The Culture of Independence

I think in western culture, one is urged to seek independence from the nest and to never look back.  Whether it be at age 18 or 30, you should be wanting to be on your own or be getting kicked out by your parents.  Independence is kind of like happiness, wealth, being a vegan, in that only developed nations pursue such ideas.  As life gets easier, we make it more difficult for the purpose of competition.  We need new methods to separate the great from the mediocre.  Also, as life gets easier we stray further away from our intended natural way of life.

It doesn’t seem frowned upon to ditch your parents in western society.  I think the majority of people in my company left their parents for another city and never looked back.  Siblings are scattered all over the globe.  The idea is that you have your own life to live and you live it the way you want.  They had theirs and now you have yours.  That’s the rationale anyway.  I don’t disagree or agree but it doesn’t always work out for the best for everyone.

This independence idea is all good until you’re alone and need help.  You don’t really worry about it when you’re younger cause you just tell yourself everything should be ok.  You tell yourself your health will be fine, you’ll always have your job, your spouse or your kid will be there for you.  What can end up happening though is your health goes to shit, you lose your right arm, you can’t work, you get divorced and your kid moved to the other side of the world.

I know this 65 year old guy who moved away from home to another city when he was 18.  He had kids, divorced, became ill, son died, daughter constantly moves, no friends, siblings are in other cities and the money situation ain’t great.  We were talking about how people from an Asian background tend to stay close to family and take their old geezers in to live with them.  He said, “that’s the way it should be.”  Of course he believes that now.

In China it’s against the law to ditch your parents.

“A new national law introduced this week (July 2013) requires the offspring of parents older than 60 to visit their parents “frequently” and make sure their financial and spiritual needs are met.”

The culture of independence can leave you on the streets.  Many people living homeless for whatever reason are there because there was no family to fall back on.  I think sometimes even if people have family to fall back on, their belief in being independent stops them from seeking help from their family.

Indian families (the brown kind) living where I do tend to band up and buy a big house so that they can fit like 10 people.   Independence is expensive.  It’s almost a luxury for some people.  My grandma, aunts and uncles all used to live within walking distance from each other.  The strategy was that if anyone needed help it would be close by.  No one lived in another suburb so that they could be on their own.

I became caught up with the idea of independence for most of my 20’s.  Not because I believed in the idea so much but because of ego.  I didn’t get the support that I needed so I set out with the “I don’t need anyone, I’m going to do it on my own” attitude.  I was fine with ditching my mother forever if the opportunity was good enough and she was fine with ditching me when she had a man in her life.  I think we both don’t see this as the best option anymore.  Some of it is cause of selfishness.  She knows the possibility of her being alone is high so her best bet is to keep me around and I know when she kicks the can, all her money is likely going to me.  I sound like a richardhead, I know.  I find it comical as well though.  Even if she was dead broke I’d stick around anyway.  My guilty conscience has a hold on me.  It’s debilitating.

I think when you believe in the idea of independence, you believe less in the idea of family.   It sucks to believe in family sometimes too cause they are usually in the best position to rip you off.  So I don’t know, maybe there’s no winning.

 

 

 

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Cause You Have To

I walk into work every morning and often think to myself about how some of these people can do this job for years and years.  Some of of my coworkers have been with the company doing the same job for over 20 years.  I’ve been there for 5 and the thought of doing it for another 5 makes me wonder if I’d rather be a full time drug addict.  I’m not one to ever make rash conclusions just because of the way I feel.  I gather information, put my feelings aside and look at a situation without involving my emotions.  I sometimes even doubt my feelings towards a situation and question if I was in their shoes maybe I’d feel differently.

When you get advice or criticism from people who are in a different situation from you, I think you have to really take it with a grain of salt.  When someone who has kids, mortgage and a wife, tells me that I should do what they do, I pretty much write off their words.  Some of the time it’s just them trying to make themselves feel better about their lives.

I’ve been strongly contemplating going from full time to part time but I never express this to any of my coworkers cause they’re retards who have no choice or at least feel they have no choice.  They get upset when they only clock in 7 and a half hours instead of a full 8 cause it’s that tight for them.  They can’t make sense as to why someone wearing the same uniform as them would voluntarily give up half his pay cheque for reasons that would make no societal sense.

I want to hear words from someone who is in my shoes but I also want to hear advice from someone who lives a different life than I do, but tells me not to do what they did.  Show me some humility and I’ll consider your words.  You’re divorced and out $2000 before you even have breakfast on the 1st of the month and you’re telling me I should find someone and get married?  Go away.  I can’t listen to that.  “Hey it didn’t work out for me,  but do what I did.”  You hate your job but I should stay here forever? I don’t know.  Just because it’s not what I want to hear though, doesn’t mean I won’t explore the idea.

When there’s so many minds against your thoughts, it’s difficult to believe what’s right for yourself.  I often ask myself, “how is it that out of all these people, only I think this way?”  I guess the reason is they believe they have to do what they are doing and I don’t.  They believe in this particular way of life.  Some people at my work don’t have kids or a mortgage but have debt in the 5 digit range, bought a new car, can’t move home with their parents or feel moving back home is like death.  Perhaps they want kids and a mortgage and making less money would just hinder that possibility.  I’m not in that boat.

I think it all goes back to the human instinct to want to conform and feel accepted.  Most of us are raised in a way that supports that idea.  I believe my upbringing lacked the tools for me to able to embrace and thrive with the game of conforming.  Possibly I would conform but only if it was easy.  I mean really easy.

 

 

 

Survival of the Fittest

It doesn’t take much to survive in today’s world.  Perhaps in other parts of the world it does but I’m not talking about them cause it’s not my world.  I probably just made myself sound like an a-hole but I highly doubt anyone who says they care, loses sleep over the tragedies outside of their country or even city.  You probably do not donate a dime to the starving children of Africa or spend your holidays doing missionary work.

A good example of how safe people feel is when you see people crossing the streets without shoulder checking for cars turning right.  They either aren’t aware or they think the car will see them and stop cause getting run over doesn’t really happen to most people.  If you’re born with a physical or mental disability, someone will take care of you.  Can’t breathe? They’ll plug you into this machine that will breathe for you.  Even if you try and kill yourself, you might not succeed cause someone might come in and spoil your plans during your last few heartbeats and call 911.  They’ll send out a team with a hospital on wheels to save you even if you don’t want to live.

Survival is not really about life and death anymore but more about survival of lifestyle.  The ones who can adapt and possess the traits and skills necessary for today’s society will have a better chance to live the desired life.  In the beginning, it was probably the strongest males who were the most fit for survival.  It’s not really like that no more.  Laws, police, jails, guns, have made that type of person less valuable.  The rulers of the world can be a Bill Gates type, small Asian business men or old fat decrepit politicians.

No one really worries about dying.  They worry about living a miserable life and maybe a shameful one which is the equivalent to death in ancient times.  It’s not about being able to live but instead,  “making it in life.”  Earning good money and finding a desirable mate while feeling good about yourself that it was all you who got you to where you are.  Having the respect from peers and society.

Survival of the fittest also relates to the passing on of genes from the fittest.    The one thing that hasn’t really changed is that men will tend to want physically attractive women.  If you’re an attractive woman, you can be dumb as shit but there will be no shortage of guys who would be willing to marry and reproduce with you.  If you’re a good looking guy but you’re broke, it won’t be a walk in the park to convince a woman to reproduce with you.

I think in today’s society, one of the most useful attributes one can have is the ability to suffer for a long period.  The ultimate survival tool is money.  If you’re not extremely talented or lucky then you might just have to suffer through an education or work your ass off at a not so exciting job for 40 years.  It seems as though if you’re not willing to suffer like how people expect you to, then the money won’t be there which means the desired lifestyle won’t be either which will probably mean that no woman with most of their teeth will want your sperm.

The world only wants the sperm from males who are going along with society.  If you are unsuccessful in the classical sense, the world wants your kind to die off.  If your lazy sperm manages to sneak through into a drunken egg, the world has its way to make sure your bloodline continues to live a mediocre to shitty life.

Surviving has become so easy that there’s 7 billion people on the planet.  Wanting to survive is another story.

 

My Thoughts on Buddhism

Buddhism has been around for a long ass time but I find that it’s become almost like the in thing to do lately in western society.  Kind of like yoga and green tea.  What drives one to look into Buddhism?  Probably a dissatisfaction for one’s own life.  If you liked your life you wouldn’t go out of your way to flip it upside down.

A couple years ago, I began studying Buddhist teachings.  I bought books (and read a couple of them too!), took a course with a bunch of other curious folks, meditated here and there, and watched spiritual Buddhist like videos on YouTube.  It seemed great at first but after a while it felt like everything else that seemed great at first.  When you’re looking to fill a void, you put a lot of hope in the first thing that makes some sense.  Buddhism makes sense but I feel it only works well in theory for most of us.  Just because it makes sense it doesn’t really mean it’s possible.  Being a devoted Buddhist means denying your natural human instincts and desires.  That’s the whole point really.  You hate your life cause of your monkey attitude so stop being a monkey.  I think Buddhism works effectively to an extent.  It can make your shitty life less shitty but I find it doesn’t do much more.  It’s not suppose to bring you to happiness, it’s just meant to take you out of the shitsphere.

Buddhism pretty much leads you to live a boring life.  Instead of idolizing rockstars and millionaires, it rather you emulate dudes with shaved heads who sit around with their legs crossed trying to take themselves out of life.

i went to the meditation centre about a year ago.  There’s one by my place and there was going to be this monk giving a lesson so I thought I’d check it out.  It was cult like.  Everyone in the room treated this guy like God.  You have to stand up waiting for him to walk in the room and when he does, everyone bows.  Everyone addressed him by some title that I can’t remember.  When we got to doing these chants I felt like getting up and walking out.

One of Buddhism’s main teachings is to do away with your ego or at least as much as you can.  It sounded great at first but now I sort of regret stomping on my ego.  The ego is like a vital organ.  It keeps you wanting to live even when your life blows.  It’s irrational and stubborn but it does its job well.  It gets you into big trouble but without it, you lose your zest for life.  Having a big ego is obnoxious but having a healthy one is probably beneficial.

The quest for spiritual enlightenment of any kind is great but when faced with the daily grind of a long life and its category 5 hurricanes, can one just meditate it away?  Can you trick yourself everyday by rationalizing that everything is just fine?  That it’s really the way you look at it and not the way you feel?  Sometimes but not all the time. Maybe if you live in a monastery where you’re secluded from life.

I see Buddhism as a compliment to an already decent life and an escape from a shitty one but not really the answer.  Yes I think we should calm our ego, stop chasing unfruitful desires, be more compassionate and all the rest but to be a full time Buddhist seems not possible.  If someone with a gun is pointing it at me while I’m in my car, I’m going to run them over and not call the ambulance.  Sorry compassion, you have to take a backseat to Mr. Monkey, otherwise I’ll be involuntarily meditating in the hospital bed or a casket.

Semi-conclusion…I guess if it’s working for you keep doing it.  We all need something to believe in.

 

 

Multi-Level Marketing

It was the year after graduating high school when I first came across multi-level marketing.  It’s basically a pyramid scheme except that there is an actual product or service to be sold.  Perhaps the product or service is just a cover.  You may have heard of Amway, Avon, Herbalife.

It was my older cousin who introduced me to multi-level marketing.  He pledged allegiance to one called Primerica who sell financial services like mutual funds and life insurance.  The way it works is, someone representing the company recruits other people to join the company by paying a fee.  You get a commission from every person who joins and from every person they recruit.  You also get a cut from the services or products sold by every person you recruited.

When recruiting they look for anyone under the sun who is probably unsatisfied with their employment or unemployment.  It’s kind of like how any cult would look for recruits.  They prey on the lost and unhappy.  They’ll sell you a line about how they spent years at a company making average money but since joining this thing, their dream life is about to come true.  They try to set up an appointment with you or try to get you to go to a seminar.  Quite often they’ll also try to charm you with lines like, “I can tell you have what it takes to make it big.”

The seminars can bring out a pretty large crowd.  The first and only seminar I went to had a middle aged speaker who told a story of how he spent 20 years at the milk factory and was unhappy with his job.  This is their way of inspiring the majority cause they know if you came to the seminar, you probably hate your job.  The guy then goes on to say how he’s rolling in the dough now and you can too!  He threw out stories of other people who were making 6 digits within their first year.  I wasn’t really buying what he was selling but I must say, his speech was damn motivating.  He was like Anthony Robbins but free.  I walked out of there so inspired and motivated but had nowhere to direct my positivity so within a few hours I pretty much went back to my unmotivated self.

It’s a real heartless process in the way they train their members.  They pretty much train you to become a sociopath by brainwashing you to treat everyone you know including friends and family as possible recruits or clients.  When they can’t get your attention with polite words they sometimes turn to insulting reverse psychology by saying something like, “you don’t know how to make big money.”  They instill the idea in your head that you are the greatest, you will be rich and you have to let everybody know this.  They turn you into one cocky SOB.  I guess they have to.  It’s difficult enough to succeed in that business already and a negative attitude ain’t going to help.

I’ve had someone try to recruit me at my work when I was employed at a retail store.  He was a butthead.  I met up with him at a coffee shop and he didn’t even buy me a coffee.  I saw him a couple years later and asked him how it was going.  “It’s going great, You’ll see me at the top soon.”  I don’t know, I think he was shitting me cause he was buying parts for his 20 year old Volkswagen Fox.  I guess one may consider it an upgrade from his mother’s minivan that he was driving before.

Just a few months ago someone gave me his card.  He saw me in my uniform which is a dead give away that I’m a nine to fiver type.  Same lines.  I don’t even know why I pretend to be interested.  I guess I just want to be polite.  Possibly I’m bored and just want some entertainment.  I don’t even know how people even make money.  When I flip through the catalogue of the items they have for sale, it’s all crap or over priced.  The only people I know who buy stuff are people who have family members who joined up and they feel obligated.

It must be possible to make it in that industry.  Some of the companies have been around for a while.  With the right attitude, perseverance, and a small heart, one might be able to do okay.  I think their bread and butter is from the enrollment fee.  The inspiration from the seminars make people really positive and when you’re inspired and positive, you think anything is possible.  People are willing to take out their wallets for something shiny, new and full of hope.

I could use one of those motivational speeches or even a life coach.  I get motivated pretty easily but unmotivated just as easily.  There’s no one around to inspire me or make me feel guilty.  Those Anthony Robbins speeches actually work.  Try it if you don’t believe me.  You have to listen to it regularly though otherwise the benefits will disappear deep into your brain’s recycle bin.

 

 

Dollar Store Shopping

The Dollar Stores are the best places in the city for buying stuff you need around the house.  We must have been getting robbed all those years by the Walmart type stores who sell the same kind of items for 2 to 5 times the price.  Dollar Stores are like the Robin Hood of stores.  They steal the profits from big box stores and give to the poor.

The thing I like most about shopping at Dollar Stores is that you can kind of just throw stuff in your shopping basket and not get hit with a big bill.  It’s like heaven for the not so rich and cheapskates but also for people who don’t want to get ripped off.

Left to Right:

Cotton pads – for cleaning stuff

Firestarter – in case I need to start a fire  when SHTF

Sponges – cleaning dishes and stuff

Microfibre cloth – wipe dust off stuff

Dog treats – I see a lot of dogs while working

Twine –  part of my SHTF supplies

Gum – in case SHMM (Shit Hits My Mouth)

Matches – also part of my SHTF supplies

dollarstore2

Grand total $9.68!

dollarstore

The Dollar Store is definitely the place to go for birthday cards, audio & video wires, not as fresh potato chips, housewares, low quality tools and hardware, cleaning supplies and pretty much anything that doesn’t need to be high quality or fancy looking.  If I had kids I would bring them here and let them get anything they want.  They would think I’m the greatest father ever until they get to the age when other kids ridicule them cause of their cheap toys.

Wanting to have kids is selfish

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a friend and he brought up the topic of wanting to have a kid for the challenge.  I semi-jokingly said to him to find a hobby instead cause at least in that situation the only person that could possibly suffer would be himself.  I then said to him there are only selfish reasons why people want to produce children.  He disagreed with me all the way to the end but without any answers.  If he was in a relationship I wouldn’t have said anything but he’s not so I didn’t care so much.

I can’t blame him for not being able to come up with a reasoning on how having children is not selfish because I don’t think there is any.  Plus, no one really ever encounters anyone who defames the idea of having children so the topic never gets much thought from most people.  If a married couple tells people they don’t want to have kids everyone will ask, “why not? You should.”   When a married or non-married couple tell people they are having a kid soon people always say, “congratulations!”  No one ever says, “you’re so selfish for wanting to have children.”

Reproducing was necessary at one time because it ensured the survival of our species.  It was necessary for the growth and the sustaining of our economic system.  As decades went by, more people became a problem instead of an asset.  Life is not as easy today because there’s more competition.  More people means more demand for jobs and housing but the supply of jobs cannot keep up and property values have become more expensive.  Technology has replaced people which has reduced the need for humans and their worth.

Overpopulation has occurred because it’s so easy to survive.  I want to say that life was never meant to be this way but who knows how life was really meant to be.  It’s just a cycle of one empire ruling and collapsing.  The way of the world operates for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful.  They don’t care if the world is in decline as long as it’s not their world.  That’s also the mentallity of the not so wealthy and powerful.  The only difference is one side has more power to create change.

The motivation for most innovation today is finding new ways on how to sustain life due to the amount of people on this Earth.  It’s all about natural resources being scarce and more valuable.  Finding alternative energy cause the current one is being sucked dry.  We’re encouraged to spay and neuter our pets but having kids is never discouraged even though many of us barely get by economically or sanely.

Bringing a life into this world is a huge commitment.  A commitment that I don’t think is very well thought out.  It’s not a hobby or even a mortgage, where if you are unable to fulfill your end of the agreement, you’re the only one to suffer.   If you sucked as a parent, the world would be lucky if the kid grows up to live a difficult life in an increasingly difficult world.  If the world is not so lucky this kid will grow up to inflict misery on the rest of the world for decades.

It’s odd how you need to go through certified training and have some years under your belt while under the watch from someone certified in order to be considered competent in your industry, yet you’re allowed to become a parent with no credentials at all.

I don’t think any less of people who want children, I’m just saying in our day and age it’s for completely selfish reasons and hardly anyone ever views it in that way.  One can say if people refrained from having kids, someone who may do something great will never have been born.  True.  But that’s probably not the plan for your kid and the odds are enormously slim it will happen.  I could jump into the ocean and maybe come out a mermaid but it’s not likely.   Chances are I will just end up taking a dump in the ocean, wrecking the corals, eating the last dolphin and doing more harm than good.