is New York. I had forgotten how fast money goes in this city! I know that may sound absurd to some but when you're in the groove of your every day you don't necessarily notice the subtle changes, like the extra $.10 tacked onto your cup of coffee or the increase in milk prices (unless of course you have a family with kids)...and the biggest groan most people can relate to is the unexpected rent hike. 

City living is all about making compromises, and I find that one of the biggest ones is convenience over money... whether that's about living spaces (walk-up or doorman, outdoor space or extra closet space) or something else and ultimately as we enter the rat race, it's hard not to get settled into a rhythm that may or may not be good for you.

It's been quite sometime since I vacationed in a location where the cost of living is significantly lower than it is here in the Big Apple. And I nearly had a cow when I realized how much I've spent on food (aka lunch and dinner) since my return from Nicaragua.I can't stress enough that living in NYC is brutally expensive. Nothing new I realize, but after 10 days in Nicaragua watching people manage on next to nothing (sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance), I was reminded about the minimalist philosophy of less is more.
 
Less is more, and progress is another thing entirely. The concept of believing that the world can better itself in terms of science, technology, modernization, liberty, democracy, quality of life. The debate of its purpose is not something that comes up in common conversations, or even in heated debates after one too many Jack'n Gingers. And had I not been under duress before this trip, I'm not sure if I would have been as affected by progress and its present effect on modern society. Or absence in modern day Nicaragua.

In fact, I find myself caught in a careful reflection wondering not what progress has taught us but rather what it's stolen from us.What have we sacrificed for this thing called progress?
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