It bugs me that people seem to think work is the most important thing in the world. Or, more specifically, money. They care more about making money, and getting ahead, than they do about other important things in their lives. They neglect their own happiness, they neglect their family, they neglect their friends, and they neglect their relationships. For what? For money. Or for "respect". For a good "standing" in society. So they can be "proud" of what they do for a living, or be "proud" of how much money they make. Yes, we all have to pay rent, buy food, gas, etc. But people waste large chunks of their lives, working, thinking about work, and worrying about work. By the time they figure out that work, and money, and position, do not buy happiness, they are too old, and too bitter to really enjoy themselves. Life is about living. Life is about having fun. You may die tomorrow. So go do something fun. Don't spend the whole day, or the whole week, miserable from work troubles. Most of us have to work. So just go in, and do the job, and get paid. Don't let workplace bullshit eat you up. Don't let boredom crush your spirit. If you really hate your job, quit, and go look for a new job. Life is too short to stay stuck in some hellhole you hate. I see people performing on the street, and having fun, and making money. I see artists selling their stuff at Venice Beach. They are surviving, but they are not unhappy. There are jobs out there that allow you to be creative, and be yourself. There are jobs where no one will yell at you, or be an asshole to you. Find a way to survive, and be happy. But most of all, do the things you want to do. Be happy, and live your life.
Go see "American Beauty" again...
I think I figured out what causes a lot of problems in serious "romantic" relationships. People need to see evidence that their partner loves them. People are very observant. And they know how to read the truth in people's actions, and emotions. These feelings and actions can be faked, but only for so long, without emotional substance behind them. If someone really loves you, they will want to spend a lot of time with you, do nice things for you, etc. If the other partner does not do these things, or does not express how they feel, the other person feels like there is a problem, and that something is missing, and it makes them unhappy. If work seems to be more important to that person, or friends seem more important, or a football game seems more important, then the other half feels that if it comes down to making a choice, that person will probably choose other things over the relationship. That destroys any sense of security. It destroys the idea that you are highly important to them. The same way an affair has that effect. The partner knows that you may leave them in preference for someone else. This also destroys any sense of security. That is why the romantic phrases "I would die for you..." or "I would do anything for you..." are seen as the pinnacle of love. Because people would like to think that the person they are with, would do anything for them. That if you asked them to quit their job to go to Africa to be with you, that they would, because the relationship is very important to them. People seem to spend a lot of time feeling miserable that they do not have this... Or they settle for something "practical".
Get Off Your Ass:
I hate seeing unhappy people. I hear people complaining about their lives all the time. They hate their jobs. They hate the town where they live. They hate their relationship. They hate their friends. They hate the movies they see. They hate the music they hear. Well... Get off your ass! Change things. If you hate your job, quit it, and get a new one. Start your own company. Work from home. If you hate your town, move. Leave. Pack your stuff, and go somewhere new. Hate your relationship? Leave it. There are many other people out there who you may get along with better. If you stay in the relationship, you'll never get to know if there is a better life with someone else. Same goes for friends. Make new ones, who are more like you. If you hate the movies out there, go see independent films. Don't go see big "Hollywood" movies that you know are going to suck. Better yet, make your own movies, and show us how much better you can do. Same with music. There is a lot of independent music out there to download. If you don't like what is on the radio, and Mtv, make your own music. Do it on your computer, or do it the old fashioned way. But if you want good music, make it yourself. Show us what sounds cool to you. I am not suggesting a policy of just leaving anything that does not work for you. Obviously, you can try to make things work. You can talk to your boss, talk to your partner, and try to get them to change things, so you are happy. But if that does not work, don't stay miserable. There is value in working on problems, and fixing problems. But I see no value in wasting your life, being unhappy with things. You can make change happen. So get off your ass, and start to change your own life. Don't wait for something to happen. A better job, or better partner, is not going to drop from the sky. You have to get out of the old one, and go look for a new one.
People do not know how to communicate. Here is the basic problem: Everyone grows up in a different way. We all have different experiences, and different ideas about what life is about, and what is right, and what is wrong. We all have baggage, and previous experiences, that affect how we view life, and people. So when we interact, there are often differences in opinions, and actions. Often these differences cause conflict. This is usually because people are closed-minded. They feel that their way of looking at life is the proper way, and if you are doing something different, then you are wrong, and they will hassle you about it. What people need to do, is go to the root of why they feel the way they feel. It is easy to come up with reasons why something is right or wrong. But it is just as easy for the other person to come up with their own reasons that they are right, and you are wrong. Debate is fine, and may result in changes in viewpoints. But not often. What people need to do, is to realize why they feel the way they feel, and be able to explain it to other people. If you had a bad experience with something, explain that. Then listen to the other person, and be willing to see if there is any validity to their position. If you can convince someone to change their outlook, and their behavior, that is great. But most people are set in their ways, and will not change, even if they accept your outlook. So the other choice is compromise. But ideally, communication should be thorough enough to really know the other person, so you can understand them, and compromise to deal with their own particular way of doing things. The best thing of all, is being able to let people be who they are, and do what they want to do, and not let it bother you. So long as their behavior does not directly affect you, it does not matter if you think it is right or not.
I realized that people search for security in life. People want something to believe in. If we have nothing at all to believe in, and life seems cruel and unfair, we look for some way of dealing with it, and explaining it all. We do not like the idea that we are alone, and that we are vulnerable and weak. Usually, we have a sense of security that is created early in life. If we don't have security, we create a way to deal with it. Whether there is a sense of security or not, people still create some sort of idea about why things happen. In some cases, people use religion or philosophy to create answers for life. Some people have a sense of what life is about, shared with them through their parents or their friends. So most people never even think about whether their beliefs about life are true or not, or where they came from, and why. They just say things like, "Well, life is unfair sometimes..." or "God works in mysterious ways..." These beliefs about life often started when people were small children. So they know nothing else. But here is my idea: The human mind is always thinking. We do not accept things on face value. I am always thinking about why things are the way they are. I always try to figure things out. It's the curse of having a human brain, and intelligence. When something really bad happens, and we feel sad, or alone, we look for some kind of support. But we realize that security is not real. Instead of accepting this, we look for a way to explain it and deal with it. If we have a partner, they may be there, but your pain is still there. If you are dying, you will still die, no matter how many friends and family you have around you. You may have a good job, a good family, and your ideas about life. But when you die, none of that means anything. You are back to square one. Alone, vulnerable, afraid, and trying to assure yourself that there is a reason for things, and something better. No one likes to scare kids. Or adults. So we like to reassure ourselves that there is a reason for everything. But maybe there isn't... We just make one up... Because we do not like to be confused or afraid. We always make up answers for everything. Even if we do not know the truth.
People and society tend to judge others quite a bit. They see a certain look, or behavior, and they dislike it, and so they criticize. It is not just the "mainstream" that judges. The "freaks" and the "outcasts" also judge. People on the outside of mainstream feel that all the mainstream people are lame, materialistic, shallow, and sellouts. Which is true in many cases. They care too much about what they wear, how they look, and what they do for a living. They wear the same clothes as everyone else, so they can be "fashionable". They do not want people to talk about them. They do not want people to say that their clothes are ugly. So they buy whatever is "in style", so that they "fit in". But the same things can be said for those on the outside of the norm. They often worry about making sure they are not seen as a mainstream person. They want to be sure they are seen as a punk, or a goth, or whatever. They want to be accepted by the outsiders, just as much as the people in the mainstream want to be accepted by their own kind. Few people just do what they want to do. Take dancing as another example. Even at a punk show, or a goth club, people try to dance in a way that is "appropriate" for that type of music. They also dress the way that they think will fit in. People do not just dress the way they want to dress, and dance how they want to dance. I am not saying I do not do this. I would be a hypocrite to say I do not think about what will work best for a certain setting. I do. But I do not care if people do not like what I wear, or how I dance, or whatever. I guess I do not care if people want to dress the same, or act the same. I just wish they would not judge others, if they choose to be different. You should do what you want to do, and do not worry about what other people think. And you should accept other people, regardless of what they want to do. So long as they are happy, and having fun, let them be. The judging, and the criticism, is what creates this behavior in the first place. If someone overhears you saying that they are not "punk" enough, they will probably go out of their way to make sure they look *more* punk next time. If a normal person hears you saying that they are a lame normie, they will probably try to be more "alternative" so they can be accepted. It's a vicious cycle... If you stop criticizing people, those people will feel more free to be themselves...
Commercialism:I wonder sometimes, about people, and their drive to get stuff. People seem to work really hard, in order to have money, so they can buy the things that make them happy. It's the typical trap of capitalism and commercialism. So many people fall into it. People think that if they have enough money, they will be happy. Well, not all rich people are happy. Not all famous people are happy. Why? Because all those things lose their luster. People buy a new car, and they are excited and happy. They feel really good about it. But in a year, that happiness has faded, and the "exciting new car" is no longer as exciting. It's normal for us to become used to things, and they are no longer as exciting. The problem with most people, is they simply go buy *another* new car that they think is cool, and they forget the lesson they just learned. They think that they just need something cooler or better or newer. People do this all the time. Especially with technology. People are always buying new cel phones that are smaller, new Palm Pilots, new computers, etc... Why? It is not because they really need the new technology. It is because their old phone, or computer, no longer excites them. But they see an ad for something "new", and they get excited again. So they open their wallet. I will not deny that buying new things is fun. I do it when I can. I do it when I can afford to. It is fun to have new toys. But I think the problem is that people often suffer with shitty jobs, worry, debt, and envy. All because of this plague of commercialism. People get into debt because of buying things. People become miserable, just for "wanting" things they do not have. They rent expensive apartments, because they want to live somewhere nice, and they have car payments on a fancy new car. All of this debt, and overhead expense, means people have to *really* worry about work, and money. So a large part of their life, is spent worrying about paying the bills. Or they are always working, to save enough money to buy something new and cool. The point is that people spend way too much of their time and energy around money and work. Not to survive. But to get new toys.
Simple Happiness:I try to find happiness in simple ways. I realize that most happiness is transient. If you get your happiness from the things you buy, you will always need new things. Because even if you get all you say you want, you will eventually be bored with that stuff, and want *new* stuff that excites you. If you seek happiness from a relationship, we all know that many of them do not last, and if they do, they also lose their luster. No longer will you get the same sense of happiness and joy from being around that person. Some people seek happiness by helping others. But after years of that, it will seem hopeless. And the thrill of helping people, will be replaced by a jaded view, and a defeatist attitude. So many people deal with the problem by switching from one thing to the other. If they are not happy with their relationship, they buy things to be happy. If they have nice things, but still are not happy, then they look for true love to make them happy. If they have love, they may look for personal fulfilment. To feel like they did something worthwhile with their life. People often want to be "proud" of what they do, and who they are. People often have children, as a way to feel loved, happy, and fulfilled, all in one. But eventually the children leave, and you are back to where you started. So if you realize that happiness is not constant, you have several choices. You can keep doing the juggling act. When one thing fails, look for the next thing. Or you can seek out a new way of looking at the world, and find a new way to find happiness. Here is my way... What is constant? Life. Life is always changing. The world is always changing. It is very interesting, and very beautiful, and very ugly too. I find happiness in observation, and appreciation. I enjoy looking at life, and at people, and at nature. I have a really good time looking at the trees, at the sand, at the animals. I enjoy people, when they are willing to do nice things with me. I enjoy buying things, if I can. I enjoy relationships, if they come along. But I do not expect them to provide me with happiness. I know happiness comes from inside. So if I can have fun, and dance, and listen, and observe, and enjoy, then I can be happy. Without depending on anything else...
Truth:The question: Why do people lie to each other?
Well, sometimes people lie for their own gain, or for selfish reasons. But the most common reason people lie, is because if they tell the truth, they face consequences from the other person. Example: "Do I look fat?" If you tell the truth, and say yes, the other person will be mad, or unhappy. If you cheat on your girlfriend, and you tell her, she will probably leave you. The consequences are vast. So people learn from experience. When they are honest about things, they face pretty negative consequences. If you tell the truth, the person does not beam with joy, and give you a big hug, and thank you for being so honest. So people hide things, don't mention things, and keep secrets. Why? To avoid the negative consequences. People say they want honesty. But that is bullshit. Try it at work sometime. The boss has a new plan that they came up with, and are presenting to the company at a big meeting. They ask what you think of it. You tell them the truth. You tell them that the plan is stupid, and will never work. Do you think the boss will like that? You'd probably get fired, or discreetly laid off. What do most people do? You tell them what a great plan it is. Ok, I don't. But most people do. My point, is that if you are mad because you keep catching people lying to you, or you are upset because no one will tell you the truth, you need to look at how you react to the truth. If your reaction to the truth is negative, it will encourage people to lie to you. Sometimes one bad reaction is all it takes. You freak out on someone, and they realize they cannot be truthful with you. The idea is to be glad they told you the truth, and talk to them about it. But if you freak out, it will just encourage more lies.
Clean:I noticed that over time, I have slowly become more clean, more neat, and more organized. When I was younger, I was disorganized, messy, and dirty. Typical teen slob, always making a mess. I didn't really notice the change. But I started seeing other people have conflicts with their girlfriends and boyfriends, because one person was clean and organized, and the other person was a slob. I always stood up for the slobs, because I was always a slob, and I know that those people do not mean to hurt anyone, or mess anything up, or damage things. So I always tried to ease the tensions. But in doing so, I tried to think of ways to help the slobs become cleaner. Because somehow, I had changed, so maybe they could do so too. But here is what usually happened: The neat person would try to nag the messy person to make them to clean things up. Hoping that by bugging them all the time, they would eventually change. But I realized that was the wrong approach. People have to learn things for themselves. So here is the way I learned... I would leave a mess, and then it would get really gross, and so I would clean it. But it would be NASTY! So it was a very unpleasant task. Moldy dishes, horrible smells, ant invasions, etc... So by not cleaning things up, I had to clean up some terrible messes. Eventually, I realized it would be easier to clean things right away. So I had to learn it for myself. No amount of nagging would have made me learn the value of being clean. Only by learning the downside, could I learn the value of cleanliness. So if you ever end up in that kind of situation with someone, don't clean up their mess for them. Don't nag them. Just leave the mess, and let them clean it up when it gets really nasty. If you do this enough, they will eventually learn to keep things clean...