Having a Choice

The option of having a choice would seem better than to not have any.  The downside of having more than one option is that you have to think and sometimes think yourself to insanity.  Even when a decision is made there is still the looming thought of, ‘did I make the right decision?’  Then there is the possibility of the dreadful, ‘I think I made the wrong decision’ or ‘I definitely made the wrong decision.’  It seems that the only thing worse than making a bad decision in life is having to live with it.

I have always had issues with making decisions.  There always seemed to be so many options but also none that were very desirable.  There were hardly any times when it was a no brainer.  Not knowing for sure what you want and not knowing for sure what you do not want, leaves you in a state of paralysis.  If you want to be a millionaire and nothing less is acceptable then your only options are the ones that have the potential to make you a millionaire regardless of the risks.  The choice becomes much easier.

If you want this but would settle for that but you are also scared of this then you just threw yourself in a dark forest.  We all like to think that living in a more primitive part of the world would leave us miserable because of the very few options that would be available to us but I think it could easily be a better life.  You don’t think as much of what you should have done, could have done and how your life would be better now if you zigged instead of zagged.  Instead of blaming yourself you tell yourself that there was nothing you could have done which leaves you in peace instead of internal warfare.

So many people have a problem with what they want to do with their lives.  There are so many options when it comes to a career.  Would it not be better if your only option was to be a blacksmith or some other smith and if you didn’t want to do it then you would starve?  Depends I guess, but you wouldn’t blame yourself for being a blacksmith.  You had no choice.

I doubt that I would really care if I lost my job.  The issue is how I lose it.  Does some greater power force it on me or do I march into my boss’s office with a metaphorical knife that is my resignation letter to sever the tie that would otherwise be left unscathed if it were not for my own actions.  The other night I was out and I knew for sure my blood alcohol level would cost me my driver’s license and my job if I had to take a breathalyzer.  A part of me wanted to get caught.  Kind of like a person who spent their whole life in prison and when they get out, they do not really care if they went back in.  They might even prefer it.  If I lost my job in this manner, the feeling of regret would be less likely.  So now you think I am a dickhead for drinking and driving.  Don’t worry, I was so high that night that the effects of alcohol were non-existent.

Whenever you make what appears to be the wrong decision, there is always the rationalization that it was your fault.  You should have known.  Why were you so scared?  How could you have been so foolish?  You were way in over your head. Unless of course you are the type that never blames yourself for anything.

There is sort of a liberation in making a bad choice though.  You put yourself in a position that gives you only one choice.  You have no other options so you make the best of it.  Your mind does not wander to the impossibilties but only to the have to’s so you can say, ‘oh well.’

I think often the best choice is the one your heart wants instead of the choice that can be best rationalized by fear because it would really suck if you made a choice against your heart and on top of that, it didn’t work out.

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Aiming High From Way Below

michelangelo-set-your-aim-high-post

There is a lot of truth to this quote just like many other quotes.  And just like many other quotes, it is easier said than done.  There are other factors that come into play when it comes to goal setting.  It would be great if you could just read a quote from some dead guy and apply it to your life.  You might have heard the saying, ‘You can choose to be happy.’  Maybe, but for how long?  It is obviously not that easy.  Maybe you have little power over your emotions but being able to set your goals high should be a different story.  So then how come so many people don’t try to achieve more?

Setting goals is a process just like any other process.  You have to have ice skates before you can learn to tie them.  You have to learn how to tie them before you can attempt to skate badly.  Once you learn how to skate decently then maybe you will think of trying to skate faster and then maybe you will want to learn how to power stop.

In life, some people start at level 1 and some people start at level 5.  When you start at level 5 it’s much easier to see level 8,9 or 10 and believe you can get there.  If you start at level 1, level 8,9,10 seems as unbelievable as being able to grow a third arm.  When you are at level 1, you think you can be happy for the rest of your life if you reach level 5.  When you start out at level 5, you don’t think you can happy forever staying at level 5 and definitely don’t want to go to 4 and under.

Then it will just take someone who starts out at level 1 longer to reach level 10, right?  Probably but most of the time it just won’t even happen.  Another factor in life is age.  Age is just a number but as the number goes up, it can take a toll on your mind and inner strength.  You get tired of fighting and you’re less optimistic and hopeful.

Another major factor is the people you have along side you in your developing years and after.  If they can inspire you and guide you then that will make all the difference.  If you’re stuck surrounded by people who inspire you that good enough is good enough then that might just be good enough.  If your parents are lawyers, doctors or are successful in their occupation then it’s not likely that you are going to decide to be an auto mechanic.  Plus if they are successful they have a decent idea how to teach you to be successful.  I guess if you’re afraid your girlfriend will dump you then that can motivate you as well.  “Okay Okay, I’ll do it.”

And of course, you will always have people tell you about some shoeless refugee who came from nothing but now has everything.  There is also that guy who has no arms but can play guitar with his toes better than most people with their hands but I think he’s the exception.  I’m not saying just because you came from not much that you can’t or shouldn’t shoot for the stars.  I’m just saying there’s more challenges. Challenges that people don’t seem to be aware of and don’t want to believe would impact the position they are in life if they had to face those hurdles themselves.

Perhaps always wanting more can be for egomaniacs but I think not wanting more too soon will often leave you feeling lifeless.

 

Daily Prompt: Successful

Being Alone is Evolutionary

I wonder if the natural evolution of humankind is to be alone.   Since the hunter gatherer times, one of the major goals has always been to enhance our safety and security.  In these primitive eras, it wasn’t possible to feel safe and secure without being in a large tribe of other humans.  It seems that it is built into us to not want to be alone for reasons of safety, security and even happiness.  In order to perpetuate the species you couldn’t do it alone either.

So it must not be nature’s intention for us to be alone?  I strongly believed this until recently.  When I say recently, I mean yesterday.  We’re more alone and disconnected than in any other time because of our progression towards ultimate safety, security and technology.  We no longer need anyone in our regular lives to survive.  In hunter gatherer times I don’t think anyone had any grandiose ideas of venturing off by themselves thinking that they would be better off.  Any tiger with a broken leg can kill a lone human.

It does suck to be alone sometimes but I’m pretty sure the majority of people have had moments when they have entertained the thought of separating themselves from the regular people in their lives.  A moment when they thought cutting off all ties to people in their regular lives would be the better path.  No one would seriously entertain any thought if they didn’t think it was possible.  You wouldn’t get off an elevator and jump out the window to get to the ground floor because you know there’s no possibility of it being a better option.

Being able to comfortably survive on your own is fairly new and also not available worldwide.  It’s a work in progress and our era is like the beta version with bugs.  From an evolutionary standpoint, I think the end goal is to be even more alone than we already are but also happier.  We’ve further advanced our physical aloneness with the internet.  We no longer need people around us at all times to feel safe and now we don’t need people for many other things because of the internet.  You can have a conversation online, buy stuff online, learn stuff online, run an online business.

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You can connect with people without being around people.  We say all this disconnection is unhealthy and detrimental to society but this is what humans really wanted.  We’ve been working towards this since the beginning of time.  We went from tribes to families to being more alone. If we thought being in a huge tribe was better then that’s what we would be doing.  Sure, you could have probably survived alone during the Mongol Empire but it definitely wasn’t as safe.  You still had to worry about other humans killing you or making you their slave

To think that the technology we have now is as good as it gets is being naive.  It’s going to keep on advancing to a stage that most of us cannot even imagine.  No one imagined 25 years ago that we would have what we have now.  To show you how handicapped our ability to predict the future is, even when CD’s and Laser Discs were available, no one ever said there would one day be something the size of a CD that could play movies at Laser Disc quality.  Maybe one day I will be able to hang out with you without leaving my home and when I get sick of you, I’ll just close my eyes and wish myself out of there.

Perhaps being alone is an evolutionary process that happens when a society reaches a point of safety, security, technological advancement and a sufficient population.  The birth rate in developed nations has declined.  You can attribute this to birth control, women wanting careers, abortion or whatever but the end goal is to have less people around you.  Also, having the option to sit at home watching TV, playing video games, using the internet, will affect the chances of people going out and reproducing.

When there is something that affects a group of humans, there automatically will be a desire to fix it.  That’s what we do.  It doesn’t even really have to be a problem, it just has to be something we want to make better.  People don’t like to be around certain people all the time or even some of the time but they feel that they have to and people don’t always like to feel alone either so I think it’s possible that one day technology and culture will provide an alternative.

 

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A Purpose for Life, Life, Ramblings, Society

I never really looked at this white space as a blank canvas but that’s exactly what it is.  It starts out as nothing and the words you type inside is the art.  You create something out of nothing.  The essence of life has always been in creating and building.  The whole purpose of our existence is to envision our project evolve to our desired result.  The blueprints are made before any work begins.  So I guess the key to life is to have a purpose other than staying alive for the sake of avoiding death.

When you don’t have a purpose in life, you’re almost like an athlete sitting on the bench waiting for your chance to play.  It’s degrading and frustrating but you have to believe that you will one day have that opportunity.  Finding a purpose in life is hard for some of us.  When you take the fear out of finding food and shelter for yourself and the ones around you then everything else can be rationalized as trivial.  Of course as human beings with egos, we have this undying power to rationalize that our life and beliefs mean something.  Life has come to a point where our view of what is meaningful is really meaningless.

We like to think what we know as life will always be.  What we don’t ever think about is that the existence of paper money, good jobs, Walmart, automobiles, you name it, have only existed for a blip in comparison to life.  We think if something has been around our whole life that it’s going to be like that forever.  In developed countries, a lot of people are depressed and somewhat angry that life is harder than it was in the past and that it’s getting harder.  Human beings are all about progression and once they are used to a certain way of life they feel entitled to it.

Life became so easy and promising that we over promoted human rights and a way of living.  What I think is that the era when good jobs were abundant and housing was affordable was a lifestyle that was never really sustainable.  They were naive in thinking that technology was not going to evolve to where it is now and that humans would not be corrupt.  Everyone believes the government is corrupt which is true but I think they had some good intentions but it just didn’t workout.

It’s not that bad now but it was just much better before.  I know someone who bought his house 30 years ago for $150,000 and now it’s worth 1 million.  You could buy a house back then with 2 people working a shitty wage.  They just had to save really well.  It’s impossible now.  If you’re working a shitty wage now, you’ll never own anything.  That’s what older people don’t get.  The incentives for wanting to work have dwindled.  They’ve made technology affordable but the necessities for living almost out of reach.  In the 1980’s a person could have worked at a big supermarket chain stocking shelves and they could buy a house within a few years.  These days it’s just enough to live but never progress.  Now you need an education and 2 people with good incomes to buy a house.  If it continues this way, it’s going to really suck one day.

So what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, purpose.  That’s the whole point of wanting to live, isn’t it?  You go about your day doing your thing because you believe it’s for something.  I don’t have that right now.  I’m sitting on the bench right now waiting for my time.  I keep my job because I don’t know what else to do.  I could do nothing but I fear that would bring a future of suffering.  If I was living paycheque to paycheque or had financial obligations then it would be a different story.  I have to brainwash myself to give myself any motivation to believe that I should work.

When you have some options but can’t make a move it’s usually because none of your options are very appealing.  We’re a generation that makes choices based on fear rather than passion.  I work because I fear to be poor.  You buy a house because you fear that you will have nothing in the future.  You marry that woman even though you have good reason to believe that it won’t work out but you’re scared to be alone.  Humans gravitate to safety.  You do everything you do because you are afraid that you will be classified as a loser from people and yourself.  Even if you hated your life you can rationalize that you were competent if your life somewhat reflects the majority.

It’s funny how when you bump into someone you haven’t seen in a while it’s always the same questions.  Where do you work?  Are you seeing anyone?  That tells you what society uses to judge how good your life is.  I was never proud of my employment and there’s rarely a girl in my life so most of the time I felt shitty about myself.  Now that I think about it, I feel shitty about myself for feeling shitty about myself.  I fed that person power when they saw the shame in myself.  If you tell people you are single the first thing they try to do is give you advice on how not to be single.  My answer now is, relationships are pretty stupid and I’m not as scared to be alone as you are.

You always hear people say, “who cares what people think.’  That’s life though.  As humans in a society we gravitate to similar goals and standards.  It’s part of our instinct to conform and to feel like something is wrong when we don’t conform.  Not conforming is like being alone and being alone is supposed to be scary.

We’re all like machines that are plugged into a bigger machine.  If you unplug from that machine you will see life differently from the rest.

So what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, purpose.  That’s another reason why we were never really meant to be alone.  As social creatures we stay alive and thrive by helping others survive.  You’re supposed to be part of a team.  However, we progressed into a species that doesn’t need anyone where everyone is expected to be self-sufficient.

I am going to end this post here and start another one.  Maybe I’ll write a few more posts.  Thanks if you made it this far but why should I thank you.  I wrote this and you decided it was worth reading.  You should thank me for writing this.

 

 

Being Alone

The area I deliver in is also the area where I grew up.  It’s not uncommon to bump into someone I know through a delivery or just on the road.  Yesterday I ran into a guy that I used to hang around with in the same group of friends.  He’s still hanging around the same people and he was curious who I see.  I told him I don’t really see anyone and don’t go out much.  He replied, “that sucks.”  The idea of being mostly alone usually does signal something sucky to most people.  To be honest it does kind of suck.  Anyone who says being alone all the time is so great, has managed to brainwash themselves so that they can feel better about their life.

There are some other things to consider though.  Most people don’t realize to see the obvious.  If someone would rather be alone than spend their time with you or with other people then it probably means they find being alone is less suckier.  What people see is some kind of mental abnormality with someone who would rather be alone.  It’s difficult for people to admit to themselves that someone would rather be alone than be with them.  To them, being alone compared to being in the presence of any acquaintance is like eating cardboard instead of cake…there must be something wrong with you not wanting cake even though you have a gluten intolerance.

They say spending too much time alone will make you crazy but I think spending too much time with people for the sake of not being alone will keep you unaware of your true desires.  There’s nothing more sad than being with a bunch of people who are just looking to not be alone instead of wanting to be around each other.  It’s like cutting yourself so that you can get 2 seconds of shitty stimulation but also a small scar forever.

I find that my energy for wanting to be around with most people is similar to spending money.  I would rather keep it for myself instead of spending it foolishly.

 

 

I’m Borderline Racist

I do residential deliveries in an area largely populated by Chinese people.  Many of these Chinese people do not speak a lot of English.  Sometimes I walk away from a delivery exchange with one of these Chinese people and I get annoyed.  They often only know one English phrase which is, “I don’t know English.”

If a white person displays their annoyance towards a situation like the one I mentioned, they would probably be looked upon as somewhat racist.  If not racist then not a very nice person.  So what does that make me?  I’m Chinese and I get annoyed.  The only main difference between these Chinese customers and myself is that they speak a different dialect of Chinese.  What makes me even more of an asshole is that some of my relatives don’t speak English or not very well.  That might be the only reason why I’m at all understanding about this no English deal.

My frustration arises probably because it interferes with the workflow of my job.  When someone doesn’t understand the English name of a person living in their house it slows things down.  Try telling someone who doesn’t understand English that they owe taxes and duties.

If you can say, “I don’t know English,” you probably could have learned, “what is your name” as well.  But obviously it wasn’t totally necessary because they can get by a whole lifetime in Canada without knowing any English.  There’s enough people here who speak the same language that they never absolutely have to learn.  If you need something done that requires English then you call that person in your family who speaks English to help you.  As annoying as it is for people who try to communicate with them in English, it must be much more debilitating for people like my grandmother to go 35 years here fearing situations where understanding English is required.

I’ve heard it many times from white people who angrily say, “if you are going to live in this country, you should have to speak English.”  It would probably be ideal but the fact is you don’t have to and when you don’t have to do something, often times you won’t do it.  Learning English for immigrants here is like losing weight for fat people.  People generally aren’t that successful at it cause it’s much easier not to.  This country would also be better if there were less unhealthy people but this is the country we live in..if you’re not directly hurting anyone then you can keep on doing it.

I think a lot of people who are thought to be racist aren’t really racist.  In my situation, one would call me a racist if I wasn’t Chinese but since I am, people would just call me an asshole.  But you have to admit, it’s kind of funny too.  It be a good scene for a movie especially if I walked away mumbling a racial slur.  It’s not that I hate Chinese people.  I just hate it when a Chinese person makes my life more difficult.  I would hate it if they were brown, white or olive.  I don’t really even hate it when they can’t speak English.  I hate it as much as hitting a bunch of red lights or when I have to slow down because of an obese jay walker.  But I was kind of disappointed at myself when I thought to myself, “why can’t they learn some English?” even when I know the reasons and they make sense to me.

In recent years there’s been a lot of negative feelings towards rich Mainland Chinese people coming over here in herds and raising the real estate prices.  I’ve had Chinese friends of mine say something similar to, “too many China people coming in,” which is funny and hypocritical at the same time cause when our families were coming here in the 70’s and 80’s, white people were probably saying the same thing and we hated them for it.  So I guess racism can be mistaken for disliking a group of people who you think are affecting your life negatively.

In North America we sometimes forget that this nation was built by immigrants.  Every generation here wants to be the last generation of immigrants because they feel the new ones are taking away from their way of life.

 

A Reason to Live

I think my grandmother has lived a life that was full of purpose.  She’s a bitch but I can see how she would be able to feel that her life was meaningful.  My grandfather was either disabled or a loser who stopped working not too long once he arrived to Canada which was around the age of 45.  Some say that he was sick and others say that he didn’t like the working lifestyle in Canada.  He wanted to go for a smoke whenever he wanted instead of only being able to go during a designated coffee break time.  It might have been okay if he didn’t have 9 kids to feed.  I always wanted to believe that he was too sick to work but nobody could ever tell me what kind of sickness he had.

All of the kids are around 50 to 65 years old now but not all of them have permanently left the nest which to this day has given my grandmother something to do.  She feels a sense of importance cause she still cooks dinner most nights for some of her kids who still live in her house who never cook for themselves or for one of her sons who comes over cause he’s lonely.

I attribute my lack of motivation to my grandfather.  I think without a somewhat normal male presence in your household when you are growing up, you are likely to be at a disadvantage in life.  My grandfather was a loser which made all of his kids losers which made all of their kids losers. There are no winners in my family.  My family is dying off cause no male in my generation is reproducing.  My 2 cousins that are older than me are unlikely to be having kids.  They are both closing in on 40.  One of my cousins who is younger than me is in a wheel chair so I wouldn’t bet on him.  His younger brother is an extreme version of myself.  He’s slow to grow up.  He went for his driver’s license at 22 years old.   He still needs to learn how to ride a bicycle.  Not his fault really.  His father ditched him pretty early and his mother is a schizophrenic.  I think Natural Selection is making sure my family doesn’t reproduce.

I think it’s difficult to feel that your life is meaningful when no one you care about is benefiting from you.  You would think if taking care of yourself was a struggle that you would be motivated to try to make your life better but people in that position don’t seem to care about themselves if they have no one in their life.  It’s like you don’t really even want to be around if no one needs you.  It almost seems as though humans are very selfish until they have no one.

There’s a guy that I am in communication with who is in his 60’s.  His one daughter lives on the other side of the country and that’s his whole family.  He has a job but he’s usually too sick to even show up.  He doesn’t feel a lot of hope at all.  Why would he?  He can barely take care of himself and he can barely find a reason to.  He probably thinks that if he died, it would make no difference to anyone.

I’m not sure which situation is more sad.  A bunch of 50 year olds who depend on their 80 year old mother for meals and moral support or a man in his 60’s who has no one because independence is more important than family.