"Most People Exist, That is All"

Most People Exist, That is All

The great Oscar Wilde phrased it exquisitely: "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all". And, probably the best place in the world to validate that is New York City. Rich or poor, employed or unemployed, old or young, pretty or ugly, it doesn't matter. Most people in New York City simply do not know how to "live". They think they do, but they don't*. They just "exist". Many are waiting for the day they "make it" so that they can get the fuck out.

I've lived in New York since the mid 1990's. Every year, The City is losing more and more of its charm. Even, "the" New Yorker, Fran Lebowitz agrees. Despite what you see in the movies, NYC is sullen, and it shows on peoples faces.

What does it take to move from "existence" to "living"? Depends on who you ask. For many poor, it's money. But research indicates that the rich are miserable. It's said that people generally want what they don't have. I guess, the greater the want, the lesser the living. We merely exist until we get what we want, but then we always want more. This may be oversimplified, but it makes the point. What constitutes living is a long philosophical discussion, best avoided, i.e., if you want to live.

* "That's snobby!", someone remarked. I'll refer him to Master Zhuang. In the 4th century BCE, he noted: "A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean".

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