Lifestyle is defined by how a person or group lives. We all see many examples of media showing us groups of people who belong together. They wear the same clothes, drink the same wine and have the same types of haircuts. They all look so glamorous or shabby-chic. One might tend to wonder where one fits in in all of this. I often wonder where I fit in and what my lifestyle is and if any- one else follows it. What is a lifestyle and how do I know when I have one? I guess that I have to go out and make one for myself, but it all seems so hard and time-consuming. Can’t I just grab someone else’s lifestyle and pretend that it’s my own? Somehow I don’t think that’s how it works.
The question comes down to, where do you belong in the scheme of things? It seems that lifestyle is a choice that is supposed to bring people together but it has the opposite effect for some people, it tears them apart because they don’t belong to a certain group of folks. They don’t know where they belong. I tend to be one of those people, I am a loner and I don’t have very many friends, so I don’t have what you might call a lifestyle. Even though I don’t belong to a group of people, I still have someone that I love very much and I still do things out of my work cycle, does that count? Do you have to be beautiful to have a lifestyle, do you have to attend wine tastings and eat gourmet food to have a lifestyle? It seems to me that a lifestyle is for a group of people that get together and do things and are advertised to. I think that a lifestyle is something that is more intimate and personal than all of that. It is what you believe.
I believe in a lifestyle that helps the homeless and the ones that I love. No one is getting rich off of my lifestyle and you’ll never hear a commercial of people talking about the homeless and drinking chardonnay. But that is what I am passionate about. Maybe we should not call it a lifestyle, maybe we should give it another name. There is the name of What I believe in. What do you believe in? It’s a given that we all want to hang out with our loved ones whether they be family or friends, but what do you stand for? Is it politics, the environment, wealth re-distribution, what is it? And how does what you believe change the world that you live in? I think that the word lifestyle has become something that advertisers use to sell us things that maybe we want. I don’t think that the word is something that is used to describe people. We are more than what we buy, we are more than the people that we hang out with. There is so much to a person that the word “lifestyle” simply does not give justice to all that we as human beings are.
I have to bring up the issue of Charlottesville, Nazi’s have a lifestyle – they hang out with a group of people. Even if you can’t stand them, that is the lifestyle that they have chosen, that is their belief system. Of course there was the other group that believed in racial equality and standing up to racism and prejudice and that was their lifestyle and what they believed in. But it all comes back to beliefs.
So if you wish to believe in something and you wish to live your life by that belief I guess that you can say that you have a lifestyle. See how I did that? All of us are so much more than just our lifestyle, the word should actually be disregarded and we should ask each other as a greeting. What do you believe in? What do you stand for? What are you willing to die for? Just because I wear the same clothes as you or I wear something different does not mean that I stand for you or against you. We can get together as groups, don’t get me wrong, there is power in that but there is also power in being an individual. It’s like we are afraid of being individuals, the word makes us feel like we are all alone. I guess that is why I have such a problem with a word like lifestyle, it makes it seem that your life is worthwhile if you have one. There are so many people out there who don’t have a lifestyle, but choose to live their lives in a way that has meaning and can be regarded as making a difference.
I don’t have a lifestyle and I’m ok with that, the question is are you ok with that and am I ok with you?