Planeta Proibido Part 1

1 Year Ago

International Health Award Conference

“Ladies and Gentleman! Nurses, Physicians, Surgeons, Doctors, Researchers, welcome to our annual  International Health Award Conference. You know, every year I get up here, I have this aching sensation that this should get easier. Yet, here I am, fifteen years later and it’s still nerve-racking as the first year. It goes to show the passion and love infused within the preparation of this event. It proves how much care and compassion you all imbue into your workplace, into your patients and into your research. So, every year I stand at this podium, I am replete with emotions because I know the meaning of sacrifice. I wholeheartedly know the meaning of holding the life of another in the palm of your hand.” addresses the director of the international health committee. Sporting a black tuxedo, a white shirt and a black bowtie, both his hands are glued to each side of the laminated wooden podium. Adjacent to the director is a large room housing heaps of round tables decorated with intelligently designed ruffled white sheets. At the center of each round table lies a mid-sized radiating orange and green swarovski crystal paradise tulips crystal sculpture. Surrounding each round table are delicately dressed women and men from all over the globe. Within this venue housed the most brilliant and reputable minds in the world. 

Meanwhile, the director at the podium carries on with his introduction. “Before we begin our award ceremony, I’d like to invite on stage a man who has taken the world by storm this past year. A man who’s medical team has not only achieved the impossible, but has repeatedly defied all odds. If you have not been living under a rock these past few years then you all know whom I speak of. Ladies and Gentleman, Johnson Leeds!” announces the director while the entire room is permeated with the joys and claps from the crowd. All eyes are fixated on Johnson as he stands from his seat and buttons his blue tux. He leans over, kisses his wife on the right cheek and confidently takes strides towards the podium. 

Now facing the director, they firmly shake hands. “You are an inspiration to us all.” compliments the director. 

“Very flattering Sir. Thank you!” politely acknowledges Johnson. 

Johnson then turns towards the podium and gives his undivided attention to the crowd as the director makes his exit. In a still position, he surveys the room and locates his wife. She smiles at him and gives him the thumbs up. Following her positive reinforcement, he clears his throat. “Earlier, the director mentioned how nerve-racking it is for him to stand up here every year. Truth is, I wouldn’t know exactly how it feels since I’m not that famous to give out speeches on a yearly basis. Maybe one day.” playfully states Johnson as he makes eye contact with the director. A light smile forges on the director’s face while a short burst of laughter is heard from the crowd. “With that said, I do however understand what it feels like to have to be on your toes year and and year out, always aiming for a breakthrough in a field that has for a very long time left many hopeless and speechless. Well, I can humbly now say that we have finally found hope. A year ago today, our forty year old patient who has been at war with an immunodeficiency virus is now victorious. In our care, he had undergone a special bone-marrow transplant. The stem cells we used for the transplant were from a donor who had a relatively rare genetic mutation that confers resistance to HIV. After many trials and errors, we can finally announce that we have found no active viral infection in his body. Although remnants of HIV’s DNA can still be found in some cells, we remain hopeful in the inability of the virus to replicate. With utmost confidence, I can say that he has been in remission for twelve months.” Suddenly, a shroud of emotion envelops Jonhson. Droplets begin to form from his tear ducts. He pauses to clear his throat once more and adds: “To wrap up, I can’t stress enough how grateful and proud I am of my team and my wife who has stood by me through thick and thin. And most of all, I am grateful and proud of every single of one you. I thank the wonderful people who have dedicated hours to birth this event. I thank our sponsors and donors. Together, we form an unbreakable shield. United, we shall eradicate human kind’s number one enemy – Disease. Thank you!”

The room erupts with claps as every person adopts a standing position to acknowledge Johnson’s breakthrough. 

“This is the guy I told you about. He’s gonna get us the clearance for that plant.” shouts a brown 

skinned man wearing a black long sleeve shirt standing at the far edge of the room as he points at the podium. 

“What did you say, I can’t hear with all this noise.” points out another man.

“That’s him! He’s gonna get us the proper clearance so we can go after the Planeta Proibido. Millions are gonna be made my friend. Millions!” repeats the brown skinned man with a dense accent as she claps along with the rest of the crowd. 

A standing ovation. A magnificent act of acknowledgement to a renown pioneer.

The continuously lengthy and arduous race to self-improvement.

By now, we are all too familiar with the maxim – The road to hell is paved with good intentions. But, have you ever heard of this aphorism – The road to self-improvement isn’t paved at all. On the contrary, it’s full of gravel of all shapes and sizes.

Alright, you caught me and I can hear you whispering: “That’s not a saying at all. This guy is full of….” Before you finish your thoughts, let’s not get too hostile. Hear me out. Have you ever experienced an epiphany so strong, it naturally moved you to improve a trait or habit which you deemed for so long paralyzing or destructive? Only to conquer that trait or habit and be rudely greeted immediately by another paralyzing or destructive trait or habit you had no idea existed within you. Soon you realize as you continue to trek forward, the road doesn’t get easier. The gravel beneath you begins to increase in size and no amount of money can save you from developing sore feet.

Three years ago, I decided to embark on such a journey after experiencing what I would describe as a life altering moment. To describe my early twenties, it would equate to the famous Joker ride at Six Flags – fun and dangerous. My pride had reached unfathomable levels like the stock market today. My selfishness knew no bounds. Not to get into the nitty gritty but, let’s just say throughout my fun and dangerous moments, I was blessed enough to escape death on one or two occasions. Those eye opening experiences were enough to prompt me to enter the race to self-improvement, not knowing the arduous challenges ahead. One day, I sat in deep thought and realized I had everything I ever needed – food, shelter, clothes, a career, loving people and great health. Yet, I was missing something. Desperate for an answer, I turned to religion for guidance. A bit naïve, I saw it has a cure to all my problems. Following months of studying and spiritual growth I surely believed I was on my way to a better life.

Initially, conquering your first bad trait or habit feels rewarding. However; you slowly notice the toll it takes on your state of mind. Just as I was preparing myself to take along breath of victory, life decided to throw me a curve ball. “Oh you thought you were done?” life said. Without warning, a new challenge sprung forth. “Now fix that!” shouted life. “And this, and that, and umm, don’t forget about this one.”

Naturally, if you’re not mentally strong, self-doubt begins to seep into all the neurons inside of your brain. Inevitably, the pain travels downwards and your feet begin to hurt as you trek on the uncomfortable gravel. “How could I have so many flaws?” you may catch yourself asking. “Why can’t this road be paved already? I just want to be better!” you may shout from within.

I get it. I really do.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to remain that way. By allowing myself to be humble as I can be, to interact and be in the company of people of all ages, old and young, I am now able to see the beauty in this continuously lengthy and arduous race to self-improvement. I am now able to recognize growth, short or long term, and appreciate its worth. I am now able to calm my self-doubts and focus on one gravel at a time. And so can you! Humble yourself. Branch out, meet new people of different cultures, age and backgrounds. Build your knowledge bank. As you interact with those individuals, don’t fall in the trap of comparing yourself to them. Instead, take in the stories they share, draw out the lessons and use them as fuel to keep you going on your continuously lengthy and arduous race to self-improvement. Now is not the time to give up. We may not be able to utterly predict our future, but stay on this lengthy and arduous path to self-improvement and the end result can only be a true masterpiece.

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

Covid Today. AI & AGI Tomorrow.

This topic we’ll be discussing today is a bit niche and to be frank, my expertise concerning this topic is quite minuscule. However, for the sake of starting a conversation, I think I know just enough to make this an entertaining read for you. What are we talking about here?

Well, let’s start with the current pandemic that has taken the world by storm. Covid-19 has struck the world a new blow. Millions have been infected and thousands have sadly died. As of this very moment, many continue to contract the virus while we all remain hopeful for a treatment or vaccine on the horizon. As tragic as it all is, we’re not here to discuss something that is street knowledge. Instead, let’s discuss particularly one area where Covid-19 has burned a hole through. The unemployment hole. According to recent statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States alone has reached a whopping 15%. Over 24 million Americans have been furloughed and are currently glued to the unemployment program run by their respective states. For how long they remain in such a state totally depends on a victorious battle against Covid-19, or so we hope, right? You see, to stave off a colossal economic crash, billions of dollars (money printed out of thin air, which if economic laws hold, we the taxpayers will be footing the bill sooner rather than later) were pumped into mostly corporate businesses to retain their employees. Unfortunately, some of these corporate entities had other plans and still carried through with mass layoffs to retain cash flow. For example, United Airlines, after receiving a fat check of 5 billions dollars announced their plan to lay off a portion of their employees come Fall. In turn, many will be sent running to the hills of unemployment benefits. The good news is, as long as employers continue to pay into the unemployment insurance taxes, the funds should be available for those furloughed. The law states: “Employers must pay unemployment insurance for as long as they have employees, as long as these employees work a minimum amount.” 

Now comes the meat of this discussion. If employers must pay unemployment insurance for as long as they have employees, what happens when they no longer have employees? What happens when AI and AGI become the bread and butter of corporate industries? I grew up in a small town where I was fortunate enough to witness the damage self-checkouts had on the working class. It took years to take shape but eventually the doorbell rang. I was fortunate enough to live in a progressive state these past few years (California) to witness the revamp of the grocery store and fast food chain. And guess what? The revamp had profit in mind first and employees second. Even now, I’m still fortunate enough to witness a revolution which could spell trouble for our civilization. Last week, I stumbled across a startup company providing autonomous security services to businesses at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire human security details. Three days ago, I happen to be reading about a company gearing up to supply autonomous machine patty makers. Possibly in the next 5 years, uber may possibly lay off their drivers in favor of autonomous cars. Ten years from now, maybe airlines will invest in fully autonomous planes. Are you catching my drift yet? When AI and AGI have reached autonomous levels to complete tasks beyond the capabilities of humans, where does that leave humanity?  Where does that leave the working class? At the mercy of unemployment benefits? But wait, these companies no longer have employees, so who will be supplying the unemployment funds then? The government? Extremely high taxes? UBI? This is pure speculation, but maybe these stimulus checks might be a form of trial phase for an upcoming era where UBI comes to fruition. (I see you clapping Mr. Andrew Yang) 

Sorry got side tracked there for a second.

I’m beginning to feel like not enough is being done to avoid such a catastrophic future. And it took a tragic event like Covid-19 to put things into perspective. Why are we not having this conversation more often? Why are we not forging reliable plans to prevent an unemployment rate which could exceed 25% when AI and AGI become the norm? Why are we not investing more in trade schools to give the working class a chance to get ahead so they can be prepared to live in an AI and AGI runned world?

The biggest question is, how sustainable will this new system be? Sure sounds marvelous for corporate businesses, but how will the tune sound when 25%+ of your population becomes illiterate in a world where they no longer recognize and as human beings bring zero value to? What then?

Thanks for stopping by. Leave your comments below or DM on insta @iiarcseriesii. Let’s talk. Teach me something I don’t know regarding AI and AGI.

The unforeseen and continuous rippling effect of a character molded in 1951

For so long, I’ve deeply pondered over the differences between a rebel and an anarchist. Without the aid of literature or wiki, I wanted to come to my own conclusion by just analyzing the events unfolding in today’s society. Foolish you might say. What you might not realize is, sometimes, it pays to be calm in the mind and let it figure things without the influence of another. Only then can you claim that your conclusion was the product of your own understanding. Unfortunately, I never got to that conclusion and was compelled to search through google for the differences after recently watching the controversial and critically acclaimed film – Joker.

This is going to be a lengthy piece, so strap yourselves in and enjoy the read.

Prior to my trip to watch one of DC’s most iconic villain in his debut origin film, I constantly browsed the internet for articles pertaining to the Joker. After endless clicks, a few articles caught my attention. Why? Because they all shared the same exact theme – “Joker the movie should not be screened to the public due to the fear that it might entice violence and anarchy.” To combat this fear, it was reported in multiple articles that selected movie theaters would be provided with adequate to robust security detail if deemed necessary. As I read those articles, I just had to raise my eyebrows. Then, the lightbulb in my mind quickly illuminated and I instantly recalled the violent incident which occurred during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The assailant set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience killing twelve civilians in the process. A tragic moment.

And yet, 7 years later, the release of Joker not only brought back those horrific memories but also planted a dose of fear in the minds of many. But why Joker? A plethora of violent films have been released to the public in the past 7 years and I can’t think of one who forced cities to mobilize police officers to monitor selected movie theaters screening Joker. What is it about this character that has so many people frightened? After all, he’s just a comic book character, right?

Well, before we get to answer the questions above, here’s my abbreviated experience going to and returning from seeing Joker.

It’s noon on a Friday. I pull into the parking lot of the movie where I reside. Sorry, can’t say the name. (Now that would be foolish). However; I won’t leave you hanging and will sprinkle in a very important detail. I live in one of the safest cities on the eastern coast. It’s so safe you could leave your car open at night and wake up the next morning to find your belongings still intact. Now back to the story. I pull into the lot and the first thing I see is a police vehicle. Mind you, I’m a frequent movie goer to that specific theater and I’ve never seen a police vehicle outside of that theater. I walk into the movie theater and there she is pacing back and forth in full uniform. “Man, this is serious!” – I said to myself going into the theater. I get my ticket, walk into the showing room and noticed no more than 15 people. I sit and voila, the movie begins. Truthfully speaking, from the beginning of the movie to the end, I felt quite uncomfortable. So much so it gave me a slight headache. But, oddly enough, the uncomfortable feeling was not negative. On the contrary, it was a positive experience. A positive experience which propelled me to think. (Maybe a little too much) The narrative set forth and displayed to the audience that Friday afternoon was a brilliant masterpiece.  A time piece depicting the rapid degeneration of a man who was once abused a child. A man who’s mentally unstable and desperately looked to find comfort in the happiness of others. Instead, he was ridiculed and tormented to the brink of no return. In the process, this man commits a string of murders and realizes that his happiness and tranquility lies solely within that morbid lifestyle. Coincidentally, he unintentionally births a movement. A movement not bred by rebellion but of pure anarchy, hence becoming the prince of crime and Batman’s greatest foe.

So, what is it about this character that has so many people frightened? – I previously asked. After all, he’s just a comic book character, right?

In my opinion, I wholeheartedly believe this fear comes from the fact that this could indeed play out in today’s society. “Are you saying someone could become the joker in real life? What are you smoking? I’m out!” – You say. Before you storm out, look closely at the gem and analyze the fragment within.  Mental illness has plagued our society for so long. In the past it was brush off as nothing but a phase. In modern society, after countless of violent incidences, strides are being made to better understand the intricacies of the human brain. Yet, as the movie narrated, for those who do not have access to decent health care, they can’t and may never receive the proper treatment or medication to cure them or soothe their mental afflictions. And when left uncheck, awful repercussions soon follow.

A man or a woman with similar mental afflictions as the Joker may not start a rebellion or an uprising based solely on anarchy as shown in the movie (doubt anyone would even have the courage or energy to leave their homes nowadays if something of the sort did occur) but he or she may be pushed to the brink of committing horrific acts similar to the Aurora theater or the Sandy Hook shooting.

When Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson and Bob Kane created Joker, I have no idea if their intentions were to spread the awareness of mental illness in our society. 68 years later, the character not only withstood the test of time, it served as a well needed reboot for the failing DCEU and a wakeup call for all of us to take mental illness very seriously.

Now with that said, will I be watching Joker a second time? No. I loved it the first time. I will be listening to the epic score repeatedly on my way to work. But, I will not be watching it a second time. In my eyes, it is a truly tragic story meant for one viewing only. That’s just my opinion however; don’t let me rain on your parade. “After all, life is nothing but a comedy.” – Joker.

On a side note: It would be such a bold move and frankly quite amazing for Warner Bros to set their new Batman film in this universe. A time piece story for Batman would be epic.

Is prejudice being masqueraded as true love?

Let us gather around this artificial bonfire. Go ahead and pick a seat where you’ll feel most comfortable. Found it? Great! Now, not to intentionally put you in the spot light but here’s a question I have for you. Before you blatantly shout out the answer, fix your posture and truly ponder over the question.

Can you honestly say you bear true love within you? Or are you masquerading prejudice as true love?

Go ahead, I’ll give you a much needed moment and when you’re ready, join us down below.

Recently I came across a very eye opening story written by a brilliant author. I felt it imperative to share this story in the hopes that it might get us to think and analyze ourselves sincerely.

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In a nutshell, the story follows a Saxon prince who’s to become king. The current king, his father, sends him out to battle in hopes that war will mold his childish prince into a firm ad tenacious man. The story then takes a turn when we the reader are informed that the king had no such plans and wanted his son dead all along, hence why he sent him out to war without experience. Along with his war servant, a drunk priest and his beaten army, the childish prince on his gruesome journey on the battlefield experiences an epiphany. His overseer or better yet, his beloved war servant is betrayed and killed in battle. So the prince morns deeply.

“War has taken someone who truly loved me.” said the weeping Prince. Meanwhile the drunken priest replied: “He did not love you.”

The prince, shocked by the priest’s wild statement exclaimed: “If my servant did not love me, then where might I find a man who properly embodies love?”

“Over there…” the priest pointed at a dead carcass. “It could be said that in death, he has become a thing of love. Far greater than any living being could hope to be. Already, he does not hate, does not kill and does no steal. Left where he is, he will selflessly provide sustenance for animals and insects. Buffeted by harsh winds and pelted by stinging rain, he will not utter a single word in protest.”

In turn, the confused prince asked: “Are you implying that death is the true nature of love? Is a parent’s love and affection for their kids or a husband’s or wife’s love for one another not real love?”

“It’s prejudice.” Boldly claimed the drunken priest. “They bear little difference from he who kneels before a king and then whips his slave. Your servant watched and killed as innocent lives were slaughtered for your sake. Prejudice!”

The childish prince stood in shock. He took a deep breath as the cold wind blew west. He bent and scooped the snow beneath his feet. As it dissolved in his small palm, he gazed at the mountains heads, he noticed the trees and the beaming sun above. After taking another deep breath, his eye widened as he felt a fog lift from his mind.

“I see.” said the prince. _________________________________________

After much thought and self-reflection, I can honestly admit I do not bear true love in my heart. And if I’ve told myself or others otherwise then that’s a lie I no longer wish to pursue. I’ve come to an understanding that true love is indeed selfless. True love knows no scheme; True love has no ulterior motives; True love does not boast nor shout; True love is silent in all that it does. Yes we say we love our kids. We say we love our girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, husbands, pets……ect. Yet, we are easily irritated by the slightest change in them that does not please our state of mind. And even when we say we love them unconditionally, we dislike, belittle or hate the one next to or beneath us. By some chance we do indeed love those next to or beneath us we’ll most likely dislike, belittle or hate the one in front or above us. (An endless cycle)

The question is, do we truly love or are we just bias? And if we are bias, how can we cultivate true love? Is true love even attainable to a mere mortal?

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

A Fixer Upper…Wait what? Forget it, just get a new one.

Recently I came across a post on Instagram related to love and relationships. To paraphrase the content posted, it read something along the lines of: “2019, relationships are horrible and so is dating. Everyone lies, everyone cheats and everyone plays games. There is no trust or sense of exclusiveness.”

Before joining this individual on his opinionated statement, I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a short while. After reading his post, we can maybe assume this person most likely grew up with a positive image of relationships that he/she witnessed from his parents, close relatives or friends. This positive image must have looked like something along the lines of – Mom and dad were always happy, never argued and if they did, it ended in a romantic outing. Uncle Bob and Aunty Jen were always cracking jokes and laughing at every family event and it was all glorious fun. Best friend James and his girlfriend Jackie gave him/her hope that one day a relationship of their caliber would be possible. Every movie he/she watched portrayed the perfect relationship from a smooth bumpy ride to a forever happy ending tale.

Well, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but that’s all slightly fake. See I said “slightly fake”. In my opinion, I believe a majority of relationships are all a front. A front in the sense of Mom and Dad seem happy, but really behind closed doors, they are miserable and are trying their best to stay glued. Uncle Bob and Aunty Jen, maybe genuinely be happy, but they also just went through a crazy rough patch where Aunty Jen had to verbally abused Uncle Bob to hopefully get things on track due to the fact that Uncle Bob got caught going to the gentleman’s club. To avoid further bloodshed, Uncle Bob had to compromise. Best friend James and his girlfriend Jackie are new to the game. James most likely lied to Jackie about certain things while Jackie, well Jackie is a “pure” at heart which makes her totally vulnerable.  

You get the canvas I’m trying to paint? Relationships were never perfect. Divorce has always been a thing. Dating was never perfect. In my eyes, dating is probably the worst thing ever invented, but that’s a topic for another time. Since the beginning of mankind, relationships have been a huge rollercoaster of disappointment. People back then got married either for property, politics, culture and yes for some it’s because they truly loved each other and through patience and commitment they made it work. However; the lying, cheating has always been and will always be a staple in human relationships. (And no, I’m not advocating that you do those things, but expect to deal with them when in the presence of a sinner)

Now, enough of playing devil’s advocate and let us dig deeper into the canvas in order to join in the idea of why relationships in 2019 are horrible. The phrases: Trying their best to stay glued, having to compromise, being patient and staying committed, have been the key to a long lasting relationships. And unfortunately, for a good majority, those keys have been tossed out the door to never return. Who needs to try their best to stay glued to a person when you can just easily walk away and block them on all social media accounts forever without resolve? Who needs to compromise when we can both still get what we want even though it stands in the way of a true unionize and harmonious relationship? Who needs to stay patient and committed when we can just, once again leave and easily swipe for the next best thing? He’s not perfect, well time to move on. She’s not perfect, well where’s the next girl at?

As human beings, we need to understand that we are all fixer uppers. We are imperfect individuals hoping to maneuver through a relationship where it takes a lifetime to mold and build.

But who needs all that when we can just pretend to be perfect for the moment and toss out the challenging times when they come knocking at our door steps. Who wants to be a fixer upper when we can just be an “upper” through every short mocked-up relationship?

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

I get it, you’re lonely. But what are you doing about it?

Let’s get straight to it. If you’re reading this, most likely you saw the title and immediately came to the conclusion this article was written on your behalf. Congratulations! Your conclusion was spot on.

Now it’s my turn to play the guessing game. I’m going to assume you’re horizontally resting somewhere with your phone or laptop at hand which is providing the only luminescent light in your room. You’re halfway through the week and you fill as if something is missing. A part of you is seeking something new while the other part of you wants to just continue to wallow in sorrow. So, you hop on the internet to look for answers. Am I right? (I have tingling sense that I’m 50% right. Sorry to disappoint, I’m not a magician.) Either way, we can both agree that you’re lonely. But what are you doing about it?

Stay with me here. If you’re a millennial, recent studies have proven that our generation is the loneliest generation of them all. Mind blowing right! We have almost everything at our disposal – Phones, TV, social media, video games, fast food, fast relationships, an endless stream of information and the list goes on and on. You want something, click, you got it. You don’t like something, click, and block it away forever. Yet, we are categorize as the loneliest. Why is that?

Now before I make my case, obviously, there are many factors that can lead someone down a lonely road but I wanted to highlight the three most prominent ones I’ve noticed within the confines of my daily life and interactions with others. Hopefully your battle lies somewhere between the three and hope this read provides you with a boost to your moral to make the changes necessary.

Alright, here’s answer number one and it’s quite short actually. You! You are your worst enemy. Before you resume reading, deeply and meaningfully ponder over this and you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to.

Answer number two: I’ve come to believe that we the lack of empathy and genuine human interaction might be the leading cause to this astronomical problem. You and I and many alike are so caught up in our own affairs, and worrying about our own happiness or lack of that we neglect to genuinely connect with people. When we have conversations with others, we are so pre-occupied in our own headspace that we forget why we’re even conversing in the first place. To connect! So in turn, the conversation most likely becomes a chore and we go home and wallow in self-pity. We lock ourselves away and say: “Oh man, she/he doesn’t understand me. She’s/he’s so weird. Why can’t I be understood?” or “Is something wrong with me? Why am I so weird?” Stop it! You’re only doing yourself more harm.

Answer number three: I’ve also come to the conclusion that many individuals who say they are lonely are possibly hanging out with the wrong people. Okay, I can see the confusing expression on your face. No I’m not contradicting myself. Being empathetic and building genuine human interaction is key to your happiness, however; if you’re hanging out with the wrong people constantly and still feel lonely than you’re just beating a dead horse. And if those people around you, “friends, best friends” are only interested in the short and cheap thrills of life and you continue go home and repeatedly wallow in self-pity than it’s time for you to find yourself new groups of friends. Friends that you can have genuine conversations with. Friends that you can be productive with. There lies your way out of loneliness.

Trust me, I understand. It’s harder said than done. But as you know, the first step is always the toughest one. Take that first step. Get out of your own way, build within you empathy, genuinely connect with people and find yourself a new circle if that’s what you desire. Once you take action, you will notice progress. Stop wallowing in your self-pity and allow yourself to evolve. Do something about it!

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

It all sounds GREAT, but what about us?

What’s the biggest popularity contest in the United States? Go on, I’ll grant you ten seconds. Still not enough, alright, twenty seconds. Okay, stop begging for more time you had your chance. Politics! Politics, politics, politics.

I can see you brooding. Don’t beat yourself over not getting the right answer. I can tell you this, you knew the answer all along, you were just too pre-occupied with other thoughts and that’s completely understandable. In this same sense, we can all come to the conclusion that modern politics, especially in the United States has been too pre-occupied for too long with matters that may seem and sound trivial to our survival but in retrospective fall flat to issues that really standout such as the impending implosion of a generation that has yet to reach thirty years of age. Instead, we’re constantly bombarded with celebrity “wanna be’s in suits” who bicker at each other non-stop on national television.  Before I go any further, let us take a nose dive at the definition of the word “politics”. The dictionary states – “The activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power”.

Debate? – We get plenty of that.

Conflict? – Don’t even get me started.

Parties hoping to achieve power? – Achieve power in order to create even more conflict.

Was I spot on with my reflection? If you’ve been paying attention to the 2020 presidential race, you’ll have most likely notice the same recurring issues take center stage over and over again. They all spit out the same big and bold statements followed by fraudulent promises which accomplishes absolutely nothing but boosts their egos. Climate change, jobs, equality for all, impeaching Donald Trump, stopping China and Iran, free everything, (Hahaha, free everything? Really?) climate change. (oops, sorry I already mentioned that. I can’t help myself since that’s all I’ve been hearing.)

Now, before you get all agitated and start molding negative thoughts about my opinion, let’s discuss and dig into an issue that trumps all these issues previously mentioned. An issue the majority of “parties hoping to achieve power” seem to neglect. The mental wellness of the future generations of this country.

You can’t have a properly functioning country, let alone a thriving economy with a generation that’s as lost and confused as an unborn child. Why is no one talking about the fact that an ever increasing amount of children are continuously growing up in discombobulated homes where both mother and father are endlessly working whether it be non-skilled or professional jobs? Plenty of evidence prove that without parental stability, chaos undoubtedly ensues. Why is no one talking about the fact that drugs and pornography are easily accessible to kids as young as eleven years old? Why is no one talking about the fact that mental illness is ever increasing in teenagers and young adults alike? The constant feed of information (sometimes meaningless) without proper guidance or explanation lead so many young ones astray. Those young ones who will one day hold professional positions in the working world will be expected to accomplish great feats, start a family..etc. How will they live up to societies expectations when they not only lacked parental advice because mom or dad was too busy working three jobs, but are so ill in the mind and lack any sense of direction? How will they strive to better themselves as human beings when their sense of morality and beliefs are endlessly contorted?

Eventually, in the near future, what you end up with is a society on the edge of a colossal meltdown. Regardless of how many jobs you create, how excessively you push for equality, how free you want to make education and insurance; it’s all futile if the people who are supposed to benefit are mentally ill, lost and honestly do not care.

To end, here’s my slogan for the 2020 election: Create strong minded individuals by making families great again! (Kind of cringe and unoriginal, I know. More reasons I should not be a politician.)

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

School? What For.

Now, before you go off running and screaming – “Ah boy. Here we go again. Another no lifer trying to lead people astray with their bullshit uneducated opinion.”, sit tight, take a deep a breath, clear your mind and read on.

The debate surrounding the true purpose of school (or the education system, whatever you call it) has been boiling hot for the past few years. Some have been very vocal about the detriment school can have on the mental and spiritual growth of kids, while others see it strictly as a factory farm. The urge to want to join in on the “school is useless” train has been and honestly still is quite strong in me. I see it and hear it everywhere I go now – On the internet, television, work and amongst friends. It’s almost impossible to escape really. But it’s true, why aren’t you getting on the train? – You’re asking. Well, here’s your answer. It’s not that I don’t want get on, I rather just walk. It gives me time to clear my head and really think before presenting my case. I went to school (elementary, middle, high and college) for the majority of my life. The routine of having to wake up at 5:00 AM and sitting in a squared cubicle for 180 days was quite gruesome at times. But it was and still is deemed necessary for the development of not just the individual but to our “society” as a whole. To a certain degree, I can understand the meaning behind this.

School has its values. To some, it provides a sense of belonging, helps develop social skills and may even bring inspiration. The basic knowledge of math and science that we are thought in school provides others the stepping stone to possibly innovate, create and engineer things such as vehicles, buildings, food..ect. Math and science are very real. Whether we choose to believe in it or not, it is everywhere we go and in everything we do. But, (sorry but not sorry, I have to say this) that’s as far as I’ll defend it.

What about all the other aspects of life that are missing from the curriculum. As famous YouTuber Spiritual So puts it: “Self-improvement, spirituality, financial literacy and coping mechanisms are nowhere to be found in school systems.” And he’s absolutely right. The most important subjects that are crucial to our growth as human beings are astonishingly absent from school. For approximately ten years, we are told what to learn and how to learn it. We are instructed to take in and regurgitate information that are either outdated or just blatantly false. Then at the age of 18, without clear guidance and completely spoon-fed, we are told (advised) to go off to college to later be pressured into picking a major that we may or may not want to practice for the rest of our lives.

Go along with this example; you’re still here? Alright good. If 100 teenagers (because that’s really what they are) head off to college, 90 have no clue who they are as a person, let alone know what major to pick. Unsure of themselves and without guidance, they are forced to make an impossible choice. The abundance of possibly meaningless information they were thought in grade school can’t even aid them on their quest. Once you’re in college, not truly knowing yourself can be a huge crutch. Which means that you have a lot of soul searching and evolving to do. What you thought you originally wanted to practice turned out to be completely false.

But, the price for evolving is astronomically high. What are your options? Either you close both eyes and choose to further entrench yourself in debt in search of your true calling or you stick with something that will most likely make you miserable and depress for the rest of your life. (Maybe not the rest of your life if you’re blessed enough to change path later in life.) Then you graduate, and voila, you stare at the world as it greets you with a humongous middle finger. Shaken by the inhospitable greeting, you look back on all your school years and realize that it was nothing but just one big expensive life lesson.

Is it worth it? I don’t know, you tell me. I’m just on the side taking a slow and long walk as I watch the train go by.

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

Playing with your life because I can

Step into my office. While you’re at it, close the door behind you and do not look back. Grab a seat as I playfully juggle your fragile life. Here’s your life sentence delicately and technically written on this contract. You only have three days to make up your mind.

            Three days?

Yes, three days. You can’t contact anyone about this matter other than us.

            Not even my parents?

Yes, you can contact your parents but that’s the extent of your freedom. I can sense rebellion in your blood. It flows in your veins with an indescribable itch. It’s futile really if you try to resist. You call anyone else aside from your parents and they’ll treat you with silence. Do you want to know why? Because we willed it into existence. There’s nothing we can’t do. We have ultimate power over you. Now take your life sentence with you and I will see you in three days.

Day 1 – The phone’s ringing. One call after another – Voicemail!

Day 2 – The phone’s ringing. One call after another – Voicemail!

Day 3 – Signs life sentence.

Step into my office. While you’re at it, close the door behind you and never look back. Grab a seat as I place your fragile life inside my self-made prison box. Glad to have you on board. Truly, we’re delighted.

Day 4 – The phone rings. One call after another – “Apologies for not picking up your call, we were strictly instructed to not contact you. Hope you understand.”

_________________________________________

Is the picture clear enough? What you just read is my elaborate attempt to paint you a vivid picture of the heart wrenching experience a friend of mine had to recently endure. As a contractor, his contract was valid for another six months. For egotistic reasons by the company or (sorry) inclusiveness, he almost fell victim to the so called – Affirmative Action. His contract was abruptly cut short and was offered to join the company as a full time employee with a three day response time. That sounds amazing to me! That’s plenty time. – You’re thinking at the moment. Well, here’s the catch. You ready? I hope you are, because when I heard it myself, the scenario sounded like it came out of a movie. But sadly, that’s not the case. This is very real. Grateful yet still open to other options, he goes hunting for maybe a better opportunity elsewhere. The same contracting companies who had called him on numerous occasion about such opportunities refused to return his calls. Left without any alternatives, he accepts the offer at a company he believed he had no future in. Once he accepted the offer, his phone began to ring. Who could it be? Well, here’s your answer – The contracting firms. One after another, they forwarded their sincere apologies for not picking up the phone since they were ordered not to by the company who had offered my friend the full time position. Such a shitty and abhorrent ultimatum! Either you accept this offer or good luck being homeless in one of the most expensive city in the Divided States of America. (Oops) I meant, the United States of America, I swear. Desperately trying to portray an image of inclusivity, the company had effortlessly and repugnantly cornered him into submission.

Obey or be left to starve like the rest of the sheep.

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!