Leave it to Beaver

stickbl4I was just thinking about growing up in Fresno. As with every generation even I compare my upbringing to how kids are being brought up these days. I remember my parents and grandparents doing the same thing to me and my friends. At this moment I can’t remember much about what they said besides the fact that we kids were spoiled and we have so much more than they had. The usual rant from grandparents seems to be ‘when I was a kid I used to walk to school, up hill in the snow, both ways’. My parents would say ‘you kids have all the best toys, video games’ and whatever else we had that they didn’t. Now, I say these kids don’t get to think about a damn thing. They watch the TV for their opinions, they download porn to form their ideas about sex and are interrupted in the guise of being protected by their pansy ass parents from experiencing mistakes they might have a chance to learn from. There still might be a difference between the have and have-nots since some kids don’t have computers, video games or parents that want them to lie around the house. Some kids still get to have adventures in their neighborhood.

Compare how kids play baseball today in contrast to how we used to play baseball. Today kids get a RIDE to a nice green baseball diamond with a backstop, bat and ball and everything. If mom or dad don’t give them a ride so what, they just turn on EA Sports baseball on the Xbox. This is what it took for us to play baseball: we had to each go digging in each other’s garages for something that resembled a bat. Sometimes we had a wiffle bat that wasn’t too damaged from being run over by cars or our bikes or chewed up by the dog. Otherwise a broom handle worked just as well as long as we had a couple so moms wouldn’t notice. Once we ‘modified’ the broom mom couldn’t use it again. IF we found a bat the next problem was finding a ball. These were difficult to come by since we constantly lost them by hitting them in trees, in sewers or to total destruction. We knew better than to walk inside and ask for a couple bucks so we could WALK down to the store to buy a ball so we learned that a sponge wrapped in tape did just fine. Again, we ‘borrowed’ from mom’s collection of sponges and went back to the garage to find a good sort of tape that could take a beating. Electrical tape worked the best but we had more ducted tape lying around so we usually ended up playing with an awkward gray ball-like object. The ball would sometimes rip and would require more tape so after a few games the ball got way too big and heavy which required some backup sponges for new baseballs. So now we had the ball and bat. We didn’t even think about getting mitts for everyone and we drew the bases out on the street in chalk which needed to be retraced often. Play ball!! And watch out for that car!!!

Let’s compare how the kids today play street hockey. Today kids get their parents to buy hockey sticks, roller blades, and again drive them to a nice park where there is a rink just for street hockey with goals on either side. WE never even thought about playing street hockey. Do you know what a hockey stick costs?? Neither did we but we knew it was more than the couple bucks we couldn’t get from our parents for a baseball. We did play street hockey a few times though. Here is how it went:

One day when the street was littered with garbage anticipating one of those big garbage pickups, we saw a tree lying in the street. Bored out of our minds as we sat on a curb outside our homes and while waiting for a good idea to come to us we envisioned (more like a hallucination) hockey sticks in a that tree. It was a short discussion because we never had the opportunity to play hockey before. Off to the garage to find the saw that would craft our hockey sticks. The sticks turned out to be all awkward but since we made them ourselves there was no use letting that stop a good game of hockey. As usual another problem was the ball or in this case the puck. At first we did try a racket ball but the damn thing was way too bouncy and couldn’t be reasonably controlled. We needed something different and I am sure it was my brother who had a perfectly good pack of bubble tape. For those kids out there who don’t know bubble tape looks like a hockey puck. My brother distributed all the bubble tape to the players and fans (sometimes other neighborhood kids would show up to watch). We then took the container put some rocks in it and taped the edges all the way around the side with electrical tape. We used the garbage cans for goal posts; couple from one house and a couple from another. We didn’t know what rollerblades were and roller-skates were out of the question. Nikes worked just fine. The games didn’t last long for two reasons; we ended up breaking the puck somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour and most of the sticks weren’t long enough so we got tired of playing the entire game running around constantly bent over.

The difference between our parents and us is I think our parents envied us for having the things we had and what seemed to them to be a more convenient life. I, like most people my age don’t envy the kids these days. I rather, feel sorry for them. We had the sort of freedom that caused us to see everything differently. We didn’t make due with what we had; we made what we had better and used it in ways only kids could imagine possible.

Mind Space

Earth_s-Solar-systemOf all the ways to measure something time as we know it is going to be the most inefficient way to measure the distance between events. We put our entire mortality in a length of time. We scale our intelligence and maturity by it. I am sure that most of us have had a health issue that we related to our age by saying something like “I am not old enough to have this happen to me”. Some of us have said something like “When I get to be [of such an age] I hope I don’t get cancer or alzheimers”. If we were to take the linear aspect of time away from our experience we might expect to realize the same day over and over or we might be able to realize that a day is an event that doesn’t relate to time but a turn of the moon which rotates around the Earth which also turns as it rotates around the sun which also turns. We have all been conditioned to believe there is an appropriate time to sleep and be awake. My dogs don’t seem to get it but how can they, especially when they still haven’t gotten around to realizing the ass licking thing should not be done while company is over.

I am not going to lead into a rant how time is useless or ineffective because it is nice to have a measurement to determine when things will happen so we can know when to show up for movies or when we can leave school and avoid detention. (remember I only made it to High School)

I am also not talking about how we take human years and dog years and prorate dog years so we can compare us to them. Who needs to relate to their dog that much?

Back to what I was going on about the Earth and revolutions. Lets recapitulate: A good place to start is with a year. The year is 12 months which is usually 30 days half the time, 31 days the other half and 28/29 for some reasons I don’t know for one month. But at this point you can see how inefficient and we haven’t even gotten to the complicated part yet. Then we have 24 hours in a day (one revolution of the Earth) which breaks down further to 60 minutes per hour and another 60 seconds for each minute. The point I am going to make will be leveraged off the revolutions of the Earth and not in the minutes of our days.

Most of us realize an entire year when the Earth travels around the sun once which breaks down to 365 Earth revolutions before we start celebrating again. Now consider having been on another planet. The entire Earth calendar is not going to work. The most practical planet to live on besides Earth is Mars at this point which is much smaller. A smaller planet means shorter revolutions (days) and it is farther away from the sun (longer years). If people were to populate another planet would they actually age slower because of the long year or faster because of the shorter days?? Of course not!

What it really comes down to is the phenomena of time is over rated and use to gauge too much more than a measurement between events. We use it to indicate what illness we might be expecting even to the point of when we might find it reasonable to contemplate death. How many 20 year olds have a will??

Of course this is an over simplification of the subject as I have other shit to do. Just thought it might be interesting to go over as I find another way to put this in better perspective.

Check back often as I might have better answers to the problems of time.

Out to Lunch

rbhh_0053BThere has been a proposition 73 that was meant to be voted on today. The prop is to require doctors to inform parents of girls who are under age 48 hours before a medical procedure that would be an abortion. Obviously if there is a proposition about the issue there are people who believe a minor should be able to abort a fetus without parental notification (not to be confused with consent). Notice that people under age cant be given aspirin (e.g. from school nurse), sign contracts, vote or even consent to any minor medical procedure. Now with a big issue like abortion there are a group of people who believe kids should be able to choose and consent to making a decision as big as terminating pregnancy.

At first thought letting kids get an abortion without having to notify their parents is a ridiculous notion just by observing the basic laws about all the limits minors have for being under 18 years old. There is such thing as emancipation if you want to hit the age of majority before you reach 18. Unfortunately I am sure you need parental consent for that as well. One way or another my immediate argument would be for a child to renounce their dependency on their parents and become emancipated somehow or petition for a law to be considered an adult earlier in life for your emergency social condition that we will call knocked up since this is the issue that has been brought up by proposition 73. This would mean you have no need for parental support at all; monetary or emotional support.

I personally cant imagine raising a child all the way up to the point where she is a troubled teen who gets pregnant, becomes scared of me as a parent then takes it upon herself to dispose of a part of my family. Now that is a very simple way of looking at it and is how it would be if family is important. What is more important is the relationship I have with my child that she or he would come to me with a pregnancy in the first place. I would feel personally responsible at failing as a parent if my child didnt want my support in any endeavor she or he was involved in.

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article about this and one quote from a 16 year old wants to vote because of her pregnant cousin who wants to model and play basketball but can’t because of her pregnancy. So this 16 year old has been raised to not value responsibility and that is a family value. To be irresponsible would be considered a poor family value by most people and getting an abortion for such superficial reasons is disgraceful. I am sure it is inconvenient to have a child at 16 and so is just about everything else in life outside of your bedroom.

What is not being conveyed to people these days is that they shouldnt be having sex in the first place at certain ages (parents should be passing along that value as well). Thanks MTV! If you cant have kids or really dont want kids dont have sex. As unrealistic as that seems it doesnt seem people are even making an attempt to dissuade their kids from having sex and have them realize what they are going to be responsible for if they decide to indulge in adult activities. That talk could be had for working (taxes), drugs (intoxicating stupor), alcohol (more intoxication) and other social activities that you arent meant to do by age of 17.

There is a divide again by what some people think about family and some people think about law and government. I am sure you can see by my above comments that I am partial to family and believe family is paramount to just about anything especially government. In a situation where family as a way to reinforce relationship is a priority the parents would insist that their children use them as a sounding board to encourage or discourage their kids. Yes, it is called parenting. Now the parents have a responsibility to their kids as well which is to make sure they, as parents arent to be feared as to keep communication open.

Even if the parent/child relationship is terrible and even if there is fear from the kids to the parents the parents should still be involved. To tell parents that you are pregnant is very uncomfortable and then to proceed to say that you are about to get an abortion has to be much more uncomfortable. Even with all that discomfort I cant imagine having life as we know it ripped from your body being less of a discomfort than confiding in your family.

Lets hallucinate that you dont want to tell mom and dad because you will get a severe beating. The only way you would know that you were going to get beat is if you have been beaten before. If you havent been hit or beat by your parents it would be unreasonable to project your fears onto their behavior. So lets say for this example that they have beat you once or more to give you the evidence you need to not tell them that you are pregnant in the first place. The element of a home where a child feels abused is a completely different problem and shouldnt be bundled with this one. What I mean is if there is abuse in the home why wait around to get pregnant to start making choices to keep yourself safe? Now if your argument is that she or he cant leave because those are his parents and that is all she or he knows then you should stay in your home and keep respecting your parents who you dont want to leave and let them be involved in your life just as they always have been. Although I ultimately believe this is a separate issue and I think fear of being beaten isnt just an argument for getting pregnant but it an excuse to not tell your parents anything.

If you dont care about the family unit I suppose you should get the age of majority reduced and understand that if there is no family than your parents become a government that doesnt do much to raise you besides give you food stamps and a social worker and all you have are consequences and no explanations.

Experience

divesunsetWhat good do emotions cause? I was interested in thinking about why they exist and why people who show emotion are considered sensitive and people who hide their emotions are considered heartless.  By most peoples standards I am one of the most insensitive people around. What do emotions prove? Do they demonstrate our humanity or are they the characteristic that causes the majority of poor decisions? I have seen more people make bad choices because of emotions. Instead of thinking about what should logically happen in a given situation people reflect on regrettable circumstance and say ‘It felt right at the time’. In some cases people confuse impulses with emotion and blame one on the other when a bad decision is made. In my time I have seen a lot of poor decisions made and regretted more times when the decisions were based on how people felt about a situation rather than doing what they have been taught or even have experienced.

Which brings me to an interesting opportunity to suggest that emotions are the desire to experience even if we know how ‘the story goes’. In the book “Conversations with God” there is a passage that explains we all need to experience ourselves not to learn but to remember. As if we know the truth or the outcome of how things are and how they will be but need to experience to remember the things we have supposedly forgotten. This is an interesting point and would lead me to believe this is what emotions do for us. They take us to the point of wanting to experience things for ourselves even though we know and we have seen the results of ‘that’ path before. That path that has such an obvious outcome, but we push the limits of our emotions to risk the possibility of pain in search of pleasure.

I would call a master someone who controls their mind so completely that they engage in activities they consider emotionally challenging or potentially painful and resolve the situation to think of it as a good experience regardless of how the majority of people would be affected by it. Everyone would agree that experience of any outcome is ultimately good. Remember the phrase ‘We learn from our mistakes’? Most people I have known look back and learn a thing or two from their successes and failures alike. A master celebrates the success and the failure the same way immediately when they happen. Even though the success is instinctively or emotionally rewarding the master knows you can learn more from a mistake. In essence one gains more from a failure. Of course most people only learn from their failures after they feel sorry for themselves for a few days or even weeks. The fool never learns at all and repeats the mistake showing he/she didn’t take anything from their experience.

What about the people who are considered heartless or cold? Can we determine those people are missing the fruits of life because they fear or think about the situation at hand? From what was discussed earlier it would seem so. If emotion is an indication of wanting to experience beyond the possibility of injury to mind, body and soul would thought, which would usually keep you out of harms way, be the same as fearing life? If we don’t have experiences to live through, what are we doing in life? Are we merely spectators to the ones who are experiencing what they feel?

I have usually been the type of person who bases my decisions on what I have thought about. It can also be said that thinkers have a security in knowing how things will turn out. It is like a prediction. The thought isn’t so much a guess or risk as it is a statistic based on what we or someone else experienced in the past.

I think that what I have determined so far, at 4:00am in the morning, is the thinkers aren’t truly living. We think our way out of the experiences we would have had if we would have followed our heart. Thinkers want a sure thing. Thinkers try to predict what will happen from others experiences and not usually their own. If you agree with me about the greater the experiences the greater the life then you will know that there is a time to think and there is a time to live. Who is doing more of what? You can live or watch other people do what everyone was born to do. I said it earlier, that fear is to stop yourself from the experience. That experience is all we have to know that we live and then to find out if what we just experienced is what we were created for. How can we base our own entire lives on the results of other people? I hope you don’t think that because someone is a good golfer that you can be too or that if someone failed in the restaurant business that you will too. You might hate the game of golf and you might be great for the restaurant industry. The point is you will need to experience both in order to know. You will need to live as much as possible before you remember everything you were supposed to be doing all along.

Beginning

ferrari_california-8891Can you imagine getting by in life doing as little as possible and being happy with it? Not only are some people living by ‘minimums are maximums’ they put themselves in an environment where their lack is normalized, sustained and even encouraged. Many people have been repelled from me because I push people to not forget their potential. Recently I have had a brief conversation with Amy about her excessive sleeping habits. I explain that she can’t live by sleeping because sleep is not actual experience and there is no way to contribute to others while she is sleeping. I reiterated that she will not do the things she wants to unless she is awake and aiming towards achieving her goals. She said helplessly that she would never get to do the things she wants. Somehow she doesn’t believe in rewarded effort. I was a little surprised at her hopeless attitude. I didn’t think she would give up on herself. Most of her attitude stems from depression but I am not convinced she will renew her dreams after the depression passes.

I have often given an analogy of lost dreams. I use the example of how we think as kids and the things we own. As a kid I had all sorts of toys to play with and all sorts of posters on the wall. The things I had were completely similar to what most kids had. I had Star Wars, GI-Joe, posters of girls and cars. Kids have these things around their bedrooms because they believe these things are possible to obtain. In a boys case we believe we can have a girl that looks like the ones in the posters and own those cars. We even believe in flying through space killing the bad-guys. Somewhere between high school and college we are taught that we are foolish for playing with toys like that because that is not ever going to happen and we may as well throw those posters away because those things just don’t happen for most people. It isn’t any wonder most people don’t ever accomplish anything they want in life. We go through a system of learning that is against our natural ability to dream the dreams of children.