Selfishness – The Biggest Problem With Humanity Today?

WSJ

In my travels in the world of twitter, I came across this tweet from the Wall Street Journal, asking a simple question of their followers (and presumably, readers). A look down the list of peoples reply tweets, shows most people answering the question honestly, using both options listed.

But when I read this, it struck me that there is a 3ed option that seems to have been missed by all of the above, and an option that seems quite important.

Basically, your being asked if you base your college choices around your passion, or your monetary goals. Which both are centered around the individual. Option #3, is a path  that benefits the species (humanity) as a whole.

Though its hardly surprising that most people would not realize this, it seems important that they do. The reason that people in modern society’s can for the most part, pick and choose their careers based on their personal passions and characteristics, is because all the variables of personal survival were largely removed by the advent of agriculture. When you do not have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, how your going to heat your house etc, then you can concentrate your energy in other areas. Which has been great for science, the arts (of all kinds), and any number of other subjects.

But in todays world, it is becoming more and more apparent, that the world that we have thrived in right from past generations to today, is changing. Whether you see it as a natural event, or a mankind driven event, is irrelevent to the fact that, the change is happening. Though climate change is the first to come to mind (and arguably one of the most dangerous), it is certainly not the only factor.
The various resources that blanket and make our modern world possible, are drying up. These are resources that most now are heavily reliant on for survival, and also resources that have no known replacements. Oil is the one that comes to mind first, in this case.
A large part of the conundrum lies with figureheads from decades past putting all their eggs in the basket of petroleum. Even though literally every other aspect of life was changing, the combustion engine was not to be one of those things. The same could be said for almost anything associated with the fossil fuel industry. Why would you want to change, at the expense of your profits?

And so, you have the world we live in today.

The greed of the petrol industry has largely squashed research into sources of post-petroleum energy, leaving us nearly at the bottom of the tank, 25,000 miles from the nearest station. The affects of the combustion of all those fossil fuels, becomes more and more evident with each passing week, assuming you choose to see it for what it is. And on top of that, we keep on chugging along with our rampant resource consumption, even though those are also drying up.

Some people see the iceberg, but choose to deny it, or to look away. Some see it, and think “Fuck it. Whats done is done” (me, I admit).

But the vast majority, are blissfully unaware. Their parents, and the society around them, has taught them that self preservation and fulfillment trumps all else, and so they go about their daily lives as such. Since the resources keep flowing into the cities, its easy to see why someone can become so immersed in the life. A holographic life, if I use a term once used by a respected online friend of mine. Though mother nature gives those city folk a kick in the ass and makes the changes come to life every so often, for the most part, the delusion is unbroken. I see it in the media, online, even in my own family (dwellers in Manitoba‘s capital).

Which is a scary thought. When one considers that the only thing that may break the delusion, is the whole system gradually unraveling before all our eyes. Which is a day late and a dollar short, or put in simpler terms, to late.

Though the problems that face us all (whether you agree or acknowledge them or not does not change there status  as facts) are seemingly gargantuan, all problem resolution begins with small steps. The first being with the collective attitude of humanity. Though personal growth and fulfillment was possible in past years and decades, it is no longer so.

Its time to become less of a city full of individuals, and more of a community. The first step is looking out for one another. Then you can work on ways of being self sufficient, and on building networks of communities to purchase/trade/barter for items that can not be procured in your area.

Selfishness is not good for anyone. And collectively crashing and burning, is certainly not going to do anyone any good. So why not start now?

The change is on the way, whether you like it or not.

Procrastination – Most Big Problems Start Small

There is something that I have learned going though life, and I am sure we all know about it. One could almost say, its common sense. But its something that it seems, the vast majority of people either subconsciously or willfully, ignore. What I am speaking of, is the risks (sometimes even dangers) of procrastination.

For each of us, the word means different things, depending on your life situation. If your in school, it could mean putting off cleaning your room or working on that big assignment (I was bad for that lol). In any situation, its normally a task that one must do, but does not at all feel inclined to do, and thus, it gets pushed aside, with a mental note to do it later. There is nothing wrong with this really, assuming you can actually get the task done in a timely fashion (meet a deadline).

But problems occur, when one either forgets, or keeps pushing the task aside until the VERY last minute. When it comes to big tasks with deadlines fairly far off in the future (say, a school assignment that is supposed to be completed over a semester), I tended to be like this. Or even, booking time off of work for whatever reason (usually holidays). I can’t “see” how close that the date is coming, even if its months in advance. And so one day I have an “Oh FUCK!” moment, in which case its often times to late (others booked the days off that you needed already, you have NO time to fully complete the assignment ect).

Then there are the long term projects one might have, such as fixing a problem with a vehicle or a house (say a leaky roof or a rotted deck). Often these tasks are pushed aside for one reason or another (financial or time constraints, laziness). And if most people are like me (or my father lol), these things will just stay the way they are, be put on the back burner. Until one lousy day, the problematic car that had 2 issues in the beginning, dies as a result of the 5th problem, your roof falls in on you as you make breakfast on a rainy morning, or you walk out the door and end up falling though your rotted deck.

The labor and cost to resolving the problems in question, once they reach this point, will instantly skyrocket.

Though we all know the risks and problems that come with procrastination, its interesting that we all do it, both personally and collectively as a society.

I have a few personal examples for myself. There was the school and the work thing. There is my habit of sticking to jobs for long periods of time that I absolutely DESPISE (often times to the point of wishing I would be fired), even though handing in resumes was the answer. It took me years to finish my high school education (though I still find the diploma rather pointless in this day and age), and it also took years for me to finally get out and get a learners permit (and thus start the process to a full license, and the freedom and opportunity it provides). And there is my dislike of doctor visits, even though there have been a few things periodically happening with my body that give me a slight pang of fear.

Procrastination often has a BIG hand, in everything that goes wrong with the various workplaces I have been employed at.

Like not fixing equipment as it breaks, and leaving it to the point where the business is almost strangled by the failure (usually just simple wear and tear) of so much of its equipment. Updating the decor of said business, in order to be on a more even playing field to compete with pretty much ALL its main competitors (who have all updated there look, and are reaping the benefits). To simple day to day cleaning tasks that are small and minor, but become a MAJOR job if not done on a fairly regular basis.

This one is key, when it comes to 2 different employers I have worked for.

For my job in a fast food restaurant, nightly cleaning of the dinning area (and various pieces of the kitchen equipment) was could be somewhat time consuming, but it became twice as bad when not done regularly (daily). Various stains on say a seat, may be a bitch to remove after sitting a couple of days. A public washroom becomes disgusting after very little (or NO) cleaning after a day or 2 (all past examples of stuff I have personally had to clean up). Then there is the kitchen cooking equipment, such as the deep fryers and the broiler. If done on a daily basis, though scrubbing IS involved, its usually not all that bad. But if the person before you did either a crappy job (if they did it at all), then the task becomes more difficult. Its a REAL pain in the ass to scrub off a day or 2 of build up in a hot fryer vat, or a day or more of greasy caked on charcoal-like buildup on hot broiler pieces.

At another job, its cleaning shelves up and expiration dates (though this may not be as much a matter if procrastination as it is just lack of time).

In my days of work, I often times find that many shelves are dirty, both from day to day buildup of dirt and dust and from spills. But I usually have no time in which to do anything about it, even if its a small mess. And so years of this, has made some of the shelves, pretty grimy and sticky. And the same applies to expired products. I am often times the discoverer (and disposer) of dead (expired) product of all kinds. Sometimes as close as a day or two past, some as far back as 6 months OR MORE.

Though all the food is indeed, money thrown into the landfill, its a problem that could be at least slowed by a regular checking of dates. It would ensure that no products ever sit in the back of shelves 5 years after there expiration date, and increase the chance of sale of close to date products (albeit with a price reduction).

Though the above I admit was a bit off topic, it still has pretty much the same affects as procrastination (many little things coming together to form a HUGE thing).

And as a society, we also tend to be collectively procrastinators. One quite recent example out of the US congress, were the massive budget cuts implemented by after they waited to long to bother even TRYING to do anything about the many problems at hand. So, of course, the american people en-mass suffer the consequences of the Sequester cuts. Then there is New Orleans. The levy system was known to be ineffective against all but a tiny storm for DECADES, but to which no one did a thing about. Until an INDIRECT hit broke the thing in multiple areas, and started a chain of events that plagues the city to this day (though the “money” (aka white and tourist) areas are largely rebuilt and repaired to there former glory, large parts of the poorer areas still remain abandoned). The bridge in Minneapolis that fell into the river (taking many motorists with it) is another example (the repairs would cause a traffic NIGHTMARE! Because apparently, leaving it till it falls was SO much better of an option, then temporary but necessary inconvenience).

And as a species, we are procrastinating on a number of BIG issues, to our peril.

One of the big ones (if not the biggest) is climate change.

Even after you get past the climate deniers and other oil industry educated or funded morons, you run into the procrastination factor. No one wants to spend the time or money, or otherwise take the risk, of moving OFF of fossil fuels and shifting to greener (more sustainable, and limitless) energy sources. Though the status quo is the best move economically in the present (and for companies that profit in the fossil fuel industry), its extremely shortsighted thinking. The money made in the extraction and sale of these products is temporary, but the damage resulting from the industry is permanent. Sure, nature can heal all wounds, and certainly can handle anything we pesky humans do to it.

But the earth, works on large geologic time scales, where as we do not. The one or 2 hundred years required to repair the damage from say, the Exxon Valdex or the Deepwater Horizen disasters, is but a blink of an eye in geologic terms. But its more then my lifetime. I will never see a clean Prince William Sound or Gulf of Mexico, nor will I see a NON-radioactive Pacific Ocean (that story is still developing. At this point, who knows just how far it will go).

And there are the problems of upcoming shortages of such important materials such as oil and water (which will affect the food supply. Our current food system is HUGELY invested and dependent on petroleum).

When we will start to see the full affects of all of the above problems, is debatable. But the asteroid is on the way.

So will we stand by, and just let it slam into us? Or will we smarten up, and bolster our defenses, and try to reverse the fate were predetermining for ourselves?

Collective procrastination starts with one.

A Dream – Edition 3

I just woke from, to say the least, an interesting dream.

in the dream, we (me and I’m unsure who) were traveling somewhere in the US, and we had arrived at an airport. I had found out however, that I could not bring my 3 big bags of chips home on the plane, so I left and ended up in some day camping spot, where I left them.

Next, I found myself in a mall type if place (airport terminal?), looking out a window, watching a storm. Then I seen 2 small incoming twisters, so I ran into the mall and yelled “TORNADO! GET DOWN!”, and dropped flat on my stomach on the floor.

This mall had a huge long glass roof, and I remember seeing the “Tornado’s” gliding harmlessly over it.

And then, I recall somehow seeing one of those plastic bus shelters outside (how, I’m unsure. Its a dream lol). I looked, and I seen it collapsed to the ground, as of being hammered by a down burst.
Then I seen the down burst get stronger, which was when I rolled out of the “Big glass room”, figuring it safer NOT to be under the glass (same applies for tornadoes fyi, though I didn’t follow that lol).

Anyway, this “downburst” was HUGE, in my dream world, it was like a freight train. I then seen a portion of the glass give way in the middle of the room, and heard the cries of people who were still on the floor (being pelted by glass).

I remember panicking and being horrified by what I seen. Then I thought “OMG climate change is entering free fall”.

And I woke up, with the climate change thing still fresh in my mind (it took a couple seconds to realize that the dream wasn’t real lol).

What a strange dream.

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