Monday, October 8, 2012

I want to tell a story to explain things. There are so many misconceptions of what we are supposed to do with our lives. Remember, the people telling us this, though full of love and with the best of intentions, and often times called mom and dad, are from the past, a different time. Now they are looking for retirement somewhere and trying to remember the 60’s or 70’s or 80’s when they were our age. Frankly, and in most cases, that’s more than a lifetime of ours ago. I don’t want to discount their perspective, just poke some holes in it. I’ll let you finish tearing it down yourself. Just remember there is no replacement for love, they are very much still important. But it’s time to take accountability for our lives and stop blaming the situation we find ourselves in. The economy, gas prices, the latest rain boot design, which vampire crossbreed with a rabid dog man thing are all distractions and leaning posts for why people aren’t where they want to be. Let’s get some light in this place. Move on from the past. Finding truth in anything, especially in a world where everyone gets a trophy just for participating is hard. Yes, there is a correlation between winning and truth. Happiness and Morality Lots of theologians suggest that morality is a product of religion. In other words, there would be no moral code without religion. Let’s really think about this. Altruism is favorable for genetic success. Last I checked other animals do not subscribe to any religion and yet animals as large as chimpanzees and as small as bees have laws, communities and even show favorability to members of the community with the strongest moral code. Christopher Hitchens suggested that there are two important rules in the Ten Commandments. He spoke about stealing and killing. Anyone who feels they need to see in writing that stealing and killing is bad needs more than just a bible. It also means that you don’t have to be religious to be moral. Please, give me one moral action that a pious man or woman could do that an atheist could not. I haven’t heard it yet. Let’s not forget our fellow living beings on our planet. We would also need to get to work translating this for the rest of the community animals on our planet. It must be dumb luck that all the elephants haven’t killed themselves off yet. Sam Harris, Google him, speaks often about morality and how it is a scientific development and not from some supernatural source. I would highly recommend checking out his works, after of course you’ve finished mine! In our world networking has become a tremendous tool to find success, or to at least feel relevant until we find something. This simply would not exist if it wasn’t for the fact that finding mutual benefit from a connection or relationship. Wait a minute! That sounds a lot like symbiosis. Single celled creatures have figured this out, I’m glad we have too. Now, that isn’t to say the only morality comes from the idea of scratching each other’s backs. Where would charity be if it worked that way? Or is it just backscratching in disguise? I would like to suggest that these altruistic endeavors do benefit the provider of the charity. That satisfaction generated may be just as significant, if not more significant, as if the time or money was spent in what might be considered a selfish splurge. There is a definite diminishing return on exercising happiness through selfish endeavors. Charity offers us diversity in creating happiness. Find a soup kitchen or philanthropic endeavor in the community to do. If you currently are seeking happiness in your day and you are underemployed or unemployed, this is a great way to get out into the community. It also happens to be the community that you will end up working in. Helping someone find dinner, or building a house for someone without one will more than likely not end in that person returning the favor. Of course you will feel a sense of satisfaction for helping someone. And maybe you’ll find someone who knows a guy who knows a woman who needs a, (fill in the blank). This is not Karma, this is being a member of your community, doing good deeds, and finding that success and positive motion leads to more of the same. Just like doing nothing leads to more of the same. It takes money to make money; we hear it all the time. It also takes drive, passion, a positive disposition, a fair amount of discipline and satisfaction from completed tasks to experience self-cultivated success. Use your calories to be productive.