:: to maintain a physical and mental state of exuberance in the specific moment. | to choose enthusiasm in every action you make. | to smile and make the best of it. | it’s the attitude that your character shines with. | it’s your power to act ‘in the now.’ | Liveability is a choice, a mantra, not dependent on money, social status, location or lack of time.
When I was backpacking through Nicaragua, I was able to meet up with a friend from Iowa State. Wes, was in the Peace Corps in the middle of nowhere Nicaragua, also from Iowa. He graduated from ISU as an engineer, helped create the non-profit EOS international and immediately jumped into a volunteer role. When I saw him, after jumping off a chicken bus in El Sauce, he was all smiles. There was a skip in his every step. A spark in all his “Hola’s!” He proudly showed me his living quarters. A multi-room shack connecting the kitchen by a make shift roof-top. Dirt floors. A shower outdoors lit by a light bulb-pop bottle contraption he invented.
For fun we talked about his projects around the area, his relationships with farmers and brainstormed future ‘help. make. better’ ideas all the while spitting orange seeds out the window or as far as we could huck them with our mouths. He told the story of his running escapade. A drunk man on a horse pulled a gun on him as he was running (running for excercise, you have to explain running in third world countries) down a dirt road. He was only wearing shorts and his ipod. The man demanded his cell phone. To someone sober, you might realize a guy running in Nicaragua with only shorts on probably isn’t carrying a cell. Wes said he “didn’t have one.” The man pulled the trigger on the gun. CLICK. Nothing. The man said again he wanted the cell phone. Wes thought ‘maybe the ipod is being mistaken for a cell phone.’ He took it off, threw it and ran. Ran like hell. He heard another CLICK as he ran. Twice the trigger pulled. Twice he heard click. Wes ran home. Talked to locals who went to town to pick up the police on motorcycles (cops don’t have transport in some places of the world.) When they eventually tracked down the drunken man upon horse, they found bullets in the chamber.
That didn’t slow down Wes’s liveability. That guy is one of the happiest humans I’ve ever met. Wes lives like a man who has won the lottery every day! He was living in a dirt floor shack, in an area with no cell/internet recpetion. Where outside temperatures were comparable to an ovens heat in degrees. Where he spoke a foreign tongue to people he grew to know over time. A place where friends were sparse…people were sparse. Where his girlfriend was thousands of miles away studying medicine. And he was happy as a kite.
That my friends, is liveability at it’s finest.
We often forget liveability. Dwelling in the past or wishing for the future.
Live now. With exuberance. And enthusiasm. What do you have to lose?