What Is It All For?

Dear Self,

You need to be more conscientious about the things that occupy your mind, and draw upon your energies within.

Yes life the last few years have been hard.  You have lost a great deal, and endured a hurricane of changes, but you can not give up.

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. ~Rene Descartes

You need to find vision within yourself once more.  A path, and direction, that will lead you to inspiration, motivation, and purpose.  You need to be able to look back at the work you have created and be able to say “I did that! I made that, and it was/is mine.”

Yes, I know you had that once, and the work you did, and the people you helped was incredible.  However, all things, both good and bad, must eventually come to an end.

All things deteriorate in time. ~Virgil

Now it is up to you to find a new vision and purpose in life.  Something you can build that will endure.

I know for a fact you have had enough of distractions, temptations, excuses, and failures. There is potential within you to achieve great things.  Worthy things.

So go out and find something to give yourself over to, and give it your all.

One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that. ~Joseph Campbell

Humanities Extinction

It has been awhile since Hollywood has come out with a really good “end of the world” type movie.  Come to think of it, the last ones I can remember came out when I was still in high school.  Movies like Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow, and Independence Day come to mind.

I would venture a guess that most human beings don’t think about the end of the world. Like death, I think we all know it will happen someday, but choose not to think about it. A problem for future generations to deal with.

The end may be sooner then you think, and worse it doesn’t look like the end of humanity will come by asteroid, alien invasion, or deadly storm.  The end, it seems, will come at the hands of humanity itself.

6975466-end-of-the-worldIn a recent interview Stephen Hawking theorizes that 1,000 years may be all humanity has left.  He warns that with advances in science & technology bring with it “new ways that things can go wrong.”

I am inclined to believe Hawking, but maybe for different reasons.  Humanity is becoming increasingly distracted to the realities of what is going on around them.  Social media, TV, and cell phones have lowered our attention spans significantly.  Obesity is at an all time high, and our schools and educational systems are eliminating the very things that make life worth living such as music, art, photography, theater, and more.

If humanity was to be wiped out tomorrow how would we want our species to be remembered?  If we only have 1,000 years left we should focus on more important things besides how many Facebook friends we have, or how many “likes” we got on our last Instagram photo.

Life is to be lived, felt, believed, and remembered.  If humanity only has 1,000 years left I hope we make those years ones of great significance and importance.  And I truly hope, before the end, that we can put our differences behind us, and come together as one species united.

118. The Story of Stuff

Those of you who read my last post will know that my friend Hudson, who I went to high school with, has challenged me to look into a few sources of information. The topic centers around the items we use each day, where the materials come from that make those items, how these items affect the world, and what happens to the items after we throw them away. I may have missed a few parts there, but I see this as a long term project, so I am sure if I missed something I will cover it in a future post. I promised Hudson that I would carefully look into each of the resources he gave me, and offer my honest opinion. The first resource he gave me was this video, and it is hosted on a site called The Story of Stuff.

Things I agree with:

This whole challenge started because I, and another friend of ours mentioned either owning or wanting an iPad. Hudson asked us to consider thinking about where these things come from and the impact they have on our world. So I started watching this video, and was stunned when she starts talking about creating products that will break, or be out of date in a short amount of time. I was stunned even more when she talked about making products look different so others could see you didn’t have the latest and greatest item. Why was I stunned, well because that is how Apple gets people to buys things. They have been doing this for years. When the iPhone came out everyone had to have it, and then the iPhone 3Gs came out, and then the iPhone 4, and they are even talking about the iPhone 5 next year. Being a Mac snob myself I have fallen victim to this many times. When the iPhone 4 came out I wanted one despit the fact that my iPhone 3G works just fine. I am happy to say I did not give in to temptation and still have my iPhone 3G. But even still today the pull to own the iPhone 4 can be strong.

The comments about The Corporations owning the Government I think are spot on! If big oil companies did not have their hand in the till we would have had a better solution for gas a LONG time ago. However there is a lot of evidence that shows big oil companies getting rid of alternative fuel competition in one way or another.

Things I dont agree with:

I dont agree with the comments about people working around chemicals. Especially here in the US. My profession is Health and Safety, and I am very aware of all the safety regulations out there that IF followed protect the worker from harmful chemicals. True many companies dont follow those rules or regulations, but its then the employees responsibility to report those companies. Having been on both ends I can say I know that there is a risk for whistle blowers, but it is worth the risk.

There was a comment about people in other countries working in factories, and giving up their lives. This I disagree with. Life is hard. Always has been and always will be. One of my favorite TV quotes is “The hardest thing to do in this world is live in it.” Its true! However I think almost everyone in this world has the chance to make something better for themselves. Sure it will require hard work, sacrifice, and blood, sweat and tears, but its possible. Think of the last movie you saw where the underdog won, like Rudy. Rudy was not handed what he wanted. He had to work hard every day for what he wanted. He sacrificed a lot including living in a closet, and being outcast by his girlfriend and family. Getting somewhere in this life take hard work, and everyone can do it, if they are not willing to settle.

OK these are just my first thoughts after watching the video. There are several more videos to watch and a large website to explore. So I am going to get back to studying and making notes. More comments and posts on this to follow.

117. The Problem With iPhones, iPads, And Other Electronics

Yesterday my friend Leanne posted about how happy she has been with her purchase of a new iPad. I myself have been on the fence about buying one, and have been curious for what things people find the iPad valuable. I have heard many many different responses. Even this past week while at a business conference I had a conversation with one of the companies lead VP’s about the possibility of getting everyone iPads, and the business advantages it would bring us.

Now during this conversation with Leanne another friend of ours posted the following…

“Not all of these apply to the iPad, of course, but check out this link and multiply all of the hefty resource and human rights issues related to the iPhone by 4 (the approximate multiple of the iPad’s size to its smaller cousin.) You should also definitely think of the impacts–social, environmental–of your high-tech purchase BEYOND your mere personal enjoyment of it.
In this day and age, it’s pretty easy to disengage from connecting all of the dots… everything is just made SO far away. http://motherjones.com/environment/2010/03/scary-truth-about-your-iphone”

When you go to the website it talks a great deal about some of the disadvantages of the iPhone and iPad. Things like….
1. The origin of where the parts are made.
2. The amount of waste that it creates to make an iPhone or ipad
3. Illegal mine operations
4. Desecration of land in the harvest of minerals
5. Padding arms dealers pockets
6. Labor and sweat shops
7. Bad safety record
8. Monopoly

Now before all of you Apple loving people go nuts out there, lets remember that I am an Apple snob myself. However I am always willing to listen to other peoples opinion. Doing a little research into this and I have found some (not all) but some credibility to the accusations.

My question to Hudson was this…

“Holy guilt trip BatMan….Hudson while I think you environmental attitude is well worth while I have a few questions?

1. What is your solution? I see you have brought a problem to the table but I see no solution to the issue. While I guess your solution could be to stop buying cell phones, ipads, etc, in todays world that is an unrealistic solution.
2. What did you use to make this comment? A computer? I believe that if I did deep enough about any electronics store, with maybe a few exceptions, I think I would find similar things to what you have posted. So again I see you bringing a problem to us, but using the very thing you abhor.

Im not saying your wrong. Truly I am not, and I am listening to you that there is a need for more awareness and understanding, but what is the solution. There are a lot of people in this world who want to bitch about problems but I see very little problem solving.”

So my question to the world is….Do you think that this is really a problem? If so what is the solution? How do we change this? Do we need to change it? Is it out of our control?

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