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Sunday, November 23, 2014

"It's a mystery to me..."

-We have a greed, in which we have agreed.
You think you have to want more than you need.
Til you have it all, you won't be free.
Society, you're a crazy breed, hope you're not angry, if we disagree.
Society, crazy indeed, hope you're not lonely, without me."
Eddie Vedder (Society, from Into The Wild)

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I went through, and actually still dealing with, some issues of greed, ego, power and money.... And this song has been humming along in the background.


We agreed to use paper with numbers on them as a means of bartering or trading (our money used to be based on gold, now it's based on an imaginary system that's controlled by someone else's imagination - want to debate this?  tell me how the stock market works?  tell what actually controls interest rates).
Someone or something decides our worth, our value and we agree or disagree to accept for our hours or services.  We perform whatever it is we do and collect on the agreement.
Then as we collect more paper, we place it in a bank and it's then basically points we see on the screen, like a video game.  We then trade those points for something we want or need.  "I have 2,581 points... another 7,000 or so and I'm trading those points for a new car."
All seems fair and makes sense to me.

But somehow, maybe through some type of ego driven evolution... or maybe human nature... we decided to place nearly ALL of our value, around the value/worth that we trade our time and services for, with thoughts of "I am _____," (insert job title).
And then somehow, those with more points in their game think they're worth more as people... Since "they are ____," (insert job title).
And then we even placed our value on things we trade our credits for...
We buy "things," and then defined by those items.
And who has the most "things," is the best. The winner!!
Then whoever has more of the best, is even better and then there's power.
And the more power, the more control and goes on and on.

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All these metaphors I'm trying to dance around... What I'm trying to draw a picture of is the insane value we placed on money and titles.  We think WE ARE_____ based on money and objects.

I just traded my beat up 2004 Cavalier.  It was basically two tone navy blue and faded blue, rust around the gas door, and manual everything.  All the sudden with a better car... there's a different perception... "this car is more successful," someone said and I looked at him like he was crazy... It's steel and rubber and plastic just like the other w the same guy driving... I'm not _____ (insert whatever object or job title you choose).

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I think it's a line in the Christmas Story, something about being in the "people business."  Businesses in general, have lost their way and its created a massive trickle down effect on society and the psyche of the great majority of the working population.   Too often, we're numbers to the machine.  Employers don't value employees, they value profit.  They don't value right or wrong, they value dollars and cents.  Businesses aren't concerned with creating atmospheres of personal growth, just financial.  And what's lost in the shuffle, is human worth and identity. 
You may find my opinion jaded.  Or you may look around at the sea of cubicles or coworkers, you don't really know.  People will come and go, and you won't notice and your job may not be effected... 
But this little ride we're on is such a small blip on the radar of time and very few of us will accomplish things that'll outlast our own breath.  
So why aren't we better to each other?

"Society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me 
Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, you're crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me"
EV