Absorb.

Absorb those around you. Of course I don’t mean to leech the life from them in some sort of science fiction effort. Absorb their wisdom, knowledge and experience – take the best they have to offer and integrate it into your own understanding.

There are people we come across through various circumstances and they have a lot to offer. Unique perspectives, experiences, interests, world views and the like. They are worth being absorbed. What you’ll find in this deliberate exercise is that you have a lot that you don’t fully understand.

Understanding opens all kinds of possibilities. On the surface it is simple the fact that you have more knowledge than you did before, but further to that, you can now put your knowledge to good use. This leads to better interactions with people in every aspect of your life, the ability to recognize which path to take and when to take it.

In the simplest of terms, absorbing those around you makes you a more complete person with a stronger ability to navigate ideas and pursue life. There is so much you do not yet know or understand, be humble about that, and seek to absorb as much as you can.

You can absorb people through observation, conversation, asking questions, new experiences, there are a myriad of ways. This absorption must be deliberate in whichever way you pursue it and it must not be selective, everyone is worthy of being absorbed. Approach this in a whole manner, as half of the story is useless in and of itself.

Absorb leaders. Absorb colleagues. Absorb educators. Absorb philosophers. Absorb artists. Absorb opposition. Absorb the stranger on the seat next to you. Absorb the poor fellow begging for coins. Your human brain has a great capacity for it. Never stop.

They Don’t See It Coming.

There is a crisis unfolding. To most people there is one crisis or another that is at the forefront of their mind. It could the the Trump presidency, it might be Brexit, maybe it’s North Korea and their increased nuclear threat, it could be the Catalonia separatist movement or Russsias interference (to put it lightly) in Ukraine.

One thing is for sure, there is crisis in nearly every part of the world at this point in time and everyone seems to be engaged in it one way or another. There seems to be no common foe, no united consensus on what crisis is more important or who the real threat is.

The common thread is that none of us are united against any threat whatsoever. We are all combating against one another on every issue. The guiding principles that once unified us as countrymen and nations now seem to be under attack themselves and our inability to unite is tearing us asunder.

Once upon a time there was world with varying ideologies, where nations united together under these principles to ensure their continued prosperity. These ideologies were pursued for the benefit of everyone else and sometimes lead to war or conflict to either enforce upon or liberate from the opposing ideology. There were many cases when the world seemed doomed. This is, however, starkly different from the world we see today.

The threat is now coming from within and it is far easier to overcome an external foe than an internal one. For various reasons this shift from external to internal has occurred; advances in technology, cultural change, economic strife.

We don’t have conversations anymore, instead we have arguments, or we shut down the conversation altogether. I am right and you are wrong. We’re willfully ignorant and blind.

The reasons are many, but the result will be the same, we will see the collapse of the western world if we continue down this path. Separatist movements are on the rise and growing in strength; from Brexit to Catalonia, to California, to Western Canada. National debt per capita is increasing in almost every developed nation and pushing them further towards bankruptcy. The common man feels entitled to take from another to give to himself.

This is the crux of the problem: no one sees it coming because they’re all looking at themselves.

The Fence

Get off of the fence. We’re all there at some point or other on various topics throughout our lives. Truth be told, you should only be there for a very short time. You might hop back to the other side if you find that you don’t like the pasture you chose, but you can’t just sit there indefinitely.

Life is full of decisions. We have to decide what we’re going to eat, what clothes we’re going to wear, what movie we’re going to watch. These are all mostly superficial decisions. More to the point is who we’re going to be. Any decision big or small can contribute to this but most of those decisions become decided in advance once we decide who we are going to be. Deciding who we are going to be forces us off of the fence. It forces us to pick a pasture where the grass isn’t necessarily any greener, it’s just a little bit different.

What point is there sitting on the fence? You can’t spend your life sitting there saying to yourself “I don’t need to find out which pasture is better.” You’re likely to starve, as there is no grass on the fence itself, so you must step down to eat at some point. Then, like a fearful cat you jump back onto the fence and try to remain neutral while everyone enjoying the grass on one side or the other beckons you to come down.

I suggest you pick a pasture and check it out. What do you think about the grass there? Is it green enough? Is it nourishing? Is there plenty of it? Maybe you like the desert, the other side of the fence where less travel. Maybe you like the search forĀ  food and water, and maybe you like having a smaller herd. If you find it’s not for you, then hop on over to the other side and give it a shot. The point is, you’re going to find the pasture you like better and you’re going be be a lot more comfortable without a fence post up your ass.

Now you’ve found your pasture. You like the grass, you like the water, you like the skies, the weather and the herd accompanying you. Now what? Hang out there and relax? You certainly can, it’s easy enough. I suggest you don’t. I suggest you start running. Run so far and so fast into that pasture that you begin to discover what you couldn’t see from the fence. Follow the wandering streams, meet the herd you couldn’t see next to the fence. Explore the pasture of your choice and discover all of it’s unique character.

You’re eventually going to run into another fence with another pasture on the other side. So now you have a decision, do you hop up onto a new fence? You know you like the pasture you’re in and you feel comfortable there. Hopping onto another fence certainly feels like it would be an uncomfortable experience and certainly crossing right into the new pasture is going to be unfamiliar and possibly even a bad idea. I hope the answer is obvious. Check it out, see how you like it and explore every corner of that pasture if it’s good, if it’s your kind of pasture.

Decisions are endless. Ideas are vast, varied, and complicated. The grass isn’t always greener, but sometimes it just needs some cultivating and sometimes it’s still the kind of place you want to be. The point is to get off of the fence and explore. Find out who you are, decide who you want to be, commit and push forward into the unknown. There will be like minded people in every pasture ready to share it with you, it’s the fence that is the lonely place where you go to die.

There are a lot of fences, decide which ones are yours and live in the pastures they hold. Explore someone else’s pasture from time to time. Just don’t sit on that fence.

Introduction

Welcome to my new website! It is time now, I suppose, to move forward with a little bit of opinion, maybe a little bit of philosophy, maybe a little bit of culture. Who knows? We’ll start off as a catch-all and see where that leads.

You can expect to get a wide range of articles here. I know the most intelligent way to go about things is to focus on a narrow topic, and I may do that in the future, but for now we’re going to see what works and what draws readership.

You’re in for a ride, I will not pull any punches. I know better than you, but I’m willing to learn.