Nature versus Nurture

If you want to grow your own apples, there’s a fairly well defined process you can follow. Specific tree varieties require certain types of soil, certain amounts of sunlight, certain amounts of water and regular pruning throughout the life of the plant. Apple trees require the nearby presence of another apple tree so that bees can cross pollinate them, without which they will not bear fruit. These are variables, that if tightly controlled, optimize the tree’s chance of success.

Great apples can be found in the wild, but this is a rare thing and surely it has little to do with the original seed’s will power or work ethic. These wild trees just happened to chance upon a location that meets their needs, but without pruning, the fruit will never be optimal.

Agriculture and societies share this common characteristic. The health of an apple tree in an orchard, much like the health of an individual in a society, is determined by the care and structural support provided by the environment it exists in.

Not only does society have a major role to play in the development of its citizens, but should it fail to provide a sufficiently optimized environment, the majority of said citizens will not succeed. Everybody wants to succeed, you don’t need to incentivize that; what people need to succeed is structure and opportunity, and only a well adjusted society can provide that.

You can’t legislate an apple tree into a fruit haven, you have to help it meet its needs.

Fall of the Empire

The US has taken it’s first truly backward step in a long time. They’ve let mostly baseless hate and fear trick them into electing a shitty business man and reality TV personality into a job even he knew wasn’t within his abilities to do.

The responsitity for this tragedy goes mostly to the 120 million eligible voters who did not vote. The 62 million people who did vote for him had their reasons. The 64 million who voted for Hillary had theirs. It wasn’t enough because the electoral college got aced by the RNC this time.

Washington’s corruption, ineptitudes and sometimes baffling incompetence are just humans traits. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter who is running the system or what the laws are; humans are imperfect and opportunistic. You don’t get elected to anything if you’re not already putting on an act of some sort. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The left had a good thing going though, they are typically on the right side of history and science. They’ve even grown accustomed to laughing at the right, and often with good reason. No one likes being laughed at.

Trump’s win is proof positive that derision isn’t good in politics. Furthermore and more importantly, intolerance of intolerance just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.
We need to find ways to open communication back up, even to the absolute worst of the worst, lest the problem fester and actually get worse. It began festering big time when Obama won, and we now know just how toxic it became.

Peace cannot be kept by force

It’s not illegal to have an opinion, regardless of how misguided, disgusting or blind it is, so we can’t just treat these miscreants with disrespect, like we can actual criminals. We need to listen, share and hope to teach. The only concrete way to enact real positive change is to lead by example.

Kindness

Act of kindness

 

The world is full of beauty and wonder, but it is also a harsh place. Life is a struggle from beginning to end and things get very hard when we forget that we only grow through pain and only learn from challenges.

If something is hard, but you know the outcome will be positive, that is an indication that it is well worth the sweat and blood. Taking the easy road almost always leads to more hardship; we grow weak and tired when we avoid earning our spoils. When things are too good to be true, they generally are.

We live in a world where half the population is more concerned about “Freedom”, a term so often misunderstood and twisted to mean exactly the opposite of what it really means: responsibility, rather than respect and the life giving ecosystems we depend on. Freedom is not doing whatever you want whenever you want, that is anarchy. Freedom is respecting the world around you enough so that everyone has personal freedom to live how they see fit, so long as they do not encroach on the freedom of others of course.

Kindness is easy, it is free and wonderful, but it’s not “cool”. What is “cool” these days is more closely related to “not giving a fuck”, to excess and intolerance of change. To be open to new ideas often comes across as not having a mind of your own, while resistance to the very real and ever changing world only makes things hard, but without the positive outcome.

Then there’s this constant demand from the feeble minded that those around them change to be more like them. Even intelligent people with proper morals and life styles seem to think they can change others and that they have the right to do so in the first place. Fact is rights are an illusion, we are thrust into this unforgiving world and physically anything can happen. The law doesn’t prevent, it only punishes.

The real solution is kindness, respect and tolerance. Too many short sighted individuals escalate situations instead of de-escalating them. You cannot solve a situation by applying more of the same problem to it, and that’s what violence is, a problem. Love is violence’s only enemy, whereas more violence almost always makes the problem worse.

Some people would call me a hippie, and that’s okay, but really I am not all peace and love, I just think ahead; I see the future I want and I act in the present to give myself the opportunity to achieve it. I don’t see a bright future where between now and then is violence, intolerance, hatred and fear. We need to communicate, agree to disagree; we need to let research, history and science guide our paths, not men and their flawed ideals and biases. But I won’t pretend to want to force this on anyone else, all I can do is live it, and be kind.

The less fortunate

We live in a new kind of society, where kids leave the house at 18 and never come back. We don’t take care of our parents anymore and some us don’t have even kids that could take care of us anyway.
We’ve replaced familial obligations with freedom and individuality. That is all fine and good, so long as we replace the help our elderly used to receive with something else. Hardships used to be everyone’s problem; you couldn’t neglect the poor and the weak because they lived on your doorstep, in smaller villages. They had a name and a face and their problems weren’t brushed off as laziness or entitlements or some other bullshit excuse some people give.
Moreover, some people are not as luck as we are, they don’t have the smarts, the looks or the contacts that we have. Things that simple and common sense to us are hard and confusing to them. The less fortunate need the help of the fortunate, it has always been that way and it will always be that way.

We can keep denying reality, and watch the lives or people around us crumble, or we can stop complaining and start helping.India_poor