Mobile Minutes: Addiction Service


Do you or someone you know have a social media addiction problem? Great news! I have a solution for you.

Have the poor soul log onto Facebook. Have them read their newsfeed one hour per day; specifically after a major, political election.

Not only will they give up on humanity*, they will also give up Facebook. Also effective for Twitter.

With this patent pending method of psychological medical procedure you can get back to your busy life of work, taxes, and flat tires.

-D-

*antidepressants sold separately

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XXXI: Political Science


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

I received a degree in Political Science because I wanted to seek out ‘truth’. At the time I had no idea what that looked like, how it could be used, and why it even mattered. Through lectures, textbooks, essays, and forums I spent my time trying to understand concepts such as rhetoric, manipulation, persuasion, and politicking.

Several years through college and several after, I still seek after that ‘truth’. I’m still curious as to the functionality of humans when it comes to interaction with each other, unspoken hierarchies, and the systems of which we have decided to govern one another.

Truly, there is no better time to be alive like today in order to witness all these questions unravel before your own eyes.

Receiving a degree in Political Science, as I’ve joked with my students, allows you to go one of two ways in life:

  1. Jump in over your head in the enjoyment of politics and the study of it
  2. Realize how unstable the world is and run away

…I’m still in the process of running.

My Facebook friends list is getting shorter by the week; pro or con arguments against political enemies or corporate conglomerate actions are enough to cause me to step away from the social media world. Reality is, everyone is upset about something or someone, and they firmly believe that their viewpoint is the dominate view compared to any other opposing thought.

There is a reason I do not speak much when it comes time for politics at the dinner table. In the past year I’ve witnessed teargas in Missouri, I’ve studied riots in California, and tried to understand economic sabotage by business both local and abroad.

I do desperately wish I had an answer that would explain the way that this world works. I’ve seen churches divide, and Christian’s step away from their faith, I’ve breathed in hypocrisy and on several occasions witnessed that a physical church building does not indeed keep the devil away.

I’m not overly sure which is harder to be in today’s world:

  1. One who holds a Political Science degree that tries to avoid political conversations
  2. A Christian that tries to avoid political conversations

In several instances I’ve come to believe that my social anxiety doesn’t stem from struggling to communicate with other sentient creatures. It stems from trying to understand that one election, one riot, one building on fire, or one country at war doesn’t describe our world as a whole.

The truth is far more painful to accept I’ve learned.

We are ruined.

We live in a global society that is dictated so strongly by the ways of which a secular culture breathes; in many instances the faith…a faith…is hardly recognizable. The reality is understanding that this world is so messed up, and personally from my education, I was taught that concept a long, long time ago. Additionally, if we’re thinking that the action by the masses is something new, we’ve obviously lost grasp of what history has taught us.

I can’t take a stand on political matter. I can’t examine and explain racial profiling and reactions that so many have towards one another. I can’t determine the cause of inflation, oil prices, or self proclaimed terrorists and their actions throughout the world.

I can only explain the fact that our world was ruined from the beginning (give or take a few days and one piece of fruit). I can examine and teach that in many ways, most likely, global life will continue to struggle. Masses will die, dynasties will end, and civilizations will collapse.

History tells us that.

I can also use historical text and ancient religious scholars to condemn the acts of so many; especially those who claim to be of one faith…or another.

Finally, I can take note that through my own religious teachings and upbringing, that my job isn’t to condemn, to judge, to execute, or to reject. I’m only supposed to love and protect.

Life is not a battlefield between…
…Hillary & Trump
…white & black
…USA & Mexico
…Christian & Muslim

It is simply about…
…love & hate
…good & evil
…ignorance & truth

-D-

XXXI: I Made A Friend


Nearly two months ago I typed up a quick thought about the struggle of exploring new grounds when it came to establishing friendships (and going to public speed sessions). The week after I wrote that piece I started to force myself to attend these three hour events; knowing that I was easily the slowest person in the whole group. A painful, painful, humbling pill to swallow.

With that said, as weeks passed by I started to notice an adjustment in my own life at these practices that I hadn’t quite anticipated.

Hey, want to cool down with us?

How are you feeling today?

Don’t push yourself if you’re not feeling well.

I know that injury is hard, but patience is worth it.

Have you thought about running a race on a trail?

These, wait for it, people were talking to me. Sure, they had their one hundred mile races logged, and they average 40-50 miles a week of running, but they were talking to me. The guy that was running alone and not quite sure why he was even in this specific situation to begin with.

The awkward sensation has been taking place for two months now…

In this timeframe I did the unthinkable; I asked one of these random runners if they could speak to my students about owning their own business (coffee shop, naturally). They agreed! Yes, this random runner who unknowingly was kind to me at a practice that was so nerve wracking that I had skipped several weeks in a row, had agreed to speak with my students on the opposite side of the city. No. Strings. Attached.

Guess what?

The day came and they showed up! They talked about business with my students, they were kind, polite, and the kids were curious about their tattoos (it’s a ultrarunner thing I’ve learned). I was in awe; I had met someone, learned about them, ran with them (or tried to), and then asked them to do something with me outside of just running.

Did I just make a friend?
I just made a friend.

You want to grab a glass of wine with us?

The question that was directed towards me after last weeks session. Due to school I declined, but I knew I was glowing when I got into my car to go home. Someone had asked me to go with them, a group of people, and just be…well…normal people. I’m invited to other running adventures outside of Wednesday nights (of which I’m sure I’ll die), and have even started the training process of running with them this October on a 25K race.

I can’t quite think of the last time, if ever, that I made a friend that wasn’t connected to work, school, or church related activities. They are people who just hold the same interest as me. They are far, far cooler and better composed compared to myself, but they still accept me. They still accept my oddities and still choose to talk to me.

Maybe I’m a creep for writing about making friends. Maybe it further fulfills the notion that I am one of the most narcissistic people on this planet. Maybe I am happy that something out of the ordinary has transpired in my life, and I simply want to share the joy with people who read this post.

I have social problems; I accept this sad reality.

I also accept the reality that I’ve made a friend.

-D-

XXXI: Decades Lost


Blinking and understanding that life that once was is no longer, and will shall not be remembered, must be forgotten, and memory is an intolerable sin of humanity’s fall.

Did any of that make sense?

It’s 2016. The modern world is alive and well, my generation has taken over the voting booths, polling places, and work force. We are everywhere, it is an infestation on levels that I would have never been able to imagine even in the darkest recesses of my mind.

Why do I not fit in?

It is to the point of frustration. I don’t understand the connotation of potentially lying one’s way through life in order to appease the public and the masses, and for that action to accepted as a cultural norm. Why? The people I was taught to be like, Paul, John, Jesus…none of them conformed, none of them fit in, so why is it wrong when I still struggle to do the same?

Sometimes you come off as arrogant and pretentious.

Your body language gives people the sensation that you know more compared to them.

The tone of your voice indicates that you are defensive.

Have you looked at your body posture? Stop crossing your arms at church, you look like you don’t want to be there.

You don’t have to say that you’re miserable. The way you act says that without the words.

How did life become so complicated and difficult to translate? Why do we spend so much time and energy trying to find second meanings, real meanings behind people’s words? Why does a pastor’s words cause me think that I need to see a behavioral specialist because I struggle working with other people? Am I that sinful? Am I that flawed? Am I truly designed incorrectly by God?

Did He make a mistake?

Something that I don’t think people take into consideration with their words (irony) is that eventually those burdens are overbearing to the individual receiving them. Eventually they get to a point where they believe they are so rotten that they truly should be discarded by the enjoyment of societal gains. We use words, assuming they mean little, and focus so hard on the actions that we don’t ingest the meaning, the passion, the potential truth of the words. We treat conversations like whispers and pretend they never happened until we feel offended, we feel threatened, we feel that someone doesn’t like us.

We scrub our soul, trying to understand what toxicity exists within the pores of our mind’s crevices. We are frequently, passive aggressively, informed that we are wrong and flawed. However, even when desired, remedies are never provided. When humanity cannot provide the needed resources, it only makes sense that many consult historical, religious texts for guidance. When happens when the text conflict with the behavior of the present majority. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who budges and who accepts the problems that fall within their own realm of responsibility?

I stay out of election news, I avoid politics, and I rarely discuss the military. I try to avoid all conflict when possible, and I don’t go into conversations looking for a fight. I’ve spent, what feels to be decades now, trying to resolve the ongoing social issue that states that I can’t avoid chaos. That I have to go against the grain. That I have to be different.

When does society, if they ever do, begin the accept the idea that I do not dream at night of the tumultuous points of action that I can partake in? When does a culture begin to actual practice what they preach and accept a person because of their unique identity?

Our greatest lie at this point is announcing that we’re adoptive of all people, yet still ensuring that those who don’t measure up, are made very well aware of their failures to be measured by our stick.

-D-