Divining Humanity

Seek The Essense Of Humanity


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PARSING MY MIND – Part IV (Social Status)

PREVIOUS PARTS

PARSING MY MIND – Part I (The American Girl)

PARSING MY MIND – Part II (The Slavic (Russian/Ukrainian) Girl)

PARSING MY MIND – Part III (My Type Of Girl)

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My life in many ways is an Encyclopedia of Experiential Knowledge...

And this Chapter is labeled…

CHAPTER ___ – SOCIAL STATUS

Background

I have come to understand that I believe in a social hierarchy.

I was born into an American (upper) middle class family and since my father was in the military I soon became acquainted with idea of “hierarchy”.  I learned that I was not the center of the universe and that there were those who “outranked” me… Parents, teachers, etc. (even if I and my sister required the lion share of family resources…)

Sports reinforced this lesson.  The coaches were “gods.” If they said, “Jump!” the correct response was “how high?”

Then I joined the military myself (Academy cadet and later an officer).  Which only further reinforced the idea of hierarchy and the associated status.  But I also learned another lesson… there are expectations tied to the level one occupies within the hierarchy.

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Currently, I occupy two different positions as far as social status is concerned.  At my work for a very wealthy family, I am the governor of the family’s son.  I am a servant… but also a specialist and since I interact directly with one of the family members, among the staff, I occupy an important servant position…

Yet, I am consciously and continuously remind myself that I am only a servant and therefore second class when compared to family members… (I am “the hired help.”)

BUT… my salary is good. Once I walk out of the doors of that home, my social status changes.  Social status is very connected to the amount of money that a person spends (or more accurately how much money others believe that you can spend).

My current income places me in the American upper middle class… but compared to many Russian of lesser means I actually spend less.  (I’m thrifty… What can I say? 😛 ). But even so, I spend enough to look well off (I think) within Russian society…

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I have learned something from my job(s).  I see how the “rich” act and I believe that I will never achieve that social status, because I don’t have the “correct” attitude.  Even if I was to become a multimillionaire, I have understood that I will always spend much more conservatively than I could afford to spend.

I have my expensive “trinkets” (for me they are expensive)… The most advanced Samsung 10.1 Note, the most expensive iPhone on the mainstream market, a $250 watch (again expensive for me…), etc.  But you will rarely see me order the most expensive items on a restaurant menu and see me uneasy about paying for a $5 beer in Vegas… (It’s hard for me to justify paying more for something at one place, “simply because I want it.” when I can get the same or similar someplace else for less… even if I can easily afford it!)

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And then there is the “sacrifice”…

I’ve been around very economically successful people. I’ve observed them, I’ve listened to their conversation, and I’ve even talked to some.  What I have understood is that most rich people work VERY long hours. I currently work about 45 hours a week (and use 10 – 12 hours for my commute).  That’s less than 60 hours per week.

The wealthy often end up in very nice places, but they can work more than 100 hours per week and are never really “disconnected” from their work!

I know that I don’t want this type of life!  As much as I enjoy my work I:

Work to live not Live to work.

(And I don’t really have a reason to work “harder” except for the fear that I might not be able to continue my current type of job (and salary level) in the future).

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There are times, when I’m the servant in a room full of the affluent that I wish that I was mingling with them… but then I remind myself that though, I feel “equal” to them in intellect and capability, I don’t have the desire to whittle down my own personal life time just to recognized as one of “them.”

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Anyways, I’ve learned the nature of power.

Power is the ability to make others do what you want them to do.  Sometimes the servant wields just as much or more power than his or her master…

As long as I can get my primary goals met… I will happily be the dutiful servant… But once their goals and/or expectations conflict with my most important goals, then I will search for a new master…

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THE PATH To Freedom And Inner Peace

The HARDEST lesson to learn is that the world won’t change for you!

The hardest LESSON to learn is that the world won’t change for you!

The hardest lesson to LEARN is that the world won’t change for you!

The hardest lesson to learn is that the WORLD won’t change for you!

The hardest lesson to learn is that the world WON’T CHANGE for you!

The hardest lesson to learn is that the world won’t change FOR YOU!

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The Boy And The Viper

There was once a young boy.  He was a normal boy, curious, playful, optimistic.  One day when he was playing, he happened upon a viper.  He had never seen a snake before in his life, so curiously he approached.  He walked up to the snake as non-threateningly as possible, palm open fingers wide to show his friendly intent.

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But suddenly the viper shot towards his hand and protruded it’s fangs and bit deeply into the boy’s hand…

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In this story, you really cannot fault the boy.  He is inexperienced; he doesn’t see the danger that the viper represents.

But how many of us (By “us” I include myself), make similar mistakes in our daily lives.  Yet, we should really know better!  Sometimes I think we take the “Golden Rule” too far.  (“Do to others as you want them to do to you.”)  And actually it’s because we are too egocentric.  We think to ourselves, what would I do, if someone did this to me.

We make a mistakes of Making Ourselves Innocent.  And just like the boy, we reach out a curious friendly hand, but are Shocked when the viper bites.

Just think about it.  Think about what other people do to make you upset.  They lie and say things you don’t like… they do things that you don’t like.

BUT how often to we ACTUALLY look at other people and evaluate THEIR Nature?  How often do we look at someone else and see if they have an aggressive, greedy, or dangerous nature?
I think the problem is too often we see others as “just like me,” and not for who they really are.

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Now when a viper bites, should we really harbor resentment against the viper.  Vipers naturally don’t trust humans.  They see us as a threat.  The bite the viper gave the boy… wasn’t personal… it was just instinct!

But too often we treat others who “harm” us in life like this.  We think that it’s personal…

“He did that to hurt me!!!”

Then we leave the situation poisoned by bitterness, anger, hurt, which sometimes festers and becomes hatred.

And how often do we make the foolish mistake of reaching out to the viper again, only to allow it to increase on the harm already done?

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I don’t want to seem to advocate never being nice to anyone, but only to not expect others to react just like you.  If it’s in your nature to be kind and give to others, do it… but only a little bit and see the reaction.

Maybe if the boy got outside of himself and his own feelings, he might see the telltale signs of inherent danger in the viper’s behavior as he stepped towards the snake.

Then he might have adverted the bite and wouldn’t have been harmed in any way…


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THE INDEPENDENCE DILEMMA – Rule Or Be Ostracized

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If one chooses the path of true independence, there are not many choices.  If one is truly independent he is not a slave to any philosophy, rule, social pressure and other forces that attempt to define him…

The independent, “breaks the rules”, because he is free to accept or abandon any idea at will.  He doesn’t have the need to have to believe anything.  Rather his beliefs are flexible or more accurately updateable as he learns and understand.

He is an “old dog” who can “learn new tricks.”  A rare breed indeed.

In general, society does not like those who are different.  So intense pressure is put on the independent thinker to conform.

He is then left with three choice:

  • Continue demonstratively to be independent…
  • Be someone else and conform to the “wishes” of society overall…
  • Be whatever role which will appease others, take the reins of the social horse, and steer people in the way he wishes them to go…

All but the last way, requires one to sacrifice one’s personality without any compensatory response from society… in fact the independent will reap ostracization. The last can provide the independent with so much of what he wants… but possibly rotting his soul in the process.


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Getting More…

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The best environment to gain in a competitive world is an environment where there is conflict.

In an ideal world existed in which people collaborated without thought of self-gain existed benefits for all would be maximized.  (Prisoner’s Dilemma)


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Individual Accomplishment – Is Ruining Our World!!!

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Ok… that was a sensationalistic title…

But I’m trying to make a point.
Modern society is filled with the idea, that Promotion of Self is more important than anything else…

“Be All That You Can Be”  was a slogan for a former U.S. Army recruitment campaign, but it embodies the values that we push now-a-days…

We love to read, hear about, and watch, “inspirational” stories… We love to see that someone else has accomplished his or her goals.

But what every happened to the idea that a person worked hard, not primarily motivated for his own or her own personal gain, but for the gain of the group.

What ever happened to the idea that whether or not “I” am successful is not important, but what is most important is the success of my group?

I think that if we are to evolve to something better as the human race, we need to move beyond ourselves and learn how to become a piece of a greater whole.

The suffering of one affects all others… at least in some small way.