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Too Big NOT to Fail

During the last economic downturn, the phrase “Too Big to Fail” was bandied about regarding many of the banking institutions that were in jeopardy due to problems many of them caused themselves.  If you know anything about how the natural world works, you would know that something that becomes too big and unwieldy will eventually fail; it has to fail.

Nature works diligently to create stasis, also known as balance.  In order to do this, it creates a diversity of interconnected systems that keep all things in harmony working towards mutually beneficial outcomes.

We humans stopped doing that a long time ago and decided that the natural world must bend to our will.  This amusing fallacy will ultimately be our undoing.  Remember, it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

All of our human systems are moving towards monopoly, monoculture and a one world order.  That’s the ultimate recipe for disaster.  Our economic, agricultural, political and social systems are designed for the current climate.  If things take a major turn, they cannot adapt or shift gears quickly enough to compensate for those changes.

The strong and the smart will be surpassed by the mutable and adaptable weaklings.  Maybe that’s the true meaning of “The meek shall inherit the earth.”

Remember the dinosaurs?  They ruled the earth for millions of years but were quickly wiped out.  Perhaps by a meteor or a sudden change in the planet’s climate.  They couldn’t adapt to the changes they had to face and they perished.  And meek little creatures continued on.

I often wish I could view things from a larger vantage point to see what it’s all leading to.  The planet is trying to right its current imbalance, that we have undoubtedly contributed to, and if we don’t start working in unison with that, we will not be here to see what comes next.  We are the dinosaurs now, but hopefully we’re a little smarter and can adapt and survive.  Otherwise in a few million years, something else will be digging up our bones.

Humanity is not too important to fail.  We’re just another variation on a theme – infinite diversity.  That’s what the universe is all about.

And perhaps we’re supposed to fail.  If there’s no reason to adapt or evolve, then why should we?  I can’t help but root for the bigger picture, even if I’m not going to be in it.


Off The Rails

So I haven’t been blogging lately, after actually getting to 50 of these, and I have finally figured out why.  While I have a lot of opinions about all kinds of things, so does everyone else.  And a lot of people are really attached to those opinions.  I’ve grown weary of conversations that are only arguments or debates.  I have no desire to defend or proselytize my opinions.  I don’t know how it “should” be, but I do know how it is.

Whether you want to face it or not, we are at a crossroads.  We are circling the drain right now as a species, a civilization, what have you.  Rather than waste any more of my time rearranging the deck chairs on this sinking ship by arguing for, against or even within the confines of our current model, system or paradigm, I think I’ll start making my way over to the lifeboats by looking at what’s next and what’s possible for humanity.

Human beings have been here for hundreds of thousands maybe even millions of years (archaeology keeps revising the date earlier and earlier for our auspicious beginnings).  We’ve survived cataclysms and ice ages.  We can live in almost any climate thanks to our hardiness and ingenuity.  We’ve been here before and we’ll get through this again.  But what will it be like on the other side?  What would we like it to be like?

In your own life, you know that if you can prepare for a breakdown, you are able to move through it faster.  If someone told you that you would be laid off in three months time, would you just obliviously continue to come to work and live as you had or would you cut back on spending, save more and prepare your resume?  Well, we are being given warnings galore – melting ice caps, rising temperatures, widespread drought and animal die-offs.  That’s just nature giving us the heads up.  Our own man-made structures are beginning to show signs of stress and decay with economic downturns and collapses as well as rising rates of disease and mental illness.

If you think this is just a hiccup or a bump in the road, you will be in for a rude awakening.  This is what Rome looked like just before the Barbarians showed up at the gates.  This is how it all comes crashing down.  And you have a front row seat.

I don’t wish to be all doom and gloom.  This really is an exciting and glorious time to be alive.  If we make it through all of this, we get to say how it goes for the next round.

We get to create a new civilization, a new way of living and hopefully we will do it this time with sustainability and the natural world in mind.  And hopefully we will create a more diversified approach.  The planet was not made for homogenization.  How I live in the tropics is not how I live in a desert or on a mountain.

These are the kinds of things I want to write about and explore now.  I’m not interested in creating a perfect or ideal world.  I want to see what life would look like if our basic desire was to take care of each other and explore our larger world (the galaxy, hell even the Universe). If this were at the forefront of all we devise and do, can you imagine?!?

Life is not linear.  Everything is cyclical.  As it is above, so it is below.  Stars are born, mature and eventually die so that new stars can be born to complete the cycle all over again.  When you know how it works, you can’t take any of it personally.  You just came along for the ride.

And don’t be afraid.  Don’t ever be afraid.  Just keep swimming.


Why so bored?

One man’s boredom is another man’s pleasure.

What I think boredom is can be summed up thus — If you’re bored then you’re not really paying attention.

The more open my mind becomes, the less susceptible I am to boredom.  Life is endlessly fascinating and it’s just getting more so.  Everything feels like it’s speeding up and getting more extreme.  What’s there to be bored with?

Consciously or not, you make a choice about everything.  You can choose to enjoy something that is happening or you can choose to be bored by it.  The thing in question has no inherent reactionary impact on you whatsoever, except to the extent that you allow it to.

Boredom can be a way to avoid having to deal with an emotional reaction you’re having to what’s going on.  Or it can be a way to feel above it all.  It’s not a right or wrong thing, but if you find yourself bored more often than not, what’s that say about you?

What about the things that make you angry?  Or the things that make you sad?  If you really can pick and choose how things impact you emotionally, would you keep choosing those knee-jerk emotions to the situations in which they normally arise?

I get pissed off the moment I hit some traffic.  Not because I might be late or I can’t get where I’m going, but just because it’s there.  It’s even worse when I can’t find the source of the traffic beyond just too many fucking cars on the road all at the same time.  There has to be a reason why?!?!

My blood pressure went up from this picture alone.

It does take some effort to re-wire your automatic responses.  We live on auto-pilot for so much of our lives and we don’t even realize it.  Probably why people can actually fall prey to boredom in a time of so much to do.  You’re bored because you aren’t even present to your surroundings.

I have days where I’m flipping through the channels on TV and can’t find one thing that interests me.  That really is my own fucking fault.  I could choose to be interested in America Ninja Warrior or Days of Our Lives if I really chose to be.  But then again, would I really want to?  Computer says no.

“I once thought I had mono for an entire year.  It turned out I was just really bored.” –Wayne Campbell

You can be happy, if you choose to be.

Happy New Year!

At the start of 2012, I feel the need to add my two cents into the whole “happiness” debate.  A lot of time has been spent in the last decade or so looking at what happiness is and how do we get it.  They say money can’t buy happiness, which is true, but it can make some of the unhappiness go away.  It’s really not the money, though.

Rich or poor, sick or well, lonely or in love… happiness can be yours.  You can plan for happiness and you can make it happen for you, that is, as long as you choose it.  That’s crazy talk, you might be thinking, how do you choose to be happy?  Try looking at it this way.

Have you ever had a great day, one that left you feeling so happy but when you tried to recreate it, you didn’t feel the same way?  Why not?  What was different?  You were.  That first time, with no reason whatsoever, you chose to be happy by the day you were having but you mistook that feeling as the result of the day and not because you (probably without any forethought) chose to be happy with what was occurring.

It’s easy to be happy when something pleasurable is happening.  Eating ice cream is an instant mood lifter for me.  A baby’s laugh or a cute puppy gives me a warm fuzzy.  And finding a five dollar bill in the pocket of those pants I wore last week, bonus!  But can you see that I’m choosing to be happy by those things?  Those aren’t “automatic” responses.

Well, how could those things possibly make anyone unhappy?  How about this – perhaps you’re lactose-intolerant, or you recently had a child or pet die or perhaps you need $20 for something and $5 isn’t going to cut it.  What makes me happy could make you unhappy.

You must first get that circumstances are circumstances.  They are not good or bad, right or wrong.  It’s what we bring to those circumstances that determines how we view them and react.  I’m going to beat this point like a dead horse until at least one person tells me they get it.  Shit happens!  But until you take some freakin’ responsibility for your life and how you’re going to view it, you will be a victim of your circumstances and happiness will be nothing more than a fleeting dream.

You want an example, I imagine.  Here’s one that set me down the path of being the author of my own life.  Several years ago, I began to have a problem with my direct supervisor.  She started to become more critical of me and more erratic in her behavior and mood.  My workplace became a hostile environment and I was suffering.  Two other co-workers ended up on psyche meds and one even took psyche leave for several months because of the stress.  I managed to make a lateral move out of that department and now I have the most amazing boss ever.

Am I just lucky?  Sometimes.  But in this instance, I made a choice.  I chose to not take her behavior personally and I also chose to be the person who says how I feel.  I would listen to my “happy song” on the way to work and when I left work for the day, I did just that—left it where it belonged and tried not to allow it to poison my non-work life.  I also chose to get out of that situation and did it professionally and without bitterness.

We’re all going to have circumstances that suck, sometimes so bad they’re almost intolerable.  People we love leave us, or worse die unexpectedly.  We may be diagnosed with a debilitating illness or have an accident that leaves us crippled and in pain.  A war might break out around us, food shortages will occur and the life we once had will be gone forever.  If you cling to what was and refuse to accept what is, you will never know happiness.  “Happiness is a function of accepting what is.” (Werner Erhard)

Happiness only exists in the here and now, in your choice to allow it to be.  It’s not always easy but it is simple.  I’m alive and I choose to be happy.  Start small and let it build.  Smiling for no reason.  Being grateful for something.  Or perhaps you can use one of the things that takes me to my happy place–song.  Some songs just lift me up when I hear them.

Here’s that happy song that I used to listen to before work:

This one reminds me to view the bigger picture.  It’s hard to be happy when all you can see is that thing that’s making you unhappy.  But life is just so much bigger than you think.

And here’s the newest one from Gotye (if you don’t know who that is, see my Oct. 21st blog)

The more people get happy, the more love can flow and then anything’s possible.   I was born with the gift of perspective.  What’s your gift?  It’s probably your access to happiness too.

Come on get happy!!!