You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do: you get a house with a 25 year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of fuck you. Somebody wants you to do something, fuck you. Boss pisses you off, fuck you! Own your house. Have a couple bucks in the bank. Don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody on any social level.
John Goodman, The Gambler
Defined by some as being consumer-debt free and having at enough money in the bank to last you for at least six months with no money coming it, the notion of f#ck you money sounds quite appealing.
What’s the point of having f#ck you money? Well, besides the obvious, that you can say f#ck you whenever you feel like it, for any reason at all, there are a couple of added benefits to reaching this level of financial independence.
You know those “terms and conditions” you have to read over and accept? Well, we should have been told that 2020 is going to be quite an interesting year… interesting in the sense that the stuff they write about in history books is going to happen almost every single month.
But this is not why I am writing these words.
An article by yours truly about 2020, and what’s going on, and how to best cope with the things that are going on.
On Monday evening, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a forty-six-year-old black man named George Floyd died in a horrific and terrible way.
As it’s not my goal to detail the events, you can read more about what happened here.
I’m not in the business of passing judgement, or trying to explain who did what and why, but there’s one aspect that I’d like to write about: the fact that we often forget the most inalienable of human rights – human decency.
Many years ago, a student asked cultural anthropologist Margaret Meade a simple question; what was, in her opinion, the earliest sign of civilization.
You know, whether it was the discovery of fire, or the invention of the wheel. Or something of the sorts.
Her answer took him by surprise. She said the earliest sign of civilization was “a healed femur.”
You see, in the animal kingdom, where only the fittest survive, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, you cannot drink or hunt for food. No creature survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. You are eaten by predators long before that.
In the world of hunter-gatherers, a person with a fractured thigh bone would be thought of as useless and left to die.
But a femur that has healed is evidence that someone had taken the time to stay with the one who was injured, had bound up the wound, had carried the person to safety, and had hunted and gathered food for this injured person until their leg healed.
Someone had to provide care for another who couldn’t care for themselves.
Margaret Meade said that the evidence of compassion was the first sign of civilization.
We are only as strong as the weakest among us. That’s how it’s always been.
Do you know how we became the dominant species on the planet?
Let me tell you a funny story: one of my many tattoos (If you know how many tattoos you have, you don’t have enough) is the exact date when I launched this blog; the day I decided I wanted to write stories and share them with folks, and that I’d either find a way to do that and make a living out of it or starve to death.
In the past, I’ve written about certain lessons I had learned during my journey, or written about interesting statistics from my blog.
Today, as I celebrate eight years of blogging, I am doing something different.
Today I am sharing with you the best essays and blog posts that I wrote during these eight years.
“It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.” –Ian McEwan
They say the biggest distance between two people is misunderstanding. It creates this gap between people. Or is it a wall? And it’s frustrating, isn’t it? It does make you feel as if you’re alone, the only one who thinks and says and acts in a certain way.
And by feeling so don’t we diminish others as well? Don’t we fail to understand that even though they are different, they’re still inherently the same as us? And they deserve to be treated the same way we’d like to be treated.
I don’t know, it’s a difficult question to answer.
But could you hate someone if you knew why they do what they do? If you could truly understand them? Their thoughts? Their feelings? Know their past? Their struggles? What they want? What they have lost?
Here in Romania we have a pretty strange educational system. And, well, the whole system does nothing to tell you that you are special, that you are capable of greatness. I don’t know if this is a bad thing or not, but I’ve always wanted to believe that people have greatness inside of them, that people are capable of being great, of doing wonderful things.
But they’re constantly being told that they’re just average, that they have to play a small part, that changing the world is a task reserved to other individuals.
It’s always others who get to do all the things we want to do, isn’t it? Continue reading →