Its been a long time dream of mine to help people in a grand way. I started a project back in January 2019 called the Life On Your Terms Project that was intended to do just that. I wanted it to be a transitional aid for people wanting to go from working their 9-5 that they hate to living life on their own terms and doing what they love for a living.
It always sounds amazing and we all applaud those that are able to do it and make it. T he reality is, its really hard, very few actually make it and there isn’t a substantial support system out there for people that try. What happens when they are determined to do it anyway is a lot of uncertainty, struggle, and hardship.
Society isn’t currently set up that way, as we are seeing with the still unfolding results of this corona virus. People losing their jobs unwittingly because in person businesses have to shut down for the health, safety, and well being of the majority. People are facing a lost of uncertainty, and it’s hopeful that things will be back to normal very soon.
Its not wrong to force social distancing and have businesses that are not essential shut down temporarily, but we aren’t set up to aid people in this case for the select few that want to live life on their terms. How many homeless people do you think are artists that tried to make it and failed already. Now, we are telling everyone that has lost their jobs recently that they should do it, but here is $1200 to help you out this one time. Sure, we’ve gotten increases to things like Unemployment and Food Stamps, but the actual majority of the population just in the US is not on Food Stamps, and are just beginning to run out of money from their last paychecks. They haven’t even applied yet.
In a majority of cases, just myself and the people that I know that are struggling right now, they were already struggling long before this and now, a single stimulus payment is just going to prolong the inevitable. They are going to have to find some other line of work they can do from home if they are going to be able to keep going and surviving through this. People are resilient, but at the same time, they aren’t properly equipped, and there isn’t a safety net to catch all the ones that wouldn’t other wise make it.
Who helps out in that case? Are landlords going to forgive rent payments when their mortgages are still due? Are utility companies going to wait until all of this blows over for payment from thousands of people? What about cell phones, car payments, insurance, groceries, and such?
I’m living the minimalist lifestyle. Taking up as little physical space spending as little as I possibly can, and my monthly expenses are more than $1200/month. I’m already dreading having to choose how to best spend that money when/if it comes in, and having it be the right thing to do in uncertain times. Do I pay the rent and let the utilities lapse? Do I pay to keep the lights and water on and hope that the landlord understands?
In my original plan for the Life On Your Terms Project, the idea was to raise money selling books and accessory items like mugs, t-shirts, and backpacks and use that money to buy artistic tools and services artists need to get or keep going. That grew into a desire to really help artists out who have reached the point that if they could quit their day job and spend their time focused on creating and selling their art, they would be living life on their terms. They just aren’t because they can’t afford to quit their jobs yet.
That is still a big part of my plan. It’s shifting a little bit for the anthology though. The idea now, at least until the whole virus things blows over, we need to be helping each other out more than ever. Kindness and helpfulness to our neighbors, our communities, and beyond needs to be encouraged, supported, and helped out.
There is nothing wrong with donating to the usual causes. Animal shelters, saving the planet, and mental health organizations can always use additional funding. That isn’t what this anthology is about though. It’s about surviving, or not surviving the unknown right now. So, that is what we are aiming to do with the funds from the anthology. Support as many as we can trying to survive in uncertain and scary times. Especially those who are fighting the fear and going out of their own way to help others get through.
As donations are given, stories will be written. The individual recipients might only be talked about by us. . They are already some of the most unsung heroes of the day in a sense. They need all the support they can get and we are here to do just that with the Life On Your Terms Project. Isn’t that how it should be?