Chicago to My Friend Imi……

Arriving in Chicago at 3 pm with a 9 pm connecting Greyhound bus I had time ti walk the streets of Chicago, and feel the vibe.  Well the Amtrak station was hugely busy, but like most of the downtown Chicago the station building is truly impressive. A Huge foyer area with the largest American flag I have ever seen hanging down the one wall.  People seemed stressed and I struggled to find anyone to engage in anything remotely like a One Point Zero conversation….!

Moving to the Greyhound bus terminal I have to say took me into another world of hostility. I’m not trying to be negative, but I have never had to work so hard to get a positive I want to help you approach from staff.  I don’t know what it is, maybe the general tension in the country from all the heavy stuff going on. I never have issues with friendliness to people, but this sternness, almost verging on hostility is pervasive.  

I did wonder if the NZ experience of the past 18 months has set standards so high that I’m expecting too much of strangers. In Nelson when the supermarket cashier asks you ‘How your day is?’, he or she really means it and wants to know….? Yes there are people in the queue behind you, but nobody is stressed and it’s all part of a fully human experience to interact with authenticity and interest.  It’s just so human and I sense how we were supposed to be?

I’ve been in the US many, many times, other big cities of the world too, and so do know the full on, put walls around yourself, focus and just do what you have to do approach. I was one of ‘them’, but it’s so clear to me how that big city behaviour is so wrong and so non-human yet increasingly become the ‘required’ behaviour for success, or else the ‘desperate’ behaviour of survival.  The people at the Greyhound terminal seemed to have seriously beaten up spirits, and in the last grasps of this desperate survival.

I thought back to my long bus ride from Nelson to Tauranga (see blogs below of early June) and just how so different the staff I interacted had been.  Those people all seemed so happy in the jobs and had capacity to engage, and be helpful and friendly…..   

The only guy I saw smile here was a cleaner and I went up to him, and asked if I could shake his hand?  So surprised I solved his mystery by saying: ” Mate you are the only person I have seen who has smile and looks happy around here”

I do believe this stress I was witness is all related to One Point Six trend and a culture of dog eat dog, to have more and more, faster and faster….  One can see the dogs who are ‘winning’ and the dogs who are ‘being eaten’, and actually both dogs looked stressed for very different reasons… 

The sad thing is that every day the world is moving more to the Chicago (Big city dog eats dog) model, and further away from the New Zealand (old school values) way….   

 I don’t sense we humans were supposed to flourish on this Big City, dog eats dog way of life, and here I was seeing blatant evidence of this!  This is another sign to me that The Success ‘we’ have defined is not ‘Success’, and a One Point Zero would not have that modus operandi…. Mainly because the need more, want more, will get more mind set has to disappear for One Point Zero to be achieved and to stay at One Point Zero. There is a fundamental clash between Nature’s way, and The Western Capitalist way, and with most of the conflicts and stress in the world  today this conflict is at the root cause.  That’s a grand statement that maybe seems out of place and generalising for my One Point Zero purpose, but as I think about things and translate my own transformation the picture is just so clear that the path of society needs a radical change….. We have lost our connection to belonging as a full creature of Nature on this planet. Its like we are deformed in our unnatural struggle to own and dominate everything…

The eight hour bus trip to Minneapolis was as expected and picking up the rental car in Down Town Minneapolis, I was soon crossing the St Croix river into Wisconsin and arrived at Imi’s place in River Falls, to a huge hug. I have stayed at Imi’s place often so this felt like home, and I was soon catching up on lost sleep.