Quoting Scardino

do not resuscitate

we’re taught from the time we’re eating cheerios and pooping in our pants that we can do whatever it is that we want to do. with enough hard work and dedication, we can change things and we can be the person we want to be.

but that’s not always true.

there will be times when people and places and things and organizations will be trying to tie you down. they’ll systematically shut down all the parts that make you who you are like a chronic illness shutting down the organs in your body. there will be people telling you ‘no’ in the most polite way possible while asking you to keep doing what you’re doing—keep dreaming, keep brainstorming, keep working hard, stay focused—because it’ll pay off one day.


there will be places, towns, and cities (and maybe countries) which don’t have the resources you need to become the person you were meant to become, but you’ve already built a home there. it’s familiar to you.


houses, cars, televisions, and all the material things we’re told we need to have to be happy turn into anchors preventing us from taking risks. the things we own begin to own us.


it may even become that the organization you’ve built your life around and identified with for so many years isn’t the company you originally went to work for. or, as happens in life, you merely grew in a different direction and now your organization’s goals and ideals no longer match with your own.


and there it is. you’re dead inside. a shell of a person waking up in the morning and going to work with no real purpose aside from surviving another day. but there’s another option instead of trying to make it work like everyone taught you as a child.

do not resuscitate.

find more people who are like-minded and thrive off of their support instead of dying from the constant negativity you receive from others. move to a new town with similar interests and other like-minded people where you can be a part of, and thrive in, a community that shares the same ideals as you. leave the things behind you don’t really need (get a cheaper car, drop your cable television package, pay off your debt faster). and find an organization that aligns to your personal values and conducts business the same way you conduct business.

chances are you may have to do this all again in a few more years, but here’s the key truth in all of this: there’s nothing wrong with that.

3 thoughts on “

  1. One of the most powerful films I ever saw was shown to me when I joined the Air Force. It was shown to me repeatedly when I attended professional military education. “Twelve O’Clock High” was the story of a bomber squadron during WWII whose job was to bomb Germany regardless of the personal cost. When their new commander briefed them before a particularly dangerous mission he told them, “Consider yourselves dead; then you won’t be worried about whether you’re going to survive this mission.” It seemed heartless and tyranical, but after reading your piece….Colonel Savage’s message comes back to haunt me… again.

    If we’re always trying to match the images we’re shown by advertisers, trying to have them emerge within our own lives so that we can have what those images promise–happiness, contentment, excitement, popularity, beauty–we are certain to be disappointed. Because the image is not real, only a metaphor of what we imagine it to be. Choosing to turn off those images, to look away from their corrosive and pitiless effects provides us the chance to see a different world.

    Could it be that the “real” world is the one that happens BETWEEN people, what psychologists call intersubjectivity? It’s the connection that inspires, rejuvenates, and motivates, rather than just the data being exchanged.

    Could we admit that the only time such connections matter is when we are in need of intentional community? So maybe we shouldn’t leave our environment where all this trouble is. For centuries people have been trying to build this perfect kingdom, nation, community, tribe, etc. through political systems, economic designs, or professional specialization. Yet they have not resulted in the utopias we longed for.

    Could it be that we need to realize that this “place” is inside us? Maybe it is the way that we have been built — our brain’s are wired to sense our need of others, of their values, of their needed connection. Stripping off the blinders of marketing, the corporate garbage that masquerades as such a connection is certainly essential so that we can hear that “soft, murmuring sound” calling our name, the warm breeze that carries the perfume of contact with another free of all the trapping of manipulation, training and admonition.

    After all, we wish to be known, to be treasured and to be heard. We can do that regardless of the space and place where we find ourselves. We but have to step into the quiet. Thanks for being one of those places with this blog.


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