A rant transformed (cont)…

Last pomorodoro, I wrote about how I felt “challenged,” how I processed that and ultimately, the action that I am taking.  While not going into great detail about all of this, I can write and speak in the manner that I am accustomed.  Accordingly, I am sometimes referred to as “Obi-wan” because of my apparently philosophic musings…and rightly so, I’m surprised that people can even tolerate the horseshit that I speak and write about.  God bless the few that can and God bless the masses that cannot.

Life’s recent challenges and reflections over the past couple of years have led me to a refining of my value systems.  Subsequently, this impacted my relationships and those that I correspond with.  It continues to this day and suspect that this is something that will occur for eternity.  This is “life stuff.”  However, sometimes “life stuff” is harder.  Some pills are more bitter to swallow than others, so to speak.  On occasion, there are “things” that are just out of our grasp, yet we find ourselves reaching ever harder.  No matter how hard we strive to reach it in this moment, it is precisely this moment that we cannot have it.

I am struggling to write and word that last message accurately, but I’m going to simply go with it and hope that the message doesn’t get lost in translation…because often times I find myself bickering over words and semantics with certain people.  We often chalk it up as “passionate conversation.”  While this is true, it is also aggravating at times, because the root cause or the theme of the discussion gets lost in the distractive chatter.  I find myself wanting to stay on point and focused more often.  This is part of the reason why I have really come to embrace The Pomodoro Technique.

Back to the overall message, which is a reflection on my “Obi-wan” musings and the fact that sometimes I find myself longing for and searching for the very things that I cannot have at the moment.  This “fantasy land” builds an unhealthy perspective on life because much of the time is spent in this alternative reality that really isn’t  reality.  It’s like the Matrix.  Sometimes, the longing and searching for what I cannot have makes me feel as though I am plugged in and participating in this alternate reality.  Oh boy, there goes Rob again…now stick with me on this one.

The fact of the matter is that most of society lives in the alternate reality that is the Matrix.  Most of society is “asleep.”  I have “woken up” and allowed the scales to fall from my eyes.  I don’t believe in and/or trust the government and organized religion and believe that we are allowing our society to decline in front of our eyes.    My interest in politics is beginning to decline and my interest in the economy is starting to grow.  By the time I make my next significant life move, I will be doing it debt-free and with cash.

Pomodoro up.

Stay tuned.

A rant transformed…

As I write these words at 8:53pm, I can only observe my own astonishment.  Approximately 3 hours ago, I sat down here at my “desk” to write and rant because…I was feeling “challenged.”  An unexpected phone call gave me the opportunity to verbalize much of what had been on my mind.  Direct communication with a like-minded individual typically helps me quickly find clarity during troubling times.  Tonight was no different.

I was expecting to spend much of this time this evening alternating pomodoros reading and writing.  I was going to spend time reading the latest article on economics.  Lots of reflecting was going to take place during the writing pomodoros tonight – as I felt a need to reflect and be honest with myself as I felt I was carrying a bit of negative attitude with me lately…culminating in some stresses today both occurring at work and in my personal life.

The reading will have to be postponed until a later date, because reflection on the recent series of events and patterns in life is more appropriate.  Perhaps two pomodoros of writing!  Yes, I am feeling it…fifteen minutes into the pomodoro – it is like running, I am feeling in “the groove” now…in the “zone.”  Where to begin…yes, the negative attitude.  In addition to fear, much of this negative attitude stems from my own inability to be honest with myself.

Lately, I have had an increased amount of correspondence with some people in my past.  It has been great catching up with old friends.  This period of transition and the subsequent “catching up” with people has been interesting, to say the least.  Effectively speaking, I have “culled” many of my friends and/or they have “culled” me.  In this process called life, I have spent time learning about what is truly important to me, my core values.  Often times I find myself writing about these things.  I refer to them as my “areas of importance / project list.”  The last time I spent time truly reflecting on this was about a month ago.  Where does the time go?

Temecula Half-Marathon, Long Weekend in Joshua Tree, Thanksgiving Holiday, 10k Trail Turkey Trot, Goat Butchering Processing / Cooking meetup, but I digress…I suppose I’ve been keeping busy!  At any rate, as of last month, the list was written as follows:

@GTD – Weekly Review; Areas of Importance / Project List.

Today, reflection during my “Weekly Review” shows the Areas of Importance in order of:

  1. Fitness
  2. Wellness
  3. Work / Career
  4. Community / Socializing
  5. GTD
  6. Volunteer Work
  7. Financial
  8. Vacation

With that, this pomodoro is up!

Stay tuned.

Thanksgiving

As I write these words, it is approaching 8:00pm on Thanksgiving.

I have much to be grateful for.  Today was a lazy day – In retrospect, I would not have had it any other way.

My running partner encouraged me to begin the day with a turkey trot followed by mimosas with her boot camp fitness group, which I did.  I joined the Gut Check Fitness crew for their Annual Turkey Trot, followed by mimosas.  While the workouts they do may still seem kind of crazy, the people seemed very cool and I enjoyed the morning.  The way they talked about the boot camp workouts seemed strangely attractive and I may end up checking out some of these workouts on a Saturday morning here or there.

On my way and at home, I spoke with my grandfather, all of my immediate family and a few close friends.  While I have many acquaintances, my closest relationships are few.  I cherish the close relationships that I have and was able to spend much time today reflecting on how important they are to me.  These relationships are the driving forces in my life, shaping it into what it currently is and what it is yet to be.  I declined several invitations to family gatherings, as I initially planned on volunteering today.

However, I procrastinated on signing up for events until a week ago and the various churches I contacted were no longer accepting volunteers.  I learned that Thanksgiving is a day heavy on volunteers, as many “christmas / easter” types came out to volunteer en masse on Thanksgiving Day, apparently.  While this was disappointing, I decided to hit the local Chinese Buffet for large quantities of mediocre food.  This is precisely what I found.  I ate three plates of food and drank soda today as well.  It was very enjoyable.

While it may seem odd that I would turn down family gatherings to eat mediocre food in solitude, I rather enjoyed myself.  While eating, I received and exchanged more text messages with my friends and family – building anticipation for spending Christmas together with everyone for the first time in years.  I ate slowly and silently, accompanied by elderly couples, single parents with their young children and groups of young Asians in their early 20’s.

After eating more than my fill, I decided to go home and take a nap.  After napping to the Drone Zone in my warm bedroom, I watched the remainder of a movie that I began watching yesterday.  An old friend of mine suggested that I watch the movie, Zeitgeist, after listening to one of my recent socio-political rants.  I enjoyed the movie and thought that it was well written.  It was put together in a way that captured my attention and kept me interested throughout.  I suggest that you watch it and keep an open mind.

For several hours this afternoon, I spent time looking at various different medical alert bracelets.  Being an epileptic, having one of these has been something I used to wear and have been reconsidering as I have become recently more and more active.  However, it was also something I told myself I’d get around to “some day.”  After suffering a seizure during last week’s long run and thinking about it all during today’s 10k, I finally decided that “some day” was going to be today.

I looked at several different brands of medical id bracelets, but finally decided on the interactive My Road ID due to the comprehensive nature of the associated profile and customer testimonials.  My interest and desire to become more involved in extreme sports and activities seems to keep growing, so I figured I might as well stay as safe as possible while doing them…so I ordered two of these IDs today, because as they say – “two is one and one is none.”

After napping, watching a movie and finally ordering a medical bracelet, I find myself wanting to get “caught up” with my writing, completing one pomodoro…only to return for one more writing “session” today.  Lately, I’ve been a little grumpy – having suffered a seizure during a run last week.  But even with what seems like a minor setback, I can only think about how grateful I am with the recent medication change – which has allowed me to escape the feeling of being in a pharmaceutical haze for the past 20 years.

It is wonderful not feeling this and many other of the side effects experienced while taking Depakote.  However, the transition to taking this new medication has not been without it’s challenges.  Since changing medications, I am still learning how this medication reacts in my body as I continue to experience periodic seizures as I get accustomed to how it works for me.  This recent seizure, however was a bit more of a reality check for me…perhaps only because I find myself re-evaluating just about everything in life these days.

This writing pomodoro was spent reading up on the new medication and epilepsy in general.  I don’t understand epilepsy nor do I have any idea what caused it.  Based on all my reading and learning about the condition and I have some thoughts and ideas.  I have been unable to verify and validate any of these ideas, but this hunger for information has caused me to learn many things I likely wouldn’t have been exposed to.

All of this makes me feel very grateful for who and what I am.  What are you thankful for today?

How to Let Your Purpose Find You – Umair Haque – Harvard Business Review

How to Let Your Purpose Find You – Umair Haque – Harvard Business Review.

Here’s a question. Why are you (really) here?

Aloha: If there’s a single lament-slash-question I get most often — and most pointedly — lately, it goes something like this: “Listen, Deepak Kafka. I’ve read your stuff about living a meaningful life; I’vefollowed your advice; I’ve even spent long evenings at dive bars, just like you recommend. But what the blazes do I do with mine? I’ve searched high and low, looked far wide, listened long and loud, but I still can’t find anything even vaguely resembling my purpose.”

Let me offer you, then, my top four admittedly idiosyncratic — yet hopefully pragmatic — tips.

Be uncool enough to love. Purpose is a kind of love; it bridges the gap between the individual and the world. Yet, at every turn, in our brain-dead cult of the glacial machine, we’re discouraged from even using the word love — unless, of course, when it serves the consumerist purpose of selling diamonds or cheeseburgers or SUVs. So we substitute lower-quality ingredients for it, talking about “passion” or “dreams” or “bucket lists.” Yet, just as a McBurger is more of a food-like product than real food, so McLove just gives us the sensation of emotional fullness without the lasting nourishment of sustenance.

Real love, today, is outmoded, passé; it just isn’t cool. Love your work? Love your neighborhood? Love your life? Love humanity? Love yourself? See, I just made you roll your eyes with the coolly detached irony of the mustachioed hipster overlord.

In our overly numb culture of icy cool, when we do feel something, we so often feel the opposite of love: hate, anger, fear, and envy. And those can give you drive. But drive isn’t purpose — drive is a fury to be slaked, an ambition to be achieved. Purpose is love, not just little-l love, but Big Love, the grand affair that defines a life — first between you and your better, fuller, truer, worthier self; and then between your that self and the world. And the longer you spend, insulated in the armor of ironic detachment, icy cool in your igloo — the longer you’re on something like a permanent vacation in the lifeless arctic wastelands of the empty tundras of the human soul.

Head into your heartbreak zone. This is how you find your way out of the frozen arctic wastelands. It’s a cliché to say: get out of your “comfort zone”. Most of us, having attempted that, end up in a no kind of no-mans’-land of the the human spirit; maybe not the arctic badlands, but surely not the lush valleys of accomplishment; an ennui-laden purgatory where we’re neither satisfied, nor dissatisfied — just as aimless as before. So head past your discomfort zone — right on into the burning tropical isles of heartbreak. Now, by that, I don’t mean: dump the love of your life. I do mean: immerse yourself in stuff that makes you hurt, ache — that maybe even makes your heart break a little bit (or a lot). You’re feeling the stirrings of empathy — and purpose, Big Love, needs Big Empathy like the river flows to the sea.

When I got to college, it took me about a month to grow weary of the ninth circle of McDecadence I seemed to have fallen into. So I did the last thing on earth everyone, including me, might have expected my 17 year old self — replete with green Mohawk and giant combat boots — to do: I volunteered at a hospital for kids with life-threatening neurological illnesses, who were facing the prospect of possibly lethal brain surgery. I thought I’d have a few chats with people who needed to talk to someone, and it would be interesting, maybe even fun. Man, was I wrong. It was harrowing, grievous, haunting. I cried like a baby, alone in the basement, after every session for the first two months. But it wasn’t soul-crushing: it was the opposite. It evoked in me the desire to begin tackling problems that mattered. If, today, I have a Big Love for what I do it’s because I ventured just out of my comfort zone, but straight into that zone of heartbreak; for it’s in heartbreak, and only in heartbreak, that we discover not just the grace and power of love, but that our own limitless capacity for it finally, suddenly unfurls.

Most us don’t just hide our heartbreak — worse, we hide from heartbreak. And so we end up something like mute and mapless orphans in the human world; unable to speak the language of mattering; our vocabulary of life itself forever stunted.

Follow the NASCAR Principle. My friend James is a very “successful” banker — but every day at work leaves him number and (by his own admission) dumber than the last. My friend Steve, on the other hand, spent his twenties and much of his thirties in one failed venture after another — today, finally, he’s at the helm of a start-up that leaves him not just comfortable, or even “happy” — but abidingly, almost overwhelmingly, fulfilled.

Yet, most of us, I’d bet, see purpose like James did — and does: something akin to driving the perfect Formula One race. In this view, purpose is found by driving laps cleaner, closer to the textbook Platonic ideal, than the next contender — and so achieving a faster time. Hey, presto: race won! (It’s assuredly not a contact sport: touch another car, and you’re both likely to literally crash and burn.) But in truth, the creation of purpose is less the construction of the Platonic ideal of the perfect life, and more like NASCAR: a bruising contest of wills, cussedly defiant, often inelegant, and usually impertinent.

You take your knocks, and your knocks make you. So the question is: what are you going to make a dent in — that’s worthwhile enough to make a dent in you?

Here are some eminently worthwhile answers — if your goal is little-l love: your “job”, your “grades”, your “career”. Here are some tougher answers, that Big Love demands: humanity, history, society, the world. Love is the process of being transformed by transformation; of a kind of reciprocity in transformation; where the subject makes the object wholer, fuller, truer, and so too, in the discovery of the fuller, truer, wholer self, the object makes the subject. It is for this reason that, when we are electrified by love, the world around us seems bigger, brighter, better — because, in truth, it is.

Purpose, then, is the hunger you and I have for transformation to transform us; not merely to endow us with a sense of exhilaration, gratification, or pleasure, but to bring us closer to completion, fulfillment, wholeness; not merely the appetite for the possession of McStuff, but the hunger to be possessed by a sense of meaning.

Aim for forests, not fireworks. Live Little-l love is fireworks. It sparks, sizzles, flares — and fizzles. Big Love? It’s the quiet, mighty unfurling of the seed into the towering Redwood. It deepens, roots itself, reaches branches to the sky. A purpose is as dynamic — and as powerful — as all that. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that having “found” your purpose, all that’s left to do is execute the subroutines of an intricate, cold program of predestination; purpose is a process, not a state; an ever-unfinished accomplishment, not an algorithm. And so all the above must be not a set of steps you take to a plateau of purpose, once — but a ladder that one keeps ever-ascending.

Finding your purpose is not a phase of life — but a way of living.

I can’t find your purpose for you. You probably can’t find your purpose for you. Your purpose will — just maybe — find you. Like every kind of Big Love, it’s not in your control. It strikes, finally, suddenly, when least expected, with the full fury of a hurricane. Or it gathers around you, building slowly, like snow melting into spring. But the more it’s painstakingly stalked and carefully hunted, cajoled and wheedled, coaxed and lured with toy-store charms and cheap tricks — the more it just seems to rumble on off into the dusty horizon.

If, that is, you’re dumb, naïve, innocent, and vulnerable enough to let it.

Perhaps too many of us shop around for a sense of the way we shop around Muzak-filled big box stores, picking one, then another generic box off the sagging beige tube-lit shelf. We try law school (blue box), a geo-mobile-social gaming start-up (green box), i-banking (yellow box), or anyone of a hundred underpaying socially responsible nonprofits (red box). But finding a purpose is not like shopping. The unforgiving truth us: it’s a little more like boot camp. It hurts, it’s hard, but you can emerge fitter, tougher, better. Want purpose? Prepare to be left black and blue — all over, over and over again. Purpose beats you up; it bruises you; it’s no mere shadow-boxing with “life goals” but a bare-knuckle gladiatorial contest between you, and the heavyweight champion known as a life that matters. Like Big Love, it doesn’t just give you scrapes — it leaves with you scars.

And maybe that scar tissue, to those sunning themselves on the bleachers, ironically, coolly grinning at life — instead of struggling with living it — looks disfiguring, ugly, something to jeer at and mock. But those of us privileged by purpose? We know a secret: that growth sometimes feels like suffering.

Purpose, like any great love, redeems us. Perhaps not from the inferno, but from the void. Of a life, starved by insatiable self-regard, that comes to feel desperately empty — because, in truth, it has been. There is no singular, simple, final meaning to life. And it is the scars of purpose that, finally, don’t just merely give meaning to life — but endow us with a greater privilege — giving life to meaning.

More blog posts by Umair Haque
Umair Haque

UMAIR HAQUE

Umair Haque is Director of Havas Media Labs and author of Betterness: Economics for Humans and The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He is ranked one of the world’s most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50. Follow him on twitter @umairh.

Re: Keep an open mind when reading this post.

Almost two months ago, I wrote this blog post below.   I meant to re-post this before and write my thoughts about the elections and the voting process…but life has kept me occupied during the past few weeks and I have written considerably less than I wanted.  But I digress…back to my take on the recent elections.
Like many Americans on Tuesday, November 6 – I voted.  I received my “I voted” sticker and like many others, wore it on my chest as I left the polling place.  Most people wore their stickers proudly, expressing their pleasure in “taking part of the democratic process.”  As I heard this, I chose to bite my lip.  Why, you ask?
Many people are under the assumption that we live in a democracy.  The fact of the matter is that while our government systems may participate some democratic processes from time to time, we live in a republic.  A republic is significantly different than a democracy.  The fact that many people do not recognize this simply shows their ignorance of our political processes.
You may find that previous statement abrasive, and I argue that it is merely a fact-based observation.  I believe most people to be ignorant of politics.  Moreover, most people that are interested in politics lean one way or the other based largely on what news stations and media outlets they expose themselves to.
Most people aren’t even interested in politics though.  Recent Presidential Election Voter Statistics show that not even 60% of registered voters actually voted.  Statistics show that only about 80 percent of American citizens are even registered to vote.  With that said, it is safe to say that less than 2/3 of our population even cares enough to vote.  We can argue actual statistics all day, but I’m simply stating that most people aren’t interested in politics based on the average historical voter turnout.
I chose to vote.  Many people in the political circles I deal expressed their right not to vote.  They effectively chose a vote of protest as an acknowledgement of the fraud that is the election system.  I believe their is much fraud and corruption in our government on the federal level, but believe that our votes can make a difference in the state level to a certain extent, but will have the most impact on the local levels.  Ironically enough, this is where there is the least votes take place in the people that actually do turnout to vote on election day.
With that said, I voted and would encourage everyone to do so, but only on the condition that we become educated about the people we are electing to office.  Also become educated about the system.  What I have learned and observed throughout this learning process ultimately resulted in what I wrote below.  I decided to re-post the article, because nothing much has changed with regard to my political views.  Anymore, I find myself discussing the economy instead, because regardless of our political leaders, it really doesn’t matter in a consistently poor economy.  With that said, please read and enjoy the article below.

This morning, I was listening to a podcast while cleaning up my room and sorting through mail.  This podcast got me thinking and ultimately pausing for a moment to write this post.  Before I begin, I only ask that reading these words will take just a few moments of your time.  These words may contain observations that you may disagree with.  I have done my best to make these observations with as little bias as possible, citing my sources and simply stating facts – and as many of them as possible, whenever possible.

I would like to begin my explaining the thought process behind my seemingly more frequent “socio-political rants” as I like to call them.  Often times in conversation, I find myself talking about the “current state of affairs” and how I am “not pleased with the system.”  More often than not, people agree with me in this very general paintbrush system.  Most people seem to not be pleased with the current state of affairs and simply want to see the system improve for the “greater good” – however you choose to define this.  I am completely on board with this statement as well.

Like you, I want things to improve for the greater good.  Like me, you may also be drawing your own conclusion that things are kind of tough at times and that there must be a better way.  Now, how do we get there?

This big-picture idea of identifying the problem, understanding the root cause of the problem and then determining what we need to do in order to work towards a solution is ultimately what I am writing about here in this post.  I believe that much of the problem has to do with the economy and the government.  Very simple, yet very complex at the same time.  However, before I get into the meat of my blog post I would also like to point out that thus far, we are in agreement about most everything I have written so far…and the simple fact of the matter is that there is a problem with the current state of affairs.

Moreover, this problem with the current state of affairs didn’t happen overnight.  This problem has been years and decades in the making.  This problem cannot be blamed on any one man.  This problem cannot be blamed on any one political party, either.  This problem is so big that it extends far beyond one person or political party.  I suspect that you even agree with these statements.  You see, we agree on more than you may realize when we discuss the big picture.  In my opinion, it is these big-picture discussions that really matter.  Understanding the big-picture allows us to identify what the problem really is.  When this happens, we can begin to understand the root of the problem and ultimately – the solution.

Again, I encorage you to keep an open mind as you continue reading.  As previously mentioned, I believe that much of the problem has to do with the economy and the government.  These two things will form the basis of my writing this morning.  I would like to preface all of this by stating that I am not an expert on these matters and it is likely that you are not either.  With that said, let us both try to keep open minds as we read and write about these matters.

The United States of America is not a democracy.  For those of you that believe this, let us establish that for the purposes of this conversation, it is important to recognize that we life in a federal republic.  A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government.  Usage of the term republic is inconsistent but, as a minimum, it means a state or federation of states that does not have a monarch.  As in the United States, many federal republics are Constitutional Republics which seek to ensure the rights of individuals and groups within the republic.

One of the reasons that we formed this republic was that our founders were trying to escape from the wrath of tyranny.  The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire.  The tyranny that we experienced as a result of the ruling British Empire was such that  we fought for freedom from it, during the Revolutionary War.

Like the Revolutionary War, many other wars throughout our nation and throughout recorded history were fought in the name of freedom from tyrants.  The more recent world wars were fought for freedom from tyrants as well.  Tyrants and Facists have historically ruined civilizaiton through a misdirected ideology.  To analyze what I mean by that observation, let’s look at what facism really is in the first place.  What is facism?

“The fascists opposed both international socialism and liberal capitalism, arguing that their views represented a third way. They claimed to provide a realistic economic alternative that was neitherlaissez-faire capitalism nor communism.[13] They favoured corporatism and class collaboration, believing that the existence of inequality and separate social classes was beneficial (contrary to the views of socialists).[14] Fascists argued that the state had a role in mediating relations between these classes (contrary to the views of liberal capitalists)…An inherent aspect of fascist economies was economic dirigisme,[4] meaning an economy where the government exerts strong directive influence, and effectively controls production and allocation of resources.”

If you think about the evolution of our government…we cannot deny that this is previous sentence precisely defines what our government does today (for example: automotive bailouts).  When we realize the behavior of our government is akin to that of a Facist state, we also may realize that our Presidents (including, but certainly not limited to Obama) often times act more like Dictators than an elected president of a Constitutional Republic.  If you don’t agree with this observation there are many documented cases of current and former governing officials acting out of accordance with the Constitution without being held accountable.  But rather than argue this point at this time it is important to communicate that I believe this to be true.  I believe that our republic is more like a facist state today than it was when our republic was founded.

Yes, yes…all this talk about the “founders.”  It might be driving you crazy.  First of all, let me be clear that I understand that times change.  I also understand that the government needs to change and move along with the ebb and flow with society and technology.  I even understand the argument that the Constitution is not a “living and breathing” document as argued by many liberals and progressives.  What?  Let me explain.

“Yes, the U.S. Constitution is ‘living’ and ‘breathing’ in that it is not a static document. It is why amendments exist and the Congressional procedures by which to amend it. But, as for the notion that we should ignore this ritual altogether, and assume the enlightenment of non-democratically elected justices is better able to interpret the Constitution based not on its words, but on today’s ‘societal necessity’, then no. The ‘breath’ of the U.S. Constitution is based upon the words within it, not our personal desires we wish these words to mean.”  These words were written by well known writer, Eric Olsen from a blog post found here.

Principles such as this are the foundation of almost all of my arguments regarding politics and government.  I am not an extremist, nor do I wear a tin-foil hat.  I simply make observations and draw conclusions based on these observations and the history of our nation.  My observations lead me to believe that our republic has become a Facist state.  Once we begin to realize this, accept it and open our minds – we can truly live.  There is simply no denying this.  Based on the definition of a facist state and facist econmics from the sources clearly outlined above, it is likely you will agree with much of what I have pointed out.

Also important in realizing and accepting this, is that the current “state of affairs” is drastically different from the foundation on which this country was formed.  It is important to realize that like me, you are also being used as a pawn in this game.  It is important to realize that our current system of beliefs is not necessarily the “right” way.  Despite what we’ve been told and despite what side you are on, you are likely wrong.  If you are on the right and claiming that the problem is because of the left, you are wrong.  If you are on the left and claiming that the problem is because of right, you are wrong.  If you don’t think you are a pawn in the game, you are wrong.

If you are rich and claiming that the problem is because of the poor, you are wrong.  If you are poor and claiming that the problem is because of the rich, you are wrong.  If you ackowledge that the system has a problem and then expect the very system that has the ackowledged problem to fix the problem…it will not work.  That is insanity.  The very definition of insanity, according to Einstein is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results.  It is important to realize that the problem with the system lies in the flawed system itself.  The bottom line is that we are all pawns in the game, the sooner we realize this to be true, the sooner we can be free.

When you realize this to be true, you can become free.  When you realize this to be true, you can allow yourself to free your mind.  When you free your mind, you will have the ability to encourage others to free their minds as well.  If we are aware of it, we can mitigate it.  When we become aware, we don’t have to take the red pill or the blue pill.  When we become aware, we realize that we don’t have to take the pill at all.  We want others to become aware, but we can’t push people to free their minds.  We can’t push people to let go of the ideology that they so strongly cling to.  We can’t push people to free their minds.  We need to lead by example and let them realize how we freed our own minds.

When we free our minds, we have the ability to return to what is important.  What is important is that the flawed system can also be defined as “big government.”  Big government does not discriminate.  Big government encompasses BOTH major political parties.  Big government is a mighty beast that has grown more and more out of control over the years.  ”The more people who courageously resolve to stand firm against this mighty beast, the safer we will be until we get through what is hopefully the final fascist interlude in human history,” as Amy Worthington writes.  Big government is the cause of the problem we are discussing.  Big government is not the solution.

Understanding and accepting this can be overwhelming at first.  I try to keep it simple by subscribing to one simple tenant:

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Thank you for reading this post.  Together, we can make a difference.

Keep an open mind and join me.