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Updated on August 12, 2013



When I divorced, I knew there was a problem with much of the way I chose to manage, or moreso mismanage, my life; however, I simply wasn't very motivated to do much about it. I accepted that I was immature and impulsive but frequently retreated to a "that's just me" outlook. Interesting how lazy one becomes when one is actually afraid to confront flaws in character design, yes? We grow comfortable with our flaws and choose instead to categorize them as ‘quirks,' or ‘quaint-eccentricities' because saying these words sound a whole lot prettier than admitting that, possibly, we are actually quite broken human beings.

One of the finer aspects regarding my own conscious ascension into decency I pleasingly attribute to parenthood; the perspectives of which continually redefine themselves through the time I invest with my son. More than any psychologist or counselor or priest, my own adolescent son reveals to me that life is simply too big to waste precious days by being an asshole.

An old acquaintance of mine believed that thirty-three and thirty-four are the ages around which human beings should be cautious since a great many creative artists who die young are typically these ages. As he would repeatedly claim, "we humans die young." My personal spin on his philosophy is that human beings (males, specifically) don't generally collect their senses until around the age of thirty-four.

Yeah, everybody dies. Some people die too soon, and some, not soon enough!

I'll never be a ‘complete' person; for no body ever is. Today, however, awakening clean, sober and focused reminds me that I'm not quite so broken anymore.

En route to maturity and accountability (by whatever age that might hopefully come to be) we ultimately grow healthier in overcoming one by one those trials, which, upon all sides attempt to besiege.

Yes, in a roundabout way Darwin (probably even Neitche, too) seemed to be on the right track with his "survival of the fittest" credo; however, only partially so. If the ability to continually adapt to any given situation can be categorized as a vital cog in the wheel of survivability, then it stands to reason that, moreso than ‘fitness,' neither the fittest, not the meek-of-heart shall inherit the earth; the adaptive-minded shall.

The adaptive-minded shall inherit the earth.

Life, typically by way of decisions and consequences, is not at all random. In adulthood we ultimately discover just how highly organized our lives actually are. Whereas, yes, I have personally evolved into a spiritual man, I'm staunchly opposed to all religious infusion suggesting that this god or that god, that your god or my God is any more or less superior. Beliefs as such are elitist and egocentric.

Whether we choose to call our respective god Jesus Christ, or Buddha, or Confucius, or Allah or whomever, personal belief in each of our own respective higher powers begins and ends with our own decisions and consequences. In the hierarchy of my own personal religious views, I believe that God did His creation thing but afterwards kicked back and retired, thus leaving us to our own devices. Although my relationship with Jesus Christ is my own, I much prefer thinking of it as though He and I have a sort of mutual understanding. I believe in my God because my God believes in me; and simply put, yeah, that works well for a simple acorn like me.

I've always appreciated the metaphor of young seedlings growing into sturdy trees when equating life's journey to our own interpersonal development. In as much, we humans really do take root early and whether for good or for bad, set firmly into our ways. Being accountable in life translates rather nicely into one very simple observation; only our individual decisions can spare us from the assorted woodsman's axes seeking, in passing, to chop us down from one day to the next. Moreso than an opposable thumb this is the reality that sets our random, eclectic species apart from any of the others. Ironically, most humans (males, typically) so poorly mismanage their lives that it is only the opposable thumb delineating them from apes at all!

On average, we are each allotted between 55 and 70 years; we do with our time what we please and then that's it. If we elect to squander our lives then, that is our choice to do so and, in as much, that was our chance. Making the right choices in life is a conscious, full time job unto itself. Do the next right thing, and the next thing right and all that malarkey. Subsequently, life is pretty simple, really. I can't help but laugh when the infamous ‘what is the meaning of life' question arises.

This is not a difficult question.

Why must human beings always over-dramatize even the most mundane things? From one day to the next human beings trudge about as if anticipating storm clouds, bitching and moaning about how badly life sucks. What assholes! Take ownership of your lives! The "meaning of life" not so difficult to comprehend! The meaning of life is ridiculously simple: Be nice, live well and don't be an asshole.

Human beings; generally speaking, all thumbs.

I spent an entire childhood wondering if, like a bird, I was hatched into humanity. My mother rarely spoke of my biological father and, if she did it was in predictably discouraging terms. Her longest live-in lover, Gary, was possibly the nearest I had had to a father figure. He and I were not very close; our interactions were tepid, at best. More than anything else he and I politely tolerated one another. At the time I never understood why exactly Gary meant so much to mom; it was as though she stopped living to entirely cater his every whim. I guess I was the only person who saw that he was an unemployed, womanizing, pot-smoking alcoholic.

Missing out on the pleasure of growing from child to adult is surely a pleasure denied. It seems like everybody has some sort of a hard luck story concerning their respective upbringing, however, from our earliest days we really do choose what we want to see in life. As we mature, it is how we interpret what we see that dictates our life's course and outlook.

In youth, regardless of prestige or privilege, whether ghetto-born or silver-spoon-fed, the childhood experience upon Planet Earth can be satisfactorily generalized into one philosophical observation:

As children, we gaze out the window and see the beauty and hope of a crisp sunlit day. As adults, we gaze and wonder if the shining sun is meant to shine upon us.

/ / / / END OF PART TEN / / / /


© 2007 - R. MARTIN BASSO



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