You Are a Business, Not an Employee

Perhaps the most insidious concept that public education has convinced us to accept is the idea that we gain some amount of safety and security by becoming a part of large organizations. It makes a lot of sense on the surface because it seems to naturally follow that when we band together in common cause we have a lot more authority and power to leverage against whoever the opposition might be. In many cases this is true, but depending on what your goals are, this way of thinking might be hurting you in the long run.

There are certain principles that apply to every aspect of our lives, regardless of how disparate they might seem at first glance. From the price of goods to relationships to even just having quality air to breathe, it’s all about supply and demand. Someone else has something that we want and it is going to cost us a certain amount to obtain it. Even if what we want isn’t owned by another person, there will be some amount of effort that we will be required to expend to gain access to it. Nothing is ever truly free.

Successful people in the business world understand this cold, hard fact of human existence. They have no illusions that every action they take will have some level of cost associated with it, and what makes them successful is their ability to ignore situations where the cost meets or exceeds the expected reward. Even in their dealings with their employees, the first thought on their mind isn’t having a quality employee; their primary concern is maximizing how much money they can make off your labor. In a successful business model, your feelings are irrelevant, regardless of how much they might try to convince you otherwise.

As employees, we tend to put far more of an emotional investment into those who hire us than the other way around. Part of this is out of gratitude that we have a job at all, but a lot of it is simply that we have put ourselves into a submissive role to someone else in exchange for a piece of their prosperity. For us, it isn’t a business arrangement as much as it is somewhat of a family dynamic. We are the children and they are the wise father providing us with an acceptable lifestyle.

This mentality is exactly what allows large corporations to have the kind of leverage that they do today. Employees simply don’t see themselves as what they truly are: a microbusiness with a valuable skillset and a range of customers available to them based on the current level of demand. In the same way that your employer seeks out customers to sell their services to and have to convince people to pay money for it, your individual goal is to convince an employer to hire your services in exchange for payment.

What most people fail to realize is that they tend to give their services up cheap. We all tend to understand that a business wants to minimize cost while maximizing profits, the general idea being to “get the best bang for their buck”. In simpler terms, a business wants to spend the least amount of money to get the most amount of benefit. In furtherance of this goal, they want to minimize how much they pay you and maximize how much you give them. It makes so much sense when we apply it to a business that few people really question it. This is just the logical way of doing things if you want to make money.

When it comes to we employees, however, we tend to have a very different way of thinking. From our point of view, the job is our means of making a living, and while the goal might be to get as much money as possible from our employer, we tend to ignore other factors that are just as important. When we start seeing numbers that truly grab our attention, we forget to think about the unanticipated costs and expectations that come along with that hefty new salary.

One of the things I’ve learned about myself throughout my time in the working world is that different people have different priorities for different things. Society convinces us that it’s all about money, and I certainly won’t disagree with that idea completely. Money is what really “makes the world go ’round”, and if you want to have any significant level of happiness or contentment you’ll need a fair bit of it. However, once you reach a certain point, more money doesn’t really help with that anymore. Where the point is will be different for each person depending on their goals, but eventually you reach a point where money is no longer the primary concern.

For myself, I have learned that the most valuable resource by far in my life is time. After serving more than a decade in the military, I’ve experienced a great deal of my life being wasted by waiting around for things. Military service is well known for the “hurry up and wait” mentality, rushing around to get things done and then sitting around waiting for the next thing to happen. I was never much of a fan of it, nor was anyone I served with. It was just part of the way things worked and we all just had to “suck it up” and get through it.

Now that I’m in the private sector, I’m much less patient with people who waste my time. Every minute I’m spending doing something I hate is a minute I’m not spending doing something I love. Unlike money, you’ll never get your time back. Once that minute is gone, it’s gone forever. As you get older, you begin to understand the value of your time and it becomes ever more important to minimize the amount of it being wasted on things that aren’t important to you.

Obviously the person who places the maximum value on your time is going to be you. Let us be under no illusions that anyone is going to care much about how much of your time they might be wasting. Like many things in life, value is determined by the consumer, not the provider, which is why there is always such a harsh negotiation when it comes to salary. My time is worth a certain amount to me and a certain amount to the employer. Our agreement depends on many factors, not the least of which is the ratio of time versus benefit for both sides.

As I stated before, the employer will be looking to maximize their cost to benefit ratio based on the services you will be providing. For them, it isn’t really the final number on your employment agreement as it will be the amount of production they get out of you per unit of time. You might be making that magical six figure salary, but if you’re working eighty hours a week instead of forty to get it, then you’re basically working for half pay. It’s a great deal for the employer, but in retrospect not so great for you.

When I look at my career, I’ve shifted away from worrying about how much money I make to really considering my work/life balance. My approach to this is exactly the same as how the employer does it: maximizing the ratio that is important to me. However, instead of worrying about the amount of money versus how much I have to give someone, my primary concern at this stage in life is getting the most amount of money for the least amount of time. As my most precious commodity, it has become the primary factor in how I approach my work.

Unfortunately, this approach isn’t going to make you popular with your boss. When you decide that putting in all that extra time and effort to impress your employer just isn’t worth giving up the time, you’re not going to win any medals at the office. If you’re like me and the opinions of others are far less important than your personal peace of mind, then this isn’t much of a problem. You simply go in and do your job and then go home; I rarely think about work once I’m off the clock. However, if climbing to ever higher levels of success and income are your goal, then perhaps this philosophy isn’t right for you.

In the end, what I’m talking about here is a choice between becoming hyper-successful or choosing to prioritize your time over money. It is up to you to decide what is important to you, and that can only happen if you take a step back and really think about what you want out of life. If it’s millions of dollars and a super yacht, then obviously nothing in this article will apply. However, if you’re like me and you just want to have as much time as possible to do the things you want, a change of perspective might be in order.

Just remember that you are a business, not a slave. If the customer won’t meet your price, you don’t have to sell to them, just the same as they don’t have to hire you. Regardless of how scary it might feel, there are plenty of other customers out there willing to pay for your services as long as the terms are reasonable. Don’t give up your time out of fear. The sacrifice should be worth the compensation. Only you can decide how much is worth it.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Is Secession in the United States a Good Idea?

In a word…no. Of course, there’s a lot more to consider than just a gut instinct and I wouldn’t be much of a blogger if I just put something out there without at least putting forth some kind of logical context for the opinion. However, sometimes you have to lead with your answer rather than lead up to it when it’s something that you strongly believe because leading with an affirmative statement demonstrates the gravity with which you view the issue. So my definitive, unequivocal statement regarding states or regions breaking away from the existing country is that it is not a good idea.

There are several reasons for this, but perhaps the most important reason is that it’s incredibly lazy, and that’s just not the American way. When in our history have we ever found it acceptable to just walk away from a problem just because it was difficult? We didn’t land men on the moon by discovering that it was too hard and then just giving up on the whole idea. Vast resources were thrown at the problem and we kept at it until we figured it out. Americans might be many things, but at heart we aren’t cowards.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’re aware that I’m not a fan of the federal government. There has been massive overreach by a corrupt political system that is bent on folding the American public to their collective will. The system is absolutely broken and many times it feels like there is just no way to fix it. This mentality is exactly why the system continues to proliferate; no one believes they can do anything about it, so no one does. As the saying goes, darkness can only exist in the absence of light.

America is an idea. It is founded on the concept that freedom is something worth fighting for, and even if you’re not fighting for it for yourself, you’re fighting for it for someone else. One of the things that people don’t understand is that you can’t truly understand what light does for you if you’ve never experienced it. If you lived your whole life in a dark cave and have never seen a gorgeous sunset or beautiful flowers, then of course you have no reason to yearn for the outside. It isn’t until you are exposed to it that you have a chance to truly appreciate it.

The same is true of freedom. Much of the world still lives mired in authoritarian regimes that care more about control than about the well being of their citizens. There have always been people who either believe they know better than you do or just thrive on feeling in control of others. If you’ve never experienced the freedom that comes from living in a place where no one has the authority to tell you what to do, it’s difficult to even imagine it. America has fought wars in attempts to bring even the tiniest glimmer of freedom to the darkest parts of the world.

Forgive the tangent, but the idea of fighting for freedom is a critical component of why it is a terrible idea for the United States to begin breaking up into small factions. The reality is that those factions with more conservative ideals will continue to live in the best traditions of what our country has always been, while those who consider themselves more progressive will continue to implement policies and laws that oppress their citizens. The misery and human cost will continue to mount until something has to give.

If we truly believe in standing up for the innocent, there will come a time in the future where we will have no choice but to force these regions to free their people. This will lead to exactly the kind of war that nobody wants. Some of us might wish to have a “peaceful divorce” from the people we disagree with, but the reality is that one side or another will eventually grow strong enough to want to force their ideology on the other. Violence will be the inevitable result.

The better option is to continue fighting in our current system, as futile as that might seem. The true path to a return to American exceptionalism isn’t walling each other off or trying to force everyone to behave the way we wish they would. It is bringing people together by convincing them to follow a better way. It is by fighting oppression with any means necessary and teaching people to value others as much as they value themselves. You can’t do that when you build walls between us.

For America to remain the dominant nation in the world, we have to get over our petty bickering and start really talking to each other. To do this will require some hard choices, not the least of which is digging into the current system and purging the poisonous vipers from our midst. It is only when we decide we’re finally not going to take it anymore that we can “drain the swamp”, because the stagnant water will just keep rushing back in as long as we keep using buckets when we should be using industrial pumps.

So to answer the question again: no, there should not be any secession in the United States. It is only through working together that we can keep America as the shining jewel of liberty in a world that so desperately seems to want to return to the darkness. If we can’t stand up to our own problems, how can we demand it from the rest of the world? The path forward is not cowardice, but steadfast devotion to American ideology. We should never allow ourselves to stray from it.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

The Pervasive Indoctrination of Systems

I’ve spent most of my life in one system or another. As a child, I was subjected to the tacitly nationalized public school system, indoctrinated in the ways of putting the group before myself and taught that conforming to the rules is more important than valuing our freedom. When I spent more than a decade in military service, I was proud of my contribution to the nation, and I still am, but it was yet another system designed to teach me obedience over individuality. Almost all of my life has been spent in some form of structured thought process.

After so many years living in structures that laid out what I was supposed to do and when I was supposed to do it, I’ve found myself quite lost since leaving the military. There is an underlying desire to find some way to become independent of the resources of others and do something on my own to make money, but no matter how hard I think about it or what ideas might float across my brain, nothing ever sticks. I’m stuck back in that world of waiting for someone to tell me what I should be doing.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to just do something that is uniquely mine. I’d love it if I could somehow turn it into a career, but the odds of that happening are infinitesimally small and if I made that the motivation for coming back to write every day I’d never have lasted as long as I have. Most people fail within the first month; I’ve been writing for for nearly seven. It is the one thing I have that is fully mine to control with no authoritative input from anyone else. It is the only real creative outlet I have.

The problem is that I desperately want to figure out a way to move my professional life into a similar configuration. I have never been happy working for someone else, abiding by their schedules and conforming to their way of doing things. My time in the military was successful, but I imagine if you sat down and talked to anyone I served with they would tell you I had a bit of an attitude problem. Military structure and I never truly got along very well. I tend to think my way is better.

The issue for me is that for three quarters of my life I was immersed in a system that robbed me of my ability to think outside the box. There is a part of me that yearns to go off on my own and start some kind of business, but the practical and indoctrinated part of me just holds me back. Part of it is that I simply haven’t found anything that piques my interest enough to put in the kind of effort required to make it successful; most of it is just a lack of belief that it could ever work out. Despite my desire for freedom, the primitive part of me that wants to feel secure struggles to work without the perceived safety net of steady income.

Of course, we can rationally understand that there is no such thing as truly steady income. At any time we can lose our job for any number of reasons, from downsizing to making a mistake or simply from the company we work for going out of business. There is no sane reason to continue submitting to system of false security, but somehow most of us still seem to want to do it. Despite the fact that the odds are even either way, we still convince ourselves that we have a better chance of survival by being part of a larger group.

This makes sense from a biological standpoint. Larger tribes had greater odds of success back when we had to fight each other for resources all the time. Safety in numbers was a real thing during those times, and you were crazy to try to survive on your own. It was through tribal loyalty and conforming to the expectations of others that we ensured our mutual survival and prosperity.

This just isn’t the case anymore; at least not from a standpoint of moving ourselves forward. Innovation happens when someone decides to go do their own thing and figure out something new. A popular definition of the word “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and somehow expecting a different result. Progress is defined by doing something different. Conforming to the tribe causes stagnation. There needs to be a willingness to take a risk on something new.

I understand all this, and in my head I believe it. There is a large part of me that knows that if I just took a step out there and started doing something, it would likely succeed because I am a very capable person and I take great pride in doing things well. I am a self-starting person who becomes very particular and demanding of something when it is something I’ve decided is important to me. Endless hours have been spent on tiny details for things that I have a serious interest in simply because it was something that was able to hold my attention. I yearn for a career that grabs me by the belt.

Therein lies the core issue. My problem isn’t a lack of confidence in myself, it’s a lack of interest in anything with a serious chance for profit. Unfortunately, most people aren’t able to jump into fields of work where their true interests lie. For you to earn any kind of living, you have to produce something that is useful enough to others for them to pay for it, and I haven’t come across anything yet that pays decent money and still grabs my attention. It’s all just a grind to me.

I’m grateful to live in a place where all I have to worry about is grindy work and that basic survival isn’t something I really have to think about much. There are much worse situations to be in and I certainly recognize that. However, what many people don’t understand is the very real needs we have the extend beyond just finding a way keep breathing. There are levels of existence, and once you’ve met the needs of one you are automatically drawn into seeking ways to satisfy the next. We aren’t made to be satisfied with what we have; there’s always something better.

This blog is one avenue I’m taking to try to satisfy that next level of need. My basic survival has never really been an issue, but I’ve never been in a place where higher values have been truly satisfied. I continue to hope that I can take this thing I’m doing and turn it into something more, but the indoctrination of the system that has dominated most of my life continues to tell me it’s not going to go anywhere. The fight for me is to continue doing it anyway despite the odds, hoping that my efforts eventually yield the rewards I’ve always sought.

May it be a small inspiration for others.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

The Dangers of Indiscriminate Immigration

https://anchor.fm/gunthrek/embed/episodes/The-Dangers-of-Indiscriminate-Immigration-e153777

If you follow the news at all, you’ve likely heard the debate regarding our federal government’s policies regarding immigration across our southern border. If not, the situation is fairly clear: there really isn’t a southern border anymore. Sure, they put on a show of having guards out there, but it’s been shown over and over that federal resources are actually being used to take those who come into our country illegally and move them to various places deep in the interior. It isn’t small numbers, either. Many thousands of illegal immigrants have pushed across our boundaries since the new administration took office.

For many, this sounds like a great thing. We’re giving new opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have them. In theory it makes a lot of sense; open the borders so we can help as many people as possible. This has been the war cry of progressive thinking for quite a long time now, and it works because it pulls at the heartstrings. How can we claim to be a generous nation when we fence everyone else out? Doesn’t that make us a nation of hypocrits? Unfortunately, too many of us fall for this emotional trap and we don’t realize the secondary consequences of this kind of reckless policy. We’re told that we are a nation of immigrants, so why are we so resistant to allowing more people in?

Our nation was absolutely founded by immigrants, but many times we forget that there is a long and sordid history with their expansion across the continent. They uprooted the people who already lived here, destroyed their way of life and replaced it with a European centered way of thinking. Gone are the cultures of old, replaced by a new way that in many ways was a step backward. When we look at the traditions and views of the Native Americans who inhabited these lands for many centuries before we arrived, it can be difficult to weigh the consequences of our arrival. Many see it as extremely negative, and I can’t say I completely disagree.

Just as the previous residents were ousted from their homeland and supplanted by a radical new way of thinking, our nation is being assaulted in much the same way. Our government generally works based on what the people want, so the direction of our country depends upon the ideas and beliefs of the people who make it up. For most of our nation’s history, the average person was fairly conservative, believing in individual liberty and maximum opportunity for all. Over time, the makeup of our citizenry has slowly shifted as we allowed new ideas to take root and change the way the average person looks at America.

Many people look at the current events and see just another iteration of America reaching out a helping hand to those who need it, never questioning that there might be some ulterior motive. To them, it’s just cutting through the red tape to get things done. They see the Biden administration as people who “get things done”, bypassing the “cruel conservatives” who care nothing for anyone. All the while, they are blind to the true intent and dire consequences of these kinds of actions.

The average person just isn’t well versed on how our government works anymore. They see all the conflict in our political landscape and tear their hair out in frustration that the people they elect just can’t seem to get anything done. It takes forever to get even the simplest of things passed, and some issues may never get resolved because of deeply conflicting points of view. It seems so much simpler to just have someone step in and take over and force things to start happening so that at least we can feel like something is getting done.

What they fail to realize is that the system was intentionally designed to not move quickly. Our system of government was always intended to be one where no one group was able to dominate anyone else. It was created with a system of checks and balances to prevent exactly the sorts of things we have seen happening over the last several decades. In our impatience to move forward, we’ve forgotten the warnings of our past. Tyrants are taking the lead and beginning to force their “better way” on us. The preventative measures our Constitution affords us are being ignored in favor of draconian laws that deny Americans their rights.

The real consequence in all of this immigration nonsense is that those of us who live hear have much less of a voice in how our government is run. The people being let into our country don’t have to go through a strenuous process that teaches them to value the country they are being welcomed into. They simply come here and bring whatever they happen to believe in along with them. When you add the fact that we have become very lax with our voting integrity processes, we get a new population of people with little or nothing in the way of American values voting on matters with a foreign frame of mind. We are being rapidly changed from the inside out.

You can see this as paranoia if you wish, but it’s very difficult to ignore the logic behind all of this. We’ve seen over and over that progressive ideology gets stymied time and again when the average person gets tired of the hassles that are caused by it. Rather than accept what Americans actually want, the easy solution is to just change the population to one that more readily capitulates to progressive demands. When the public is uninformed and uneducated, as most of these immigrants are, it becomes incredibly easy to manipulate the system in your favor.

What can we do about this? Not much for now. The current administration has shown they care absolutely nothing about what the average American wants. The power grab has begun and they’ve laid all their cards on the table. Fortunately, I believe they played their hand far too early, as most Americans lean toward conservative values and aren’t ready to live with these insane ideas for very long. With any luck, the next administration will be able to undo much of the damage being caused by this massive influx of gullible future voters, returning them to whence they came and restoring America to what it should be.

If you find this cruel, consider this: Americans have always been the most generous people in the world. We have used our power and resources to lift more people out of poverty across the world than any nation in history. Given the choice, most immigrants would much rather have their lives improved where they grew up and where they’re home is than have to uproot everything to take a risk on coming to another country. Removing emotion from the equation, which is better: gathering the world’s population all in one amazing place, or improving the rest of the world so everyone can have what we have?

What do you think about the current immigration situation? Is it helping immigrants, or hurting Americans? Is there an agenda behind it, or are they just trying to help people? It’s easy to ignore problems we don’t want to deal with, but sometimes problems come to our door and we have to make a decision. When it comes to the issue of federally assisted illegal immigration, time has run out. The longer we wait to do something about it, the harder it will be to fix and the more damage will be done.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Homework is a Ridiculous Concept

School was never something I enjoyed. There were parts of it that were somewhat intriguing, but for the most part I spent my youth yearning to be free of the classroom so I could pursue more interesting endeavors. To be honest, in those days those pursuits were mostly video games, but these days I tend to balance that out with a lot of research into topics that I’m interested in such as physics, cosmology and other topics that grab my attention. School rarely had anything to offer me aside from a list of things I was supposed to know to be acceptable in the workplace. It was important, but decidedly unengaging.

Perhaps the single most unreasonable concept that to this day I strongly disagree with is the idea of homework. I am nearly forty years old and I still look back on my time in school and remember how much I hated coming home from school only to be dragged right back into that world with mounds of homework to get done. Kids of every generation can relate to this feeling, as I’m not the only person who couldn’t stand it. We just wanted to have fun, not be saddled with a bunch of extra work.

As most adults grow up, however, they start to see the value in reinforcing information for kids in the home. I am not one of them. Rather than an additional means of ensuring that kids are really learning the information, I see it is an insidious method of teaching children that it is acceptable to be sent home with extra work that should have been completed during the day. It convinces them through repetition that the concept of working outside of normal hours for no additional reward is perfectly acceptable.

Having worked in both types of pay scales, salary and hourly, I can say without doubt that I prefer to be compensated in a way that encourages my employer to minimize the amount of time I spend at the office. Exempt positions are nice from a consistency standpoint since you can count on getting the same paycheck regardless of how much you work, but the tradeoff is that you’re expected to stay as long as is necessary to get the job done. Hourly positions generally mitigate having to stay late, but you might sacrifice some income in the process.

My favorite arrangement is a guaranteed forty hour work week, where you are paid hourly but you still get a minimum paycheck every week. At least, that’s what it is in the normal working world. The unicorn for me would be a job where I just have a list of tasks that need to get done and a deadline to finish them; then it’s on me to figure out when and where I work to get it done. Of course, those jobs are very few and far between, so the guaranteed forty is my favorite from the available options.

At any rate, I’ve never held homework in high regard, and I’m not a fan of it for my children, either. Fortunately, my kids have been homeschooled for most of their life, so homework isn’t really a thing for them; they’re home already. It just irks me that children are being taught that it is perfectly acceptable to bring their work home with them to get done on their time rather than just getting it all done at school. This kind of thinking is what leads to sixty or eighty hour work weeks trying to stay on top of things. It’s what makes employers believe this kind of behavior is normal.

I understand the idea of “just get it done”, and many times I agree with it. Sometimes things come up and you just have to put in extra time to get it all done. However, for many people this is just a regular part of life and they sacrifice so much of their time trying to bite off more than they can chew at work. Until people start realizing that this is simply corporate America taking advantage of effectively free labor, it won’t change. And as long as our school systems continue to promote the concept of homework, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

What do you think about homework? Is it an effective way of reinforcing information for kids, or is it an unnecessary indoctrination into becoming overworked? We live in a time where people are really starting to learn what they want out of life, and for many it isn’t slaving away for someone else for sixteen hours a day. Perhaps it’s time to stop teaching our children to bring their work home with them.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Be a Man

I’ve mentioned once or twice in the past that I am a 90’s kid, having grown up during the era when the generations switch from “Generation X” to “Millenial”. Depending on which definition you choose, I’m either at the very tail end of Gen X or the very start of the millenial generation. As such, I tend to be a mix of highly contrasting ideas about many subjects when it comes to society. I like to believe that my natural tendency leans toward the old ways, but I’m self aware enough to realize that many of my views are skewed by a childhood tainted with certain ideas designed to change the status quo.

This new millenial generation has been taught some very unconventional ideas about what it is to be a man. It is a logical thought process to want to make improvements to any system, and I personally take a great deal of pleasure in finding ways to make something better or more efficient. On the surface, trying to revamp human relationships by making either sex more understandable or better makes a lot of sense. However, like many things in life it’s never as simple as we hope it will be.

Human beings still have a lot of primitive processes that get in the way of our ability to positively interact with each other. The primal urges that still reside within us fight for dominance over what we have decided are the higher ideals of our existence. This is fine because it allows us to maintain a certain drive to do more or be more, the baser part of us never being satisfied and propelling us forward to new levels of greatness.

Where we run into trouble is when we start looking at this primitive side of our being as a negative and begin to believe that we can somehow train it out of us. The reality is that it is a part of who we are and it makes up a very large portion of what has made us the most successful species on the planet. Were we to truly take out human aggression, it’s quite possible that we would stagnate into self-extinction as we lose that drive that forces us to keep moving; to keep improving.

Growing up in the 90’s, I was taught many conflicting ideas between my home life and school and media and various other sources of information. In the home, I was exposed to more traditional male qualities, much of it very negative from an objective standpoint, but in retrospect I value it because it taught me to be resilient as an adult. Steel can only be hardened by fire, and the same is true with men. However, this process was highly tempered by the softer message of the progressive propaganda that has been pushed for the last several decades that men should set aside their “toxic male attitudes” and strive to be more like women.

Much of the conflict we see in our society today has an underlying source in the drastic change in relationships between men and women. At some point we decided that it made sense for men to stop being what we truly are and capitulate to the female way of thinking. Men no longer act with confidence and aggression and dominance; we’re too afraid of offending someone anymore. Rather than standing firm in what we think, we bend and flex and contort until we no longer recognize what we believe in and just follow the crowd, hoping that we can find some form of acceptance in our platitudes.

Recently in my life, I have reached the point where I am no longer satisfied with just “getting through” things anymore. I have a certain way that I want things to be and I am no longer willing to compromise on them. It no longer matters to me whether anyone approves of who I am or how I think about things or if I behave in the way that they think is best. A man is a natural born leader, even if it just means leading himself. Despite what the more communal minded amongst us might try to plead, there is nothing wrong with going your own way. Many times it’s the only way to satisfy your soul.

I started writing this article with a vague intent of listing some of the qualities that makes a man a man, but the truth is that it is unnecessary. Both genders intuitively understand what being a man is all about; we respond to it when we see it and secretly yearn for it when it isn’t present. The confidence, competence and even slight arrogance of a strong man is something that real men admire and strive to become, and women secretly find attractive and compelling regardless of how much they try to deny it. It’s hard wired into who we are.

One of my favorite turns of phrase is the idea that “you can’t legislate behavior”, the idea being that no matter how many rules you put in place, people are ultimately going to do what they want. The same thing applies to gender roles in that you can try to legislate and propagandize human behavior to shape what people are, but in the end we are going to be what we are and no amount of brainwashing will ever get rid of it. It will always be there under the surface, ready to burst forth and show what we really are.

So we have two choices, really: we can continue to try to appease the ridiculous idea that the genders should try to be something they’re not, or we can embrace what we are and learn to maximize the benefits of that way of being. Instead of wasting our energy fighting against nature, we should be using it to further enhance who we are as a people. If we can learn to recognize and appreciate the things that make us different, perhaps we can stop finding reasons to hate each other.

It’s the differences that makes life interesting anyway.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

A Brave New “Detail-oriented” World

I struggle with the small things. My brain tends to focus much more on the big picture or overall plans rather than all of the little things that go into make something happen. There just isn’t enough patience in me to get proactive about details, yet somehow I’ve always been stuck in jobs that require a great deal of attention to them. Administration is almost completely dependent on being detail-oriented, and yet it is something I have always struggled with in both my personal and professional lives.

Fortunately, I am also one of those people who is able to think quickly on his feet and react to things in such a way that it looks like I was always on top of things from the beginning. I am typically able to do the work of two or three people, partly because I’m just very fast at getting things done, and partly because my anti-social tendencies prevents me from wasting large amounts of time conversing with others rather than getting my work done. My goal for each and every work day is to make sure that there is no reason for anyone to ask me to stay past the prescribed end of business.

As with many of my articles, my inspiration for writing this has to do with something that happened to me today. I was lucky in that it was discovered in a way that will likely prevent a ridiculous amount of inconvenience, but it’s also another example of how not checking into the details of things comes around to bite me on occasion. It’s amazing how close I always come to some kind of minor disaster, only to have some sort of saving grace stave off bad things at the last moment.

I own a very powerful sport bike which I occasionally ride to work. Recent life circumstances have prevented me from really partaking in that activity, so I decided to ride into work today. Having many years of experience with motorcycles, I knew there were some regular maintenance items I needed to take care of after not having ridden it for a while. I checked the tire pressures and cleaned the chain and generally looked the bike over for anything out of the ordinary.

Of course, like many things that require catching a lot of details, I missed one of the more important things that is actually much easier to do on my bike than on many because it actually has a built in meter for it: the battery. Like so many times before, I simply got up this morning, started the bike and rode off to work. Nothing unusual at all for the entire ride, and it was even a pleasant temperature for the safety gear I was wearing.

I got into work and was coasting in neutral to get ready to park my bike and all of a sudden the engine turned off. That’s weird, I thought. With so much experience riding and working on bikes, my immediate thought was the battery since bikes don’t have the same kind of charging system that cars do and when the battery dies many times the bike won’t run. Like I said, the bike has a built in voltmeter so I switched over to it and confirmed it: 10.5 volts. A fully charged battery sits at around 12.3.

My first thought after that was the fear that maybe the charging system was not working and that I would end up having to replace it, but I started the bike again and verified that charging voltage: 14.3. That was awesome because it means I likely just need a new battery. Even better, it might just mean that the battery was just drained down too far after sitting for so long without any charging, and maybe I can get away with just riding it a few times to get it back to normal. Either way, it’s a simple fix that isn’t exorbitantly expensive and not too much of a pain to do myself.

The point of the story is partly to share my experience, but also to point out that many of the things in our lives end up happening to us because we just don’t pay attention to the little details. That situation could have ended up being far more inconvenient, or even dangerous, if my bike decided to turn off in the middle of the freeway and just wouldn’t start anymore. A risk that could have been completely mitigated if I was just a bit more attentive to the small stuff.

Unfortunately, this is how it is in most of the things in my life. Little details missed that end up causing me more headache later on than if I just caught it in the first place. I’m not sure what it is about me that prevents me from being able to slow down and really focus on details, but it is a constant challenge. I truly believe that it is only my time in the Marine Corps that allows me to function well in the various things I have to do. You can’t get away without at least a minimum level of attention to detail in that environment, so I think maybe that’s what balances me out.

I guess you can’t have everything…

What do you think about dealing with details? Are you the one everyone looks to when there’s something complicated to get done? Or do you struggle with just getting through a set of instructions? We are each uniquely different, and it’s ok if there are things we struggle with. This is why it’s important to have people in your life who are good at doing the things that you aren’t. No one can do it all on their own, and even if we are sometimes forced to do things we’re not good at we can lean on others to help us get through it.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Progressive Cowardice

By the time this article is published, the situation will likely have been resolved, but most of us are aware of the situation in Texas where Democratic legislators “fled” the state to avoid an upcoming vote on a bill enforcing voter identification for elections. Any sane person would realize that requiring someone to prove they are a citizen prior to voting is just good practice and ensures that only people who have a legitimate voice in our political discourse is heard. Of course, progressive ideology isn’t sane, and they are doing whatever they can to ensure their own survival, no matter what it costs the average person.

While I am not surprised or even disappointed by their actions, it infuriates me that they continue to get away with circumventing our legislative process with little or no consequences. Sure, they are being threatened with jail time by the governor, but realistically they’ll either come back to business as usual or spend a few days in jail and end up being released with no further discomfort. Too many people will be on their side for any real punishments to ensue, and this is why American politics has become the swamp that it is.

Cowardice has always been the easy way out. It’s much easier to simply avoid a conflict rather than fight for what you believe in. Democrats are not the only ones to blame. Conservative leaders for the last several decades have been unwilling to truly push against the insane notions of the left, giving an inch at a time while progressives play the long game. A tiny river carved out the Grand Canyon, after all, and it only took time to make it happen. Our political landscape has undergone a very similar transition.

People always seem to find it so unreasonable when conservatives take a stand on something, wondering why we tend to be so obstinate about certain things. “We’re only asking for a little change”, they always say, never realizing that the slippery slope is a real thing and that there are forces actively seeking to take advantage of it. If you actually believe that there aren’t forces in our own country seeking to tear it all down, you just aren’t paying any attention at all.

The news media is praising the “courage” of these legislators as something noble which should be repeated on the national stage. Rather than listening to the people they are supposed to be representing, most of whom want this law to pass, they are siding with their political party in spite of their duty to those who elected them. They care nothing about their constituents; it’s all about lying down to progressive ideology and hoping there will be some sort of benefit to them down the road.

True Americans would never stand for this kind of coercion. Patriots would tell these manipulating vipers to go pound sand and vote as their districts want them to vote, regardless of their personal position on the matter. We don’t elect our politicians to tell us what to do; we elect them to vote the way we would if we were casting the ballot. The whole point of representative government is for the people’s will to be done. Instead, we get elitist fools who blindly do what they’re told because they’re too weak to do what’s right.

There is nothing heroic about people who run away from their responsibilities, no matter how much they try to sugar coat it. In the end, these people have a duty to perform and they are shirking it to further an agenda that the people of Texas don’t want. Sadly, this isn’t anywhere close to the end of the line because the conservative majority doesn’t have the guts to call them to account. In the end, it is weakness on both sides that leads to the decay we continue to see today. Only after we have no more choices and it’s too late to fix will anyone really stand up to do anything about it. It’s a tragedy as old as time.

What do you think about political vagrancy? Are the Democrats fleeing Texas heroes or villains? Do you see them as standing up for a cause, or running away from a fight? There are few legitimate excuses for failing to fulfill a promise, and it’s especially egregious when that promise regards something as sacred as American representative democracy. How can we trust people who put political ideologies over what people really want? We can’t, and the wall eventually come crashing down.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Great Expectations…and Being Ok With Not Meeting Them

The world today is full of idealists. Most people have a grand idea of how they want their lives to turn out and a vague plan on how to get there, but very few of us end up living out the dreams of our youth. It is a mathematical truth that in a world of finite resources where competition determines who gets what, a select few will get most of what is available and the rest will have to fight over what’s left. This is true in just about any way you could think to apply it, from careers to material possessions and even to relationships.

We all have some idea of what the ideal mate is for us. The reasons why we prefer one type of person over another are varied and complex, some of it having to do with how we were raised, other parts of it simply being what we were exposed to over the course of our lives. Whatever you’re attracted to, though parts of it may fall into generalized categories, it is unique to you. No one can tell you what you want more than you can, and only you can decide if someone lives up to those expectations.

Still, it’s important to remember the proverbial rule number one when it comes to the distribution of available resources: sometimes you have to settle for what you can get. This definitely rubs us the wrong way when we think about it, because especially for the last few generations we’ve been told we can be anything we want to be and have anything we want to have. This is a pretty unrealistic fantasy if we remember that when there’s only so much to go around, some people aren’t going to get what they want.

Where this is important for today’s topic is that most people today have unrealistic expectations of what they think they can get out of a relationship. Men want objects to be used at their discretion, and women seem to want a very small pool of “exceptional” men that they all end up competing for. Neither side ends up happy because everyone shoots for the moon and simply isn’t willing to settle. It doesn’t matter if they have a good thing right now; their expectations aren’t met, so if something that looks better comes along it’s out with the old and in with the new.

This is a disastrous philosophy for large groups of people to have. No one can seem to be content with finding an acceptable outcome and then living with it. There has to be something better, something more exciting on the horizon. If whoever you’re with right now can’t provide it, then sticking around just doesn’t make sense. This selfish attitude results in the highest divorce rate in American history.

Of course, if you are unable to accept your circumstances but still believe in the idea that relationships are necessary, you might stay in your relationship and just stick to being unhappy. This isn’t particularly ideal because it just makes both parties miserable and just prolongs the pain until one side finally decides to end it. The result is the same as the selfish approach, it just wastes a great deal more time.

There is another option available to us, but it is probably the most difficult and most counterintuitive: we can accept the flaws of others and truly learn to live with them. In a society that is all about “me first”, this is asking quite a lot, but realistically it’s the only way long term relationships can work. Neither person is ever going to be what the other wants them to be, so a successful marriage or long term partnership or whatever you choose to engage in will ultimately depend on being willing to accept what the person you choose is able to give you. If you can’t, you shouldn’t be making a lifelong promise to them.

What do you think about relationship expectations? Have we reached the point where happy marriages are near impossible? Are you in a long term relationship with someone who isn’t content with you? Or are you the one struggling to live with a person who doesn’t fulfill your “needs”? In the end, happiness is much like love in that it is ultimately a choice. If you choose to be content, then it can be so. Otherwise you spend your whole life searching for the perfection that simply doesn’t exist.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly