Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Layman's Guide to Politics, Economics & Everything Else You were Told to Leave to the Higher Educated...

 First of all, intellect and wisdom cannot be taught through acing tests on other people's interpretation of history and current events. Before I go on, we are not talking science/math/art/philosophy... we are talking about those calculated principles which run our countries, financial systems all the way down to You. What is ingrained in the minds of students are "factual" dates and events that those teaching deem to be true, by way of consensus - those students then espouse that "truth" to others, by waving a degree (or knowledge that some "important" person bestowed on them).  This is not to say that you should not go to university or learn from others who you feel are knowledgeable - It is to say that you should not blindly accept what you are told.  I am also not suggesting that recorded events may not have taken place - I am suggesting that there is always more than one side to a story, and when you take a course on most subjects pertaining to the economy and politics, you are only getting one side (unless the word "comparative" is in the course title, and even then you're getting a few biased comparisons at best).  A university course in politics/economics in one country will not be taught the same in another country (perhaps in the western world, yes) - there is no commonality, as in science or math, because there are culturally distinct differences, and agendas.

 You don't actually have to take a course in political science to understand what's going on in the world of politics.  An economics degree may help you get a job at a bank or somewhere that you can lecture about what's going on in the world economy - But there is an underlying thing between people/cultures that transcends the mere language and interpretation of it all.  That is called: Prudence. (yes, let's all sing Lennon's 'Dear Prudence' now...)

 So, how do we navigate through the maze of terms and ideologies that those in political arenas, banking systems and other managing institutions, use?  You can google terms, and look up the things you don't understand, of course - Yet, using prudence in your analysis about what is being communicated, how it's being communicated, and why it's being communicated, will help you uncover the real goals behind the doublespeak, which many people in high positions use to make you think that you don't know important stuff  - and so, you assume that they are way smarter than you, and you give them the reins, the control.

 What do I mean by prudence? I mean using your inherent discretion, holding up your antennae to understand what's behind what people are talking about.  It's not the words - it's the stance, the glance, the circumstance... these things that you can pick up even when the mute button is on.  I could just write a glossary using common language for confusing terms, but that's been done, it would take too long, and won't take into account the us/them dichotomy.  This personal Prudence can be used all the time, even when your kid is trying to say something you don't get (or trying to cover something up!).  It is a much easier way of getting to the crux.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Becoming One with your Ordinariness

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.  ~ C.S. Lewis

You are Special – just like every tree, blade of grass, grain of sand…  We’re all special, in our own unique way.  Mm Hm.  If we’re all so special, then what is ordinary? Average. Regular. Unexceptional. Plain. Normal.  If the bar of being special has been widened to include us all, than it reverts back to ordinary.  There is something to this though…

What if there were benefits to your health and wellbeing by simply Being Ordinary?  Not striving to achieve something, or showing up to be noticed.  No accolades for your art or scientific breakthrough – no cheers for your amazing choice in fashion or music or _____  – no arguments for you to debate - no likes on your status update.  Nothing, but people ignoring whatever it is you’re doing, because it’s nothing special.  What would you get from that?  Freedom.  Freedom from the desire to Be Something.  Freedom from the desire to Be Somebody.  You already Are Somebody – and that fact alone, you just being alive, is an ordinary way of Being.  Still, it is quite extraordinary to just Be, because not many people actually do it.

This is not saying ‘do nothing’ – though doing nothing is highly underrated.  This is to say that whatever it is you Do, do it without the weight of expectation for a result from it. Do it for the reason that you feel like doing it, and not for what you might feel like once you do it.  The continuing hoopla surrounding celebrity and fame is old – it’s not exceptional people doing exceptional things anymore - it's mediocrity at it's best.  The paradox of feeling on top of the world by not trying to be on top of the world is fascinating.  The paradox of creating something fabulous because you’re not attached to creating something fabulous is also fascinating.  
Try it, you might like it.