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Societal Superheroes

July 27, 2005

I think everyday that our society asks too much of us.  We’re supposed to work our jobs everyday with  the utmost degree of excellence.  We’re supposed to be “informed voters” on every political issue.   We’re supposed to spend quality time with our friends, family, and loved ones.  We’re supposed to  visit the sick in the hospital, and those in jail.  We’re supposed to …

… give ‘back’ to our communities doing various things such as helping out in our churches or local  community events.  We’re supposed to wash our clothes, cook, clean, and take care of all the other  things involved with living and owning a home. We’re supposed to (when young) get involved in school  and participate in some sort of ‘extracurricular’ activity, such as sports, cheer-leading, or math  club. We’re supposed to attend every social function tied to anyone we know.  …

I’m not going to enumerate anymore.  A person can’t help but feel overwhelmed.  Who hasn’t heard  someone say something to the effect of, “If there was just more time in the day.” That’s normally  where most people stop.  They just complain there’s not enough time and simply acknowledge that as some sort of life fact, like it can’t be changed.  Overall, I have a lot more to say about this  subject.

I’ve always hated the whole 8-5 bit. 9-4, … whatever the shift.  I think the whole American society  is screwed up. I know there’s always the saying, “A man’s got to work”.  Even the Bible says a man  will earn his living by the sweat of his brow, though I highly question whether God ever intended for  man to work as much as we do here in America.

Henry David Thoreau, in Walden said, “It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the  sweat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I do.”  If you read his book ‘Walden’ you’ll notice a  recurring theme:

“For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found, that  by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living. The whole of my  winters, as well as most of my summers, I had free and clear for study.” (Walden)

“…my greatest skill has been to want but little.” (Walden)

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” (Walden)

What is that theme? Contentment. I question why Americans, most of whom hate their job, spend the  MAJORITY of their time doing what they hate to do, and the MINORITY of their time doing what they actually enjoy.  That’s just ridiculous to me.  Oh, they need the money … Whatever.  Need the money for what?  Their 3rd car?  Furniture payments?  Mortgage payment?  Computers? Movies?  Big Screen TVs?

It’s just ridiculous to me. I’ve noticed that I live just like Thoreau right now.  I spend the MAJORITY of my time studying.  Not ‘working’, but studying, which is what I want to do.   It’s not because I make such a killing writing software.  It’s because I literally own nothing.  I own  tons and tons of books, a motorcycle, a car, and that’s it.

Not too long ago I was hired as a network administrator for a great company.  I was paid excellent, everybody in the workplace loved me, I was respected.  Even the job was half way decent.  It was incredibly easy job.  Many days I literally did nothing.  If no computers broke, and there was no new equipment to install I just sat on the computer and waited for someone to call with problems.

As for most Americans, I would’ve already ‘made it’.  I suppose I could’ve gotten myself my own house, married myself a pretty girl, and started my life.  But why didn’t I?

Well.  As I’ve always worked from wherever, whenever, and whatever hours I wanted, I’m used to waking up every morning and praying.  But now I had a job asking me to come in every day and be there at 8 am.  I soon found myself sleeping until around 7 am, waking up, eating, showering, and heading to the office.  It wasn’t long before I wasn’t praying at all in the mornings and I woke up feeling stressed, tired, and overall lost.

You can’t REALLY pray at work, as things always seem to happen.  You just start and the phone would ring with something to do.  Or someone would come in your office and start talking about the daily agenda.

Then I’d come home and the list of things to do started adding up.  Wax and wash the car.  Clean the kitchen.  Exercise.  And all those other things I mentioned at the start of this, and I soon found myself ‘too busy’ to pray and study.  I was also too tired.  Sometimes after installing new servers, being busy all day, meetings, and what not, I was mentally exhausted.    I did what a person is supposed to do and actually did my job well.  You’re going to be tired after 8 hours of any type of labor, mental or physical.

So, I looked at where this was taking me.  I remembered before working there that every morning I was excited to wake up as I was reading and studying philosophy and theology and finding out all these difficult life questions.  I was praying everyday and had an overall peace of mind, and was content.  Working the 8-5 shift … That was gone.  I had no time to look into those really important things of life.  The important things became my ‘side-projects’ and my main focus had to be this ‘job’.

I quit the job very shortly.  Maybe I’m a strange breed, but I’ve already decided that isn’t for me.  Now I work writing software, probably several hours per day (average), and the rest of my time is dedicated to study.  Some days I don’t work at all.  Other days I’ll put in a long 8 hour shift, but not often.  Overall, I don’t make as much money, but I have a TON of free time.    Philosophers seem to call the term ‘leisure’.  Well, I have a lot of it.  I study most days 6-8 hours per day.

My current research project, I’ve been building up an all-inclusive list of ancient historians of Bible times and have been researching ( I suppose ‘validating’ ) each non-Biblical historical reference ever made.  Here’s an example of one reference I’ve found:

“Manetho, an Egyptian historian of the third century B.C., as reported by Josephus, tells us that the Exodus was due to the desire of the Egyptians to protect themselves form a plague that had broken out among the destitute and enslaved Jews, and that Moses was an Egyptian priest who went as a missionary among the Jewish “lepers,” and gave them laws of cleanliness modeled upon those of the Egyptian clergy.”

That’s fascinating to me.  Here’s a fact that most don’t know:  David, and Solomon in the Old Testament supposedly are not mentioned anywhere by any other historical reference other than the Bible itself.  Isn’t that funny how David and Solomon have the longest most detailed accounts of their kingdoms and were great powerful kings, yet nowhere in the  known world is a single historical reference outside the Bible.

I’ve been researching all the founding of the Bible and tracing each single page of every translation down to the original scrolls, and each original scroll that still exists I’ve been writing down the location as to where it exists so I can go see them.

That’s just one of the things I’ve been researching, not to mention going through the Great Books and studying philosophy in-depth.

I can’t say how much more rewarding it is to study this stuff than it is to work a job everyday and not know anything.  If you get caught up in the day to day system you’re never going to have time to do things like this.  Isn’t this the most important thing?  Where do we come from?  What is life’s purpose?  What do we owe to God?  What does he desire?

Take this syllogism I deduced the other day:

Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

So we can conclude this:

Therefore God created all things so we’d have faith in him.

God created all things for his pleasure, and the only thing that brings him pleasure is us trusting in him (faith) and doing what he says.   I can’t say how many world-views that shatters, but I know it answers a major question for me:  Will I be elevated to an all knowing state when I die?  Answer?  No.  Because God created me for his pleasure, and faith is the only way I can please (bring pleasure) to God.  If I knew all, I’d no longer need God’s help to pursue happiness as I’d already know what action to take to acquire it.

That’s just one little thing.  One of the many things, often I never tell anyone about, that I’m constantly finding each and every day.  I’ve found that learning these truths, having peace of mind, and a real relationship with God is far more valuable than anything else life can offer.

Though I’m not finished yet.  This is my rant, and I’m going to finish it in all it’s glory.  There’s nothing that makes me more infuriated is hearing Sean Hannity, and others on the news make this comment: “A person shouldn’t be voting if they don’t know the issues.”

“Know the issues” … Give me a break.  I can’t stand that comment.  Anybody who’s ever researched and actually knows what they’re talking about knows that based on the information we’re given, many times we can’t even make an informed decision if we wanted to.   Though, even when information is available, people never have the leisure and quality time to study and figure out the economics, law, government, society’s/culture, history, etc, involved to make a REAL decision.

Let’s just look at each one.   Economics.  The Stock Market has always been a mystery to all.  Macro/Micro Economics … well, they’ve left us all with less than a wonderful taste in our mouths.  These theories seem to work sometimes, but economists today are still baffled by what caused the Great Depression …. If they can’t even find out what caused the Great Depression, which they have had 70~80 years to look into, what makes you think they’re going to FORESEE an upcoming depression and avoid it?  With new variables in the equation.  A whole new world.  Give me a break.

So even if you’ve had the time to study all that, which 99.9999999999% of people have not, you’re still not going to know anything worth really knowing anyways.

Next off:  Law.  It’s easy to write an iron-clad document.  What that iron-clad document says is the real issue.  This naturally leads to what policies should be enacted.  Lawyers shouldn’t be our leaders.  Just because you’re a lawyer, and know how to write a law doesn’t mean you know what that law should actually be.  That’s philosophy.  Yes, the subject that nobody cares to study anymore.  Rousseau’s Social Contract, Locke’s Treatise on Civil Government, Plato’s Republic… Yes, these writings.

So do you think our citizens have read and studied all the philosophy required to run the country and make perfect decisions?  Hmmm.  No.  But let me take this a little furthur shall I?  Even if you DID know this philosophy, and could make good, just, laws … As an everyday citizen, do you think you get really enough information to make a real decision?  Take our recent war with Iraq and Afghanistan.  All I’ve heard is this vague “weapons of mass destruction ..”    Now, do you have a real, quality source of information, not just a one-liner, to base this decision off of?  Nope. I’d say you have a one-liner.

Well, maybe we should make this decision based on society/culture of Iraq, and we should just kind of foresee this kind of thing building up and make the right decision … Oh, is that so?  That would require in-depth society/culture study of Iraq, and do you think anybody has really done that?  Do you know a detailed account of Iraq’s history?  Considering our education system literally NEVER covers the middle-east, China, or Japan at ALL.  The masses literally know absolutely nothing about Iraq or Afghanistan.  The majority of Americans just think they’re a bunch of psychos who run around with machine guns firing bullets in the air.  They have no idea.

So, 1) People have never been taught enough information about Iraq/Afghanistan to make a real decision on the war based on society/culture build up and
2)“Weapons of Mass Destruction” cannot even be confirmed by the everyday Joe and we can be manipulated so easily it’s not even funny.

So sorry Sean Hannity, saying stuff like, “A person not informed on the issues shouldn’t vote.”  I question this entirely.  What entails this ‘informed’ decision?  Huh? I guess we should all make our decisions by ‘reason’, huh Sean?  Whatever.  The information is ‘classified’, and we’re all stuck being Societal Superheros and don’t have time to look into these things.

I think watching the news is a joke.  Just listen to what they say after the presidential debates.  They talk about everything but the issues.  “President Bush looked so confident up there.  Did you see how he winked at the first lady?”  BUT, not even that, this one hour ‘debate’ by the presidents isn’t even really a ‘debate’ in the fact that it’s an argument.  Arguments that could easily go for hours and weeks are handled in less than 3~5 minutes, and that includes BOTH SIDES.  What a joke.  You’re going to solve every economic issue in 5 minutes?  The environment in 10 minutes of discussion?  No, we’re EXPECTED to know the issues beforehand aren’t we! You’ll notice this ‘debate’ is more or less them telling you their view: not any real argument or justification for that view.

It’s a big joke.  It’s all emotions.  I hate it.  I can’t stand it.  Maybe I hate democracy.  I guess I’m like Plato and actually believe in Aristocracy.  Yes!  Though it has it’s drawbacks if the Aristocrats are evil, if they’re good, it would be the ultimate scenario as the everyday Joe shouldn’t trouble themselves with governmental affairs. It’s simply too much for them to master their trade AND make these ‘informed’ decisions.  They can’t have access to the information (for security reasons) and they don’t have the time to study the philosophy to make the decisions to begin with.

That’s just my view on things.  For all it’s worth.

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