I’m listening to the debates (recorded) on YouTube right now. There’s a lot of back and forth. Mitt Romney seems to be more aggressive, often over speaking over the moderator. Both have gone over their two minute segment times. There’s been numerous buzzwords, phrases, and large numbers thrown around. I’m a simple man. I find myself more confused and asking more questions while listening to the debates. Maybe I have an attention problem and am just missing the details.
I’m not going to give up trying to understand what’s going on in the debates though. I’m a citizen of the United States and believe it’s important to understand what’s going on in this country I live in. It’s not easy. It’s wracking my brain trying to understand all the issues. While I try to understand all the issues and what each candidate is saying, I’ll outline three personal philosophies of mine that I think are important independent of who is President or what laws are in place.
1. Get Curious About Life and People
We’re born into this world with no rule book handed to us about what life is and what we should do. There’s certainly numerous groups who have opinions about what life should be from many organizations and people. All around us, people are trying to influence us – just turn on the television and listen to commercials or watch Internet videos and watch all the advertisements pop up. With so many voices competing for our attention, what do we do?
Marvel that we exist at all and live on a giant floating sphere in outer space whirling around a giant sun at 30 kilometers per second while it spins on an axis. Be in awe that somehow, billions of us are living on this planet and the Internet allows us to communicate quickly and easily with each other. While I’m frustrated with so many voices competing for my attention, I think a helpful response is to be fascinated with it. I’m fascinated that there’s so many conscious human beings on this world all living each day.
I’m trying to understand the world I live in and it’s not all confusing to me. Structure’s are in place that became so well before I was born. Advances in technology, medicine, and social policies have advanced independent of my existence and voice. I feel fortunate to be born in a time where more is available to me than even 100 years ago. I feel a responsibility to reach out to people and share what I’m learning as other people have shared their knowledge with me.
With so many people around, not everyone thinks the same way. Sometimes decisions made by others hurt you. I remember in middle school being flicked in my ears by a bully. I remember people saying things to me that hurt. I also have had countless experiences of others offering wisdom and knowledge that have helped me prosper in my life. I take the good with the bad from people and make no complaint and find fascination with both the good and bad from people.
2. Understand Economics and the Marketplace
I believe we live in a very convenient society here in the United States. In a few minutes, I can go to Walmart or a restaurant and get food that even the King of England could not have had hundreds of years ago. I can buy ice cream, carrots, apples, or diapers for my child with ease. Isn’t that great that I don’t have to spend time figuring out how to make diapers or do simple things? I can focus more of my time on doing the things that I’m interested in and passionate about. Walmart is a business created by people with an idea that competed in society and prospered because people shopped their with money.
To me, the marketplace is simply all the businesses that offer services and products in the world today. To offer these services and products, they employ people to create products and services. There’s companies that focus solely on building products like diapers. Other companies offer food items. Others still offer entertainment. To take part in these services, currency is used. The most common of which is the dollar (in the United States). As one gets more dollars, they are able to afford more products and services offered by businesses.
One gets money when someone else pays them. Usually this happens for a service rendered or a product offered. To get more money, find out what people are being paid in the marketplace and go learn that job or skill – compete for it. The beauty is that you have to compete for it. One does not simply walk into a company and become a CEO making millions of dollars. The reward is the hard work and labor to become capable in a position and then go out and try to get hired for it.
3. Take Personal Responsibility and Reach Out
Adopt a no excuses policy. I know bad things happen. Illnesses occur. Houses burn down. I had back surgery that laid me out for a month a few years ago. I had a kidney stone that brought me to tears and required surgery. I know of others that have lost jobs and struggle financially. I don’t have an answer for the hand we our dealt with in life – meaning some of us are born in better circumstances than others in regards to wealth and opportunity. Regardless of what we cam into life with, we can work hard to live a life free of financial burden and manage our health through proper exercise and nutrition to the extent we are able.
Those of us in favorable circumstances can reach out to others if they are willing to listen. Why shouldn’t I share my knowledge with someone in poverty about how to get a good career as a web developer? Why not help those who struggle in relationships with what has helped me in mine? Why shouldn’t I share how exercise and nutrition have helped me? It’s still up to others to listen though…
Life is a wonderful and marvelous thing. We’re self aware and conscious human beings. With curiosity, an understanding of society and economics, and personal responsibility, I believe we at least have a personal foundation to better understand the world. Now, it’s the details with all this money, organizations, and politics that really take effort and fine combing to understand. It’s obvious many have different opinions about how the United States and even the world should function. I hope that we’ll all be able to continue to debate and talk about it. Stay curious my friends.
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