This is Part 2 of our three-part series in response to the question often posed, explicitly or implicitly, during the conversations we have with many people day to day. If you haven’t already, you can go back and read Part 1 of our thoughts on this.
Let’s address the extremely literal and specific meaning of this question. What if everyone traveled around the world without money, getting food for free, etc.? I’m pretty confident I know the answer to this one. Society would collapse and we’d all starve to death.
Thankfully, complex societies require specialization. If we all started doing any one single thing, except (arguably) subsistence farming, we would perish rapidly. A society populated only by doctors or only by authors would die as surely as one consisting solely of peripatetic, idea-pollinating, money-rejecting young male bloggers. But not everyone has to do what we’re doing and not everyone wants to do what we’re doing. For everyone who wants to make the world better by traveling, sharing questions, and forming new social connections, there’s someone else who would love to roam around building things and improving our physical environment, and there are a bunch of people who would like to do most of their good in a single place they can call home.
Our human endeavor has room and need for all of these people to live out their dreams and our current role as sowers of good cheer, good deeds, good questions, and (hopefully) good ideas is one we think is in great need and one we’re particularly well-suited for. We’re intelligent, we’ve done a lot of thinking, we’re kinda fun, we don’t desire a lot of material comfort, and we care, a lot. I’m too squeamish to be a doctor, too honest and too radical to run for office, and not particularly talented at house building. But I can do this and I think the doing of this is good. And I think something similar holds for Jesse, and for Mark, though he’d probably argue that there’s no such thing as good.
Geographic P.S.: We’ve been in the Melbourne-ish area of Florida for eight days now, mainly because we’ve met some incredible people here. We’ll likely be heading south this afternoon, if Mark and Jesse ever wake up.