South Sound natives may recognize Jefferson Bethke from a variety of places; grabbing a coffee at Anthem, hanging out along Ruston Way waterfront, or from the viral YouTube video, Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus, shot at our very own Stadium High School in 2011. The spoken word performance by Bethke garnered national — if not international — attention.
“I was kind of like, ‘Hey let’s have some fun and try to put these [spoken word videos] on the internet. Maybe our friends and our moms will see,’” Bethke said. But the video went viral, accumulating more than 34 million views. Bethke was 21 at the time.
At age 23, Bethke wrote his first book titled, Jesus > Religion. The Tacoma author’s introductory novel was on The New York Times bestseller list for ten weeks.
Life hasn’t slowed down for Bethke since then. Now 30, Bethke is living in Maui; raising three children with his wife, Alyssa; and producing podcasts and managing a variety of digital platforms.
Today, Oct. 15, marks the release of Bethke’s new book, To Hell With the Hustle: Reclaiming Your Life in an Overworked, Overspent, and Overconnected World. The non-fiction piece is a reflection on Bethke’s life as a millennial struggling to find balance in the digital age, and presents strategies to reclaim one’s sense of self.
Bethke’s works focus heavily on his Christian faith, and his new book does not alter from that standard. He argues that “the hustle,” a term used to capture the unhealthy pace and expectations in today’s society, is sapping us of our emotional and spiritual health.
“I think we glorify this speed, and this hurry, and this noise, and this hustle in our culture as somehow a gateway into giving us freedom — when, in reality, it’s killing a lot of our humanness; disconnecting us from relationships; it’s allowing us to be shallow, flimsy, and flaky instead of anchored, centered, or whole,” Bethke said.
Bethke takes readers through his realization of this problem in his own life, and how he and his family have worked collaboratively to combat the modern dilemma. The book is now available for purchase on Amazon for $12.83.