There's nothing like a good rant to calm the soul.

Month: December 2020

Expectations, Tendencies, and Who’s Most Important

Expectations can kill something before it’s ever born. A relationship, a career, or even what relief we can get out of something created to reduce our stress. Expectations are a natural part of planning the future, but I think we do it wrong. We create our expectations by thinking through how we see something and then telling ourselves how it’ll work out…but since we don’t know the future, why are we so arrogant to create expectations for how it will happen? The answer comes down to how we see ourselves.

Tendencies inform who we are. They inform how we live. They even inform how others will see us and prepare their own expectations for us. Tendencies are nothing more than what we will “tend” to do in a given situation, but human beings like things to fit into boxes which means we’ll attribute tendencies to areas that they might not fit. If you see someone cry after losing their phone you might think they have a tendency to be sad when they don’t have a way to communicate with friends…but what you might not know is that their phone contained the last messages from a friend who is now gone. Context is the most important thing in determining tendencies, but since we don’t tend to have the full context we form what we think people’s tendencies are without it. Why? The answer comes down to how we see others.

See, the most important thing in this world is how you choose to interact with the people around you, and it almost always comes down to one thing: Do you believe them to be less important than you, equal to you, or more important than you? If you believe yourself to be more important, even if you don’t admit it, you’ll more-quickly set expectations for how the relationships will work, and more-quickly determine tendencies that you think they’ll follow. It’s what our brains want to do, and it’s easy to do it quickly if you don’t find it important to treat them as individuals. If what happens to you is more important than what happens to others, even the most well-intentioned decisions will not improve the lives around you as much as they’ll improve your own.

If, however, you find the lives of others as important or more important than your own, you’ll more rarely set expectations for how those relationships will work because you understand that they’re individuals who have their own lives and struggles. You’ll take much longer to determine tendencies that you think they’ll follow because you understand that there’s context to every decision. If what happens to others is more important than what happens to you, even the most lazy and selfish decisions will improve the lives around you as much or more than they’ll improve your own.

People notice how much they’re cared for. People notice how much they’re loved by others. When they do, they will tend to believe that your decisions are for their good and, even when things go south, they’ll understand that there are reasons why things don’t always work out.

I want to be a person that loves others unconditionally, because I’m not that person and I’ve seen how it hurts others. I want to be an example of how to put others first, because I believe if everyone did our world would be a very different place. Let’s stop setting expectations for how we want relationships in our lives to go. Let’s stop putting people in boxes based on how we think they’ll act or react to things.

Let’s put the well-being of others first – the worst thing that can happen is it makes people feel better.

A Festivus for the Rest Of Us – Political edition

Years ago a prophet named Frank Costanza had a fight in a department store over a doll and it resulted in a new holiday being formed. That holiday has allowed us, for years, to air our grievances at the end of each year as a way of celebrating life. Gather ’round your aluminum poles and let’s celebrate together.

This year has been hard. Nothing has been normal, people have been distant, and Taco Bell did away with a majority of their menu at a time when Americans were already struggling. We’ve seen division like never before, and while many are thinking “2021 is coming!” I’m not sure I see that as the salvation of humanity.

America has an identity crisis. The streets are filled with people screaming conspiracy theories, complaining about communism, or telling perfect strangers they want nothing more than to kill off democracy…but for some reason we don’t seem capable of understand that those are only symptoms of the issue. The issue is that we’re divided over an ideology nobody is discussing: Social Responsibility vs Personal Liberty.

A long long time ago, in a place not so far away, a government system was created to protect and care for the American people. Over the next 100 years or so they introduced a massive number of alterations to their initial ruleset so that we’d be protected not only from foreign entities but also ourselves. Those amendments and what really govern much of what the federal government can do and how we interact with it…but that’s also where the arguments come from.

What it all boils down to is that we can choose to see those amendments as either Social Responsibility, where we’re responsible for making sure our country and its people are all cared for properly, or Personal Liberty, where we’re given the freedom to be the people we want to be without interference from others. We’re meant to see them as both. The Constitution is meant to give us the freedom to live our lives the way we see fit, if we’re not interfering with the lives of others (since doing so infringes on their freedom to live the way they see fit), while also demanding that we use the freedoms we have to care for each other. If we don’t, we’re not living as a society and the whole system breaks down.

We can’t focus on only one side of the argument or the other – neglecting half o the equation means our country is no-longer a society of people, but eventually just a place where people live. Patriotism means we have to care more about the health and wellbeing of our society than our own, at times. Not doing exactly that makes us unpatriotic, and unAmerican.

Think about what would change if we cared more about the well-being of people we don’t know than we do ourselves. Think about how different our country would be, how much better off life could be, and how much further we could go together.

Mental Health is important, which is why this exists

Life is tiring. People are tiring. Everything we experience in our daily lives seems to exist to tempt us to either lose control or give up. I’ve heard the best way to deal with these pressures is to let them out, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not sure who, if anyone, will read this…but if I’m going to journal my thoughts I’m going to do it right.

Buckle up. I don’t know where this journey’s going, but it’s probably going to be pretty bumpy.

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