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Thread: A sad thing...

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Default A sad thing...

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    Today, a young man died more or less at his own hand but also at the hands of us all. He died from the effects of drug abuse. He leaves two children that he ignored because he was more interested in drugs than in being a father and a man. He choose life living in a fog because our society encouraged and allowed it.

    Everybody knows I would decriminalize recreational drugs despite the cost to our society. What I am raging about today is the society he grew up in that made it more palpable to hide behind drugs than to be a human being full of hope and promise. Yes, his drug abuse was his own doing. But why did he find that life better than what his society offered him?

    Farewell, Mikey. I'll miss you. I hope your soul finds peace.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Phero Guru Rbt's Avatar
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    I too have had longtime friends get lost in the fog of drugs.

    One of my earliest childhood friends who was probably near the top of our high school class now does little more than push brooms.

    Another friend from college is much the same.

    And the neighboor highschooler who used to mow my lawn walked by my house this week while I was mowing that same lawn, and he was lost in the murkey world of meth (by his own admission).

    One of my sister's daughter's teenage friends died from huffing some aerosol product.

    But I've lost friends, aquaintences, and classmates to murder, war, suicide, disease, and accidents too.

    It's not an easy world we live in.

    Although referencing death, this relects living as well:
    "Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,..."

    - from "Holy Sonnet #10" AKA "Death be not proud" by John Donne c. 1610
    The opposite of love isn't hate.
    It's apathy
    .

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Thanks Rbt.

    I remember this one as the baby I watched and as the little kid I built swings for him to play on. I remember taking him camping and helping him learn to swim. He is still the little kid I helped with his homework and tried to share my love of knowledge with.

    Perhaps it is different when they are blood. I have lost friends to many things as well, some stupid and others tragic. But losing a young man who could have been so much to drugs bothered me quite a lot. His funeral is Wednesday.

    I've always followed:
    Live what life brings and die what death comes.

    The fact that a person living in a drug induced haze really isn't living what life brings is what gets me. They are hiding from it.

    Please just consider this my way of honoring his memory or something of that sort.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your good friend. Sounds like it was hard for you, a range of emotions. Addiction is a terrible thing. If you're born with a certain tendency for it, and it gets triggered, look out. A certain amount of luck is involved to not fall into it sometimes, as George Carlin said. It's in part a disease, to be sure. It's very sad. Once you get addicted, which can happen to anybody, you need to have a couple things going for you to get out. It's a tightrope walk. Those who do beat an addiction have accomplished something, even if it doesn't seem like it to some. RIP. I do think that the superficiality of society often makes people hard pressed to find a deeper satisfaction of some kind. Some people aren't bothered by modern life, others really are. Sometimes for people prone to depression, they look around them and get discouraged at the materialism, etc. etc. They feel lonely, different. Man, it's hard to keep your **** together in this day and age. More of us are a thread and a hair away from some kind of craziness or fall than we might care to admit. Most probably do suffer in silence, afraid to seek help.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Thanks, Doc.

    Actually, he was my nephew. I personally blame his upbringing and the society he lived in but all that is history now. He did choose his path but I honestly think he believed it was the only path open to him. That's the part that angers me, we lose so many good people that way.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    And that is the terrible part. Great person. So much to offer. Unique, beautiful individual. I don't think our society always gets the best out of people. Some things, for some people, it does, depending on how we define "best". But some people have a mind boggling amount of things they offer, and yet our society does not support their kind, and they end up in a terrible place. You know they didn't set out for it to be that way, and that somewhere inside a huge part of them wants to correct the course. Guess it's always been that way. Some can transcend it. But how many greats in various areas have we lost early, or who died penniless? You just wish there was a better way, to get something good and beautiful out of everyone, and have them survive and get some enjoyment out of life. Then the culture you build is worth sustaining and fighting for. I almost think our planet hasn't made up its mind as to whether it wants to continue, whether it's all worth it. That's how it feels. Your nephew was perhaps a microcosmic picture of that. If life was that great, our species would find a way to sustain it, they wouldn't piss it away; and we wouldn't have all this crisis about humanity and civilization. This is going to sound terrible, but I'm not a big fan of American culture (not that America is the only place with crap in their culture). If my family and friends weren't here, and if it wasn't for culture shock, money and language barriers -- a lot of ifs -- I'd probably find somewhere else to live. A lot of beautiful things here, wonderful traditions. But mainstram American culture just seems unnecessarily and exceedingly superficial. Maybe it's an age thing -- the age of a culture being kind of like maturity? Or maybe it's just that I'm old, and when you get old you see through all the BS inherent in a culture designed for 16-25 year olds. So much of our culture comes from Madison Ave and the media, both of which on a real human level are filled to the brim with crap. Those who succeed easiest buy in the most. For real. If you are disgusted with it all, your only option, seemingly, is to fail with integrity. Or transcend it if you can. I don't know that everyone is capable of transcending it. It takes various talents and good fortune. The American dream. I think if it's to make money, and you're dedicated and work hard, you can do it. But if you think the whole thing is a load of crap, and desperately need something deeper to believe in, I don't know...
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    "how many greats in various areas have we lost early, or who died penniless?" Geese, Doc! You been reading my books? Our society is sick and it steals the best from us. The worst part is we are all at fault for it. We live in a society that thinks it is right to take and not give. Giving without desire or expactation of recompass is how you grow a great society of happy human beings. That means all people learning to give, not only of material things but of their spirit. It means to give their best to their world in everything they do, whether it be dealing with another adult, a child, working, playing or loving. We need to learn to be our best and not demand of others that which is theirs. Nobody should accept their lot in life but should strive to better themselves thereby building the wealth of the world for all of the world. We do not need a government forcing us to give to support their ideas of right and wrong, nor do we need religion using guilt and fear to do the same thing. We only need to realize we are all part of the same thing and that we can best better ourselves by bettering others through a hand offered in peace.

    I agree with you and will probably be leaving the US when I retire in a few years. Costa Rica sounds very pleasant.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Yeah, giving. It's weird, though, because I think people naturally want to give. Somehow that gets changed. Or what you're offering isn't wanted or needed. Some people try to give, or give unconditionally without getting in return. Eventually that gets old. The starving person dishing out food to people. Maybe the starving person gives in to brute selfishness some day, and drinks himself to death (OK, selfishness combined with foolishness and addiction and lack of support and something to live for, etc...). But the things that are in demand in our culture boggle my mind. It's all the stuff I'm not personally interested in. It's not necessarily just giving, but giving what is "valued". I don't want those things, and yet that seems all people want. So I'm a terrible judge of it, since I don't share the mindset. And it is the superficial, selfish things. Don't get me wrong. I also have my selfish, superficial, materialistic side. But these are things I'm not too fond of in myself, not things I trumpet to the rest of the world. But yeah, I agree that if everyone had that attitude, that would be a huge, huge thing for the planet. But is it really giving for me to make one more style of Air Jordans? (I live near Nike headquarters, so first thing I thought of). It might be that what people interpret as giving is really just enabling it to be worse. But I agree, especially on the "spirit" level. Bringing a spirit of giving to everything, early and often. I don't think we teach that. I learned only through watching good examples, especially my mother. My father could be the most giving person ever, or also very selfish when he struggled with addiction. The giving part is without question the real him, though. There are some things that are always capable of being received, and we can always give those. So we can start there. But I also don't like living in a place where what some have to give isn't wanted. The easy example is art and music. It's just not valued, and the part of it that is valued, is the superficial part. I could take the world's greatest violinist and put him next to some empty headed bimbo (not to be sexist), and the bimbo wins every time. But I do think the more developed your soul is with the spirit of giving in everything, like you say, that works in one's favor. No question. But I know a lot of very giving people who are not really integrated into society. I guess, as you say, it has to be something most everybody learns. But what in our system of learning or teaching in this country could provide optimism in that regard? I never ever watch TV, and haven't for several decades, unless for some major sporting event. People's favorite shows from 25 years ago are brand new to me. But when I've visited my parents, and get to see what TV looks like, I am always appalled at what I find on it. Then I feel weird for feeling so appalled at what is accepted as good and true. It's mind boggling levels of stupidity (sorry for seeming judgemental here), the blatant celebration of ignorance, in fact. Total superficiality. Total selfishness. Not the normal selfishness ("Wally took the bigger piece of fish, mom!" -- this is how long ago I watched TV), but the ludicrous absurdly humorous kind. Then it's this intense joy people experience at watching others' misery. Dozens of show all about that. Then it's this macho tough guy crap. Everything that is celebrated seems like crap. There's almost nothing to relate to. And people take this in every day?? Just not my cup of tea. But instead of gracefully stepping aside, you spend your life at war with the "powers that be". You knew me when I was overflowing with that war-like energy every day. But that's not sustainable. I guess I'm much less hopeful than before. Not to be so negative, but I guess I'm trying to relate to the mindset of someone who decides to say "screw it" one day. It's not all that unimaginable (Sorry for the lack of paragraphs, my browser is acting up again. I'll fix it before my next post, hopefully.).
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 07-21-2012 at 02:20 PM.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Maybe I should have clarified. Giving is not really material so much as spiritual. The first thing to give is kindness and understanding. There is also the helping hand type of giving when you reach out to somebody in need and help them lift themsleves up. I said it that way on purpose because part of what I see wrong in this world are those who will take and take and take without ever trying to lift themselves up. There are those that will abuse your helping hand and never try to stand on their own. There are those that will take your helping hand and demand more, never being grateful for what you have freely given. There are those that will take your helping hand and kick you in the face for it. At that time they are no longer reasonable recipients for giving but should be pitied for their mindset as they will never know true happiness either.

    It has been about as long since I watched TV except I also have no use for professional sports. My thoughts about TV are pretty much the same as yours. There is nothing I can really add to it.

    I was lucky or unlucky, depending on your perspective, to grow up with a taker and a giver acting as examples. From them I learned the sometimes pain of being a giver and the daily pain of being a taker. Being a giver is far more important and greater benefit to all, even if you get taken advantage of on occasion.

    There was an event in my life that may seem trivial but really did something for me. About ten years ago I was with my wife in an upper class restuarant. In a booth not far away was a youngish woman and her two young children, maybe 4 and 6 years old. They were the best behaved young children I had ever seen and as I was leaving I complimented the lady on her children and said something to each of the kids. A couple years later I was listening to a call in program about people who changed your life. A lady called in and mentioned that she had been in that restuarant with her kids and a stranger had said something kind to her about her children. She was going through a rough time in her life and it made her day. She wanted to thank that person. Maybe it wasn't me but I like to think it was and was able to bring some happiness to another person through a kind word. That is the first and most important kind of kindness; one to one and meaning it.

    Now, imagine if we each did that once a day and never expected anything in return. Imagine that for once we did not look at personal gain but looked at bettering our world through kind acts.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Definitely see what you mean. Jeez, yeah I hope that most of us do that every day, just so we all can experience a kind of normal humanity. Older I get the more important that is, for me just to have that experience on a regular basis, that complete, pure joy of finding some way to touch someone in a good way that maybe makes part of their day -- or in your example creates a lasting warm memory for someone. To experience maybe a new twist on compassion that you hadn't quite grasped before, that moment of human contact where you see the barriers are down and it's just person to person. Instead of thinking about selfish concerns that just depress you and feel yucky. When you meet a stranger, to be able to treat them as a friend or family member and see their distrust melt. It's just the basic joy of living. It's what it's all about. If someone can physically survive, and experience the joy of giving, have people to love, and something meaningful to do. That right there is a sure recipe for good times, just a basic happy life. You are correct that some will suck and take without end. People on all levels of society. Those people need to learn how to receive in a meaningful way. There's a way to take that's almost like a kind of giving, if you know what I mean. The woman who took that kindness from you actually gave it back and then some, just by receiving it so well, in other words. As a musician, I don't really get too pumped up when somebody says, "dude you're a great guitar player!" That, technically is giving me a compliment. But anybody can become facile by moving their fingers enough over time. It just happens by force, and it's almost irrelevant. The things that get to me are always things like somebody saying something that indicates they got something on a human level. Because that means I was able to give, and it's a huge relief to know you're able to do that. Yet it's still sad to know examples where people want nothing more than to give, but find executing this strategy to be a frustration. Maybe that makes no sense. But once we get past the point where there is a strict dichotomy between giving and taking, and just participating in the process in any manner whatsoever becomes satisfying... Sometimes the best is to really to receive someone's gift, like that woman did for you. To me, it just seems like simple life, and it causes everybody to be friends and love one another. Community. It's sad when somebody feels cut off from that world, and I do believe that most of us want very badly to have their world be like that. Because whenever it does happen, everybody is happy, pretty much without exception. It's nice, because it doesn't require technology or anything else. And the money part is only necessary to physically sustain it -- food, clothing, health care, and shelter, pretty much. And whatever is physically necessary for someone to do something meaningful -- in my case, for example, a guitar. Or oils to make someone a perfume. Props, I guess. But other than that, it seems like life is life, and there are those basic things that make it seem worth something. You know, part of me, I just realized, doesn't like the word and concept of "giving". Because it implies taking something physically from one place and putting it somewhere else in most people's minds, which suggests something is empty afterwards. And I don't think it's really like that. Makes it sound like not too much fun. It's really more like a dance of joy we all do together. Maybe part of the problem is that somehow the fun has been taken out of giving? Just wondering. Sometimes it all seems very stern or something. Anyway, better to light a candle... Here's an old Motown classic (actually Chicago, not Detroit) that makes me feel those old fashioned good feelings. Perhaps someone stumbles on this thread and enjoys themselves for a couple minutes. Those sweet feelings, that make us know we're all the same -- as you say, all part of the same thing... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVYxKRXDT2I
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Maybe I should have used the term share. It would more closely relate to what I think. You can share almost anything from a smile to a million dollars and, generally speaking, by sharing everybody comes out ahead. But it must always be done because you want to, not in expectations of rewards or fear of punishment.

    Frankly speaking, honesty, ethics and principles are far more often punished in our world today.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I agree with you in part. A large part. You've probably been burned over things like showing too much loyalty and not enough career selfishness like me. I do agree with you on sharing. Sad that your nephew isn't here to discuss it with us. Man, I hope there's a decent ending to all this life stuff and he's in a better place somehow. Even though I'm not religious, I have silly spiritual hopes as much as anyone.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Yep, been burned a few times. Guess I am a slow learner.

    I am not religious either but I have a wide spiritual streak. While it is not actual proof, too many weird things happen to completely disregard the possibility of a spirit world.
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Phero Guru Rbt's Avatar
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    Horatio:
    O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!


    Hamlet:
    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


    Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167
    The opposite of love isn't hate.
    It's apathy
    .

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