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How do you live?

Updated on September 28, 2015

The more you know

What is inside you? Do you want to explore the very depths of your soul, or just follow the Roman advice: know thyself. It's time honored advice, and the more you know, the better your life will become. Explore, and don't explode.

Brave but cautious new world

Please find the following words of truth…moreover, a few words on the meaning of life. Presented without euphemisms or pulling punches, I seek meaning and speak plainly about life…all life. Accordingly, the reality of life needs an update once in a while. Yes…life’s meaning really changes with the times, and yes, it changes often, but holds some basic tenets at its root. This is a small dose of reality that exposes the lies and spin doctoring that currently pass for journalism, political insight, or select words from the sponsor that is exploiting you. These truths were realized in the past, yet are blatantly ignored today.

I’ll avoid war, terrorism, or gratuitous violence; they are indeed serious symptoms of an improper and destructive world view, yet solving these problems is an endless debate over solution, cause, and effect. No one will accept the hard choices that must be made, so why bother hashing them around. Our world must change; ultimately, that is all anyone can agree on. Implode or change…simple. Anyway, I’ll leave war to an advanced society and more enlightened majority to solve. Perhaps aliens really will show up and demand that we become peaceful…who knows? Unless the power of money is removed from society, that civilization will slowly erode from this monetary power that creates corruption, greed, selfishness, conspiracy, and a host of other ills. When the love of money exceeds the love of life, a fatal rot will continue to thrive in elite groups that lie and cheat to be falsely empowered by a duped public. Elect the poor, for they know the value of a dollar, the importance of a meal, and the need for equity in all business transactions.

Hey…this is your life…the decisions are yours…so try and use your time wisely – help others, or at least become sincere. This is universal, although your situation at birth affects your lot in life, as well as your hopes and dreams. It takes a lot of fighting to break out of such situations.

People can tell you what to do, but when alone, only you can make yourself busy, and find something to do.That concept leaves people frustrated with life, and often falling back on past traditions.

This is why so many people follow social patterns that have worked for centuries: get married, raise a family, and struggle to support that family. It hopefully provides love, life, and meaning to your existence…at least you’re a mother or father, and you have children to raise. Notable and necessary, some embrace this as their reason to live, and never look beyond for different things to do. Some jump into careers that demand total devotion, and often require extensive education or specific talents. We also have free thinkers and bohemian attitudes that push more into creative careers, music, art, or writing.

In today’s world, our society has evolved into a foreseen consequence of population growth: too many creative people face not enough patrons to support their output, removing their ability to make a decent living from their labors. Pre-warned by anthropologists and basic demographics, we’ve reached the finite need for archeologists, scientists, and artists, along with countless other specialties. We have amateur astrologists with enough training to be scanning the heavens and producing discoveries, and even physicists or other graduates that end up driving a cab because there are no jobs.

Another factor at play is the inability of those with august careers to step aside for younger talent, and throughout our complex society, there is now a tendency for people to work until they die. Longer life spans contribute to this phenomenon, but the bottom line is still simply explained by acknowledging there are not enough top jobs to accommodate the scores of graduates our universities are producing.

This fact of life has had its own affect on career planning; specialists are becoming even more specialized, creating areas of expertise that were once covered by one all-encompassing title. As our technological society advances in equipment and training, there are new areas of expertise opening that were not there before. The key to a thriving economy of labor in Marxian terms is successful only when the instruments of production and overall advancement maintain pace with the number of people ready to enter that field. A consequence of this reality is that education becomes more central to success, and without a long and carefully planned period of preparation, many intelligent and skilled people fall through the cracks and become over-educated for the job they end up with…just to pay the bills.

In our technological society, money is needed more than ever, and the only areas to live without money are far from the centers of industry or large urbanized dwelling places. The last few centuries have drastically changed humanity’s way of life, but the greatest change has taken place within the last 60 years. Population increases have urbanized all land around a city, and living in isolated areas now requires a lot of money and an independent trade to maintain this life, or the ability to devise some method to make money from the land itself. Gold mining is again popular, as the price of gold makes a few ounces valuable.

These are our realities: they influence our lives, limit our choices, and dictate our responses. Becoming a lone wolf or independent operator that scorns society is not possible in our modern world. Living off the land requires that you buy the land…with large acres of wilderness, our governments limit access, and squatting is now punishable by jail. Yesterday, we had sojourners and travelers: today, we have homelessness and abject poverty. Lack of money is a major part of our modern lifestyle; poverty now produces widespread depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Proverbs from long ago, the wisdom of the Bible, stated that we should humanely give strong drink to those who suffer, and wine to those in despair. They didn’t have drugs back then, but what they had was legal. Modern attitudes have stiffened outlooks, and our evolved society has made the only cure for depression only legal by a doctor’s prescription. Everywhere you look, bureaucratic laws and statues exist for every conceivable situation, and we live in a society of rule, law, and paperwork. The pursuit of freedom in such a society is impossible. People need proper identification to exist, social insurance numbers so they can pay tax, and an economic powerhouse that controls all forms of wealth, and charge you for the privilege.

Our modern society does not represent all the people, but since the system includes the majority, the minorities that once had options in life are now subject to approval by politicians, police, and a court system without mercy and rules without exception. An absolute conclusion from all this is that yesterday’s decisions make today’s quality of life. Advice can be helpful, but personal insight helps traverse life’s bumpy road.

This is our brave new world, Orwell’s 1984 nightmare, our technological revolution. We are either in the painful early stages of a miraculous new order of life, or suffocating in an explosion of elitist expansionism and secular growth. The meek are trampled underfoot, the weak are exploited by the strong, and the poor indentured slaves of the rich. Not much has changed, and as Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, except the gap between the rich and poor is now a chasm of galactic proportions.


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    • Artidan profile image

      Me 2 years ago from Vancouver

      Thank you ...I've written a lot, try to improve, and I am now working on my 4th book. Bottom line: whatever you write, you need readers. Currently, many people have turned to writing, and there's a lot of manuscripts out there. People agree I have imagination, a good trait for a writer - but again, it only matters if someone reads it. I watch my book sales a parent proudly witnessing their children grow and make a place in the world. I've done a lot of reading, which helped me get my Honors B.A., but nothing matters. Either people enjoy your style or it's just a mess of words. I wrote a story about the English sending an agent to kill Columbus and steal all the maps he was collecting...he also got the Piri Reis map, which shows Antarctica...WITHOUT ice. Historians still puzzle over that one. Imagination again...however, if England found the New World before Spain, there'd be no Inquisitional slaughter of the Aztecs, their codices/books wouldn't have been burned, and the world would be richer for a true understanding of what the Olmecs/Toltecs/Mayan/Aztec cultures were all about...maybe even a tale about the mysterious Nazca lines. Who knows? I hope my latest story will find its place in the world, and I'm writing it with a different approach which has already produced a good story. I've shown 6 chapters to a publishing house in Vancouver, and they like it...really like it. I've tried a John Grisham approach to narrative (he's a great storyteller), added some Dan Brown-like history, mixed in some wild characters, blended in a few unknown events, top it all with historical mysteries and facts...and then shake it up and see what turns up (hopefully something It's a sort of alternate history/sci-fi/adventure/mystery genre. Hopefully, this novel will make some friends and happy readers.

      All the best...Dana (I also might take on the Catholic Church, but that's dangerous; after research, I've found unbelievable behavior in the Vatican, and it stunned me. Sometimes we need fiction because no one will believe the truth.

    • B Brian Hill profile image

      B Brian Hill 2 years ago

      This is a very intelligent and insightful essay. You've covered all the bases. I enjoyed your comments on the mess that we've created. Now it is important to live together, those of us who are the majority. I like that you refuse to partake in violence, an important first step in the conscious evolution of man. I am looking forward to more of your writing!