“Man/Made”

We wonder through this life hoping there’s enchanted immortality in an idealistic afterlife, constantly tucking away the things we don’t want to bring to bare as we push into the uncertainty of our conscious reality. Ultimately, we face the unpacking of life’s baggage to reveal with the clarity of hindsight, we fucked a lot of opportunities up along the way. All of man’s problems are a result of our collective consciousness, and the resulting behavior. The earth and universe have their moments of transformation and resulting tribulations, but our species is to blame for every single issue surrounding our modernity. Social, cultural, political, ideological conflict only exists within our perception of reality. For 300,000 years, our story has been evolving to what is now the present day. This portrayal of the accumulation of our understanding for how and why we exist remains anchored to the unproven mythical speculations of ancestors we deemed as prophetic, even though there’s not a shred of physical evidence to confirm this as reality. Nevertheless, I’m not here to write about the way ideological misgivings balloon into mythical misconceptions. I want to further my observations about the emotional entrapment gripping our species and more importantly, how do we break that grip. I only have to look at my personal perspective to get started. I was a very emotional child, full of love and elation over the things that made me feel good. Disappointments were a part of that, but they never felt like they were overwhelming. No one ever explained to me that this thing we call heartache was a normal part of the human experience. It was something much different than disappointment, and felt like it would never go away. I realized it’s stranglehold after my father came home drunk one night, and woke me up when I was fourteen. Him coming home drunk after spending his time drinking away from my mother and his children wasn’t something new. It was a generational type behavior for men of his era. They were children of a very authoritarian generation of fathers themselves. This lack of engagement for the emotional complexity of adolescence has helped to cast the die for all generations. Dad felt trapped by the expectations of a wife, who he felt detached from within his own complexity. He had met someone that listened to his plight, and come to the conclusion it was time to leave his family because of his detachment from mom. At fourteen and being his eldest child, he decided I was to be the new man of the house in his absence. My dad was leaving, and what little responsibility he supported around the family from a functional perspective was now on my shoulders. Oh, there’s a catch to this dysfunctional strategy of his. He hasn’t informed mom of his plans, so I couldn’t tell anyone of my situation. I was supposed to suppress any emotional entanglement with my reaction to cover his cowardice for unveiling his relief to his emotional turmoil. Selfish, absolutely, but this was how he was conditioned to cope with his own emotional entanglement from his life. What’s lost in this generational extrapolation of emotional suppression is the way we at crucial junctures of human development ignore the understanding of the adolescent individuals of how their own emotional entanglement works. Not a single concern for how I would deal with the abandonment from my father at a time my hormonal transition from childhood to early adulthood was overwhelming to say the least. My story is unique in its presence to me, but not isolated in the context for how we as a species fail at this critical development in the lives of our children. That failure to untangle our emotional complexity at the individual level until we are dysfunctional adults is the real problem. Adolescents don’t possess the capacity to effectively do it alone, and peer involvement mostly dilutes the situation. The dysfunctional parent only replicates the slightly enhanced experience of their own adolescence, and focused improvements are mostly a product of luck. People are groomed to figure out their own emotional entanglement and live within whatever results that process renders. This hasn’t changed much for most of modern times since our development of language and art. Remember, the period I’m referencing is the last 10,000 years, where written language can be used to gauge emotional expression. The process is evolving, but at Darwinian speed and is only recently within the last couple of centuries been adequately studied. Human beings possess so much more capacity than we currently exhibit, it’s going to take some time to learn how the best way to unlock it will be.

 

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The news out of New Zealand is tragic in obvious ways, but at a deeper level far beyond the loss of lives as well. The manifesto from this perpetrator identifies a disturbing message of psychotic nationalism supported by racism. This diverts this writing in a bit of an unexpected direction, but also ties in the overall message of my initial thoughts. Race, culture, nationalism, and religious ideology are all bound by a common thread. Their identification and support is a human concept. Varying degrees of melatonin in the skin of humans does not distinguish special differentiation, but is leveraged through cultural dynamics as fuel for ignorance to the biology supporting one’s understanding. Homo Sapiens vary along a wide range of physical variations, such as height, weight, hair, eyes, and the likes. Skin color has been extracted from this list for a social agenda. Getting individuals to support this preposterous notion by incentivizing their following is the Darwinian dilemma in all of this. Our social propensity has served our species well over time. Teaching and division of labor and tasks across a smaller group allowed for us to proliferate this planet. Language allowed for those groups to expand greatly in size. Technology amplified that capacity to unheard of boundaries, and social media allowed any fool to become believable. At the individual level, the true variation lies within the capacity to process our understanding from all this communication capacity. The agenda once again becomes the focal point, and the unaware followers not properly scrutinizing their sensory input behave in detrimental ways. Donald Trump’s name was cited in this manifesto for his support of nationalism and agenda to stop immigration. Only in the human consciousness does migration of species cause social conflict. The only reason it’s seen the way it’s portrayed is because it’s supported by an agenda. Not biology, chemistry, or physics, just ignorance to understanding.  

 

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Most of what the human race has contrived as acceptable norms around this planet were originally put into place as a symbol to something greater than a single life. No one person or even group of people have a comprehensive handle on this complexity of our species. We have yet to achieve in the hundreds of thousands of years of being aware and connected a tranquil harmony of everyone. As advanced as we’ve become in some aspects, we struggle to rise above the challenges in beliefs and behaviors. Hope can only be identified as not becoming extinct in one’s own lifetime, and trying to stave off self inflicted extinction in the upcoming lifetimes of our offspring and of theirs as well. The story of precisely how we arrived here is still widely debated in spite of the strong evidence to support the scientific version. That gap in acceptance transcends into social ideology as well as the individual interpretation for one’s existence. We more often than not attempt to trade personal tranquility for being right, and the argument carries the burden of confusion of purpose. We seek individual validation for our consciousness, while ignoring what’s in the best interest of all. Our children become reflections of that same dynamic, and thus they too repeat the cycle only to find themselves at the same crossroads as ourselves. Consciousness can only be gratifying by being present within one’s reality. There’s no credibility necessary, just acceptance and awareness of how complicated life is outside of that paradigm. Your emotional state will run your life if you give it the keys, or it can gratify every moment when you realize their functional dynamic. 

 

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The world is filled with beauty and wonder...don’t let fear or ignorance stop you from realizing it! 

 

 

 

 

  #thoughts 

“Remember/When”

I had planned this elaborate piece based upon some prophetic quotations of previously great minds. That all fell to shit, when I remembered the opening passage from a book I read last year professing the false interpretation of a famous Mark Twain quote. I googled several famous quote formats only to discover they all contained the same groups of sayings. This all caused me to wonder about just how much relevance is truly derived from combing over the past? Is it possible this processing of memories is just another self soothing mechanism for present day anxiety? It sort of struck me the other day, that I’m at the age where the quality of time matters more. Sifting through memories is avoidance behavior for creating new experiences. With an average life expectancy, I’m hoping for potentially three more decades to live. Yikes, that sounds scary until you try to think your way back to being 26 all over again. While I want to believe I have a grasp of that time, my recollection is simply the highlights of what I actually experienced. Nearly all of the day to day thoughts and more importantly, the feelings for that time are diminished to blurred recounts of distant memories. Will 56 be the same for me at 86? With any luck, my desire to create new experiences then will be as strong as it presently is. I used to lug all of that shit around with me on my daily rounds, until the weight became such a burden, it about stopped me from realizing how to positively mold my present. I think this is very common among most individuals, as the idea of growing into our future selves represents more anxiety about what that entails than drifting backwards into the comfort of what once was. This is where the lie begins within each and everyone of us. We pause to dream about that ideal version of who we are, only to realize that will take a shit ton of discipline and self control, that’s much harder than compromising to the notion of fuck it, what I am is good enough. We read and hear the stories of others accomplishments and begin to dream of our very own, then just as with that New Years resolution, we quit and revert to tolerating our lack of commitment. Sound familiar? 

 

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Maybe, just maybe this post is an exercise in the mental evolution of my thoughts. I ran with a concept I felt was worth flushing out, only to pivot on my notion towards something distinctively different. Now, after making a statement with my opening paragraph, I’ve emboldened yet another idea, and am currently in the midst of connecting the two. 

 

  “Where does awareness factor into our lives...?” 

 

The human senses evolved to give us a chance to survive our surroundings with only average physical capacity. We’re no match for the great predators of the past or today. Before we developed the tools and technology to avoid and overwhelm such animals, we hid from them by always being watchful of our surroundings. Modern man faces dramatically different surroundings, and while still valuable, the senses take a back seat to interpretation of the intent of other humans. This skill varies widely depending on the culture surrounding your life, and the language of that culture, with respect to how individuals articulate their intentions. This is where literacy matters most, and unfortunately this is one of modern man’s great dividers. Transitioning the feelings from the self and the memories of the past to a statement of the present, that clearly suggests your present state and potentially your future behavior all depends on the individuals capacity to use language as a tool. Now language and level of literacy matters most. Awareness converted to expression shared with others gives social structure its power. Having all the awareness in the world serves no purpose until it’s articulated to those in your community to deliver some form of benefit. 

 

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What does all of this mean? All of us have this profound sense of how we feel, even beyond our ability to express that to others and the world around us. This compelling sensation within us drives the story behind this desire to create and express ourselves as unique individuals. As far back as 70,000 years ago, there are artifacts representing this ennate human characteristic. It’s intrinsically human to cultivate our ability to share ourselves. Now let’s imagine the degrees that ability varies from person to person. Now we can shift to our accumulated knowledge as a species to measure things.

 

   https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/08/us-adults-rank-below-average-global-survey-basic-education-skills

 

Now the income inequality can be directly correlated to the functionality of the members of the social construct. How can anyone with limited or diminished capacity adequately compete with those who have advanced capacity over the same functionality? What could possibly be the cause for such skewed outcomes for human development across a common social structure? Let’s begin with the one being presented as the most prominent by the minority’s captured in this measurement. Discrimination because of race. Ok, there’s no denying discrimination hasn’t played a role in our social evolution over the years, but the capacity to become literate, and use that skill as a tool to improve the quality of any individual life hasn’t been denied since the decision from   “Brown vs Board of Education”, although it did take an extended period of time for the full scale implementation of its effects. Every single child in the country has access to gaining the skill of literacy. This suggests the differential outcomes is a result of something beyond access to education. Let’s examine the home as a contributing factor to functional literacy disparities. This aspect helps to clear the discrimination biases because it includes all races. 


   https://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/PDF/2006470_1.PDF

 

 This study indicated some marginal disparities between ethnicity, and confirmed a large percentage of the entire population at intermediate or below. As a matter of fact, whites scored below basic at a higher rate than blacks, and only slightly below Hispanics. This is absolutely not a racial discrimination issue. All races struggle at similar rates to attain intermediate functionality with literacy. So, what can we surmise from these findings? 

 

 Functional Literacy and poverty are highly correlated! 

 Functional Literacy is not a byproduct of lack of access to government programs! 

 Functional Literacy is a social dilemma! 

 

 

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 Functional Literacy is not unique to the United States! 

 

Isn’t it time to begin the conversation about the causes and the solutions? Poverty is a self fulfilling prophecy with regards to how it entraps segments of all populations. The reason it carries this heavy hand is the distortion it brings to the cognitive development of those in its grasp. Parents with limited capacity most of the time are unable to identify their role in lifting up their children out of their own dilemma. It’s not laziness, they just don’t know any better. Communities see their role as offering relief via charity and the allocation of tax dollars to welfare. Neither of which addresses the core problem in a manner for resolution, only pacifying their empathy and compassion for the suffering of others. A true solution should offer all children, not only the chance to attain a functional level of literacy, but the support to encourage their family to realize that as a minimum standard of care for all children. Lifting a single generation from their birth to a functional level of potential capacity will establish the roots for all future generations to come to flourish as a collective society. This can’t be accomplished by means of prejudice, judgement, and withholding of meaningful beneficial support. This requires transformational shifting of the perspectives we use to identify this massive issue. This requires dissecting the benefits from the efforts to enhance the outcomes for more people. A cultural revolution of sorts in the way we view our sense of community state, and nation. 

 

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I challenge anyone taking the time to read this piece to go out and do a bit of background work on this subject. Taking my grumbling about the situation is easily dismissed as an opinion by those taking offense or disagreeing with me completely. Think about the attributes of those around you, who thrive and flourish. What do they have in common with one another, and how well to they articulate themselves to others. Draw your own conclusions, but stick your nose in mankind’s business just long enough to speak intelligently on the content, not about how you feel over all this.

 

 

  #functional literacy