Tom found a story on line last week about a man who lives without money (“One Man’s Quest to Be Penniless” on Yahoo). He lives in a cave out west and forages for his food--in the woods or on the side of the road. He does use the free computer in the local library to blog about it.
No, I don’t want to live that way, especially the road kill part. But I was surprised at the vitriolic responses the story generated. People called him a “moocher” because he walked on public roads and used the library. They wondered what would happen when he got a toothache, and complained that when he died the government would have to pay to bury him.
What came across was how threatening someone trying to live off the grid was to other people. They were self-righteously indignant because this man was refusing to pay his “fair share.” But there was also envy of someone who didn’t have to go to work every day to pay bills to buy what they felt were the necessities of life. Why should someone else get to live scot-free?
My feeling isn’t of envy but more of interest, of thinking about ways that his attitudes can be adapted to our lives in less drastic ways.