Sunday, November 30, 2008

Live simply

Listening to: The Sinking Belle (Black Sheep) by Sunn O))) & Boris

Thanksgiving is over and hopefully everyone had a good one and got to spend time with their family and loved ones and pets and all. Since Barack Obama and Joe Biden's victory I have been able to come down to earth, somewhat. It's still very remarkable to hear the words "President-elect Barack Obama..." spoken on the news or to read it in writing. Amazing. There have been many things in the news recently like the attacks in India, the ever-sinking economy and the massive loss of jobs by many of the nation's hard workers. There has also been talk of possibly letting michael vick back in the NFL to play football. It seems that despite the good news of the recent election, there haven't been many other positives. I've always been one to think more with my heart than logically when it comes to dealing with the welfare of people and animals. When it comes to certain causes, there are many that I am passionate about but a few that I would consider myself to be near-militant about when it comes to my views. These are animal rights (animal fighting, abuse, neglect, etc); stopping domestic violence (spousal and child abuse of all kinds); women's rights (being of the persuasion that I think it's pretty silly that a small group of lawmakers, usually men, think they know what's best for a woman's body); civil rights (basically affording any minority the same rights as anyone else, sexual orientation, race, gender, ethnicity, faith, all of that) and human rights. 
I have always had a very active mind and attached to that is my heart, it's hard to separate one from the other. I am not about to delve into my views on any one of these or all of these topics because I don't want to lose focus in what I am trying to say, which is actually very simple, almost too simple. 
A topic that I have been thinking very hard about recently more and more is humanity. Ignorance really is bliss because when one is ignorant to certain things, it's much more likely that the rose-colored glasses they see the world through will never come off. Simply put, the world is a sad place, a sick one. I am not talking about the earth and the people, beautiful land and wonderful wildlife though, I am talking about how humans have created a dystopia for themselves. It's not a coincidence that I used the word dystopia to describe the world as it is also the name of a band that I listen to. Basically a dystopia is the opposite of a Utopian society. Dystopia is a society that is totalitarian, environmentally degraded and basically all around unpleasant. By no means is this supposed to be a negative tirade on my part, but more of an awakening that I have slowly come to terms with over many years. Dystopia, the band, plays a type of rock n roll that sounds very dirty and is often times referred to as sludge or sludge metal. This band specifically deals with many of the topics that plague our society with the one underlying message being that humans have basically destroyed the world, they've infected it with greed. One of their albums, HUMAN=GARBAGE, puts it quite succinctly. I felt that tangent to be necessary but also meaningful. What I have been thinking about and realizing over time is that it seems that humans are innately more good than bad, however, greed and materialism have played the part of the veritable 'bite into the apple' that has since left a curse on us. This is not to say that it's unnatural or bad for us to want to succeed. It's not wrong at all, it's human nature, but when the intoxication of material items, money and power outweigh the desire to be ethical and treat others the way that they themselves would like to be treated, then there is a problem. I have been looking at the world differently and it's been a long time coming. Lately the one phrase that could be used to sum up my thoughts would have to be 'ulterior motives'. There are plenty of commercials on TV that appeal to your emotions and if you were none the wiser you would probably think "Oh, that's nice of Coca-Cola to wish me a happy holiday season! They really do care about me." Perhaps I have been analyzing everything way too much (doubt it) and perhaps the large companies really do care about me and my well-being (money) but I tend to see beyond things. It's hard for me to justify buying a certain product when I have found out through research that said company tests on animals. One thing that I cannot justify are things like this. When a company treats it's employees poorly, pollutes the environment, supports causes that negatively impact other people and/or animals, all of these things make me ever the more cautious. This extends to other things besides corporations and greed in it's simplest form, it also can and will be attributed to politics. Emotion can work wonders when it is used to further your own ends. This is unethical though, it's underhanded, it's Rove-like behavior. As it is probably already known, I am decidedly left-leaning, but that does not mean that I would completely ignore something underhanded that was done by a left-leaning or democratic politician, for example. 
Basically to cut to the chase I have been trying to live my life while trying to have the least possible negative affect on others, people and animals. The more you know about what actually goes on, the harder it is not to think about those that we impact negatively, even though we may not be doing it directly or even knowingly. This is not to say that people should feel guilty about themselves and be unhappy, it is just to open up eyes and think about the possible affects that certain actions may have on others. Simply put, try to live simply so that others may simply live. Treat others the way you wish to be treated, and believe me, at times it can be hard, but for the most part if you have common sense and a conscience, you should be fine!

Freight of the day


Dylan R. Mullins said...

Great post! Too bad more people don't think and act like you do man. Miss you a lot, and look forward to catching up next time I'm in Richmond.


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