One Man Versus the World

Quite a dramatic title. Over the top? Yes, but it’s a perception that I believe most, if not all, people hold periodically each day, week, month, year, whatever. Is that a bad thing? Is it a sickness? Does it call for a remedy? Or is it healthy? Does it push us to either (1) stress to the point of physical sickness or (2) analyze our selves for changes we may need to make to our own thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions?

I choose to believe it is a blessing. It is a struggle (a great one at that), but (not to get too hokey) it’s part of what makes us human. For one man (I use “man” in the “mankind” sense) to surrender his problems to the jurisdiction of another is potentially dehumanizing as it is. When a group of men forceably rob another man of his ability to work through his own problems, that’s murder!

Let’s look at a comparison of a free life versus a life in prison. The man who is free wakes up and does sone sort of version of the following: picks out his clothes for the day, takes a nice hot shower, gets dressed, makes some coffee, and reads the paper before leaving for work.

The man in prison is woken up by a man who detests him (and whom he probably detests as well), his clothes are already picked for him (they are the same every day), he takes a 5 minute cold shower (next to another man he detests), he gets dressed, and does nothing that is not first approved (again, by a man who detests him and whom he detests) for the rest of the day (every day for the rest of his sentence).

That’s a simplified, G-rated comparison, but truth nonetheless. As an individual citizen of the United states, which of the two am I closer to living in? Let’s put it this way: which example is closer to it’s real-world existence (my free man vs an American “free” man or my imprisoned man vs an American man in prison)? I would argue that my example of the free man would suggest great naivete on my part.

A man is woken up by a federal regulation-approved alarm clock, he gets up from his fed-reg-approved bed, his house is warm because he pays the fed-reg-approved electric company every month, etc…

Let’s not forget that man cannot even enjoy one of the essential blessings God (as I believe) has bestowed upon us (to enjoy our toilsome labor, for this is our lot). Work has now become a more restrictive prison within an illusory “free” world outside of work.

Who’s to blame? Us. Over the passed few generations, we’ve become (now this is slightly confusing) increasingly interdependently independent. We don’t care about each other, but we don’t rake care of ourselves. So we’ve now brought ourselves to the point of interdependence and dependence on government to take care of these problems which we should be voluntarily solving ourselves or with the assistance of others who wish to help us.

God help us. We certainly won’t, let alone our trustworthy government (which introduces hundreds-if not thousands of new regulations each year, in the name of “the good of the people”)! We relinquished our basic responsibilities and duties as individual citizens long ago. Now we’re living with the consequences. To change back to “better times” now would require the equivalent of turning a scrambled egg into a chicken. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic.

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6 Comments

  1. After three decades of struggling within the confines of the viewpoints you’ve described, I decided that all the alternatives you are talking about are prisons. I’m sure others have different paths to understanding, but for my wife and I we came to these few decisions:
    1. Service is more important than money. I gave up a very lucrative career in motion picture post-production to work for 1/4 of my previous salary in health care, first as a caregiver, and now in medical imaging. Now, everything I do is important, needed and appreciated. I never feel like “me against the world”. Seriously, never.
    2. You can either view the natural environment as something you are supposed to “tame” and use, or you try and find your place IN it, in greater harmony and closer relationship with all other living beings. Having chosen the latter, we moved from El Lay to a town of 9,000 where we have wildlife and trees all around, to a house half the size of our previous one. I drive 4 miles to work, and take my own garbage to a recycling center 5 miles away. I know all my neighbors nearby, and we eat together often and visit and generally help each other out.
    3. Politics and “the news” are artificial constructs that are generally more harmful than helpful. One can’t really avoid their corrupting influence, but it’s always worth taking the time to define others by what they have in common with you more than through how you differ.
    4. Do more healthy stuff that you enjoy. We sing a lot, and take walks. You may be surprised how restorative it can be.

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    1. Thank you very much for your response and suggestions. I confess to frequently losing touch of the many avenues through which peace and comfort may be found. Though, for me, I have a consistent peace and comfort through my faith, your suggestions are no less valid. I understand that based upon this post, I may appear to be quite a stressed/depressed, I’m actually quite at peace. I’m just a pessimist when it comes to the “progress” of society. Unfortunately, there are moments during which I allow this to effect my overall mood in a negative way. Thanks again for your suggestions. I live near quite a few nature parks. I work in human services and juvenile corrections which helps me maintain a feeling of purpose.

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  2. If I thought, like the commentator, that moving to a small town and living the quiet life would insulate me from the heinous changes taking place in this Country and the world today would work, I would gladly move and do that. In fact, that’s how and ‘where’ I grew up. On a ranch, near a very small town, living a pastoral life with my family that mostly dealt with our own personal survival each day and our small, but friendly community.

    Unfortunately, the world has changed. And, coming from that world, I cannot see how going back to that world will actually allow me to live the life I would like or be seeking with such a move.

    But I do not blame “us” for what is happening. Until 1996, the internet was a semi-closed environment, relegated to academia via gophers. It wasn’t until the internet was in full swing with rapid modem delivery and the ability to cut and paste, post and build and enjoy large readership that we began to become educated in the vast knowledge of the globe, and not simply what we read in our newspapers and magazines. We’ve had all of 16 years since the Net “became” a news service and of that, only 10 years of ‘ease’ in it’s use, both as webmasters and users.

    It’s taken years for us to have what we now see and read to be able to educate us to a fuller understanding of our world the way it ‘really’ is. Years of requesting documents through freedom of information act sources. Years for other countries to release documents, histories, biographies and corporate histories so that we could sort, peruse, interpret and understand the real nature of the mountain of activity taken by governments, corporations and individual people to obfuscate, manipulate and control the world to achieve goals that heretofore only they really understood and whose planning was hidden from us like some occult and mysterious secret.

    By blaming “us” for what is happening today, the blogger is simply lumping his unhappiness with his own state into ‘our’ lap, as though ‘he’ or ‘we’ should have seen ‘all this’ coming. It’s fine to take personal responsibility for those things that you are truly guilty of not acting on, but it’s not ok for you to take responsibility for those things you never saw coming. That’s just masochistic and self-punishing for no reason. And running off to small town America to ‘take care of the basic things of life so I can have a daily sense of peace, believing that I’m doing what is important to sustain life as I understand it’ is not the answer either.

    The simple truth is that neither of you understand. None of us really understand. We thought we lived in a world that we had been told existed. What we had read, seen and heard had convinced us that that world really existed and that the only thing we had to do was keep on living our lives the best we could, trying to honor life, friendships, our faith, our family and our Country, and in so doing, we would, like those who came before us, actually have a worthwhile life where we could leave a decent legacy for those who love us. No one prepared us for what we found when the net brought us the truth. There is no way before the internet that we, as ordinary people, could have known the actual truth of world affairs. And now we are desperately struggling to expel water that we inadvertently swallowed when we suddenly found ourselves submerged in mountains of truly overwhelming information that eventually made us all realize we had been living a pipe dream, not really insulated from the truth, but actually deliberately kept from knowing by those who had, all along, planned our future and the direction in which it would go…according to their designs.

    Many of us had read George Orwell’s “1984”, and thought, “Wow…that’s just creepy. Thank God the world is not like that!” or “Farenheit 21” and many other books lining out a dismal future of ‘overlord control’, always thinking that ‘it wouldn’t happen to us’ and ‘we would see it coming in time to change it’. But we didn’t, did we? Was that our fault? or the fault of the people who deliberately hid the truth from us? Our politicians, always smiling, reassuring us that everything was as it should be, our schools never telling us what was real, but only what was past, as they taught from outdated textbooks of re-written history.

    Could we have seen any of this coming? No. Not possible. The only way would have been if we had worked for an Intelligence Agency or been a reporter for a large newspaper with an unlimited budget and daily read all the information available and heard all the discourse of the machinations being played out on a daily level by those in power around the globe. How many of us could have been included in that small group of people? And who would have listened to us had we been included? How many died trying to blow the whistle back in those days, gallantly trying to “get the truth out to the people”? How many were castigated by the very papers and governments they worked for? even killed to keep their silence?

    Are we responsible for what is now happening? Hell, NO, we are not. But now that we do know, will it really help others to move to a pastoral setting, smell the flowers and ignore your ability to make things better by educating and fighting for a better world on a global level while you still can? Sure, you’re helping the disabled or the sick and weak today. But how about in a month from now, a year? When their care diminishes for lack of funding, or you find out that your government doesn’t really want to spend money on those who cannot produce for society? What then? You’ll be angry and want to fight the system, but by then, the system will have overwhelmed the individual, the small action groups, the community organizers, and you’ll be left with nowhere to go. And soon, if the UN Agenda 21 has their way, you’ll not be left in peace in your pastoral community, since they see no reason for mankind to foul the land and countryside with their presence and garbage, water use and usurping of what they consider their “right to protect and manage” all natural resources from the encroachment of mankind.

    There is a global movement designed to control it all; how we live, what we do, what we can say, think and have influence in. There are people who think only they know how much water we can use, what kind of food we should eat and how much air we’re all entitled to breathe each day. They have not lived in a pastoral setting, possibly ever, in their entire lives. They have no idea of the dignity of the human spirit or perhaps, even faith in something more than themselves. Yet they wish to dictate terms of survival and their vision of the world to everyone, believing that only they know and understand the future way mankind has to go to survive.

    No…we are not to blame for the twisted and convoluted minds of these people, nor the direction they are constructing for the living beings of the Earth. But now that we know, are informed and are able to take action, we must. It is not too late. We’ve only had this knowledge for a few years, perhaps in some cases, only a few months, as the buildup is now moving forward, yet is far from completion.

    NOW is the time to take the action we must to preserve the pastoral, preserve the freedom, liberty and dignity of the individual and community of man. It could not have been done prior to now in a truly organized action with the ability to work as a global community inspired by a unified goal of defeating the plans of those who would dominate us through misinformation, false treaties, manipulation of our senses and mentally through our food and environment.

    Do you truly love the pastoral? Fight for it! Do you want a better life, one that doesn’t depress you when you get up in the morning? FIGHT for it! Do you want to bring this Country back to what our Founding Fathers intended it to be? FIGHT for IT! Do you honestly care if the Earth will be taken care of by people who love it? STEWARDS of the EARTH? Then get up, quit hiding in your selfish and woebegone closets you’ve placed yourself in out of fear, and FIGHT BACK! An avalanche is only possible when enough individual snowflakes refuse to lay about quietly and do nothing except ‘be’.

    Fight now, or quit lying to yourself that whatever it is you’re not doing is ok…and that you’re only one person in a very large world. I’m here…others are here…and we’re waiting for “you” to join us. You have a voice. Quit using it to explain ‘yourself’. The importance of that diminishes every single day in the eyes of those who don’t give one fig about you or anyone else but themselves and their agenda. If neither of you cared, you wouldn’t have bothered to write this blog or comment on it. So take the next step…get serious about truly helping the world so you and your children, can, in the future, live the life you ‘know’ is good. Don’t put it off on some talking head to direct your steps, put your own feet on the ground, one foot at a time and accomplish what you know is right.

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    1. I can only justifiably blame the one person I have the ability to change: myself. Therefore, it is him that I must help edify first. If by my actions I am not also benefitting man-kind as a whole, then I must re-evaluate my actions and though processes. I would never intend to advocate for a view that states “the easiest way out is the best (or only) way out” (otherwise I’d be dead). However, to fight the government as it stands, and view that alone as a great cause, would be missing out on the greatest tragedy of this world: the decline of genuine (not forced, but internally lead) positive interest in one’s neighbor. Yes, the government’s actions and motives are questionable to put it nicely, but the people aren’t helping any (as a whole, not every individual).

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      1. I agree that not every individual is helping to change what is going on in today’s world, and I also agree that personal change begins within. That said, one of the reasons people are not caring about their neighbors is that it has become ‘unfashionable’ to do so. So many people come and go so quickly from highly populated areas that it becomes difficult, if not impossible, for people to have or even take the time to get to know someone who lives next door or across the street. Consequently, we insulate ourselves from ‘loss’ by not extending ourselves. So wanting to do that to re-orientate yourself to caring at every level for your fellow man is a worthy and worthwhile pursuit.

        But in light of the reach of the internet, you have many “neighbors” now. And there are some of us who care. We care about you and hope that you care about us. Some of us care enough to take the time to write and tell you that we do. You cared enough to write your personal feelings, to some extent, on this blog, so obviously, it’s important to you to reach out, perhaps to the only neighbors or family you feel listens or values what you say. And that matters to me. You matter to me. All my internet ‘neighbors’ that I am privileged to even slightly know, matter to me. Their happiness, their pain, their longings and their struggles in life.

        We can’t do much more on these computers than we can sometimes do in real life, person to person, but we can care.

        The reason I wrote my comment was because I “saw” something in your writing. Something that I felt was feeling isolated or alone, wondering why or how life had gotten that way. Something many of us feel daily. I’m not judging you or thinking you don’t care. In fact, it’s the opposite. I think you care very deeply…as I do, perhaps, not in the same exact way, or anything like that, but in your own way. Like I said, you have a voice. And the fact that you are willing to use it, is something to be applauded and congratulated.

        What has separated us from our neighbors is how fast our world has become. How hard we have to work to survive, how we can be exhausted from the loss of the friends we’ve managed to make, our family or loved ones passing on, or any number of things that leaves us sometimes sitting here with only our computer to keep us company. It’s become very easy to use the computer instead of our legs to meet new people and make our ‘neighborhoods’. But while we’re doing this, others are taking away the very ability we have to walk out our door and find the neighborhood still there to reclaim.

        One day, we may go out and find that no one lives in our physical neighborhood anymore. It will, like an episode of the Twilight Zone, have ceased to exist…and we didn’t realize it was gone until it was too late. Thanks to redistribution and sustainable life development projects, all those people we used to take for granted will be living in tightly controlled cities of cement.

        It all relates to our life today. So while you’re working on yourself and reaching out to your neighbors, please realize that perhaps you’re miles ahead of them in your knowledge of what the future holds unless you make an effort to save what you value the most. Your freedom to live in the way you truly want to live…and want them to be able to enjoy as well.

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