The universe is methodically breaking. For m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶s̶ y̶e̶a̶r̶s̶ d̶e̶c̶a̶d̶e̶s̶ centuries, society has been tearing itself apart, limb from limb. Yet it seems as though no one wants to take the blame. Instead, we roll our eyes and swipe our mean fingers across overpriced technology, virtually decapitating anyone who disagrees with our version of logic.
Years ago, I attended an intense three day "transformational" workshop in hopes of becoming a better person. One of the takeaways from the weekend, aside from failing miserably, was to stop looking for reasons to be right. Why? Because you will always find them, and when you do, it will more than likely destroy any relationships you are trying to maintain.
Pushing away love for the sake of argument is a problem for many. Humans are funny that way. We think we know everything and are usually too busy plotting our next move to listen to what the other person is trying to say. The result: Everyone is screaming, but no one hears a word.
Emotional boot camp taught me many things, including when to walk away from a pyramid scheme. With so much valuable information at our fingertips—Life-changing, actually.—it made no sense why they would want, much less need, to use their students, many of whom paid hundreds of dollars to be there, to promote their brand. Was I missing something?
It's true; people only buy gold nuggets from those they trust, but no one buys a vacuum cleaner from a guy off the street unless he's carrying a Dyson. If you have to work that hard on a sale, then whatever you're peddling must be counterfeit. Had the leaders of that program taken the time to strategize their gorilla marketing campaign, they would have found that authenticity sells itself.
Virtual soldiers are combing through cyberspace with bullhorns and hidden agendas, intent on getting followers to change their minds about whatever is relevant at the moment. Some will even (figuratively) cut a bitch for disagreeing with them, unfriending them for life via social media.
It appears as though Facebook's mission, "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together," has backfired. What used to be a fun getaway to reconnect with friends and family has become one of the most depressing places on the planet. Everyone is raging, anxious, bewildered, and sad—a clusterfuck of negative energy walking through a mine-filled tunnel with zero light. Holy shit, is it ever dark in here.
With everyone shoving their two cents down assorted throats, finding the right words can be tricky: think eggshells as far as the eye can see. Ultimately, you may end up biting your tongue and listening with dead ears to a knife-scraping, one-sided relationship. What a waste.
The world is demanding change, and that's a good thing, but how we go about getting there is another story. We cannot fix what is broke by sitting on other people's voices. If there is any hope of ending this revolution in our lifetime, it will happen when we stop pointing fingers and sketch out a solid plan together. Any fool knows that you can't build a skyscraper a million feet tall if the foundation is crooked. It seems like nature needs to level it's playing field before we will ever break ground.
You start living the second you stop being who you aren't. Tick-tock. Time waits for no one.
My father introduced me to the lone wolf theory as a child. He believed (still does) that people cannot be trusted. At 83-years-old, he has lived most of his life in a constant state of emotional solitude.
Over the past decade, social media has infiltrated the internet streets with clickbait slot machines, Vegas-style lighting, and all-you-can-eat negativity. It's a lot to digest, even if you love that sort of thing, but much like that one friend who takes, takes, takes and never gives back, that shit gets old real quick.
When all you see or hear is invalidating doom and gloom, it messes with your head. Instead of living our best lives, we end up trading them in for beat-up clunkers that won't start no matter how much coffee we pour down the tank.
Why do we do it to ourselves?
It took 53 years—a lifetime of abusive relationships and debilitating anxiety, a global pandemic, worldwide riots, fucking MURDER HORNETS, and an asteroid the size of the Empire State Building—for me to ask myself that question.
Fear is the result of a shift in power. It is what happens when we feel overturned, and if we don't do something to prevent ourselves from breaking any further, we will collapse.
The day after 9/11, I plopped down on the couch and whipped up a half-ass business plan in my head. Many of my friends, and pretty much my entire family, accused me of being insane after hearing about my spur-of-the-moment decision.
My reply: What have I got to lose?
Despite having no formal education or any experience running a business, I sketched a logo out on a bar napkin and began my journey into promotional marketing. It was the best decision of my life, a creative explosion that lasted ten years, putting me behind the imaginative wheel of some of the biggest companies in the world.
Civilization is raw and gritty; it has been this way since the dawn of time and will proceed until the end. As long as humans are in existence, global tension will ebb and flow. There will never be absolute harmony because no two people are the same, but here's what we can do to make it better: be kind, respectful, compassionate, patient, and open to new ideas. Listen when someone is talking instead of interrupting, and for crying out loud, relax.
A hundred years from now, 2020 will be a blip in history, another notch in a belt of universal discomfort. What is the message we want to see in those books? That we were right and they were wrong? That "Karen" is a stuck-up bitch with no sense of humor and bad hair? That being a bully is the only way to be heard?
The time has come to think for ourselves and listen to our guts. Don't let anyone tell you who you are because you already know. In the same spirit, don't pull that shit on anyone else. Evolution will happen whether we like it or not, but we get to choose—independently—which path is right for us, so pick one and keep moving.
What have you got to lose?