Saturday, November 24, 2012

Greater Self-Reliance and Self-Sufficiency

The recent election posed this simple, straightforward and stark choice of whether we, as a nation, were moving toward a society of greater self-reliance and self-sufficiency that implies freedom and independence, or whether we become increasingly reliant on others to provide all those things for ourselves -- including eventually our own personal care, and beyond that, the extraordinary and cost-prohibitive care everyone will demand just to keep them alive, long past the time when life has become recognizable as meaningful, enjoyable and "conscious" -- simply because it is now possible to do so, and the laws will demand it.

While at first glance that seems to be the compassionate choice to "always" make, increasingly we must realize, cost and affordability is always a factor in every decision -- that for every ten people keeping one person alive on "life support," ten people are removed from doing other things -- including and even, taking proper care of themselves.  In fact, the able and viable, are often required to "sacrifice" themselves in that way -- for past generations, in so much as the previous generation "sacrificed" themselves, so that they could become the caregivers for the previous generation, etc.

That is a vicious cycle, as long as it is thought proper that anybody, should sacrifice themselves for anybody else, no matter how much they feel "entitled" -- that that is what everybody else exists for.  That manner of thinking, puts us back into the times of the pharaoh, and other such entitled personages, who took everybody who served them in this life, into the next one with them, so that they could continue to serve them there as well.

Many still think that way, although they may call it something nobler.  One person who didn't, was the insightful greatest novelist of the genre, Ayn Rand, in her two epic works, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged -- which most liberal scholars discourage their students from reading, because it is everything that is "politically incorrect" (so they shouldn't know about) -- of people who don't believe in sacrificing themselves for anyone else, as the supreme contribution any individual can make, as well as not demanding that any other person, should sacrifice themselves for them.

It is then entirely the responsibility of each individual, to provide for their own best lives -- as everyone can, and has a right and responsibility to do so.  That is the most efficient and fair society, and not one in which everyone can only do for others, but never for oneself, and never for one's own benefit directly.  That is forbidden, by contemporary edict -- and enforced by all the socializing institutions of people who believe they are "sacrificing" themselves for everybody else, with the expectation of the entitlement that everyone else must henceforth sacrifice themselves to support them in the lifestyle of permanent affluence for as long as they can be sustained on artificial life support -- as society's greatest priority.

In the last century, it is estimated that 250-500 million people were killed in wars and other political struggles that ensured that mostly the fittest would survive -- but when all 250-500 million live to become older and incapacitated, the world is equally challenged for its very survival.  That is the great challenge and question of these times -- that we've never had to ask before, when life was made tenuous and scarce by those age-old ways.

But now, life is too abundant, especially at the marginal levels -- that in the past would not have been sustained because they didn't have the technology to do so, or the political will.  That is the difference between a frontier mentality, and a highly urbanized one -- in which people are inextricably reliant on others for everything, so much so, that they are surprised to learn that their food actually comes from the ground, and not just in plastic containers distributed by the government.

That is also the political divide, of people moving towards greater dependence on others for all their care and sustenance, and others to do all their thinking for them -- and those who still maintain and retain the value and dignity of doing most of those things for themselves -- because that is what defines them as human beings, and not merely the consumption of everybody else's time, energy and attention, as though that were infinitely free and entitled from others -- and never first and primarily, from oneself.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Two Different Worlds

In life, there are always two different trends -- the one that is getting better, and the one that is getting worse -- even though many of the latter, are positive they are on the right track -- but things still continue to get worse.

Meanwhile, assuredly, even if most people do not know about it, things are also getting better -- even if everyone is not getting better.  What is important, is that some do -- because they are the future of the longterm survival of the species, even if most of the others get wiped out. 

That is the survival of the fittest -- and not indiscriminately everyone, for as long as humanly possible.  There has to be some kind of accounting system, even when not consciously designed -- that makes whatever happen, happen -- even when most are not aware of what is happening.  That's never been a prerequisite for reality to come into being.

The sum of intelligence, is more than any one person's, or even a majority of the people.  So even as things seem to get worse for most people, there are a few for whom life is getting immeasurably better -- because they have exercised their individual choices not to accept the fate of most people -- who invariably believe there is no other choice or fate -- because they go to the senior centers, and see so many aging even worse than they are, and are grateful they are better off -- than the worst, and think that is quite an achievement.

That's because the best are nowhere to be seen there.  They would not self-identify as the worst, the aging, those in decline.  They are not even to be seen in the other institutions of socialization (indoctrination), where people learn to behave as they should, and act their proper age and station in life.

For those in "retirement," that should be to begin to die -- by becoming increasingly weak, frail and incompetent, as many people do -- feeling that is their entitlement -- because nobody has prepared them properly for the life beyond their "working" years, and so they have no idea of what to do, but to try to get everything they can before they leave this earth as though that will ensure that they never will.

Thus, people think that if they have "enough" health care insurance, they will never die, and not regard true health, as the best insurance for continuing their viability -- but think that at that stage of their lives, it is all in the hands of the health care professionals to make them better -- or at least, continue their lives in diminishing capacities for as long as science and technology now makes possible -- at whatever cost, because that is what future generations "owe" them.

Every generation has to live for itself -- and not sacrifice themselves to the prior one, or the future one.  Each serves best, making the most and best life out of their own.  Only in that way, is the present secured, and the future made possible -- and not by sacrificing oneself for the future, or the past -- which is now the great problem of these times.

One person dying, can consume the lives of ten people who have to sacrifice themselves to keep that one alive -- if people do not get better, so no one has to "sacrifice" themselves for any other.  That is the truly "compassionate" society, and not how many others, have to sacrifice themselves for the worst off, and the dying -- which is a natural process of life also.

Living well is not about consuming the most resources, controlling the most people, -- even living the longest, but is ultimately about the satisfaction and gratitude for the life one is living, at every time in one's life.  And when one is in that state of grace and peace with the world around them, then when death comes, they are prepared for it also.  But until it comes, they make the best of every moment, and their lives -- in the simple living of it.

For such people, endlessly "More," is not their concern and only response to all of life's challenges; they know what is sufficient and plenty -- because they make it so.  Those are the people who manifest reality and actualize it.  The others will never have enough, no matter how much they have and is given to them -- because all they know, is to demand "More."

Sunday, November 04, 2012

No Hope, No Change

Every year about this time, the talk in Hawaii centers around politics and football (UH) -- with virtually no hope that things can get any better -- and the politicians warning the citizens of Hawaii that things can only get worse, if the present course is abandoned -- and never the possibility, that things can get any better.

But in order for things to improve, they have to change -- and not stay as they are, continuing to get worse -- while spending more money convincing the people that they are actually getting better.  And the promise is that they'll get even better, even though they've only gotten worse -- but the people will not choose anything else.  They've come to love their misery and wailing, that life would be meaningless, if all that were to change -- and they'd have to adapt to a better life and world, and their "education" and conditioning, have convinced them, this is the best of all possible worlds -- and to dismiss that things could be any better.

Cynical politicians believe, that the people just want to be fooled -- all the time, and would only be upset, if things actually got better -- because then they would come to expect and demand it, and that's why they are in power (office), and should remain so all their lives.

The mass media and its fellow institutions, exist for the same reason of perpetuating the status quo -- with themselves at the top -- in perpetuity, and people who don't like that pecking order, are invited to leave the Islands and seek their paradise elsewhere.  That might have been the world two hundred years ago, but there are many attractive choices -- but people still have to exercise them, and not merely dismiss them in favor of the same old things that are not working -- as though staying with them, will reward them is some future paradise (heaven).

Unfortunately, many people will never exercise any other choice, but the one they were told to choose unvaryingly for the rest of their lives -- even if it punishes them in their lives, because the future holds more hope and change, the more it isn't actualized in the present -- or so they have been told to believe, and expect.

They can actually choose a better life in the here and now.  But that means choosing a course, they have never dared to think possible for themselves -- and finding out what lies on the other side of all the fears and threats they have been indoctrinated to believe are real -- because they've never been allowed to question them, and everybody around them, believes is not possible -- on threat of excommunication from that best of all possible worlds -- where they alone, are privileged to pay five times as much as their peers actually living the good life everywhere else.

One has to believe that another way is possible, and choose it, or things just remain the same -- getting worse as the normal experience of life they attribute to the natural consequence of merely getting older -- and not because they continue to make the wrong choices, time after time -- unfailingly.