Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Be Your Own Savior

There are many things I would love to write about. I don't always have the right to choose to share them. Many issues I face or help others address are not the kind of issues I can share.

A few weeks ago I got a Craigslist follow up call, I was amused thinking it was for a foot modeling gig for private parties. Would my feet measure up? Would they be the Foot Fetishist Dream? Would  I be able to act like I cared?

Instead it was an interest meeting for brokering. It was eye opening. Company has an excellent reputation and is focused on helping people plan for retirement and set up benefits into plans that accrue interest in a consistent manner without risk of giant, catastrophic loss. Talking with Sammy about the company, income potential, and what brings people into working as brokers we covered heavy topics.

Several of the guys left college admissions. It was about getting people to choose to take on debt with high risk and minimal value. They left. They left high level management positions.  Sammy looked at me, asked why I would consider becoming part of their team. It was obvious I was not profit driven. I was the wild card in the room, great socialization skills but little concern for money.

I thought about it. I would do it to help others. I would do it to be able to fund projects and work that I believe in. I would mostly give it away.

I think about that and look around. I see a world full of people caught up in their own worlds. I spend a lot of time thinking of what I can do or say to help them step out of the metaphorical cave and into the light. Donald Trump has taught me one thing of merit. He's taught me that people aren't choosing to be as progressive as they could be. Many are choosing old and unhealthy behaviors and indulgence. It's easy to complain and rip apart Those People, when you are not one of them and you're sitting comfortably surrounded by amenities.

Some days I wonder if we need reminders of mortality and disaster to shake people into caring for each other. Other days I wish I didn't know it to be true.

Why choose selfishness? The dis-ease and unrest in our society comes from our selfishness and insecurities. Fear of jealousy, fear of change, fear of competition, fear of commitment, fear of pain or discomfort, fear that others will know our weaknesses, fear of social reprisal or ridicule. I deserve. I want. I should have. Rationalizing why it's okay just because you don't have to see the person who's picking up the tab for your excess. Record profits are great when you don't have to stare the family struggling to pay their bills signing up for assistance because the parents wages are set low to keep profits high.

We like sports. Teams to cheer for. Shit talk to dish out. Grudges and posturing to do. Its the same with religions, politics, and social status. I don't buy into it. I save my money and time for the quiet desperation I see in others faces. I save it to help them help themselves. I give them the tools when I can so they can be their own Saviors. I quietly offer them the idea that their lives are up to them, their choices are not society's to make. There are no rules they need to live by if they are willing to accept the consequences of their actions. With this knowledge comes freedom. You can drive a hundred miles an hour if you are willing to pay the price and potentially lose your life. You can also choose to start a business to empower people to help each other and to offer them tools to save themselves.

Sammy offered me the tools to be my own Savior potentially. It is in my hands whether I slide into old excuses or whether I progress around walls that have blocked me in the past. I am the enemy I face off against.

Danny says to me "You have to learn to put yourself first." It hurts to see people choosing hate, aggression, ignorance. It hurts.

What would make you happy? What do you want?
Tough questions. I want freedom. I want to keep moving, traveling, and growing. I want to see other people choosing the same. I want to see us start fighting a war against corruption, greed and corporate control. Society disappoints. It snags our focus with outraging soundbites and quotes. It seduces us with the illusion of awareness as actual change. It manipulates us through plausible arguments. It entices us with money.

Work harder. It is the only way to get to your true god. Money. Show me one church in this world that isn't operating with money. One that gives away every dime it gets. One that doesn't care if it even gets a single dime. Wait, there is one. It's the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Alright, other than an Atheist Church, any?

The more money you make, the quicker it's gone and the more personalities shift to keep it away from everyone else unless it's done in a way that makes it come back. Tax write offs are often mistaken as generosity.

And those people that own the governments and political machines, do you think they work harder?
Many were ruthless in business, earning their money from taking advantage of other people or destroying other people. They aren't working hard. They aren't working at much other than to keep the ridiculous excess they have. They spend a lot of money to convince you to go into debt or to work harder for them. They pay the politicians on  both sides just to give you sport to cheer for and rail against.

You change the world so much through social media gripes that nothing changes. You give away all of your privacy. Your desires, dislikes, all up for grabs. They are being analyzed to use for company profits. Not for your ease or benefit. That is not what capitalism or corporatism is about.

 Perhaps more people need to learn to put society first.
In a world where we value each other as much as ourselves, we would choose to take the time to settle differences. We would attend to each other's well being without worry of cost. We would share knowledge and resources as needed.

It is not a perfect world. Our society was shaped by cutthroat profiteers. We allow red collar criminals to make fortunes as we kill each other in wars that are really about money so they can be richer.

That money could be providing for everyone. Instead it is gouging our world, ripping it apart.

I can't change anyone but myself. I realize there is nowhere in this world that I can save myself from encountering greed, bullying, apathy, and shallow preoccupations except within my own heart.

I tell you. Be your own Savior.
It is up to you to choose what sort of human you are. Religions have tried for hundreds of years to keep people from choosing to destroy each other or to justify the destruction of others. Time to change unhealthy patterns. Support religious groups and leaders who live as they teach, who encourage healthy behaviors and tolerance instead of bigotry and violence.

Don't tell me you follow an amazing spiritual advisor who tells you to give away while they live in a mansion and swim in millions. That is not feeding the poor. That is not helping the needy. That is not using their resources for positive change. It's called profiteering.
Remember. In one hundred years, no one will really remember you at all. Do you remember the names of your ancestors, their stories?

What sort of life do you choose to live? What excuses are you using to keep following a path of powerlessness?

There's a phrase I love. Pick your own battles. A better one. Pick your own peace. Make your own peace.

There are many stories I cannot share. They are an ocean I swim with undertow I cannot describe but feel pulling at me relentlessly. I let go. I do what I can do. I offer what I can. I let go to survive.

You can waste a lifetime vomiting pointless opinion on social feeds. You can choose to spend that time changing your path. Your choice. Are you a hamster or a human? The wheel is waiting but so is the world.