Monday, September 21, 2009
Life's not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.
(pic: Hubble deep field. i.e. the universe as it was 10 billion years ago)
No matter where you look, so long as you aren't staring at the world through rose colored lenses you see despair, hate, greed, and poverty. I don't claim to have a solution to everything, hell there's that much context and interconnectedness today that there is no way we can commit to any sort of change without everybody, every single living person, making a change themselves.
If we want to feed the poor in Uganda, we need to stop eating so much ourselves, so that global food prices can relax.
I don't mean to claim that life is getting harder for us, in fact its the opposite. 340 years ago, there were millions of people dying of bubonic plague. In 1918 over 50 million people died from a H1N1 strain of the flu known as 'Spanish Flu'.
Thanks to today's modern medicine we hardly see such panic, except from the media.
Through Medieval times violence, murder and war were a way of life. Although people think that crime is worst today, it pales in comparison to even 20 years ago thanks to the technology and research available to today's police force.
The point is, no matter how bad we think things are today, they have been a lot worse.
It almost seems that a lot of the grief, especially in westernised culture, is somewhat self inflicted. Depression, drug addiction, and biker gangs are all mostly the result of too time and nothing constructive, or seemingly worthwhile to do.
People look to a lot of different things in life in the pursuit of an answer, be it addiction, stamp collecting, motorcycles, violence, we are all looking for the same thing. An answer, a minute of clarity, even just a sign.
In the murky depths of my soulless existence, when thinking of what will become of the dust on my bones, I like to remember that for this brief moment in time, the 60 odd years I have, that I was here, and alive and breathing.
Its all I can ever ask for.
Posted by John Paxton at 10:09 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
Whats depressing is that as I get older, more and more of the people I used to know seem to give up on life, from bad decisions, from lack of heart, from broken dreams.
To me, the worst thing that can possibly happen to oneself is to endure complacency, for it is when one stops striving to be better, that one begins to die. When you give up trying to make your life better, you allow your life to get worse.
I know that these next five years will see myself grow even further from my friends, the ones that have decided to buy large cheap homes in not-so-great suburbs so that they can have the illusion of wealth they so strive for, the ones that decide to stay in bad jobs when the only thing holding them back from pursuing something better is their ingrained fear of rejection, the ones whom think they are too old to make something of their lives so they just give up.
Maybe its just me, maybe I'm just foolhardy, maybe I'm the one who should 'settle down'.
Nah fuck that.
I don't claim to know everything about life, but I know this much:
The only thing you leave behind are your children.
Life's over before you really begin to enjoy it.
Happiness lies in the endless pursuit of perfection.
I'll keep listening to myself until I stop making sense
Posted by John Paxton at 10:41 PM
Monday, September 7, 2009
We are addictive by nature.
Its pretty easy to find something you are addicted to in your life, be it physically or psychologically.
Cigarettes and heroin can give us a physical dependency.
Whats also dangerous is that other substances, like marijuana and coffee can be psychologically addictive, as the user is addicted to the way it makes them feel.
I was a heavy pot smoker for a good 5 years of my life, and it was quite hard to kick. I never had any severe withdrawal symptoms, but after being stoned for so long, it becomes your normal state, and literally I was smoking at one point just to feel normal.
Its not only substances that can be addictive. I've seen it often enough where people are addicted to a feeling, an emotion.
Sometimes its being in love, where someone will let themselves fall for the completely wrong person, based on an allusion of what the person is like. Destructive relationship ensues, and then repeats as the addict loves to feel in love.
Depression can be addictive. Its not unusual to indulge in melancholy, as sometimes just to feel something, anything, can be better than feeling nothing at all.
Anger is an interesting one. So prevalent in our society it is, and the cause of all our wars, our murders, and most of our pain.
A common psychological misconception is that if we don't release our anger, that it will come out in other ways (e.g. 'Me Myself and Irene').
The truth is, releasing anger, be it hitting a punchbag, yelling at a subordinate, or killing a hundred people in a game of counterstrike, makes you feel good.
When you do something that feels good, you want to repeat it .
Its what we are.
When we feel that release of anger, and the rush we get, its addictive, and we crave more, so we become prone to getting angry a lot more.
If you learn to control your anger, it fades to nothing. You can focus more on other tasks that are more important in life.
As I've found.
Posted by John Paxton at 9:52 AM
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Its a well known, but not often disclosed fact that a lot of the world is stupid.
Anyone whom has done any work in any customer service based field is aware of this. I'm not saying you need a degree, or other forms of higher education to avoid this classification, I'm talking about basic common sense, which as the old adage goes, isn't so common.
I remember a lot of times whilst working in IT support, despite being calm and helpful, there were some people to which logic does not apply, they who think that yelling and making a big deal is a valid way of getting what they want, that their needs trump the needs of others, and that their time is more precious than yours.
I blame it on self esteem. There's been all of this talk over the past 10-20 years about self esteem, that kids must have high self esteem to be successful in life, that kids whom have self esteem already are successful, I'm sure you have heard it.
The problem with this is in the cause and effect relationship: Its assumed that
:: Kids that have high self esteem are successful, hence high self esteem leads to success.
Whereas, I think its more of the case as in
:: Kids that work hard at sport and their studies and become good at what they do, are happy with themselves, have high self esteem, and then are successful in life.
What society has pushed into our children is that you must have high self esteem to be successful in life, not good grades or sporting prowess.
Hence now we get a sea of people, whom have no obvious skills, be it sporting or academic or otherwise, whom have this inflated sense of self worth and esteem, based on nothing.
These lads and lasses are quite the picture, and I'd guarantee you know one. they are typically moody, think quite highly of themselves, don't seem to be good at anything, love talking about themselves, cannot take the tiniest bit of criticism (as they have no real talent, critique of them brings their whole card castle self esteem crashing down), won't try new things out of fear of being bad at it at it and actually showing the world they suck, and are generally, douchebags.
Which brings me to the initial argument.
I used to hate capitalism, and used to think that money was better distributed to the common hardworking man. Until I worked 2 years in technical support for an ISP.
It was then I discovered the 'douche' as described above, and was disturbed at how high a proportion of society they make up.
Not willing to sacrifice my quality of life to have to put up with these people, I can come to only one conclusion: rip them off. Rip them off blind. Let them get away with their insulting, ignorant and otherwise unhuman ways, and rip them off, overcharge, undersell, do whatever you can. We all know they aren't smart enough to realise. Use their money and skills to better exist. That way they can continue with their inflated sense of ego and I can afford to live somewhere they aren't.
Its simply natures way: Survival of the fittest. The weak feed the strong.
Man I hated tech support.
Posted by John Paxton at 9:39 PM