I’m offended! The Rise of the Keyboard Warrior.

These day’s it seems that no matter what you do, you are going to offend someone. Whether you eat a slice of pizza,  play GTA 5, listen to whatever music you prefer, say how much you like someone or a particular idea, someone is going to get offended.

Well, I’m sure plenty of people, including myself, are sick and tired of it. We’ve walked on glass for so long -both out of the goodness of our hearts and because we care about our reputations and future employment – that we’ve fallen through the glass, cut our feet on it, and have begun to pick up the smashed pieces in our hands with dubious intent.

The internet however has given us that avenue in which we can express our discomfort, displeasure, annoyance, and down right distaste for all.  No, don’t judge.  Having that “release” is essential to our continued and approved social behavior in every day life.  Bar fights over stupid things, blowing up characters backed by the voices of 12 year olds on Call of Duty, and stealing things in Skyrim without remorse are all examples of what we want to do but can’t.

So we hide behind our keyboards as anonymous posters on forums and message boards as we wreck havoc. Trolling is so addicting because it something that you can’t do in real life. 

Let’s face it, people want to say whatever the hell is on their mind without fear of consequence.  We’ve somewhat employed comedy to that extent, but not everyone is a comedian.  So where’s the release for the rest of us? It’s at our finger tips touching our keyboards – and our phones –  as we sling mud on youtube, cause strife on reddit, and secretly browse the /b/ board on 4chan.  Sometimes, you just have to let some steam go without fear of repercussion.

It is for this very reason that anonymity is so powerful and important.  There are of course people who get offended easily want to remove that shroud so they can get vengeance.  To them I say: “Get over it. “

To those wishing for increased anonymity to please their hedonistic darker urges; proxies are and always will be your friend.  Just make sure to always use at least 7 of them.  So sling some mud on a message board, troll on a feminist website, or post what you really think about a philosophical icon – it will feel incredible.

We Came As Romans “Tracing Back Roots” a pleasant surprise.

I like surprises. They keep life interesting and smack you with a dash of of the unexpected.  For anyone who likes metal, whatever that actually constitutes these days, I’ve been rather pleasantly surprised with the new We Came As Roman’s album Tracing Back Roots.  In fact, I was somewhat blown away since my expectations were so low. 

Now before the metal elitists jump on the fact that I just dropped WCAR’s name and metal in the same sentence, let me remind you that Slayer hasn’t released a good album in 20 years, Gwar still sucks, and Megadeath is getting up there in years. The  newest wave of metal is “somewhat” here so get used to it. 

To you Deathcore/Beatdown advocates, perhaps bands have finally started to realize that vocalists who sound like a garbage disposal sucking down silverware with their “brootal” unintelligible screams doesn’t make the band sound bad ass. In fact it makes you look like you are still in high-school doing black metal poses and throwing in pig squeals for supposed good measure.   No, adding base drops to it doesn’t make it any better or heavier. 

Seriously, where did this album come from? A pleasant surprise indeed.

WCAR has improved on all fronts. Yea, I’m still shocked. Dave’s screaming is legible but still badass , the bass can actually be heard, and Kyle has finally learned to sing inside his range.   The band has somehow managed to put alot clean singing into Tracing Back Roots while still accenting it perfectly with plenty of screaming to give it that right handed K.O. power they’ve always possessed.  Songs like Present, Past, and Future, Ghosts, and I Am Free are still surprising me. 

Kyle’s improved vocals are of note here. Luckily he didn’t go down the I See Stars path where the tenor is so high that only dogs can hear it and there is not even the slightest hint of the Kellin Quinn voice that plagues my ears with unmanly pitches. 

The lyrics on this album just aren’t inspiring, they are also quite catchy to scream/sing along to. In particular these few lines really grabbed my attention:

Change the way you act, not just the way you think
Change the way you live, live the way you claim
Words are just words, until they’re put to work
And it will be actions, not words, that change this earth.

I see myself playing this album quite a few times as there might not actually be a bad song on this album and that’s something I can’t say about alot of albums. Did I mention how they actually sounded GOOD live at Warped Tour this year? I didn’t expect that easier.   To all upcoming music releases for  this year; keep surprising me. It feels good. 

The Desired Life: Working Without Air Conditioning – How did they do it?

Everyone loves the summer.  The suns out, your windows are down with music blasting to scare the old folks next to you, and most of the girls sharing the sidewalks around you are wearing garments that leave little to the imagination.  – Insert Quagmire, “Giggity.”  Despite all this, I’m already over Summer and wishing for Fall and Winter.  Sure, cold weather sucks, but at least you can put clothes on to keep warm. In the summer you can take all your clothes off and still be sweating profusely with no respite.

Then your air conditioning fails, its 91 degrees out, and the humidity index is over 70%. In the words of Cartman, “This is bullcrap.”  Well you are lucky that you may be able to find another place of local respite filled with sweaty people seeking refuge in their local Mcdonalds. For you yuppies or wannabe yuppies, Starbucks seems to be a preferable location.  I’m still such a coffee fanatic that I’m still drinking it hot while working in this humid hell.

I, however, don’t have the option of enjoying consistent air conditioning. AC for the last week has become a luxury for the chosen of which I am not apart of.  Pity me, as this unforgiving weather is a perpetrator of discrimination of which no one wants to be a target. 

There will always be unwilling targets though of which I am one. Apparently unstained and untouched wooden decks have been calling my name, or at least everyone else thinks so.  I’ve now learned that experience has it’s drawbacks. Concerning the paint crew I work on, I have the most experience with the exception of my direct boss. So if they want the job done well, the honor and pleasure of outdoor staining in this weather falls to yours truly. While my job at Trinity kicks the ass of any retail job any day, at least my fellow retail slaves had air conditioning.

After just a few minutes of applying the stain, I’m soaked in sweat. In fact, I’m pouring sweat from orifices I didn’t think were capable of shedding sweat.  On that note, I say this with a sweaty body – come get me ladies. 

At least this is somewhat offset by my current co-worker with who I’m enjoying conversations of every subject ranging from church history, philosophy, and sociology to food, South Park, and Asian cultural differences. It may surprise you, but talking with another person makes your time working pass so much faster than does music.

What may surprise some of you is how people managed in the glorious past with out air conditioning. While I consider this to be inconceivable, a fellow employee told me that he didn’t have the precious AC until he was out of highschool.  Another employee who grew up on a farm told me that you, “just got used to it” when you were younger and that he actually got chilly and cold when in an air conditioned environment with outdoor temperatures being over 90.   My boss has mentioned that growing up he also never had AC and was perfectly used to the hot weather in notorious Humboldt Park.

Perhaps I need to find a historical series that deals with not how the seniors built all the “cool stuff” and the buildings we see around us, but how they dealt with everyday outdoor living in their rural environments. 

 

Public Bathrooms: A bane to mankind.

The primary problem with public bathrooms is that the are public. Anyone can use them. Is that a bad thing? Let’s use an extreme example and point to the bathrooms at Union Station in Chicago. In fact, prepare for a rant.

You walk in and hit a line. There is ALWAYS a line.  As you wait in that line trying to avoid eye contact with everyone in there who keeps looking you up and down, you notice the walls.  They are covered in stains of who knows what, soaked in that welcoming urine smell, and covered in graffiti that usually involves a phone number, sex, gang signs, and “so and so was here.”   Just to top it off, there is at least one guy there who looks at your creepily and winks at you.  Now you are just starting to get comfortable.

On a side note, putting your name on the bathroom wall proclaiming your one-time or perhaps continued presence in that bathroom really isn’t something you want to brag about. Neither is your chosen gang affiliation or your phone number.  If you get called by creeps at 2am inquiring as to your whereabouts and what you are doing, that’s your fault.

Finally, the stall in front of you is open.  You enter in the dimly lit space and once inside this tight cubicle of pestilence and appalling aromas you notice that the toilet seat has a dispenser attached to it that covers the seat in a clear plastic cyran wrap style covering. Well that’s disconcerting. Thoughts might go through your head such as, “(1) What is so bad that it risks the spread of disease and/or affection to necessitate this plastic covering?” (2) “Who has been using this and what do they have?” (3) What if the water pops up and hits that ‘area’ as I do my number two?”

Potential options? Walk out and hit another bathroom of some public restaurant or establishment on the way. Even then, you still notice that people LACK proper bathroom etiquette when they don’t have to clean it up.  There is no need to leave used toilet paper all over the floor, leave the seat laying down covered in urine, and if you somehow get crap on the rim and the stall walls, WIPE IT OFF.  Apparently, that’s not an option because other people will clean up the mess. What is this, 1st grade??!?!

Sometimes, there is no respite. You can’t catch a break. I went down to Occupy for two days at one point and during the day had to use the bathroom. I tried using the PNC and their security turned me down despite the fact that I am PNC account owner and had my PNC card with me to show them.  Eventually I was forced into a surprisingly cleaner alternative – peeing in an alley. The result was one of the best feeling I’ve ever had in the world and the ultimate satisfaction of feeling that weight lift off your shoulders.

Memories of a Night Owl

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a night owl. When I was 10 my penultimate achievement was convincing my parents that a 10:45 bed time was a tremendous idea. From that point on, I never looked back.

Sleeping? What is that? Even when I was told to go to bed, I managed to find ways to stay up, both observed and un-observed by my parents.  I refined the art of sneaking, silence, and warning systems a.k.a loud doors to ensure my nocturnal activities. If I had access to light from door being open ajar, I would stay up and pour through my books about military history for the 5th or 6th time.  Despite my dad defining the concept of a light sleeper,  I fashioned clay into a pot for about a week straight, all my work occurring during my supposed bed-time hours.  Building a Lego city and possible empire also peaked my creative interests as I would swing down down from my bunk-style bed to put my imagination into action while remaining absolutely stealthy.

A few years later, I acquired a game-boy and it was all downhill from there into the late night escapades of video-gaming.  At that same time, I also memorized the Dish cable channels like the back of my hand and proceeded to stay up to midnight watching Gargoyles, Rocket Power, Hey Arnold, and all the late night Toonami re-runs on Cartoon Network.

Once I obtained my first laptop when I started College, I truly became a creature of the night and my voluntary sleep deprivation began.  I watched all 7 seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer twice in my first year of College.  That was on top of staying up till at least 2 am every night and getting up at 5;30.  That soon escalated to 1 am walks with a piece of paper in one hand, a pen in the other, a stogie in my mouth, and headphones that played nonstop amounts of The National.  Probably  most of my poetry idea’s came from this – very depressing poetry that it is. It’s amazing to think what can happen when you have too much time on your hands.

It was during those roaming night adventures in my neighborhood that I learned that walking around people’s houses, backyards, and streets in the middle of the night makes me look very suspicious to the Fox Lake police. What can I say? I’m good at lurking.  Did I fear for my safety? Not really, but I’m sure my parents did.  I’ve always restorted to the good olde, “Run very fast for short distances” tactic in the face of trouble.  No, I can’t fight so resorting to that is a necessity.

The night owl in me still hasn’t gone away. Back in 2011-2012 I worked 3rd shift for a year. It was awesome at first listening to my Ipod for 8 hours a night, but then the lack of human contact gets to you.  I only like watching shows involving vampires, not becoming one. Even after abandoning the night shift for brighter waters, I still manage to find any excuse to stay up.

What can I say? I’m a night owl.

Terrifying Encounters: Asking the girl out.

This is a post of mine before I discovered the manosphere and the ideas of TRP.

The hardest situations in life for me are still the one’s that supposedly shouldn’t be hard; asking girls out. It’s daunting, terrifying, and downright makes leg shake and my voice wobble.   Every-time this happens, I continue to lose man-cards. I’ve already lost so many of said man-cards, that I’m certain I’ve ran out.

I of course blame this on improper upbringing, a lack of discipline, and a personality dominated by a will to avoid any situation that might become uncomfortable. In layman’s terms, I lack a pair.  They say that , “Where there is a will, there a way.”  Currently I lack most certainly lack the will, as well the way.

See the girl, talk to the girl, get the girl – right? Well, not exactly. Or more precisely, I have no idea how to go about getting said girl. Many thoughts of what to say, pickup lines to drop, and confident stares and eyebrow posturing have not landed me closer to alleviating my suffering. Pick-up lines you say? Sure, I’ve thought of a few lines of Shakespearean brilliance.

“Hey, there. Daddy’s home.”  …. Awkward silence. Possible imminent pain in the facial region of my jaw. Extremely irate boyfriend who suddenly appears from the shadows. Brutal humiliation and laughter.   Well, it could really be worth it if I got that on camera, but there must be a better way for the romantic in me.    (Yes, that line is from How I Met Your Mother.)

My immediate assertion of brilliance is that pickup lines don’t usually work and in a better and more compassionate reality they would never work. If they do, my first instinct is to run away because you know that it’s bad.  (Insert catchy jingle)

I recall one of my buddies being challenged to get a girl’s phone number in the mall.  Some sort of bet was made, we kept walking assuming none of us would talk to her, and we concluded she was another one lost to the perfect men – that meaning specifically me.

Suddenly my buddy comes back with her phone number. My first reaction  was similar to that of 13 year old nerdy boy with a shocked look and serious tone,  “Did anybody see how did he did it?” 

The mystery of how he did it has not been solved to this day, but initial clues, careful observation, and astute guess work leads me to conclude that he took the first and most important step – talking to her.  I’ve gotten past that step with plenty of girls, it’s just that I can’t pull the trigger and drop a simple, “We should hang out sometime.”

So what it is it that trips me up and stops me from asking a simple question like that?  Am I afraid of rejection? What makes it so uncomfortable for me? I suppose I’m not one to jeopardize friendships by asking friends of mine on a date. However, in a careful and accurate pyscho-analysis of myself, I realize that there is more to it.

What exactly is that?  To be vague, uncertain, but honest;  I’m not entirely sure. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way – or something like that. Eventually I will hone in on that part of my nature which keeps interfering with getting the girl and kick it in the arse! “British accent.” 

The Public Relations game and the illusion of Customer Service

If you’ve ever worked in retail, you are used to hearing the phrase, “Give great customer service!”   None of us really know what it means, but we nod our heads to reassure the store manager that we are indeed all about the famed customer services that corporate demands.  Oh, and bringing in those sales.

Does anyone actually know what it means to give great customer service?  Usually when it comes to retail, I automatically assume that the phrase “customer service” is more of a company mandated hands-on PR stunt conducted by each employee on a daily basis: Act like you care and hopefully they’ll give you their money and come back to give us even more of their money. For the lowly retail employee this simply boils down to a kind of daily fake display of “caring” about the customer in the way you try to pick up a random girl at the bar who’s alcohol intake has sparked possibilities of a “sale.”

It becomes fairly obvious that sales and not  people and real customer service is the priority.  The two concepts should ideally go hand-in-hand, but for the most part, it seems that they don’t.   One reason for this is because of the worldview and dare I say – purpose – of each company. What is the company’s ultimate purpose as long as it exists? Philosophy might bore those of us who slept through it, but its importance and impact is in direct correlation to what customer service is today.  

To find the truth, one must sift through the countless pandering  of online corporate twitter and facebook accounts that brag about their involvement in their local communities and come to an incredible conclusion; these businesses only care about anyone that gives them money,  harms or promotes their reputation, and returns to spend more money.  The reward they give their consumers is highly advertised “give backs” to the local communities.  Well, it is at least something, I suppose.

So why do these big business in the area give “back” to the community? Do they truly and genuinely care about their communities or their pocket books? The great Ron Burgundy from Anchorman summed it up in one sentence , “Hey everyone, come see how good I look.”   Public Relations (PR) is the name of the game. Doing good isn’t nearly as important as actually doing good in the local community.  But as the sang goes, “Image is everything.”   Would some of these large companies like Target, Walmart, ect do anything for their local community if there wasn’t enough profit that could be made and positive PR generated from doing so?  I’d venture to suggest that they probably wouldn’t.  Why? Because their priority isn’t to live as if people matter – it’s to make money.  Now there is nothing wrong with making money and generating a profit.

Here’s a blunt thought; Do retail companies actually legitimately care about any customer?  When I worked at Tiger Direct they insisted that they did indeed care about the customer above all else.  Well here is a story from inside the brutal world of retail. Prepare yourself for horror, shock, and appalling dismay.

I worked at Tiger Direct as a cashier during the Holiday season, I recall one customer had bought a TV the previous night.  He had to come back and get a replacement because the TV was actually defective. He didn’t know this till he drove all the way back home into Wisconsin and discovered this when he tried to set the TV up. So, he made rather simple request for the next TV he was about to buy: He wanted to have the TV tested to see if it worked before he drove all the way back again. I told him without a second thought or hesitation that this should be no problem and that we would be happy to do it.

Well I apparently didn’t know my store’s concept of customer service as well as I thought I did.  Relieved to take my lunch, sit down,  and munch on food that was bad for me, I was surprised by my store manager who just kind of seethed into the room. I proceeded to get an adult version of one’s principle glaring them down and scolding them for doing things in the classroom they shouldn’t.  The mini yell-down and scolding from the store manager – yes, the store manager –  only lasted for a mere minute, but it etched itself in my memory.

He informed that I had wasted the time of the sales personnel that would have to take the TV out and test it. In fact,  I was impeding on their chance to make more sales on the floor and that with certain employees in his day that would have come down to fisticuffs. He said something along the lines of that if I was going to tell a customer that a TV could be taken out, set up, and tested, I should have done it myself. I however couldn’t do this because I was a cashier and the store that day was quite busy and I was only 1 of 3 cashiers there at the time.

I recall thinking to myself, “Are you ******* kidding me?” I thought I had just performed this great simple feat of great customer service, and not because of some fake company PR customer service policy, but because I legitimately didn’t want the guy to have to waste any more time by having to come back if this TV was defective as well.  This was my newly discovered inconvenient truth of the year.

Most people who have worked retail with me hate their jobs.  In fact, quite a few of them hated customers with a passion. No, I’m serious. My daily routine at a previous job involved me hearing co-workers tell horror stories about the customer who knew and demanded too much.  Affectionate  nick-names like Medusa, Hitler, and many other expletive laced names were what those customers became known as.  In one case, the Medusa one was actually somewhat disturbingly accurate; the woman looked like Medusa with the exception of being quite overweight. 

Retail employees after just a few months into it seem almost burnt out and it may not be completely for the primary reasons we usually think of.  What am I talking about?   I too dislike retail, but its not because of dealing with unpleasant customers.  I dislike retail because of companies that require me to be fake and to deliberately mislead PEOPLE as to what they may need for any given situation.  Notice how I didn’t use the word customer and I used the word, “people.” Customers are actual in-the-flesh people who should be told the truth, not treated like unnamed and faceless piggy banks whose mere existence is  to feed the companies pockets.  Let’s be honest instead of trying to put a PR spin on everything;  attempting to sell people something they don’t need – like useless warranties – is dishonest. It might be business, but it is the mark of dishonest business conduct.  It is greed at the cost of honesty and possibly encouraging people to spend money frivolously instead of saving it for emergencies that happen way more than we like to admit.

Can business still make a profit and help the community around them?   Yes, they can, but their priority must be the ultimate customer service; genuine care for the community around them.   Some of made the mistake of vilifying profit as some kind of nasty evil in the world.  Profit itself isn’t evil, but people’ whose ultimate goal is money and not helping their fellow man can make the concept of “profit” into just that.  A question that  should be asked, “What is my purpose with which to use the money that I make?” From a Christian worldview – oh how horrible, ignorant, bigoted, and mistaken certain people will insist-  all our time and the money we make is God’s. Our obligation is to use that money to advance his Kingdom and to help the desolate, poor, downtrodden, and needy in our community for His glory. (It’s commanded, not requested.)   This communal obligation is of particular importance. Why?  Those particular sinful people in our communities  is exactly who the Kingdom is for.

Helping those who are down, distraught, and left with very little from the recession doesn’t just make sense from a compassionate point-of-view, but from a business sense as well.  If people’s lives and well-beings are restored, usually their financial situations are as well. That equates to financial return and investment into the stores in their local communities. All it takes is the most important investment – time,  which leads to making money.

 

The Writer’s Block of Life.

They say you should always practice what you are good at. I’m good at writing, or at least I tell myself I am.  When it comes to the concept of practice and applying said practice to writing, I just don’t do it. Instead I content myself to do fabulous life fulfilling routines like working at Menards and Trinity.  You know you are going places when you are working part-time.

Let’s talk brass tax – pure honesty; I’m lazy.  I’m not lazy… when it comes to working, though I’m close to it.  Rather, I’m lazy when it comes to being a productive in any department.  That rare productivity that manifests itself in me consists of playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I’m actually kind of bad at that too and it’s because I’m too lazy to really learn the game, even though I’m investing alot of hours into it.   I do this instead of being responsible and going to sleeping and getting up early in the morning to catch the worm.  No, I catch that really late night insect with my owl eyes.  Responsibility? What’s that? Yep, age definitely doesn’t make one mature. (That’s me.)

So I’ve essentially turned into one of those “Do as I say, not what I do” sort of people. Especially when it comes to practicing something I tell myself I really like – writing.  Then there is of course some other tidbits that also applies to:

  • My tendency to not communicate well. That happens when you are lazy. It isn’t deliberate, but it is most certainly due to my lack of effort.
  • I’m a perfectionist. I didn’t even know I was. Apparently, I’m the kind that is too lazy to complete things if I ever start them because they must be perfect. Convenient excuse that is.
  • I’m content to do the same things, barely get them done, but not get any better at them a.k.a practice.
  • I keep telling myself I need to write every day. I keep finding other things to do instead of writing every day. I can’t hone my craft if I’m not willing to invest the time in it. Again I’m lazy. How many excuses can one man, I mean boy, have? Way too many and its even worse when I’m only really accountable to myself.  That just made me realize how low my standards are for myself. I can feel the self-esteem flowing through me.

Maybe, I really do have a lack of discipline. There are so many things, well at least a few, I could do if I bothered to invest the time and effort into them. Somehow I lack that motivation. It is as if I have writer’s block, but its my overall life.

So how do you overcome this kind of “writer’s block”? Beats me apparently, because I still can’t motivate myself enough even though I tell myself at work everyday, “Do something productive when you get home.”  I get home and I do nothing productive.

By the way, what I am doing right now instead of sleeping? Playing Star Wars and feeding my bad habits. Seriously, I lack discipline though Menards doesn’t lack my 9 AM arrival on its schedule.

The Left and Right: Principled Ideological Differences?

Sometimes, you have mini epiphanies come to you out of nowhere. It’s happened to me at work, but I never have time to write it down there. This time however, I was shaving when my “epiphany” occurred. Can I really call it that? Perhaps.

Today when we think of the “right” and the “left”, most of us think of two differing ideologies that are clashing with each other on both a cultural and political scale. I suppose that’s true.  You can also be a libertarian like me and look at both sides Ideology as inherently statist, but that just isn’t relevant to this point/idea that cropped up in my rather unfocused mind. (I really am rather jealous of those who can focus their thoughts into concise points and articulate them like talking heads who know exactly what they are talking about.)

Notice alot of the issues that have popped up since the early 2000s, both culturally and politically. When you mention the word “big government” concerning an issue to someone who is supposedly a progressive or on the left on whatever the issue might be, what happens?

  • You are assumed to be a conservative.  (But I’m a libertarian!)
  • They advocate in favor of whatever action big government is participating in concerning the subject.
  • Their position on the action big government is taking becomes more valid in their mind.

Most liberals I know define their support or opposition of big government based on the concept that conservatives define it by.  So notice the trend. Depending on whatever position conservatives advocate, liberals will advocate the opposite even if that is not necessarily their position on the subject. This applies vice versa as well.   It’s almost as if a kind of “partyspeak” exists.  People tow a certain party line.

When it came to the subject of the Patriot act, note the opposition that was there when it was enacted and notice it now.  Apply that same line of thought to the issue of drone strikes. Apply it to the whole Monsanto debate.  Apply it to the War on Drugs. Apply it to recent censorship and internet piracy debates.  Keep applying it to much of the political dialogue over the last decade. Notice anything?

Liberals and Conservatives aren’t necessarily opposed to big government or in direct support of it. They are all of course opposed to whatever the other side supports.  Do you know any liberal or conservative who is actually in support of unrestricted Drone Strikes? Indefinite detainment of American citizens? Invading or participating in more foreign conflicts? Internet censorship?

I suppose the assumptions we make about either side somewhat become a self-fulfilling reality even though the specific boxes and categories we try to put people in really don’t fit as well as they should.  Could some of these attempts to categorize people and make very widespread assumptions about said people result from our Western drive to categorize, organize, and make every kind of distinction we can? Even if it is, I’m not sure if we can shed those presuppositions and our thought process that may be one of the factors in what drives party line ideology today.

I believe our very time-saving and “immediate” cultural attitude and behavior may be somewhat at fault here. We however must make the effort to not be lazy and avoid the time consumption convenience  of assuming either side or whatever the ideology may be is always wrong.   If an idea is valid, it doesn’t matter who proposes the idea.  Guilt by association just doesn’t seem to be the proper mindset if one actually wishes to examine and  filter ideas through as many individual perceptions on a subject to determine the validity of said ideas.

My Life Motto: Live as if People Matter.

“Live as if people matter,” was one of platforms that  Thomas Chalmers urged his congregation and community to take into account for their lives.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about this statement almost every day. 

What I’ve realized is how hard it really is to attain and practice in my daily life. While selfishness may be a behavior and attitude that plagues our society at large, it certainly plagues me as well. 

I think about how I spend my time. Do I spend every waking second, “living as if people matter?”  No, not that much if I’m going to be honest with myself. In my free time, I hang out with friends, play online games, hit up Half-Times on Tuesday, and whatever else suits my fancy. 

Sure, I’m tired after work, but isn’t everyone else? I guess I can’t make that excuse. If I wanted to use my time productively, I would invest my time in other people’s lives.  Instead the temptation is to throw money their way and keep my time to myself, but that may be the pinnacle of my selfish nature.  Will I give the man a fish, or will I teach him how to fish? I can guess what takes more time.

One thing I’ve realized I can do is apply this motto, “Live as if people matter” to my time that is not free. When I’m at work this will be a tough, exhausting, and difficult attitude to maintain – specifically with my retail job – but I must persevere nonetheless. It may involve going out of my way, staying later, throwing up the 40 LB bags of birdseed, and even alot of other people’s job for them, but I must persevere in it regardless. 

Will I be a doormat to some degree? Perhaps. Will people know that the doormat is there to help them because it legitimately cares? Absolutely. I’ve certainly used Christ as a doormat and he’s forgiven me, so I must do the same.