The new gods
There was recently a statement that I read from former Facebook employee that said something to the lines of people are mistaking popularity for truth. Perhaps once upon a time this was for the most part true but the days of the popular opinion being accurate are gone. This leads both sides of an argument to utilize not only inaccurate data for decision making but readily gives the other side flaming arrows to fire back. Unfortunately along with the truth exiting stage left it took civility along for the trip. The study was abandoned for the cave by men and the hard choices are left to what will gain the individual the most digital likes. The currency of doing the right thing has dropped in value like a third world currency in the middle of a violent revolution.
We traded heroes in explorers and scientists for new gods of celebrity reality and individualist drives. Sadly those drives even for the self rarely move towards a worthwhile result. We prostrate ourselves at the idol of the social media while the library burns. The society of thinkers has changed to clickers. Three generations ago our culture barely had phones but now we all have devices capable of unlocking infinite knowledge. I use mine to watch funny videos of foxes on most days and escape the constant bickering of our society when possible. Trapped in boxes of our own design striving to be like people we wouldn’t really like if we met them.
Take back the study
Something I’m working on is getting back to reading more from authors of substance. When was the last time you read something that moved you instead of watching some random beard spout off from their car? I cant even tell you who my favorite scientist is anymore but that’s something I plan on rectifying. I know who my favorite person that’s on the small/big screen but that’s from working with them so maybe that gives me an excuse. If you’re like me its been an ever lessening cycle and the struggle is real to find the knowledge lost. The oddessy level quest is to rewire our spirits to seek value over the digital endorphins that are force fed in a constant barrage.
Stop allowing yourself to fall for the comfortable mediocrity of satisfaction. The world is alive and vibrant but we have to seek out the real now. Ive been lucky enough to have Uncle Sam see fit to export me around the world to twenty-three different countries so far. My job allows me the freedom to travel and find creative inspiration on a whim. I recognize these gifts and the experiences they’ve allowed me to embrace are things I seldom forget. The experiences you embrace rub against the stone of your person shaping and shaving you into something new each time. In my travels I find the people I meet and spend time with over food tend to be people I remember. There is an experience to be had with every person on our vast planet. We see them we bounce off them like molecules but we rarely give thought to how they change our trajectory.
Sometimes I work for a fortune twelve company where I’m paid to solve problems and provide creative solutions at the director level. The decisions I make in that role affect millions of people around the world which is great when I’m right but pretty rough when I’m wrong. Reading reviews of your work can be a dark place to go if you don’t have a grip on your abilities. The ego kick of thinking you nailed it only to have the public shred it is a humbling and self evolving experience I recommend to everyone. In order to stay ahead I have to seek out inspiration outside of a digital life. Luckily for me my experiences outside that job have given me a plethora of stressful situations to grow from. In a recent review with my boss he said one of the things he loved was that I never seemed to be stressed out no matter the situation. I laughed and told him no one was trying to kill me so why be stressed. The paths we walk are set by the compass of our internal desires.
Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight...unless you have to
No one wants to be outmatched or outwitted in life but its going to happen. The realization that you will never be prepared for everything is a very liberating experience. Ive said this in the past but Ill go back to it again, my diverse skill set was of completely no use when I faced my biggest challenge. My oldest son was born three months early, if you have every had this happen you know the completely powerless situation you face. Sure as a trained EMT I had a basic understanding of the situation but I couldn’t do anything about it. The only thing I could do was be in the moment while it happened. In fact the more you think about it the more you will realize you have no control at all.
The majority of my hobbies are life threatening to a large extent. Friends often ask why I would do something that could kill me for fun. I usually ask them if they’ve ever driven in Atlanta traffic, which coincidentally is much worse than anywhere else Ive been in the world. You could be sitting in your bubble wrapped life and have a plane crash on your house. There wouldn’t be anything you can do about that either. Give up thinking you have control over your time and manner of death. For the most part you have the least amount of input over how that goes. Everyone else gets a say as well which isn’t always the say you want to hear. In the meantime seek out adventures that make the risk worth it. I promise you will feel more alive in a minute of free fall or swimming with sharks than you will with the hundreds of likes your post on social media afterwords will receive. Be the person people live vicariously through if you can but most of all do it for yourself.
Its not to late and life is not over till the last breath is exhaled completely. Depending on who wins the theology debate you could just be stepping off on the next great adventure in that moment. What a hoot it would be if you die only to find out the ancient Egyptians were on point. Would your heart weigh more than a feather?