Friday, March 11, 2011

The simple self-evident

The following is a pure opinion piece.

Yesterday was the last day for complaints.

You have been warned.

There are a variety of the 'self-evident' truths that we learn in our life that tell us much about the nature of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These are not 'rights' nor 'freedoms' but the consequences of actions that we all must understand and live with.  Most of them are cliches as they are well known and used as 'rule of thumb' or something we can readily identify with when looking at a problem.  Yet few actually apply these to their daily lives and overall outlook in life, even though they are self-evident truths.

What sort of truths are these?  Here are a few that one can live their life by:

- Neither a borrower nor a lender be.  Biblical but a good rule of thumb for life as when you are in debt you are in sorrow, and when others owe you then you are constantly wondering if they will ever pay you back.  Do without the heartache on both sides and you will live a better life and be happier with the results of what you do.  That does mean buying fewer things, in life, and not going into debt.  And there is a simple truth for that and easily learned.

- Outgo must be lower than income by a wide margin for you to survive.  It is a corollary to the first truth, but a vital part of understanding what the role of debt is in your life.  If your debt burden is more than you can pay off, you will be forever indebted to others and they will call much of the tune in your life.  In all instances paying your debt burden down and off is a first priority after food, shelter and a means of income.  Pay off on the principle of loans early, and you will lower the length of the loan and, thusly, pay it off faster.  Wherever possible use the funds you have stored from not being a borrower nor lender to purchase big ticket items with cash on the barrel-head.  You will not be a part owner and partially in debt, but the full owner and the burden of ownership rests with you, solely: it is your responsibility.

- Idle hands are the Devil's workshop.  Today the devilishness is in the games and frivolity with which we can populate our lives.  Yet for all of the fun of killing the Boss on Level 39, you have accomplished little with your time, save to have some transient and somewhat addictive fun.  Avocations are those things of interest that require you to do and think about them so as to gain information, improve your skills and otherwise better yourself and those around you with what you can do.  If you can do for yourself, you need not ask others to do for you, and that means you cut expenses and live a better and richer life.  The feeling of accomplishment from doing for yourself something that is vital is enduring: you can look and say that you are self-supporting.

- If you want something done right, do it yourself.  This is a corollary to the previous self-evident truth, but is far more subtle.  It is a subtle mis-statement of the actual meaning and should more rightly say - Do it yourself and you will work to be satisfied for yourself.  This means it is done right in your estimation, even if half-assed by that of an 'expert' that does not matter as you are the one with the accomplishment of achievement to your own satisfaction.

- You are your own worst critic.  You had better be or you will not live long.  Those who are always satisfied with not striving to achieve more and better never do achieve either and become a burden to themselves and those around them.  Thus your self-criticism is one of the highest and hardest things to deal with in life as when you fail yourself, there is no one there to forgive you but yourself.  Those who cannot do that never improve their lot in life and soon come to expect others to do for them, because they hold no value in themselves of what they do.  That is why we praise the efforts of others, even when they do not achieve great results: their effort will be re-doubled with modest praise as they know it is earned and that they can see the flaws in what they did.  Those who criticize harshly, continually, without ever giving praise have a mean spirit towards themselves and their fellow man and seek to demean and belittle others without ever, not once, attempting to make a better world through their own work.  It is easy to be a critic.  It is much harder to strive to build a better life for yourself and others, and the ever-mean critics only seek to destroy your efforts.

- Stop to smell the roses.  Then get back on the path and keep walking.  We appreciate nature for its natural beauty, given to us as a bounty of creation.  We invest time to preserve it as best we can while doing better for ourselves, and lingering to afford too much praise on what is free in life can warp our perspective of what is of great value given naturally and what is of value for our investment of time in it.  Your time with the rose will not make it a better rose, and if all you do is praise the rose, then you are becoming lesser for such praise, not more in life.

- There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.  From Robert A. Heinlein and a self-evident truth.  Someone pays for that lunch in the time and effort to get it there, and your attendance to it is by no means free as it depends on someone else.  When you come to expect that which is free from another, then you are indebted to them and no longer thinking of how you can get it for yourself without someone else providing for you.  You are not entitled to the generosity of others, you are expected to earn it by making yourself a better person while your body is sustained.  That free lunch is there for a reason: to keep you alive to find a way so you don't need it.  That gift is a great burden to you to give back once you do achieve a better life as that is a burden we must all share.  When you are given a fish to eat, it is time to take fishing lessons or you will soon be enthralled to the provider of the 'free' fish.

- If you cannot live with yourself as you are, no one else will.  Except for those seeking to 'change' you to fit their role in life for you.  Self-love is far harder than loving God or, indeed, loving any other person as you must live with yourself on a continual basis.  The easy self-love makes you a narcissist as you come to see perfection in all you are, the never given love makes you miserable as you never allow yourself to see your good side: it is only the love in moderation with the fair assessment of what you do achieve and understanding that it is not up to your best but is still good that gives you the strength and courage to admire others without fawning.  Once fair to yourself, harsh at times but fair in that harshness, how can you not help but be generous to others who have better skills than you and see those seeking to better themselves as on a worthy path?

- Life is for the living.  Failure is an option and a pre-requisite of life.  What you are not good at teaches you humility and the necessary lesson that to achieve in that realm you have failed in will take much, much, much hard work on your part.  No one succeeds in all things thus be wary of those of who it is claimed otherwise.  Your experience at achievement and failure is the teacher of wisdom for you, if you can but accept that the lesson is good even when you do not achieve your goals.  When you fail you are put to the test to see if you can fairly evaluate yourself, your skills, your outlook and then pick yourself up from such failure to be a better person in understanding your limits.  And failure first time is not a guarantee of permanent failure as you may not have all the necessary skills and abilities to do what you wish to do.  Even the very best, those with the pinnacle of human skills will have bad days, off hours and poor judgment in those areas of expertise, especially when they advance beyond what they can easily do.  To achieve in life you must be able to accept life's lessons, fairly evaluate them for yourself and then figure out your path from failure and success.

- The helping hand up cannot be forever expected.  If failure is a prerequisite to success and being a full person, then you cannot expect that you will always have someone or something to cushion the blow to you.  Parents guide children, help them understand that failure is not a personal, moral fault but one of skills, ability and fortitude.  Those necessary lessons in learning and play become fewer as a child grows up and when the child learns the larger lesson of self-reliance and the ability to shake the dust off of themselves after a failure, they are then operating in the realm of adults.  Adults must learn that there is no 'safety net' for them that does not come at great expense to others and that when this expense is not given freely you then feel entitled to always be a failure.  A culture of entitlement is anathema to adults as it does not allow individuals to grow and become functioning members of society.  The responsibility to those who fall rests upon each of us, not all of us, and it is our charitable heart that up-lifts the fallen with a hand up to a better life, not the hand out due to a serf.  We do not denigrate our fellow man with a hand out, but offer the friendly hand up and offer to help them so they can succeed in life.  Those without a charitable heart are the most evil on this Earth, save those wishing to coerce others to cover their responsibilities for them:  forced 'charity' is not charity at all, but pure and utter evil as it takes from those who would give freely to their own causes and forces them to endorse causes in which they have no choice.  Every tyranny coerces in the name of 'charity', and beware all those who say that charity does not begin at home but in your wallet for they care not about your home but only about your wallet: of you they care little, and it is your works of liberty they seek without your input.

- Anything too good to be true usually is and anything promised to always be there and never end, won't.  Every scam that offers something for nothing pulls in the gullible, those known as the target of the scam: The Mark.  To those wishing to defraud, everyone else is The Mark.  In a large scam the last person to realize they are The Mark of the scam, is The Mark.  As we all know, everything has its season, its time, its beginning and its ending, including our universe.  Thus nothing lasts forever, no fiscal system is guaranteed to produce always good results, and anything that requires the next generation of a scam to pay for the previous generation of it will fail.  Thus the promise of a 'social safety net' that requires an 'inter-generational agreement' fails by demographic movements known for decades.  Attempts to 'help' the system are merely attempts to make it last just long enough to get pay outs to those currently paying in.  If forced giving to a 'safety net' is evil due to its coerced nature, it is made deeply so by the false nature of it as the point where it can be sustained reaches a maximum and then fails, catastrophically.  And The Mark are those paying in who can see that this will not work for them and that there is no way it ever will.  The promises were false, the nature of the scam evident since it was started, and the idea of you actually getting some 'retirement' funded by everyone else is too good to be true.  Like all good scams The Plants who claim it will work are in on the scam: they are seeking to make it last long enough to get them into a payout position.

These are self-evident truths we know, in our hearts, as we see them in every day life.  You cannot force someone to do good, only restrict them in doing harm to their fellow man and society.  The necessary evil of restricting those seeking to harm the innocent is still an evil and the very best we can seek is equality of protection and the administration of blind justice to all citizens regardless of income, class, status, skin color, religion or any other thing.  As it was said of our Nation before it was a Nation, when we were under the Unwritten Constitution, government is only a Punisher and that is its role for us.  It can only do 'good' by inflicting harm upon others: financial, moral and physical harm each, in turn, has been justified to make all outcomes in life 'fair'.  Yet life is, itself, very fair, as no one can thwart death and it is equal to all mankind without favor nor fervor, visiting each in their turn.  There are no permanent fortunes as there is no permanent life, and any financial empire will, through mismanagement and greed, fall on its own or be pushed by competitors who can out-compete it.  That is the nature of all things built by man.

Our quest to a more perfect Union is one that is ever forming anew, and there is no permanence to society as the necessary good of one generation may be seen as an evil by the next.  Of the few truths we hold self-evident, we are each born with the blessings of Our Creator to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and they are inalienable to our very being.  We accept that the pursuit of happiness is a quest, not an end-state, and that to our dying breath if we are very lucky then we will still be in pursuit of happiness, even if that means a horrible death in a far off corner of our world to protect our fellow citizens from harm.  Far better that death than the to be a peasant and slave to government only wishing for a next meal and then cursing government when it does not provide it as you have forgotten that you are to provide for yourself.  Freedom and liberty for our fellow citizens is worth dying for in its defense, which is why tyrannical regimes have such poor armies and always lead to cruel and bitter ends... no matter the victories it gains, it has lost the soul of its people and there is no glory in that at all. 

To live free or die means you must do for yourself and are willing to live with your works and yourself.  It is the hardest way to lead a life.  Yet it is the only way that creates a life worth leading full of freedom, liberty and the responsibilities you gladly accept to help your fellow man so as to create the greatest good of a better society for all, with malice towards none.  Those who viciously deride and attack any segment of a civil society deserve to be shunned, disdained and to rant to their dying breath about the injustice of the world that they only want to make worse to their own ends. 

Into your care is given the heart of liberty. 

Only you can protect it from tyrants.

These two go hand-in-hand.

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