This is one of those big ethical arguments that comes up in the world. Whether it’s derived as an objection to a religious platform, used to steer the topic of political debates, or for the general understanding of the human psyche, we all wonder why suffering exists in the world and the effects that it has on us. Why is it that, despite the obvious understanding that we all share of suffering being bad, that pleasure is good, and that there should be efforts to diminish the one and encourage the other, suffering exists? What purpose does it serve, for surely it must have one, especially if you believe in an almighty, all-knowing, powerful, and omniscient being? There are a couple of generic answers to this which only lead us into a deeper understanding of the mythic realm of this entity, “He works in mysterious ways”, “There would be no reference for good without the bad”.
It’s definitely taken me some time to realize what it is that life is all about… For the better half of our youth it’s not really about anything at all, it’s just something that we’re thrown into, slowly gaining consciousness over.
I remember being a kid who didn’t realize that there was such a thing as death. I remember the first time I recognized that the world wasn’t just represented through my own perspective. I remember the first time that I gave up something of my own interest for somebody else. And more than that I remember the first time I felt that I had a purpose, and even then I still was unsure of what that purpose was, just that I had one.
All through our childhood we’re told that life is precious, that it’s a gift, that we should treat it with reverence and respect, but we don’t recognize it until we face it down. So many of us struggle with this concept that our lives must have some meaning because it’s such a gift, that our experience has to be guiding us towards something, or that our emotions are somehow representative of our value, that our social recognition determines self-worth as much as wealth. It doesn’t really hit you until you’re in the midst of it all; life just isn’t that simple. Continue reading
I know that I have a long way to go before I’m ready to do everything that I intend to accomplish. And I know that I have a lot to learn before I’m anywhere close to being capable of handling the pressure, responsibility, and having the foresight to understand what needs to be done, of my lofty ambitions. So before you call me out on being idealistic and youthful, I want you all to know that I am aware of this. The reason I’ve decided to make my intentions clear now is to help publicize my efforts a little bit more, but also to make sure that I don’t get lost or tempted along the way to change my ideals. This lofty and youthful idealism is the kind of ambitious effort that we see far too often get lost in a world filled with cynicism and unfortunately placed road blocks to progress.
I’m finally going back into school this fall, after a year and a half of soul-searching, paying off debts, and saving up money again for my education. (Most notably within this past 4 months working 50 Days straight, and losing a piece of my sanity in doing so). I’ve learned a lot about the struggle so many American’s face. In all this time I have changed immensely as a person, but even more so my ideals and ambitions have. If you had asked me a few years ago what I was planning on doing I’d probably have said something, although still admirable, much less ambitious.
“I want to run a therapy practice which focuses on adolescents’ issues.” – Ben circa 2013
You’re about to find out, that although this is still a part of what I hope to accomplish in life, that it was only scraping the surface of what I intend to do in my lifetime.
We have been psychologically conditioned to live primarily in a fiscal world rather than a social or spiritual one. What’s worse is we’re more aware of it now than ever. Small sectors have been aware of this financial elitism since the dawn of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar was the first of his kind to rise up with the people’s support to try and combat the inequality he was seeing in his nation. Leap forward about 1800 years and we also see the very founding of America was in direct opposition to such restrictive ideals. Even in the turn of the 19th century we had large opposition to such ends. We have movies, music, and all these other art forms which encourage social awakenings towards such things and yet… we continue to literally buy into the propaganda of a commercially driven world, where money talks and people are expendable. Where life experience and wisdom is worth less than capital gain. Where our health, happiness, and our very futures are unfortunately predetermined or, at the very least, skewed by our inheritances.
It’s official people, Bernie has endorsed Hillary. What bothers me more than anything is the people who are calling Bernie a sellout, a liar, or are saying they wish they never supported him.
Here are the facts: Bernie, even if he has the people’s support, understands the political climate he is getting into better than any of us ordinary citizens do. If he has spent his entire lifetime fighting for more progressive policies than we ever thought of on our own, I would think it’s safe to say the HE knows when what he’s trying to accomplish is impossible. Fighting a losing battle is a way to ensure defeat; not just of himself and his battle for presidency, but for all the policies he is hoping to push through congress. We need to recognize that corporate America, the billionaire class, and all these other ignorant people may be a large part of the reason we cannot have as progressive of a leader as we would like, but we also have to recognize that outright conflict with them is not something we would be able to live through. Bernie has lost an immensely uphill battle and to shame him for admitting that, knowing that he has been cheated, knowing that he feels as though he has failed his people, knowing that all he has worked so hard and long for will not come to fruition, is outright disgraceful on your part. Right now, Bernie’s decision to endorse Hillary is an effort to salvage the core facets of his campaign and the policies that will ultimately help us.
He’s just as honorable and trustworthy as he was decades ago, the only difference now is, he has the wisdom and insight on how to be a great leader for activism without being the figurehead of a corrupt country. Real change is still happening, and it’s happening because of HIM. So please if you’re going to say he’s betrayed you and his supporters, take your ignorance and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. You’re free to vote for whoever you want, but I encourage all my fellow Bernie supporters to follow suit with his idea. A corrupt establishment isn’t won over or beaten into submission through blind egoism, direct assault, or other tactless efforts. You win it from the inside. Let’s show them we mean business, and let’s hit them where they don’t expect it. We’ve got to start getting in on the local levels and working our way in from the ground up.
Normally, I don’t reblog other people’s work, (although I do occasionally reblog my own from my other sites) but this is so important for everybody to understand and it’s so well articulated. Please don’t give up on the political process. This revolution isn’t over, it’s just getting started!
Today, my hero, Bernie Sanders, endorsed Hillary Clinton, a woman that I truly believe is sociopathic, for the office of the President of the United States and then immediately the sun hid behind a cloud and it began to rain.
I was grateful for the rain.
It’s been pretty humid here for the last several days and I was in need of the empathy.
I fought back tears as I left the gym.
I am not afraid to cry.
I just prefer to do it while I am writing.
I went home and grabbed my laptop.
I knew all this fire stinging my eyes was way too complex to be worked out with a box of tissues or a ton of free weights.
I made a point to stay off social media.
I had no time for haters, turncoats or conspiracy theorists.
I drove to the coffee shop and put in…
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The following is a letter I encourage all of those who oppose the rampant gun violence and all its adverse effects on the American populace ranging from: Islamaphobia, anxiety, fear of public venues, to the stigmatization of mental illness, to send to all the Congressional Representatives who can enact the changes we need to prevent such chaos in our nation.
Feel free to adjust any portion of this letter, but make sure you spread this link (https://phoenixrebellion.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/weapons-of-miniature-destruction-on-a-massive-scale/) around so more people have access to it as a resource and so that we, as an American people, can collectively make some changes.
Here is the contact information for our Senators.
I’ve come to realize that the mid 20’s are an age range where so much of our worldview is being established. It is during this critical time period that we start to witness an evolution of both ourselves and our peers in directions that are more concrete and defined by: life choices, actions, willpower, and determination. But it is also during this time that we start to create an understanding of one another’s value to society and the world if we are not careful.
High school is where we start getting our first exposure to the ideas and concepts that there are cultural subsets within any given community. We start understanding that there are groups of people who have similar interests, tendencies, ideologies, and behaviors that incite them to associate with one another. These cliques are unique and abundant, and though we can draw distinct borders between certain groups, we generally understand that they are simply just expressions of interests, they do not denote a person’s inherent worth or value, nor do they determine a person’s potential in life or generalize them to a specific type of behavior. We may make jokes about one another, have some judgments over behaviors, but through it all there is little thought and harsh criticism or judgment for what we think should be their overall self-worth. To us they’re still full of possibilities and potential; and given that we ourselves have little understanding of where it is we belong, what it is we intend to accomplish, and where we can see ourselves going in life, we can’t be too harsh in our criticisms.
What happens after graduating from college, going into graduate studies, or starting work in the career field of our choice (presumably at least) is that we start to look at our peers a little differently. Whether we knew them personally from high school, or we’ve only recently gotten to know them, we start looking at the direction their life has taken and ask ourselves a simple question.
“Are they successful?”
Now before you get all worked up because you’re prepared to read some more news on voter fraud, government conspiracy exposure, or overwhelming evidence your candidate of choice has a clear shot at victory, the title of this post is incredibly misleading due to its somewhat satirical nature.
Because we have absolutely no reason to trust any of the information we’ve seen in the news recently for the upcoming presidential election I’ve decided to do a little arithmetic myself. I figure if anything can give us an accurate understanding of where America places its values; it might as well be a totally arbitrary thing like counting the Likes on each of our top candidates’ main Facebook pages.
I’ve spent the past few months reading, researching, and trying to understand a multitude of social issues: economics, politics, psychology, sociology, foreign and domestic affairs, as well as some of the sciences like physics, cosmology, religion, and spirituality. I’ve also looked into attempting to understand internalized issues that we may all face, morally, ethically, and how that may affect our growth of character. How to nurture the traits we see as beneficial while stamping out those we see as harmful to others and ourselves. All this comes from one honest and straightforward purpose; I want to figure out how to make sense of this complex system we find ourselves entangled in. We’re wrapping a noose around ourselves slowly as a society, while we struggle through this uncertainty, we’re sending huge masses into chaos, disorder, and ultimately ruin.
I’ve said I would post a list of the material I’ve been reading for a little while now, and I think it’s about time I did just that. I will likely be adding much more to this list later as I continue to dive deeper into the stimulating experience that is real-world problems. (I think these are so important I’m even posting links to Amazon to make it easier for you to give them a once over and possibly purchase and read them yourselves.) I personally recommend trying to find them for free at your public library, but supporting the authors financially is also wonderful.
- The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett
- The Why Axis by John A. List and Uri Gneezy
- Money by Felix Martin
- The Road to Character by David Brooks
- The Social Animal by David Brooks
- The Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo
- The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman
- The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt by Theodore Roosevelt
I also recommend taking a look into a few different films namely the Zeitgeist series (It’s free to watch on Netflix). It’s important to not let any of these materials carry you away with their personalized agenda. Use them instead as tools to break free from conventional thinking and start thinking differently, to help start looking at the problems from different perspectives, and cultivating an independent thought around a variety of diverse but interconnected subjects.
There are over 7 billion people on the planet. This is something we’ve known for a long time, and yet we forget the vast implications of this all the time. We dissociate ourselves with the concept because the number is just so huge and incomprehensible it’s far less daunting to just ignore it. Here’s what I want to remind people about this, with over 7,000,000,000 people in the world we have over 49,000,000,000,000,000,000 different relationships with one another. That’s a VAST network of communication. The relationships you share with people aren’t all physical, and they certainly aren’t all active. Even relationships you choose not to have with people are still a form of interaction and have a direct impact on your life as well as another’s. And that’s just with those of us who are living.
With our advancements in technology we have gained the ability to communicate through both space and time. So the next time you forget how complex our world is remind yourself there’s a big number out there and your perspective is simply 1 over that number. So at best you’re going to understand roughly 0.000000000000000002% of the world if you’re planning on doing it all alone. To put that in perspective if the entire world’s GDP were cashed into pennies, the number of pennies needed would still be a smaller than the number of relationships we share with one another. If that doesn’t prove human relations are more important than money, I don’t know what will…