I was recently watching an episode of a new TV show, Last Man on Earth. The basic premise is everyone died from a virus except for this guy, hence he’s the last man on Earth. I can’t say that I really enjoy the show or will keep watching (this is definitely not an endorsement for the show!). But, it did get me thinking as I watched a segment of him doing whatever he wanted, wherever he wanted. I thought, wow that is freedom! There’s nobody’s opinions to consider. No approval or admiration to gain. No negative judgments to worry about. Nobody to feel superior or inferior to. All this ego stuff suddenly becomes non-existent. I instantly become my true self because I’m no longer considering the opinions of other people.
As I momentarily reveled in this idea, I quickly realized how sad and meaningless everything would become. OK great, so I could do and say whatever I wanted, however I wanted to do it; wear whatever I wanted; go wherever I wanted; “buy” (the whole concept of money is unnecessary) anything I wanted. But without other people permanently, everything would soon become meaningless. There’s no one to share ideas with. No one to laugh with. No one to help out. No one to love or be loved by. And no one to read what I write!
This silly example helped me to see two things more clearly. One is that being my true self – not worrying about others’ opinions – is absolutely a key to joy. And second, that having a connection to people is also a key to joy. When we are not concerned with their opinions, don’t fear them, nor need various other things from them, we can truly enjoy people’s company, be inspired by them, help them, love them, and simply have fun with them.
What would you do differently if you knew nobody would ever be around to see or know? Let’s not wait to be the last person on Earth to give it a try!
I look forward to the next posts where we’ll get more into the joy in serving others and connecting with them.