LTMD – News and advice on romance and religion

It has been a while since I’ve done an LTMD post and now has turned out to be a good time.  I woke up at 2:30 AM and decided to go to the gym.  It is now 5:55 AM and I’ve still got time before everyone wakes up.

The first piece of advice is that given my experience and peeking into the lives of others through Facebook, you must be confident in yourself, love yourself and be able to thrive without a romantic partner.  When you can do this the romantic opportunities are plentiful and seemingly everywhere.  When you are not confident in yourself, do not love yourself then it is very difficult to find others that will.  I see so many examples of both men and women grasping at possible partners in the hopes that getting a boyfriend/girlfriend in the hopes that a partner will help them eliminate their deficiency in self-esteem and bring happiness.  Happiness comes from within yourself, not from anything external.

When you are happy with yourself the world will rearrange itself and joyful, positive things will come easily to you.  When you are negative and down on yourself the world will also rearrange itself and negativity will come to you.

The other piece of advice I would give is that just because a person has an advanced degree in once subject, it does not make them an expert in all subjects.  I’ve seen many examples where people doubt themselves should someone with a PhD have a different opinion.  For example, let’s say Mr. PhD is an expert in chemistry; and Mr. PhD believes Mitsubishi cars are the best.  Should someone really want to buy Toyota but then ask Mr. PhD his opinion and he says Mitsubishi cars are the best, this someone will often second guess themselves because they do not have a PhD even though Mr. PhD is an expert in chemistry and not cars!  They believe Mr. PhD is smarter than them.

Where I see this the most is in religion.  I received a Jehovah’s Witness WatchTower magazine and a biochemist was featured – let’s call her Joan.  Joan is a PhD biochemist and she is also a Jehovah’s Witness.  The logic here goes that since biochemistry is difficult, only smart people become biochemists and Joan is a biochemist.  Joan also chose to be a Jehovah’s Witness; thus being Jehovah’s Witness is what smart people do; you magazine reader are probably not as smart as Joan because you’re certainly not smart enough to be a biochemist so you should really think about becoming a Jehovah’s Witness.

I’ve heard this argument many times in my life: so and so is one of the smartest people I know and since they are smarter than me I’ll believe what they do regarding the mysteries of the universe that nobody has figured out yet.

It is my opinion that nobody has the answer:  all religions are just mankind’s attempt to explain that which we cannot comprehend.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try!  For me studying the old masters, different beliefs, doing my own thinking and writing and meditating and guessing gives me a lot of pleasure.  Here we are, in the middle of a reality we really do not understand nor know why everything exists!  Trying to figure out what is going on is the ultimate game that is extremely fun to play.  But there are very few who like to play AND can open their minds to other possibilities instead of the beliefs they were born into.

But let me pull back a little and go into another argument I’ve hear a lot. There are literally around a billion Christians and so many people couldn’t be wrong!

Yes they could.

Given the fact that the majority of those billion are most likely either unable to read or can only do so up to a grade school level knocks that billion down more than a bit. And then, how many people simply believe what their parents do?  That almost makes up for the rest of the billion give or take a few hundred thousand. And why do the parents believe the things they do?  Same reason.  And one can continue going back and learn about history, see what happened and learn how religion spreads, often on the point of a knife, or for political reasons, not because all the illiterate people had an astounding revelation into the inner workings of the universe and all that exists.

But enough of that; perhaps it would be fun for you to read 100 years from now my take on things happening in the news.  Donald Trump continues to change how politics are done.  I wonder if in your history books he will be the turning point for when politics went from a serious affair to entertainment just as television news has done?  Unfortunately this is a very serious thing because unlike the news the President has nuclear codes and can cause a lot of death and turmoil very quickly.  This is also a point where democracy is starting to fail.  The people do not want well thought-out solutions, they do not want the status quo either; they want someone who gets them excited such as is done at pep-rallies.  In place of actual facts, details, real solutions it seems that presidential candidates need only say things like “We’re the best,” or “Elect me and we’ll be super great and get things done because we’re the USA!”

Then, these thousands of people who have gathered will cheer, eat their hot dogs, drink their beer, maybe fire some guns in the air if that is allowed.  What Trump has also shown is that hundreds of thousands of Americans are pretty dumb; and I’m sure there are thousands of PhD holders in that group as well!

Depending on the outcome of the presidential election I wonder if the future will hold more entertainers than actual politicians.  This is what they do in the third world countries – be a great actor and you can be president of the country!  The USA is sliding backwards and I’m not be facetious at all when I say that should one of the most popular basketball players of the day – Steph Curry – run for president, I think he could at least get 30% of the vote.  He could just use sports metaphors like they do in business; “we just need to work as a team and we can make this country great – that is how we won basketball championships and the same can work for the USA!”

*Wild applause all around*

And to add to that I do hear that Mr. Curry really is a nice guy which is rare for top athletes so perhaps we could bump that 30% of the vote up a few more percentage points – hell I might even vote for him because it is not like career politicians have done a very good job.

But to wrap things up, Trump really does represent a turning point in our democratic process and it is a very negative event indeed.  As school children we read the history books and wonder how a demagogue could have gotten so much power and created so much havoc?  We try to reason that the people just were not as smart back then like we are now; then we turn on the TV and see Trump.  Future school children will look back and wonder how so many people could be so dumb even in the year 2016 when as a society we had access to more knowledge and learning than ever before in human history?

Trump for me represents a major failing of democracy.  Combine that with the gerrymandering, career/dynastic politicians and the extreme polarization of the two parties I no longer think democracy is functioning as intended.  In school they teach us about the seriousness of democracy and with solemn gravity in their voices about the three branches of government and we all look up and can feel just how serious of a thing our government is.

Perhaps government, the three branches, our civic duties and so on used to be a serious matter?  Now, it is best if we just skip the facade, bring out the ferris wheel, cotton candy and tamed monkeys. Have our future presidential candidates dance a number and sing a song better than the other candidates for votes – maybe even through out some peanuts to the crowd.

That is what our government has become here in the year 2016.  I hope for your sakes things have gotten better.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/