Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gucci and Me

Gucci and me?

Yes, I know. To look at me, you'd never dream that I'd own a classy Gucci original. In fact, I'm very much aware that I do not really look the type that would even know who the designer, Gucci, is (does he have a first name?). So what does the world famous fashion French trendsetter, Gucci, in all actuality have to do with me? Read on, and learn about the ridiculous side of life and my rather innocent - and embarrassing- part in it.

It was providence that put me in the path of the elite, fashionable crowd in that posh upscale area of London, England, where I had come for a cousin's wedding, a good twenty-five years back. As the rain fell incessantly down from the overcast gray skies onto what appeared to be a dull bleak world, my wife and I - American country bumpkins - marveled at the old society charm of English Europe. Tourist sights that we'd never dreamed of visiting were suddenly within our immediate panoramic vista. The transparency of our unsophisticated traveling experience must have stood out for all to see as we gasped out loud in sheer wonder and amazement at the wrong side everybody seemed to be driving their cars, at the grandeur of the great Big Ben clock, at the imposing Buckingham Palace and at those funny artificially stiff- looking royal guards with the tall furry hats! We visited some of the most famous museums, gawked at some of the most unusually colorful punk-dressed locals and literally had the time of our lives as we reveled in the wonderful temporary role of being wined and dined without a care besides telephoning across the ocean to see how spoiled our children were getting at their grandparents' home for that one week in June.

The entire experience was beyond any vision that we had conjured for ourselves, yet it was rejuvenating. As we said our goodbyes and sincere thank you to our generous hosts, I asked if perhaps there might be anything that we could take to relatives in America for them. After a brief moment of deliberation, it seemed that there indeed was.

"Would you mind very much," my host began in his quaint, endearing English accent, "if we would ask you to bring a wallet to my sister in Deal, NJ? It's a Gucci original - not too new, but just the same, I know that she would appreciate it. And why should it be thrown out?"

Would I mind? What a question! In all honesty, I was happy to return the favor of unique hospitality in some small measure!

We packed the 'Gucci thing' within our belongings and were off to the airport. With England becoming smaller and smaller, and eventually totally disappearing as the plane gained upward and forward momentum, we mentally prepared ourselves for the long flight home and our shift in roles.

The reunion that we were a part of at Newark was a fitting end to our lovely vacation. Although we had indeed left London, England, home to world culture, art, fashion, and gales of raindrops, the shower of unmistaken love we received with our welcome home reception made us ever so much more glad to be back to our own familiar beloved turf and immediate family.

We changed into our normal gears - I, as father and daily breadwinner, and my wife as familiar 'mommy' figure - and life seemed to go on just as we had left it with only photographs to keep the memories vivid.

Then, one bright Sunday morning, my wife reminded me about the Gucci wallet.

"Max," she said worriedly, "I just remembered about the wallet. Have you seen it anywhere?"

"The Gucci wallet?!" I asked in the low tone. "Don't tell me that you don't know where it is! Didn't you pack it in the big blue suitcase?"

"I thought that you had put it away in the carry-on," my wife responded quickly. "How awful if it's lost!" she continued. "What a way to show our gratitude for all they did for us!"

Anxiously, we went through every single piece of luggage and belonging that we had taken with us on the trip. Feverishly and with determination, we sifted through the clothing and paraphernalia, spending a good while on the search. Unfortunately, it seemed that the Gucci wallet was nowhere to be found! We sadly concluded that we had either lost it on the way to the airport or it was... stolen. We felt terrible. Too bad we had not purchased travel insurance! After all our English hosts had done for us, how would we ever be able to own up to what had occurred?

I sat down gingerly on the edge of the living couch as I thought. Finally, the obvious answer came to my mind.

"And what's so terrible about bringing a new Gucci wallet to our host's sister instead of his old, used one?" I asked. The solution I had thought of was brilliant in its simplicity!

My wife looked at me in wonder. "Wh-where does one go to buy a Gucci wallet?" she asked. "I mean, aren't Gucci originals exclusive items? Maybe you have to buy them in special one-of-a-kind shops. And how much do you think they cost anyway?"

Although both my wife and myself had been brought up in plain, no nonsense type of homes where designer clothing and merchandise were things that, for all intent and purpose, did not exist, we understood that the price tags on these types of ware were on the higher end of the general merchandise payment spectrum.

"I'm sure that one of the department stores in the mall close to us sells Gucci wallets," I said. "And as far as the price is concerned," I continued in a deliberate voice, "How much could a small wallet cost already?"

That said, we piled the kids into our car for a 'trip' to the Ocean County Mall.

Once we had arrived at our destination, my wife led our troupe to the ladies' accessory department. Her hunch had indeed been right. There, in the locked case, lay a small assortment of Gucci wallets and purses. In my mind, their beauty was debatable and I wondered what the major attraction was about them, but I quickly dismissed the hearsay thoughts as the results of my being 'uneducated' in the ways of fashion.

"We'd like to see the Gucci wallets," my wife said to the woman behind the counter.

The saleswoman jingled her ring of keys as she unlocked the glass display case and reached inside for the two featured wallets. "These are the two styles that we carry," she said.

"Hmm," my wife paused. "How much are they?" she inquired.

"This one here is five- fifty," began the saleswoman. "And this one is seven," she said.

I looked at my wife. She looked at me.

"Listen," I told my wife. "The prices are not bad at all. Let's splurge. We'll buy them both. One for our hosts' sister and one for you."

My wife nodded. Generally accustomed to living on a set budget, we both were somewhat relieved at the affordability of the famed Gucci wallets.

"Ahem," my wife cleared her throat as she began in complete earnest innocence. "You said this one on the right is five dollars and fifty cents and that one over there is seven dollars?"

The woman paused for one uncomfortable long, long moment as she seemed to digest what had been asked of her. Then, in the most cold, unfriendly know-it-all saleslady voice, she corrected the blatant unforgivable blunder.

"No, madam, the cost of this one is FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS and that one is SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!"

"Oh, I see, I'm so sorry," my wife said in a very small voice as the rosy color of embarrassment crept up to her cheeks. "We - uh - I guess we'll think about it. Thank you."

Without another word, the saleswoman gathered the wallets, placed them back in the display case, jingled her ring of keys with a flourish and noisily locked the glass door.

As we made our hasty getaway, we giggled together at our simple ignorance and unsophisticated expectations. How blessed naïve we had been! $550 and $700 for wallets embellished with some strange man's name, indeed!

As ludicrous as we knew the prices were, we still had a matter to take care of.

I telephoned our hosts in England and shamefully explained the situation to them. True to form, they made away with it all, saying that the lost wallet was too old to be of any true worth and we should forget about the entire incident.

Gucci and me? Well, I can't exactly say that although quite some time has elapsed since the unfortunate loss of the Gucci wallet, I have completely forgotten about it all. One thing's for certain, I know that Gucci wallets are not on my personal buying list because there has GOT to be better things to do with my money. Still and all, the incident brings back gales of laughter when we reminisce about our 'wonderful unworldliness' and the absolute nonsensical, ludicrous ways of the 'polished, sophisticated' world!

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By M Wyzanski

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Is the American Dream Becoming Impossible?

Something that everyone who lives in America strives for is the American dream. The one universal definition of this would be freedom and success. But what does that really mean? Every person has his or her own definitions of what freedom and success means. This is where the true meaning of the American dream can get a little tricky.

Some may say that everyone who lives in America already has the part of freedom towards the dream. This may not always be true. Some people do not have the right to marriage; others may not be treated as equally as others are, such as African Americans or even women in the work force. We are always told about all the freedom we have but sometimes it is not actually present. Sometimes there are points where us as Americans need to stand up and fight for our freedom. But in the end freedom is a big part of this dream and even though it is not present all the time I feel as though it is needed to fully achieve the American dream.

The number one thing contributing to the American dream is success. But this topic gets even more questionable. Success has so many definitions for different people. For most people success would mean being wealthy money wise. Even though this can contribute to someone's happiness and success, it is not the only thing that matters. While trying to obtain success many people may forget about the other stuff that is important. To completely acquire the American dream people need to remember everything that was and is important to them and not just focus on money. Friends, family, and just being socially interactive is a big part of being happy and when one just focuses on money and forgets about these things you can never truly be happy.

Some may also say that the concept is becoming impossible. The thought of someone actually coming from a poor background and then going out and becoming wealthy in all senses seems like a crazy idea. The American dream becoming impossible has only recently started happening. Back when the economy was better and everything was not the way it is today, people could actually come over to America and make a life for themselves. Now a days though it is much harder to make a living for yourself even if you are middle class.
By Betsy Barrows

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Citizenship Day

September 17 is "Citizenship Day." It's not a day that looms large on anyone's calendar. In fact I don't remember ever celebrating it with fireworks or a moment of silence while facing Washington, D.C.

It's a controversial subject in some quarters. I remember taking a civics class when in the 7th grade. I learned about various forms of government at the different levels from my city to townships, counties, etc. The era of my grade school years was only ten years following World War II, so citizenship was taken seriously.

But times have changed as our government has grown and liberties have become restricted. Now there are a record number of people leaving us each year, voluntarily surrendering their citizenship and moving to different parts of the world.

What once seemed like the best place on earth has now become intolerable for a few.

The 50 year war on drugs in America changed the culture of our cities. Our jails are filled with people whose only crime is drug related. Our city police forces are no longer trusted, no longer respected, and that leads to more arrests. It's a death spiral.

Many of us look up to men like Abraham Lincoln and women like Eleanor Roosevelt, who were honest and who tried to help people. We respect certain school teachers we've encountered during our education. These people inspire others to make our country better.

I must admit disappointment about our government diplomat and politician's constant reference to "our interests" when talking about conditions in the world. I think this is a gross misstatement and should never be used. Our interests and liberty must remain synonymous. If we promote liberty to the world, we will look less arrogant and more generous. America wasn't founded to become an empire with "interests." It was founded to be a refuge where all could experience life to its fullest.

Our "interests" must always remain in the interests of liberty. This nation was formed in order that its citizens would have it, and it's the main fabric of our culture that has led to such greatness. This embracing of liberty has nurtured energy and self-sacrifice. Men and women willing to do with less that they might invest their time, talents and resources in order to pursue their dreams to provide more. People with an idea channeling their lives toward a specific objective resulting in new products and processes to help themselves and the world.

And now we find ourselves, many of us, disenfranchised. Left out in the cold. Feeling like we have no chance. The social safety net provides physical needs, but fails to nurture the heart.

A new generation is upon us whose hope is faded, whose hope was never ignited with the zeal of our forefathers.

So, Citizenship Day will come and go like so many before it. Unnoticed, without recognition.

But certain citizens continue to place themselves at risk. Law enforcement and military ranks are filled with men and women who understand citizenship. People willing to sacrifice their lives for the principles of liberty, and for them I will celebrate this day.
By Gerald E Greene
See more at

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Significant Day in History - Are We Safer?

By Gini Cunningham

Those of us who were alive and old enough to remember the horrendous tragedies that struck our nation fourteen years ago will relate well to this piece. The images are iconic, filled with fear, devastation, and also faith. The faith emanates from those individuals who stepped up and risked their own health and well-being in the service of others. They may have been firemen or police officers, bystanders or victims themselves. They include all of the brave souls who operated through dedication and automaticity to work to save lives. We honor them this day and every day. I wonder if in the same situations I would have found the courage to act and react as they did. I think so but fortunately I do not know as I have not faced such immediate devastation.

Being struck on our own soil surprised us just as it raised our ire. We feel safe in our country, at least most of the time we do. We have rules and regulations, peace officers and other protectors. When I run in the morning or drive my car on the freeway or wander a hiking path, I feel secure, knowing that safety resides. Although I might fall down or bump into another vehicle or trip, overall I have little worry as I live my daily life. It is a pleasant and soothing feeling.

Many say that we are far safer now than we were those many years ago. There is definitely more travel security, especially on airlines. It takes longer to get items renewed or approved like passports or driver's licenses. There are required background checks that I must pass to work in a school or other public locale. I know that I am being checked and scrutinized as my social security number, frequent flyer number, driver's license number, credit card number, and every other number connected with my name are scanned, studied, and then deemed all right. I don't mind most of this inspection into my private life, but it is sometimes unnerving. After all, I know that my phone calls are easily traced through records, but it is crazy to think that I might utter a key word that would send off emergency flares regarding my loyalty. When I am selected at the airport for additional screening as my fingers or bags are checked and an armed guard stands by is scary. When I am patted down before I can enter a ball game or concert, unease overtakes me, even though I am innocent of any crime and do not possess a criminal record.

So after all of this, I return to my question, are we safer. Are random selections and orderly, complete inspections improving conditions? While we tremble at the thought of another attack from foreign lands, we allow guns to run rampant as more citizens are shot and many are killed. We fret about invasions from elsewhere with little mind to local possibilities. I bought a birthday rifle for my son one year and had to fill out numerous forms, wait a state background check, and then abide a 3-day waiting period before I could purchase and take possession of it. This was fine; I was approved; my son was able to go hunting. In essence, I followed all laws and procedures and earned the rifle. Of course, I realize that a criminal in the same situation would have known how to circumvent all of this and have a gun in his/her hands within minutes. That is when I wonder if we are really safer.

Those against background checks rally about freedom and gun rights. It is their privilege to do so, but I wonder if they realize the floodgates of gun sales that remain open and endanger all of our lives. Yes, illegal guns will still fall into the wrong hands, but what if all arms trade was just a little tougher, especially online and in gun shows. Just a few restrictions would make a tremendous difference. As another anniversary of the attack on our country arrives and then ends, have we learned anything? Have we made necessary changes to enhance safety or have we simply scared ourselves silly with boogieman threats or allowed ourselves to be lulled into complacency permitting fear to drive our actions? I wonder.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

All Saints Day - Does Anybody Care?

The 1st day of November is reserved for a special recognition of people who lived close to God. These are the people who "partook of divinity" and who were "holy."

While those terms seem to be rather high and out of reach, they actually can be achieved with a simple daily Spiritual Exercise that begins a process of change that, over time, result in significant personal revolution.

Some examples that come to my mind are:

Anne Askew

Anne was a beautiful daughter of a wealthy family named "Kyme" that lived during the reign of Henry VIII in England. Her father forced her to marry a knight by the name of William Askew whom she neither loved nor found to be agreeable.

She was a very intelligent woman and soon after marriage and the birth of two boys obtained a Bible which she studied daily. Shortly after receiving the Bible she began questioning certain doctrines of the church and was severely reprimanded by both the priest and her husband. When she refused to comply with demands to give up her Bible, she was expelled from home by her husband and forced to live with generous friends in London.

Queen Catharine Parr befriended her after her divorce was refused, and appointed her as a "Lady in Waiting." At this time she resumed the use of her maiden name.

Anne was placed under constant surveillance by agents of the king who worked hard to discredit the queen, but were reluctant to attack her directly, so they pursued her friends. One of the reports regarding Anne stated: "She is the most devout woman I have ever known; for at midnight she begins to pray, and ceases not for many hours, when I and others are addressing ourselves to sleep and work." But in spite of the reports of her devout and pious life, she was arrested and tortured with the rack where her limbs were stretched and pulled apart until she fainted.

Because she was unable to use her arms and legs following the torture, she was taken to the place of execution in a chair.

She died while tied to a post in front of St. Bartholomew church in London at the age of 25. The fires were lit and the flames were high, but death was quick due to the unexpected explosion of gun powder that was intended to just assist the fire.

Monica - mother of St. Augustine

During the 5th century Monica was married to a pagan man who was both unfaithful and who was abusive. In spite of her difficult life she did all she could to be a pleasant wife. She spent time in Bible study and prayer and did her best to raise their son to be a loving Christian boy.

Her initial failures with her son made her more determined to work for his salvation and her life of service resulted in success as her husband eventually saw the beauty of her life and love and became a Christian shortly before he died.

It is said that she counselled other women to follow her example of love in order to change the behavior of their husbands.

After the death of her husband, Monica then turned all of her attention to the life of her unmarried son who was living a life of pleasure as an academic. Her influence resulted in success as Augustine eventually joined the Christian faith and became a faithful leader of the church.

The Apostles

Following the ascension of Christ the apostles accepted the call of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel to the world. As recorded in the New Testament, they were men with human faults, but who were humble and eager to complete their mission.

Although they all died as martyrs, except for John, they changed the world with love and a new form of worship that included a personal relationship with God.

Gerald E. Greene can be found on Facebook as Gerald E. Greene

He also posts to "Stories Rated 'G' on Facebook

His spiritual inspiration blog is

Friday, October 30, 2015

13 Reasons Why You Should Never Get A Job

By Sam De La Bertauche

I like the number 13, and I'm a key believer of making your own luck, so I'm going to force my number 13 liking on you; as we talk about...

13 reasons you should never get a job!

In today's society it is certainly the norm that everyone should have a vocation. A job in which you jump into after education, maybe move between a few different places, gain a few promotions, pay into your pension, then retire at the grand old age of 80 (I say 80 because I suspect the retirement age will be up there by time it's time for me to hang up my working shoes). Now to me, the idea of having a job and ploughing through the day working for someone else has always seemed a bit... weird? Perhaps it was my disdain for any sort of authority or being a control freak, but the idea of going to work for 60 odd years filled me with dread.

Increasingly younger people are questioning this mundane and embedded piece of our society. Whilst those of an older ilk may label these people lazy or juvenile, it definitely makes sense that in a perfect utopian society, jobs would simply not exist.

I will add here; if you have had the joy of being in a job that you have always wanted to do and it fills you with so much joy, then this probably isn't for you. After all, it probably doesn't feel like a job.

Similarly, I am well aware everyone needs money. For now anyway...

What I am going to argue is that the idea of having a job is plain wrong. In the age we live in, society can and should evolve past the point of jobs. Of course if jobs didn't exist, and we found our incomes through other methods certain people and corporations would be screwed. I say these are the people are the way of change, and more than likely have already convinced you that there simply isn't any other choice.

The thing is, why can't we MAKE a choice? You-tubers for example, film themselves doing something they love, and they get paid for it over and over again.

Whilst this can't be directly related to things like food production, is it so far fetched that a system is possible in which everyone can spend their time being productive doing things that they want to do. That way everyone can contribute to society, rather than contributing to the capitalist machine that frankly drains everyone of creativity and motivation.

But I digress! Let's move on with the 13 reasons you should never get a job!

You are trading time for money

Exactly that. How many of you get paid hourly, or even annually for a set amount of hours? Time is a resource that we will never ever get back, and currently the system of jobs means we are trading our valuable finite amount of hours doing something we don't want to do, for money. Wouldn't it make so much more sense to invest your time providing value, then getting paid time and time again?

Imagine putting in hard work creating something amazing and then going out to dinner. Going to bed. Watching TV... all whilst getting paid for it. This is how royalties work for singers, writers, painters and so forth. It's exactly what happens when your favourite You-tuber uploads a video. It's exactly what happens when people update a website with a witty, clever, and altogether brilliant article that you just need to share with all your friends and comment on. In all seriousness, it's true. Anything in this world that has any value can be sold. And normally people pay time and time again, after you initially put the time and effort in.

That may not work for all of life's activities, but it does beg the question as to why we are so content trading our time to do some shitty boring task for some money (and get severely unpaid whilst doing it).

Similarly, do you think your 9 hours of work relates to 9 hours of value created for your company? No way. What you do in one day of work could create value to last a week. Or even a year. That £100 you earned yesterday for 9 hours of work may feel great right now, but think about the £1000's it could earn your boss over the next week, whilst he does NOTHING.

2. You only get paid when you are working

As mentioned above, you only get your wage slip if you march your little butt to work and put in the hours. Sure you might get a few days holiday and sick days, but you know you can't just chill for a few days. You can't go travelling or go on holiday. You can't spend too much precious time with your family, because you won't get paid.

The system is already in place and millions of people get paid when they are doing nothing. It's called passive income and we'll talk about it another time.

But (as above) YouTubers, singers, writers, are already exploiting a system where they create the value, and they can get paid when they are sitting at home doing nothing. Wouldn't it make far more sense to get paid for the value you create and how much it helps people in the future, rather than just getting that cash for working for an hour?

3. It's a waste of a life!

Having a job is a waste of a life. Through some scientific miracle where the chances of occurring in the 0.0000000000000000000000000% life exists, and out of all the potential things that could have come to life, you are one of them. You could even have been one in a billion when you were conceived. Yeah that's right, you are one in a billion.

You have an average life expectancy of around 80, if you manage to avoid serious illnesses and accidents that could strike at any moment. In fact, even tomorrow isn't guaranteed. And, you're going to spend the next 60 years working almost every single day, doing some trivial task that sucks the life out of you. You aren't going exploring, you aren't saving the world, you aren't playing in a field of puppies, you aren't surfing, you aren't painting, you aren't living. Think about how much time you have wasted at work. In fact, think about how much time you have wasted... whilst at work!

Think of what you could have learned in the time you spent at work last year.

I know I'm asking you to think of a lot, and that in itself is dangerous, but keep at it.

My point is, when you are at the end of your life; you will look back and find that a large chunk of it was took up doing something you didn't want to do, and didn't add any real benefit to anyone.

4. You're a slave

Fact of the day (and Google it if you don't believe me), the origin of the word "boss" is the Dutch word: "baas". The original translation of the word baas from Dutch is "master". So go back to work and make your master happy, slave.

Okay, so the origin of a word doesn't make you a slave granted, but think about what other liberties are taken away from you. Are you given a set time and duration in which you can eat? Do you have to turn up at a certain time or you'll get told off? Are you one of the poor sods who has to ask to go to the toilet, or have their toilet breaks timed... ? You get to pick what clothes you wear right? And you can have your hair how you want? No?

How would your slave master react if you got a new tattoo? Or that piercing that you've already wanted?

Another point in line with this, is the size of the rules and restrictions that found in employee manuals nowadays. There are set regulations for pretty much everything at work now. This rigidity in routine and system kills creativity. It is good however in creating an obedient and effective cog that keeps spinning the corporate machine...

5. Do you like getting ripped off to make other people rich?

The simple fact is that however much money you earn at work, is no where near the amount you earn your boss and company. You can be sure that your wages incorporate the money that your boss needs to pay to keep the lights on, to pay the rent on the building, to pay all of the business' taxes. That's before you take into account how much of your "wage" you generously donate to your government. Then the business needs to make your they are earning something from you, so they can be profitable of course.

There are just way too many mouths to feed when it comes to having a job. You are being ripped off every step of the way.

6. It's unsafe

A lot of people think that working for yourself or freelancing is dangerous. There simply is no guarantee that you will earn enough money. That's very true. But having a job is even more dangerous and unstable.

If you are creating the value yourself and have passive income, you aren't limited to doing the same thing every day. For arguments sake, you could have 5 income streams. A writer could write tens of books and have an income stream from each one. OH NO, one book didn't sell! The income from the other 9 will cover it.

What happens though when your company hits a rough patch and doesn't need you? The plug is pulled and you find that safe and reliable job has now vanished.

As mentioned right at the time, this is about control. When you have a job, you are not in control of your destiny. Someone can pull the plug whenever. And what if you aren't happy with the amount you are earning now and want more? Can you work harder and get more? Of course not, you would need to beg your master for a pay rise...

7. No freedom

Perhaps obvious from previous points, but you have no freedom when you are working for someone else. You are contractually obliged to do certain things or they will sue your butt. You have about as much freedom as a dog. You turn up on time, you do are you are told, you get told off if you don't, then you get your treat at the end of it. Good boy.

8. Limited social life

Some of your best friends may be from work, and if they are, please don't be offended!

The point is, your social life is dictated around your job. You spend most of your time with the people who happen to work at the same place, so unlucky if they are dicks. Secondly, when you aren't at work, you will avoid all those people who work different hours, or different days. The love of your life might be working nights when you're on 9-5.

9. It makes you sad!

Working makes people sad! If you are stuck in a job that you don't well and truly love (again if you do, well actually you probably aren't reading anyway so... ) odds are you feel sad. You probably find it hard to sleep Sunday night because of the anxiety of going to spend the next 5 days being bored doing something you don't want to do.

Depression is one of the biggest problems with our society today. It's something I will write about soon, but in short; we are not doing anywhere near enough. And the increasing amounts of people suffering suggest that life itself is just more rubbish and stressful. People are far too sad. There is plenty to find happiness in the world, however the system we all live by means that all the joy and excitement is sucked out of us as it slowly and surely turns us into sad efficient robots.

10. You're another cog in the machine

The capitalist world we live in is one that has encapsulated the modern day way of life. So much so that jobs are becoming more and more trivial and creating less and less value for our world; at the expense of more and more money for the big corporations and big bosses. As a little worker bee, trained and whipped into domestication; taught to follow the rules and turn up on time, trade your finite hours for a little treat, you are just another cog in the machine. Big businesses need people willing to work for nothing (as in no real value), and they exploit them through underpaid wages. They benefit from the hard fought hours doing your job, just so you can go home and switch on your big TV that you don't need, or so you can go and buy things you simply do not need - all so you have to go back to work and earn that cash back!

11. The 6 year version of you would hate you

Perhaps one of the strongest reasons not to get a job, or at least, not get a job that is truly soul destroying and rubbish - is that the 6 year old version of you would hate you. 6 year old's don't get jobs, and why should they? They haven't been exposed to all of the bullshit brainwashing that society has to offer. 6 year old's are innocent. They like to play and they like to have fun. If you think back at what you wanted to be when you were 6 chances are there will be no correlation between what you do now, and what the 6 year old you wanted to do.

Why? We're continuously told as youngsters that any idea we have won't work. Won't work, or "no sweet heart that isn't a real job, how about a tax collector?". So dreams are crushed at such a young age because kids aren't given the freedom to truly seek out a life for themselves. If a kid wants to be a magician when they are younger 9 out of 10 parents would tell them it simply doesn't pay, and pushes them to do maths or something the kid just doesn't like. The result is bad grades, stressed kids, and the same bad attitude handed to them so they can stop their kids dreams.

What would the 6 year old you think of what you do now? Would they be happy and pleased at what their life as become, or would they not get it? Would they look at you and just think you were another boring adult who sold out their dreams?


I honestly don't see that I have to expand this point... Jobs are boring. If you are currently in a job that you don't love, chances are you find it boring. Even the fun jobs are boring, if its not what you want to do.

13. Idiots. Idiots everywhere!

Last but not least you have to cope with the idiots.

There will always be idiots in the world, and I am sure you have met quite a few of them. The strange phenomenon is, these idiots seem to excel in the work place. So much so, they tend to always be the people in charge or above you in the pecking order!

There is very little worse than being extremely competent at your job that you hate doing, and someone who has half the brains is in a higher position and is in control of you. Worst still when they feel the need to belittle you or tell you how to do a task that they simply can't do.

Unfortunately it's the way of the world!

Let's conclude!

I want to finish off by saying, if you do have a job you love, or aiming for a job that you love and can make a difference - I salute you.

Ultimately there is a job for everyone and if you are lucky enough to have found that and worked hard enough to achieve it then fair play.

The problem lies in that far too many people are not in jobs that are suited to them. They are in jobs for the money and thus the constraints around what dictates what is and isn't a job, means that they are stressed and depressed.

Society should have a place for every single person to get on and do what they enjoy doing. So much so that with everyone in their place and growing, society itself grows. With everyone happy and contributing the system would be hell of a lot more efficient.

I also don't buy the argument that there are some jobs people will always have to be. There is a wide variety of people with an even wider variety of things they enjoy doing. There must be a system where every need we have as a society is fulfilled by someone who enjoys doing it. And for all them really bad jobs... robots...

There is ways to earn money for yourself without a job and to earn money even whilst you are sleeping. This is how society should be, and thus getting a job is just stupid.

What do you think? Do you think we will ever get to a place in our society where jobs become defunct and everyone can spend their time being creative and contributing? Or are you a cog who thinks jobs are necessary and always will be?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Disinformation Is Boggling My Mind

By Gini Cunningham

It used to be when you thought something might be true but you weren't sure, you asked questions, conducted research, applied the "truth" meter, and then verified the authenticity of a matter before making a public announcement. Thus I would never proclaim my neighbor had received threats from a son, a friend had terminal cancer, or a family member had been heralded at work for achievement without checking things out first. And probably I would never share these events anyway as the first is very private and unless my neighbor has asked me to take action, the matter is none of my business and out of my control. My sick friend is even more private and I am certain that s/he would never want me to divulge information helter-skelter anyway. Instead we would chat face-to-face as s/he advised me into action.

Even when my children are awarded prizes and accolades, I am hesitant to spread the word because I do not want to appear overbearing or bragging and my celebration for their success will more likely be private and personal. I am abundantly proud of all three of my children. They have made me proud, but few outside of our immediate circle really want to have their ears talked off on how terrific my kids are. I've been in that position with other friends and acquaintances who prattle off every award and reward known and after time the diatribe becomes monotonous and my mind withdraws. This is especially true on the second, third, fourth, etc. rendition of this particular child's success.

Why is it then that suddenly as a public we accept disinformation with neither pause nor hesitation? Someone declares that the President is not a citizen even though facts prove otherwise and this disinformation spreads and expands and foments under the breath and more often out loud in outbursts of negativity. Another states that the government is going to round up all of our guns and disarm us so that we can be taken hostage and imprisoned. While no one in the government has even suggested such a move, this lie has exploded as some residents stockpile rifles, pistols, and assault weapons along with mountains of ammunition. Even when proof is offered, disinformation overpowers sense and the lie perpetuates.

Planned Parenthood has provided research centers with fetal matter to be studied for the benefit of all. They do not sell it, they do not harvest it without great thought and care, and yet a falsified film is believed as opposed to records and documentation. A service that offers health care to millions of individuals who would quite possibly not receive it otherwise, is vilified and threatened with cutting or ending all funding for the entire operation in the balance. Even when evidence is offered and the doctoring of the film is exposed, some wallow in the disinformation thinking that with enough pronouncements it will become true. Ignorance reigns.

I would really like some truth. Yes, give me your thoughts and then allow me to prove or disprove them. With evidence in hand, from me and more from you, we can discuss, examine, and then draw conclusions based on research and facts rather than on emotions and hostilities. What example do we set for future generations when lies and shrieks overtake honesty and truth? Disinformation is frightening and those who disseminate it in mighty roars are a great disservice to our collective mind and knowledge base.
Ovulation tests

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Calendar Called "Life"

By Sweta P Mishra

If you are twenty five years old, you should have already got a job or at least should be on your way. If you are thirty you should be planning a family or at least be married. By thirty five, you should have bought your own house and be taking the stress of the EMI. I can go on... Truth be told, I have myself fallen prey to what I call a "mandatory stress calendar for social success". If you do not cater to these periodic "stress milestones", you are not successful as per social norms. Your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors ensure you have a very clear vision of this calendar. If you lose track of it consciously or unknowingly, they make sure to hammer some sense (which they might explain as social intelligence) to you, remind you how you have fallen behind and leave no stone unturned to ensure that you are back in the race.

I must clarify that I am not opinionated against age old wisdom, neither do I grudge individuals who have happily chosen to do what their fellow human beings do. But I am a little worried about few members of our species who have chosen to tread a different path- a path slightly non-compliant, a path that probably stems from a cognitive make that does not recognize social compliance as the greatest virtue. And the reason of my worry- purely selfish. If there are two situations which have given me the most substantial amount of agony in my life, they are: 1) Whenever I asked "why"? 2) Whenever I asked "why not"? My heart goes out to all my fellow human beings who believe that asking for a rationale is fundamental to a thinking being's life, because I know the amount of struggle this approach brings with itself.

While I stumble and tumble every single day embracing my non-compliant cognitive make (for the lack of a better word), I have developed what I call my own perspective to dealing with this "imperative stress calendar". This helps me do two things: enables me to breathe when I am pushed to believe that I have fallen behind in the race and secondly, helps me address situations when I feel judged.

Having lived half my life, having looked around and viewed the life of friends and family, the biggest observation which has now become a guiding principle for me is "Complete compliance is not necessarily a virtue". In the other words, if everyone does something, then that action is not necessarily correct or moral. That is, whoever does not follow suit is not by default wrong or immoral. Think back to whatever you remember of your history class in school and you would note that at least two to three social evils which were common phenomenon during that era. And everybody lived that as a natural part of their lives. But today, we look back at them as social evils which were eradicated. Correctness I believe, can't be debated without context. And contexts differ from one person to another.

The second observation relates to a phenomenon which I call "half-truths as ethical basis to norms". A wise author once said "I don't believe in borrowed wisdom". I like the very audacity of the statement. A classic statement based on borrowed wisdom: "Marriage completes an individual". May be it does for some and doesn't for others. But here is where the problem begins, calling an individual selfish because he enjoys the "no strings attached" feeling that comes with bachelorhood. Let's acknowledge that while some run away from marriage to preserve freedom, most get married to find companionship. Both cases involve a personal motive. So why do we raise our eyebrows at the first situation and consider the second a normal progression in life? What makes the first situation or individual an anomaly? That is because we choose to focus on half of the truth- we see motive when someone chooses to move away from norms but we close our eyes to the motives that dictate compliance to norms. That is a very convenient usage of a half-truth, isn't it?

I know many individuals who have maintained the so called social schedule, achieved the right milestone (from the mandatory stress calendar) at the right time, and are yet deprived of a basic sense of well-being.

Look around and you will see that happiness can't be the outcome of a calendarized life. Neither will co-existence be possible unless we get rid of a world view that differentiates the non- compliant from the compliant. Look at any aspect of life and you will find numerous instances when you have either judged or been judged for not following a prevalent norm. To question, to drift (if life allows you that luxury) and to tread your own path is imperative to find your own truth. Of all the species, us human beings should be the first to make space for it.