A Selfish Perspective

Homo sapiens are relatively new creatures, finding our niche in a world long built on, as far as we know, a general absence of self-awareness.  A world built on simple life and death, where success was defined by reproduction over time.  Some may debate we are born of a design, battle-tested and echoed over millennia, steeped in a requirement for basic resources.  Maslow catalogued human needs many years ago.  If you will, for the next few paragraphs, humor yourself any argument of creation or evolution, and think of wealth and success in our day and age.  If you’re reading this, you may be on a computer or an Internet-enabled device, presumably educated, and so absorb that our world is defined by a population where 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 US a day and where the richest 20% of the world’s population accounts for about 75% of the world’s income.+

Many who read the first paragraph may scoff and think that the next words will be focused on socialistic or communistic ideology, but they would be wrong.  Many will turn away, right now, dismissing what will be said next.  We need competition.  We need freedom.  We need to challenge ourselves with measurement of others around us.  We must compete – it is in our DNA.  The recipe of our survival is full of primal, instinctive, and survivalistic need.  The drive to be the dominant species of our planet, but also to dominate the others around us has made us a successful force of nature, in terms of propagation and terraforming, much to the detriment of all the beings that inhabit our space rock, and in so many cases, even ourselves.  Collectively, we can do amazing things, and in the face of collective danger, humanity has come together in such substantive ways that it boggles the mind why we have not learned how to direct our selfishness, and build on this collective capacity.

Manhattan, New York 1873

Manhattan, New York – Today

Learning and studying of a woman named Ayn Rand, stumped me for many years.  The Liberal dream of collective altruism shriveled when this woman took it to the edge of reason.  This woman made selfishness en vogue.  Political entities engulfed and assimilated the concept to bring justification to ritualized uncaring, except if it profited their existence.  Ayn Rand’s description of selfishness, though undesirable to those trapped in the whirlpools of cultural socioeconomic incapacitation, made complete sense.  No matter how my brain sliced and diced this concept, there was no way around it.  Our individual lives are selfish.  We have to be selfish!  We have no one to be accountable to but ourselves.  The attention and support of friends and family is a precious gift that will never be guaranteed.  Our code says we need to perpetuate our existence.  That is life at all levels – luck and selfishness.

Ayn Rand

Selfishness is benefited through collaboration of resources, which without Rand looks awfully ironical.  A successful life is one where other people invest their time and relationship capital with you, in varying degrees that makes friends, children, families, business, cities, countries, societies, religions, and governments. This construct is repeated over and over again.  When any of these constructs are threatened, people resolve themselves to obstruct the elimination of the life that may have benefitted them in some way, none so much as the individual whose life might be on the line for elimination.  This brought me the concept that an economy, while born of a construct of human behavior, takes on the characteristics of life.  The people involved in that economy, where the economy may be of thought, money, influence, and/or sex, people while protect that economy tooth and nail.  The kicker is, we possess the resources AND the mechanisms to give everyone on the planet basic caloric intake, basic shelter, and healthcare, but we don’t do it.  Fundamentally, our selfishness is more raw than the selfishness defined by Rand.  Most of us recoil at the thought that a natural law of give and take must exist, and so selfishness is defined by what you take.  However, the enlightened selfish will find that giving is as much a part of the taking, to gain a positive sum.  Selfishness is an investment.

At this point, we could discuss capitalism, communism, socialism, value systems, religion, competition, and many other –isms, quite assuredly.  Let’s not.  Let’s figure out a new –ism, a new way of living where people will still lose, but not their livelihoods or their very lives themselves, and where the winners push humanity forward.  To new planets, to better energy sources, where the economy that matters is all of ours – collectively selfish.  An economy where we are all at stake for the forward progress, where education gets more resources than prisons, where those that seek only to harm are persecuted to the fullest extent of law’s wrath, where love is embraced regardless of the genitals the DNA dice gave you, and where religion is a choice of one of many a path to a concept we finally realize no one human can comprehend.  A world where we possess the power, not over each other, but power to better humanity, to fuel compassion and freedom, and promote a world where the economy, where the competition is to bring out the best in humanity.  That is selfish, and a selfish plan I can get behind.

Is it utopian to believe this way?  Not at all!  Not everyone can be happy all the time.  There is no individual utopia in a competitive society.  Suffering will and must continue to exist, but changing the scope of suffering is paramount.  Where you can still win more than someone else, and be rewarded for your wins.  Finding failure for an idea in a competitive economy of compassion is far better than suffering while your body wastes away in a disease-ridden land, in the dirt, while your mother cries for not being able to provide the most basic elements to sustain your life.  We can do whatever we put our minds to do.  Imagine a world full of healthcare and science, where human beings could live hundreds of years.  This could yield long distance space travel and imagine the wisdom harvested from such a full life.  Nature saw fit for us to have this brain, to give us ideas, and find solutions to bear fruit to our success.  The time is now to make it happen.  You have to choose it!  No one can truly make you do anything – it’s not a right.  You have the choice to make this happen.  We can build a free world, where we can appreciate what we have, and still want more.  What was is not what always will be.  Be selfish – want more than you ever dreamed possible!

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s another perspective. Be aware, some language may be objectionable to you, and that’s OK.

April 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM Leave a comment

Incredulous Dancer

Incredulous dancer
Despite the annals of fate
Tried are the wicked and the plain
You are the needle in the arm of a tyrant
Delivering the vile of love against hate

The politics are the bone
Snared in the twisted dregs of the polymorph
You have no end
You are but spite
Carry forward the many and the pen

Severed tassels of darned smocks
Gone by the tempted fruit
Be that as it may
You are the vine
The Fruit
The Money
The Pay

Tended spindles of withered fray
Quiet and haunting
Pining for the days of yore
Jilted by the kindness of friends
The blind lead the blind

We are bound no more by the fold
We are scripted by our own free gift
Awareness is our only position of truth
Know this and you shall always be granted
The Life

September 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM Leave a comment

Indecision

The Agony of Indecision by "vcrimson"

Indecision

Cherished alum
Driven by the deeds of dowry
Value the entry of crazed cunning
Toward the plans of essence incumbent

Proud are many seeking value and thrift
Opening dreams xenophobic in wash
Smoking idle
Canine buried the last gnarled vault

Undulating flowers sparkle the great
Hail to the chief
Hail a cab
Hail on the rooftop
Veins of wild acorns strain the gutter

Sweet
The actions of family inside
Cherished
The boldness of thoughts held within
Hurt
The bombing of values we hold
Bonding
The frail crusts of a soul

Captions are read
From a cold hardened leaf
Blanket the sky with delight
Anger the child
Of a dank sullen scathe
Eloping delight of a dive

Torn
Are the frittered tales of a man
Building
The growing vines of disheartened
Stunned
Of the wicked thorn in the side
Blinding the vision of elders

November 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM Leave a comment

The Gambit

Tried and true
Undulating garnish of soul
Pride of the dongle
Truth incarnate

Quest of a sundry
Palace of angels
Tempting common fog from the mouth
Relegating thyself to a gord

My move
Your move
My move
Your move

Only time will tell
Life recorded

November 18, 2011 at 9:35 AM Leave a comment

Another Fine Morning

Sunrise on the earth

A morning for perspective

Tender water wily tether
Breaks the quark-set and bevel header
Endless false of gargled pen
Tries even the stubborn men

Ascend the crow
Plight of the naked anvil
Destined toward even ground
Only just haven jostles the ravine

The engine blossoms winding yet
Irked of having kiln and pets
Oppression harbors tiny baths
When sudden caverns signal aftermath

Grow the nave!
Plow the muster!
Cavort the prawn!
Zesty cavalcade has a dawn!

Onward flavors planetary dwindle
Ever on toward hooved gallantry
Butter drawn on toast
Delicate are the eggs

November 15, 2011 at 9:22 AM Leave a comment

Kids and Dogs

The events described happened Saturday, June 25, 2011.  This is not a reprint or a second-hand story.  The events and characters are real.

As we often do, my parents and my family eat lunch together on Saturdays.  Typically, we frequent a Thai restaurant here in San Antonio called Thai Cafe.  My son, a lover of Thai noodles, as of this writing, is 28 months old and an advanced chatterbox.  He’s become quite good at describing in words what he wants us to know.  Although, when frustrated, he tends to prefer to demonstrate his angst with interpretive defiance.

On this Saturday, as a solo dad while my wife was at a wedding in Washington D.C., my son was in a good mood.  We had a pleasant meal and he even was good enough to let my parents and I talk for a few minutes.  Glancing at the clock, it was a little later than his typical nap time, and I hoped he would not sleep in the car on the way as this often interferes with his ability to nap once we get home.  The car ride home, he was talkative for about half of the 20 minutes back to the house.  Keeping an eye on him in the rearview mirror as we turned into my neighborhood, I was relieved to see he was still awake and alert.  With heavy eyelids, he was still actively looking at things as we drove by them.  Making the final right turn on my street and approaching our driveway, as I position the car to back into the garage, as I normally do, my son says excitedly “Who’s that, Daddy!?”

Stopping the car, I check all my mirrors and look in all my blind spots.  I see no one around the car, nor is anyone approaching the vehicle.

“Did you see somebody?” I ask.

“Who are those people, Daddy?”

“I don’t know, baby, what do you see?”

“Those people, right there!” he says straining against the car seat straps.  “Those people!”  He pushes his small finger against the glass.

“I don’t see anybody.”

“Why are they crying, Daddy?”

“Do you see someone crying?” I persist.

“Daddy, the’re right there!  Why are they sad!?  They’re crying, Daddy!  Who are they?”

“I don’t see anybody, baby.” as I keep the car going backwards into the garage.

Properly positioned in the garage, I quickly shut the car off as my son tugs at the straps of his car seat, trying to unfasten the straps himself.  Running around the car, I quickly open the car door, get him out of the car seat, and stand him up pointing toward the garage door, neither of us saying a word through the exit process, until I break the silence.

“Show me where the crying people are.” I demand, excited and creeped out.

He runs to the driveway, just outside the garage, looking to the same area of the yard he was pointing while we were in the car.

“Where’d they go, Daddy?”

“I don’t know.  Are they not they anymore?  Are the crying people gone?”

He walks into the grass, and turns 360 degrees.

“I don’t see them anymore, Daddy.  They were crying.”

Looking into the waning box hedges in front of the house, I presume as a last resort, he raises his palms as to suggest he cannot find the crying people.

“They’re gone, Daddy.”  He looks confused and a little sad himself.

I’ve heard it said before that kids and dogs see things us average adults don’t.  I don’t have a dog.

June 27, 2011 at 9:27 PM 2 comments

Thoughts on Texas’ Smoking Ban

Hi, I’m Moot and I’m here to beat the dead horse. Old age has really killed more people than anything else. Cars kill, too, but I digress, and I think you miss the point. Plastic, nuclear energy, and chemtrails? I can’t light up my polyurethane, nuclear reactor 3 inches from my face in public either. Chemtrails!? Really?

I think a comedian once said “Smoking is like peeing in a pool” but I’ll expand on that a little: You can’t make a urination section, urine smells, it’s unsanitary, it can make people really sick and die, and somebody, probably other than the urinating person, is going to have to clean up the mess, especially if someone got sick or dies, which in real economic terms is far more expensive than if the urinator hadn’t done it in the first place. Determining if the person had the freedom to urinate wherever they want to urinate? Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. Go pee somewhere else where no one has to deal with it.

Just to be fair, we have to urinate, right? We don’t have to smoke, right? That’s where the analogy breaks down. But no one is saying you can’t smoke, nor that you can’t pee; you just can’t pee in the public pool.

🙂
—–Original Message—–
From: [Name removed]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 4:05 PM
To: safun
Subject: Re: [SA FUN] Smoking ban passed in Texas

I find it funny that everyone complains about cigarette smoke, yet no complaints or laws are made regarding the banning of chem-trails, plastics that are harmful to humans, nuclear testing that has increased global radiation, or a plethora of other things that are far more lethal to the populace then cigarette smoke. Taking what is fed to you as the “most severe problem we face” and then running with it is only furthering the frame of thought that the select few are trying to push in to your head.
Call me crazy, (and some may) but if you are concerned with cigarette smoke, vs. the amount of ridiculousness that is put in to your water supply… Then you need to re-think your worry list.

Wahhhh, it smells bad… So do port-a-potties.. And they still use those… I smoke occasionally, and don’t really care either way if they put this type of law in or not… My main point is that this argument is of little concern in the bigger picture and it seems like it is causing people to get their shorts all bunched up.

[Name removed]
Linux System Admin I Cloud Support

May 25, 2011 at 5:11 PM 1 comment

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