I’m sure anyone pausing to read this believe their life matters to someone other than themselves. A parent, sibling, spouse, partner, or friend would be hurt to discover your death unexpectedly. I’m unable to identify any culture where life doesn’t represent some measure of value, even if there’s no outward signs as in Nations controlled by tyrannical dictators. Even North Fucking Korea must have live bodies to support its fucked up shit. Humanity, regardless of how high or low the priority is for the exact value, must foster the existence of our species. What I’m simply stating are indisputable realities about the inexplicable basis for maintaining our presence into the future. No one is born with the explicit purpose of being murdered by another human. The notion that any child is born just for that sole purpose is preposterous. 



Now now that we’ve established a baseline for assessment of how to value all human life, now let’s work on voluntary and intentional termination of human lives.  The reality of the measurements of all the ways human life ends in the United States, violence ranks in the bottom quartile for all occurrences as documented by the CDC. Considering there’s little hope to reduce that number to zero, the focus of resources on preventing murder is relatively high considering its low rate of occurrence. Now before you get all twisted about this commentary, I’m writing this in response to yet another mass shooting. I wa hoping to find all this evidence of the out of control atrocity of murder and gun violence. I will never support this fucked uP disposition of ignoring a social tragedy like we do. Gun violence and the correlation between gun numbers can’t be separated by any rationale. But, let’s measure the problem to the resources directed towards its deterrence and identify the progress of the efforts and their effectiveness. I can’t find a single media report making this assessment. I’m not a journalist, and certainly not a researcher nor expert on the subject. I’m simply approaching this from a rational perspective. 




These are some numbers I found by Google search. Let’s extrapolate the relative perspectives now. If you measure (law enforcement/US GDP = .5%) of our total economic capacity is directly focused on all law enforcement. That doesn’t breakout the specific amount deducted for just murder, but the entire concept of law enforcement is highly associated with protection of citizens from other citizens, right? If you ranked the fears of citizens across all potential crimes, murder would outweigh theft of property, traffic violations, and anything else for a reasonable person. So, let’s apply all resources directed towards law enforcement to make this point. Now, in your own personal situation identify the things you utilize.5% of your budget for, then tell me how they rank in your life. It would seem to me all the noise about gun violence, mass shootings, and murder in general is only lip service. Important beliefs require full attention and support, right? In NO WAY am I suggesting in any way, form, or fashion that this is anything other than a social problem! Until the vast majority of ALL of us demand better, we will NEVER have better! I realize the percentage of anyone ever actually reading this is so minuscule relative to the problem, but it’s my place for developing, bettering, accepting my understanding of large scale social dilemmas, and dreaming of a REAL solution, not just bitching. 


  #gun violence  


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? 



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. 



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.




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. 



 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! 




 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. 



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  


Today we live in an environment where the words emitted from your mouth, through your voice are not enough. Whenever anyone makes a comment, statement, or personal representation of their beliefs, the world dissects ever character of the composition to piece together it’s perceived meaning. This inability to functionally communicate at a meaningfully high level is the foundation for part of the social dysfunction present around us today. Those being heard and promoted as the truth are mostly agenda winding self indulged mouthpieces to a majority of grossly uninformed people seeking tribal blessings of fitting into something outside their simple existence. This draws a counter attack from the other side of this ideological divide without any regard from either side to the actual representation of reality. Truth is no more than the first offer of a negotiation over who’s more right. I’ve never read a single page from anything written by Bob Woodward, but the simple fact he holds two Pulitzer’s lends some credibility by me to his work. Now does this mean I take everything he writes at face value, absolutely not. I don’t accept anything for fact without a cultivated work of research and an accompanying story to bind the details. Does this suggest the 140 character tirades of a person who, to my knowledge, has never researched or represented anything I could contrive as knowledge for something representative of the truth. We have to address the audience accepting these words, and the contextual perspectives aligned with the message. Understanding is not in any terms a measure of equality, nor does it disseminate evenly across groups of individuals. This is why there is a broad public spectrum across society, with a small minority realizing the truth, and the majority subjugating their gaps with gossip and unsubstantiated hearsay. It’s simply what humans have done for the last 10,000 years. Anger is our default response, thus why conflicting views turn to shit in a heartbeat. The intention for this particular expression of my thoughts is to drive the attention of those bothering to read towards the individual, the self within. Here is where the frontline of the single most important battle of this massive out of control social war is staged. Through your interpretation of your own existence lies the fodder for everything swirling around at these ideological extremes. There would be no sense in a war of rhetoric like the aforementioned without the response of those listening. The reaction is triggered by the frustration within the individual, not the enlightenment of the messengers. Tribalism is an inherent trait traced across the landscape of the human story to our hunter gatherer ancestors. Belonging to a group was essential to survival. Your life depended on those in your tribe. Stratified heiarchy maintained order, now it lifts individuals up through the socioeconomic tiers, while leaving a majority questioning the fairness of such a system. There’s a fine line between informing and manipulating as far as communication goes. The Pulitzer winning author would love for you to buy his book to receive his suggestion of insight and understanding, while the 140 character tyrant wants to manipulate your focus, so you won’t question his validity. Both sides have their individual agendas, that aren’t identified up front. In order to discern this, you must analyze their perspectives, character, and credibility before you can draw such a conclusion. Any knee jerk reactionary outburst only shines negatively back on your ability to comprehend reality. Fact of the business is we owe it to ourselves and everyone around us to distinguish these qualities from everything we see and hear in order to set our understanding on the proper path. Lest we simply provide prey for the hunger of these wolves dressed in authoritarian clothing...