(Updated on 1/12/18)
The news is on repeat.
Everyone desperately taking sides, instead of taking a step back to look at the situation. I also realize people so confident in making bold, blanket statements about right and wrong probably aren’t going to be Nobel Prize nominees, and don't represent the population as a whole. Yet, I get worked up as I tell people to calm down and find the truth. The irony.
I get worked up because my gut tells me there's a real chance a demon is lurking in the shadows of the American population, and it’s going to become uncontrollable if we all don’t start acting like civilized people. People are restless, frustrated, and unfulfilled. It doesn’t help when the leader of this country lets out impulsive, unbalanced responses to public action. The current president is dangerous for one reason and one reason only. He is a terrible influence for anyone who watches him speak. He gives people an excuse to act a certain way, and knows how to spark a fire in the type of people who resonate with his views (Or simply don't align with the views of the opposing party).
Tolerating an ego of that magnitude, in a position that can affect young people around the world, is a dangerous game. They don't know actual history. All they know is there’s an arrogant man pointing his finger with his nose up in the air, and he is the President of the United States. So, they correlate that with success and leadership.
In some minds, "President" is the most important role in this country. So, for the many that follow him he is a dangerous example on facilitating conversation. Arrogance and half-baked boldness is rewarded in his world—those personality traits influencing a population that doesn't realize how easily manipulated they are.
People are the product of a life algorithm derived from personal life experiences and environment. This life is a test, so I urge you to pay attention. In that regard, the current political climate can be thought of as the last round of finals before graduation. Everything will change when the dust settles.
Regardless of what you believe, please attempt to look at things for what they are. Don’t glorify or diminish anything because of its alignment with your beliefs, family history, or country you live in. You may currently be a creature of habit, not free-will, because of mass manipulation and deceit. So please, consider alternate perspectives—in every situation. Always. Be conscious.
The line separating ignorance and competence isn’t always easy to see. It can be easily blurred by a single source of baseless confidence with a platform, and further diluted by well-trained followers.
The difference in ignorance and understanding is realizing how many variables, how many possibilities, there are in this universe. Competence requires an understanding of context. Good, thoughtful, intelligent people are always doubting themselves as a result of the overwhelming reality of possibility. Therefore, don’t always speak when there’s confrontation. Please—good, thoughtful people—start speaking up. Not to aim for confrontation or "to win", but guidance.
I’m not sure where the following quote originated, but it seems relevant...
"Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes."
Thoughtful, even if uncertain, messages that aim to benefit every living person help so much more than arrogant messages that benefit only individuals or select groups. There is no place for fascism in a free nation, on what should be a free planet. It exists because of fear. To be clear, there are early characteristics of fascism on both “sides”. It's childish and embarrassing to watch.
The smug, hostile, and emotional tactics used by individuals or groups to appear superior are a result of mental disorder; a delusional warping of perspective caused by profits, manipulation, a thirst for control, losing touch with reality, bad parenting, and not-so-great friends, among other things.
(I've included a link at the end of this post will take you to an interesting article on power shaping the warping human perspective)
What if we could prevent the illusion of power from corrupting minds? It's a simple concept, but simple concepts don't matter to this society if dollar signs aren't attached. If enough time is spent in objective thought on a consistent basis, the ego begins to dissolve. As do the smoke and mirrors of cultures.
When pure observation is accomplished, it is accompanied by the realization of how unimportant the ego, your identity, is (in the grand scheme). That shouldn’t be scary. It should be liberating, and it can be if you let it. It is possible to free the mind of expectations and emotional pain.
I write to explore those feelings. It's a personal mission to find out why people unknowingly, yet intentionally, suffer on a daily basis. Trapped in their own thoughts and beliefs because of fear for the unknown. Those type of people are necessary to observe and learn from, but, more importantly, necessary to practice compassion on a personal level.
If there weren’t bad and ignorant people in this world, we wouldn’t appreciate knowledge and compassion. Nor would good will be tested.
So, how is it possible to accomplish this shift on a global scale? Especially in an egoic, superficial nation called the United States.
Couldn’t tell you, but I do think the collective consciousness is moving in the right direction. Have some hope.I think the only real answer is to spend time and thought in meditation—at least time without yielding to regular distractions and comfort.
Unfortunately, that isn’t what the media likes to portray to its faithful viewers.
Social media, ESPN, FOX, CNN, NBC, etc. do not care what your feelings are if their monthly users and viewers meet business model projections. They don't love you, they don't care how the news affects your life, they don't care if they get you the truth. They want to get you the story first, the truth is optional until proven otherwise. They are sociopathic entities focused on profit, and easily manipulated creatures (people) soak up drama and controversy willingly—it's exciting.
People love to be distracted, and are a majority of the day. Is life too painful to pay attention to? This is a serious question, and not meant to make anyone feel bad. Do you let emotions control things because it’s easier that way? What fear is causing you to live that way? Are you not as successful as dreamed in your younger years? Do people, you deem undeserving, have things that you don’t?
This is happening because you are comparing, not observing. Until realization occurs that the things being envied and compared are on a pedestal created by society, not reality, suffering is inevitable. The suffering is entirely manufactured in the mind. These are demons you must face if you want to be free. No position, status, or country can release the burden of mental anxieties.
Freedom comes with forgiveness, removing personal expectations, authentic gratefulness, and objective observing of your thoughts. You don't need to eliminate negative emotions, just put some space between perceiving an event and reacting to it. That can be done on a moment by moment basis. It doesn't need to be attached to the long term idea of what life is going to be for you.
At the root of it all people are uncomfortable with their own mortality. At some point we are going to die and the large majority seem uncertain of what lies beyond. And that is okay, but it makes people act crazy.
It's a deep-seeded fear that isn't explored in an open forum because it's taboo. My advice? Grow up and talk through it. Kids come out the womb indoctrinated into a religion, or whatever belief system the parents live by in their culture—they don't get a chance to question or explore those things. Or ask why everyone needs to have their own. Who is right? Why can't people pray, and send out good energy, without being attached to a religion, or team? It's like being told something that doesn't feel right, but not allowed to ask questions. People go along with it until it stops making sense. And we wonder why people end up confused and anxious as adults.
What is real? As far as I can tell, compassion is the only thing that produces favorable outcomes for everyone involved.
Distractions and certain pleasures are necessary to give the mind a break, but proceed with caution when making it routine. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are anything more than game pieces on the monopoly board billionaires call our economy, protected by lawmakers without term limits. Profit is #1 in the United States. Cost of human life, environmental impact, etc. are likely considered, but ultimately bow down to profit
A life lived for distraction and pleasure can turn you into the perfect robot consumer, and sideline your ambition forever. Don't worry, chasing the next best thing will keep you busy.
If the United States were symbolically compared to a woman—as it is in every song or poem about it—in my eyes, it would be something like this.
Her body? A restless middle class. Her mind? An outdated computer, built by a military-industrial complex. The blood in her veins? Digital currency flowing through our economy, with no physical backing, arbitrarily controlled. The nice sundress she’s wearing? The thin veil of a counterfeit democracy that coerces people to keep trudging through their daily routines to stay afloat. You can see through certain parts if you look close enough; though nobody does because it’s awkward to get caught.
Her boyfriend that punches you in the face when you do get caught looking? Our government. Her pretty, makeup-covered face? The image we like to portray to the rest of the world like all the Instagram models and “public figures” do for their followers. Only the people close to her, friends or enemies, know the type of person she really is. What’s on the surface is an evolving act to get followers and likes. Wherever the tides go, they go. Authenticity is negotiable.
No, I’m not saying go stare at every girl in a sundress. That’s creepy. I’m saying there’s a lot under the surface of a pretty façade. And when you marry that beautiful creature, without understanding her motives and actions, because she looks good and currently bearable to live with—you are in for a long, lonely, superficial life that usually ends in an ugly divorce or an uninspiring life.
Do what you do out of love and for growth, not appearance and status.
We are sliding into a censored, surveillance state guided by fear and ignorance. You don't notice the mountain of marbles shrinking if you only take one per day. Over time, though, that mountain disappears and everyone will be on lock-down wondering what happened.
It's not that I think it started this way, or was intended to end up like this. I think we have let human nature go unchecked for too long. Technology has made life much easier, and people have been on cruise control. To be frank, it seems either stupid or careless people have been allowed to shape society with a loose moral leash; especially when business gets involved. A couple centuries of that, and here we are with this type of system in place. Thankfully, technology isn’t yet programmed with emotions.
I had high hopes for future technology to force transparency, and pressure people to be authentic and encourage open, honest discussion. Unfortunately, it seems some tech giants are going in the opposite direction if it doesn’t comply with their narrative and code of conduct. That is free-thinking individuals call censorship.
The risks of censorship have far greater consequences than some insecure troll saying distasteful things on the internet. Remember that, and stop getting offended by everything. Why is everyone so sensitive lately? They are just words; a collection of symbols we decide the meaning for as a society. Except in this society everyone likes to twist the definition to fit a more personal narrative. If authenticity and compassion become “cool”, as they should be, all that contempt will fade anyway. Humans do things for the approval of their peers and they always will at some level.
Our system is archaic, made for colonies. Not 300 million people, reality TV stars as president, or the Internet. The system needs reform on some level. The government needs to shrink and regulate. Not expand and control.
Because I said that, the keyboard warriors smell blood and slither over…
“Well, why don't you move somewhere else if it’s so bad for you. See how you like it then.” ( I used that exact line on someone trying to explain U.S. war crimes to me right when I got to college. If you end up reading this, yes, I was an idiot and I apologize.)
Listen, I’m not saying we don’t live in a privileged country and a land of plenty. I’m saying that doesn’t always make for a good life, and there are better ways to manage a civilization. We are letting a monster grow behind a politically correct curtain, fueled by widespread ignorance and distractions. Paying attention matters now more than ever. You don’t have to change much. Take a break from your digital life more often and pay attention to things that actually matter, right around you.
For the record, and at my age, if it weren’t for family and friends I probably would try somewhere else purely for the experience of something different. But you know what they say—better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. I’m worried our devil has more resources at its disposal than others. I've also realized no amount of physically moving my life will solve the inner tension I desire to be free of.
To the many claiming who “real Americans” are.
What do you know about being a real American? Does it include a phrase like, "that's just how things work."
Being an American used to mean holding yourself to a higher standard in general. To achieve high standards you must discuss uncomfortable topics. Not share the first emotionally charged thing you see on your timeline. That's the easy way out. So are we "American" if we take the easy way out of every situation? If we only listen to respond, not understand?
If you live a life only for pleasure, comfort, and safety I don't see how that qualifies your opinion at all.
Americans are supposed to battle oppression and censorship. Tackle new frontiers (mental and physical) with bravery. You know, so we can live free. In theory, this would be a great model for the world to follow. We, Americans, don't often practice what we preach. The majority don’t stand up against dangerous rhetoric, because it’s easier that way. We are becoming the oppressors and the self-righteous because it takes to much energy to consider a different perspective. We are forgetting to humble ourselves because we are inundated with distractions. Which is why we don’t live in an actual democracy. We are looking at the wrong things.
To get an objective view, it’s crucial to separate yourself from your identity and the popular opinion of masses. Tribal mentality is real, and is dangerous if guided by contempt. It can cause people to do and say things they wouldn't normally say or do. You are being trained to compete, by members of political parties in this country that benefit from polarization. They want blind followers, and succeed because of contempt for another group.
Paid patriotism, blind patriotism, forced patriotism—all extremely dangerous. And all happening in front of your eyes. Patriotism and respect are earned. Not ordered or purchased.
People should not be attacked for expressing their concerns over real things that are happening. If a simple expression hurts your ego and beliefs, chances are your priorities are petty and have a foundation of fear. That is how censorship, injustice, and surveillance are born. Scared sheep who want everyone to follow the rules and obey the master, then crucify you for stepping outside the flock.
Why can’t there be uncomfortable conversations? Again, I ask—what is that deep underlying fear? Where are the insecurities? Whatever the excuse, if there is no self-awareness, there is no comprehension. Opening yourself to vulnerability is required.
It’s not completely the fault of individuals. I do believe people are a summation of their life events, encounters, and society they call home. But people are to blame if corruption is exposed, then ignored, because it's easier to do so. It’s your job to unlearn ignorant beliefs and break down walls in your mind, and it’s possible.
Understanding history to learn from it, but do not live in those memories. A population living through past events will leave a constant stream of bitter people, and a constant stream of bigots. You live through past victories and defeats and it will consume you—become you. Live in this moment and each moment ahead, not behind. Be present.
I don’t have a negative outlook on life. I do believe this is the best time to be alive in recent history. My point is, we are on the edge of a radically different outcome. We may appear "good" now, but for how long? As it has been said throughout history—appearance can be deceiving. Creating a healthy system is something to take pride in doing the right way, and not just in appearance. The government, media, billionaires—they are all just people shaped by their environment also. Albeit at different wavelengths of egos, delusions, and bank accounts. They aren’t the untouchable overlords people make them out to be.
We can all influence the direction we take as a culture if it is a group effort. A group decision made by growth on an individual basis. Group consciousness. So, observe before you react, make friends with some strangers, open your eyes to more, and compromise a little bit. Find a balance, find harmony. Put your guard down enough to glance at the world around you. You can’t help anyone if you don’t understand yourself.
“It’s not that simple.”
No, the process of changing culture isn’t simple, but the steps to do so are; simple and uncomfortable.
Be authentic, be considerate, be compassionate, and be competent. If you aren’t any of those things, just work on it. Yeah, you’ll lose friends and have some keyboard warriors attack you, but that’s part of the whole “being uncomfortable” thing. It is a lonely, but rewarding path to take.
Take pride in growth and change. I never understand when mouth-breathers (for all the Stranger Things fans) say, “See! Your story changed!” That’s what happens when you read books and learn new truths. New truths require altering the current philosophy to align more closely with what you now know and believe.
Thus, creating an updated philosophy.
Apply that process to what you think you know about society, and reality, now.
Like I said, I don't know the exact solution but there are things you can do to ease your anxieties—read books, move your body, prioritize nutrition over pleasure, try new things, meditate, surround yourself with thoughtful people, and question unbalanced authority. Most of all, stop and look around some of the time. Put space between perceiving and reacting.
Enjoy being able to experience life, through good and bad. A life filled with contempt is no life at all.