Tag Archives: life

Is this Love?

So here I am–in high school 1998. North Surrey.  Wow, I feel like chanting “Let’s Go Spartans!”

As I approached graduation I was at a loss as what I should do with my life.  I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.

I went to school.  That is what I did.  I was a student.  That’s what I was.  I had classmates that I called friends.  I had a car and people liked that.  McDonald’s wasn’t across the street back then.

And it was all coming to an end…

Now I had to choose the rest of my life.  What would I do.  Who would I be?  Wait… If I’m not going to be a student in a bit, then I am not really a student now…then who am I?…

Oh shit.

To many, we are our jobs.  If you’re a doctor, you’re no longer a Mr. or Ms. or Mrs.–you’re Dr. Somebody.  Well I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t like school other than it was entertaining.  I didn’t do homework very often–or classwork.  I did very well on tests and usually managed to stay on the Honor Roll without much effort so university was technically an option–eventually.  But for what?  I was lost.  The last thing I needed to do was dart off at full speed in a random direction like Forrest fucking Gump.

I didn’t have a single friend at graduation.  I didn’t go to grad with anybody.  I didn’t meet up with my friends and take a limo.  Graduation solidified groups.  I was an outsider.  I was never really part of any group–ever.  I drifted.  I wasn’t cool.  I wasn’t ‘alternative” or grunge, or in the school band.  I didn’t dress any way.  It was pre-emo.

I ended up getting a job at a sawmill.  No they don’t make saws.  They cut wood.  It made good money–almost $40,000 in my first year.  I bought a black Mustang.  I had money in the bank.  RRSPs.  Great credit.  I wasn’t a loser.  I found a private college that taught custom audio and video and went to school for $200 an hour.

Since I was a child I have used music as an escape.  I remember sitting on the floor with a set of huge headphones on blasting Michael Jackson.  Before long, boredom and curiosity led me to take apart my speakers and modify them.  Now I could get paid to do it.

I sort of invented a new way to chop light wood faster–way faster–like adding one more guy to a three man crew.  It was tough but we cut lots and made lots of CHA CHING!.  I got injured from overwork–tendonitis.  Instead of compo they put me on modified duties.

The barcode gun weighed ten pounds and holding it up in the air with the same uninjured hand all day, every day, meant now I had tendonitis in my wrist too.  So I was fired.  It was illegal but I didn’t fight it cause I had just graduated from my college and was ready to take on the world.

The world was more than up for the challenge.

I couldn’t find a job for months.  The best I could find was $10 an hour using my own vehicle going from Langley to Vancouver.  And the company I worked for as going to bill me out at $110 an hour.  No thanks.

So I went into sales, instead.  My second month I was top in the store.  One day a woman and her daughter came in to buy a TV.  I sold them the warranty.  At the till, she caught that I didn’t tell her all the fine print about the warranty.  I gave her a bigger discount.  I was never a good “salesman” after that.  I started telling people all the details.  I started serving them instead of trying to empty their wallet or bury them in debt.  My numbers began to suck.

Just then I found a job doing custom work for $32,000 a year starting salary.  Diploma, started on my career, upgrading at BCIT, nice car–not bad for a 21 year old.  I was ecstatic–for two weeks, when I found out…

My boss was an idiot.  A monotone slow-talker.  He began as a subcontractor and then was hired as a jack-of-all-trades type to takeover the integration side of the business full time.  Now he had a whole team of real sales people behind him and he was way over his head within weeks with no management or organizational skills.  I’m a perfectionist–he’s the opposite.  We butted heads.  He had huge gaps in his knowledge.  I had gaps in mine.  We couldn’t work it out because he refused to believe he had gaps and refused to help fill mine.

The department did horrible.  He hired his friend to work with me but it was clear from early on that he was above me.  As an ex-alarm installer, he knew more about cutting holes and running wires.  I knew more about audio, video, sales, programming–the difficult stuff–cause I went to school for it, so of course I did all the brainless work, while the new guy got training to do things I already knew how to do, but wasn’t allowed to do.

Then another guy was hired above me, but at least he was brilliant–a true professional from Bombardier.  It didn’t last long, though.  When our parent company, that claimed to be 10 times bigger than any competitor, was found to be cooking the books and the stock dropped from $75.00 to $0.01, of course it was he who was laid off–not the idiot or his friend.

I quit and went back to my last job but with a promotion.  Now 21, I was a sales/assistant Manager at an electronics retailers new Vancouver Store, with a staff of 11.  Now I could teach others, increase professionalism and I wouldn’t have to hose anybody.

Between the time I took the job, an started the job, the advertising budget was slashed in favor of other markets (Alberta).  Sales are ad driven.  It hurt.  The 11 page Boxing Day flyer shrunk to one page.  My boss argued it back up to four.

My boss quit.  The new guy brought in his own new guys.  I was demoted.  I quit.

I applied at a high end retailer that also did service and custom work.  They didn’t have a job for me in custom, but they liked me so much they gave me a great salary and put me in another department until a position in custom opened up just to keep me away from the competition.  I felt great.  Even though I had bad luck, I felt valued.

After six months or so, business tanked.  Ever since I entered the workforce the industry was in decline.  Guys in white vans were slashing rates and quality standards, the internet or a big box stores would always sell it cheaper.  Twenty five people were laid off.  Since I wasn’t even in the right department I was one of them.

wtf?  Why does this keep happening to me?…

I went to another high end retailer where I could sell and essentially start my own integration/custom department.  It was a shaky start, business for them was down as well.  But I made a few real big sales in a short period–including one to a large international construction company : ) over that premier company that offered me $10 an hour a few years ago : D  I was on CBC radio as an industry expert on a show about how product quality is getting shittier and shittier in the rush to make everything cheaper.  I made it.  There was a tough patch but I fucking made it.   For a few weeks…

The installer I had–a subcontractor–was awful.  Incompetent and insubordinate.  Beyond tardy.  I sold a system to a few local actors that were a couple.  The installer missed the install day twice.  Just never showed up.  He was also trying to take my customers from me.

I wasn’t allowed to fire him or use anyone else.  I found a better guy that went to the same college as me but he wasn’t hired.  My boss blamed me for the jobs not going well.  He thought that if the installer could put in a few speaker for him, then he should be able to handle an integrated $40,000 public use theatre system and three others like it simultaneously.  It was too much work for a competent team, let alone that useless jackass.  I was told to do the installs myself–for free.

I think I fucked up here.  I should have quit and started my own business with my buddy I tried to have hired.  I didn’t have the money though and I would need to shell out a bunch of cash for tools, a van, advertising, product, etc.  I didn’t have the money because I couldn’t get anything to work for long enough to save and had a fiance that didn’t like working but loved spending money.

I went to work at the company my Dad worked for instead, selling document solutions.  I was hired over people with 2 year marketing certificates.  He told me I would get the support there that I wasn’t getting at my current job…

I got engaged.  I was 24 now and we had lived together for three years.  We had been waiting and would continue to wait to get married… because of money.

On my forth day at my new job, my Manager was fired.  He wasn’t replaced.

I barely knew how to work a fax machine and now I had to learn everything about networks, industrial duplicators, and a bunch of shit I never learned enough about to tell you what it did–on my own.  Without any product training I sold almost nothing.  After almost three months I went to the President and asked for a manager to train me.   He fired me for “wasting (his) time”.

I’d had it.  Fucking had it.  Sick of working shit jobs for shit people, with only a few exceptions.

This just didn’t make sense to me.  What more did I need to do?  Why is this happening to me?  Why am I not allowed to succeed?  Why?  What purpose does this serve?  WTF?

I was depressed I guess, I don’t remember much.  I started smoking more pot.  I went on disability for depression.  I went on every medication in the world.  Some how the pills didn’t change my life or my outlook on it.

There is no purpose.  None at all.  Its just chaos.

There can’t be any purpose because if there was, then I would need to come up with a reason for the bullshit I went through–from birth.  Maybe this is hell?  Purgatory?  Maybe I am meant to do something other than sell stereos?

I started writing.  It was therapeutic.  It gave me something to do.

After a while, I began to feel better.  But I was still totally fucked.  I hadn’t worked in years now and that’s like putting a swastika on your resume.  People told me to lie.  I don’t want to live in a world where I have to lie.

My relationship ended.  We didn’t have enough money to get married.  Though she only made $10 an hour, she saw it as I didn’t have enough money.

I needed a miracle.  One came eventually.  I got my Teamster membership doing security.  I worked my ass off.  I carved out a niche.  I paid off debt.  I got a nice place.  I bought new clothes.  I had a nice vehicle.  This was just a few months ago.  I was finally able to date seriously.  I could show I had the basics and could provide well.  I had a future.  I could afford a wife.  I wasn’t a loser.  Still totally emotionally messed up–but not poor.  It took years to get there.  It lasted for two months…

Then I got a letter in the mail telling me I can’t work because of a bullshit discriminatory interpretation of a old ruling told me I didn’t get in the union soon enough, and now I have to wait and be one of the last hired.  Read: huge pay cut.  The goal I’ve been working on for a decade–a normal life–gone… again.

I am no different than before the letter, but once it was written I became a loser.   But how can that be if I didn’t change?  What did change?

People’s perception of me changes with my economic status.  I should have made $60,000 this year.  I’ll make $30,000 now and I don’t have the resume to expect more.  My net worth is zero.  Fun things cost money.  We all want to have a good time.

“When at first you don’t succeed, Try and try again!”

How many times?

“Get back on the horse!”

Do all horses breathe fire?

“YOU CAN DO IT!!”

Fuck off

“I just want to meet a nice (rich) guy”

… I know…

I should have gone to university, but I didn’t want the debt.  I guess I’ll go now.  I am at least five years from getting back to the point I can date seriously again.  Five years.  Its like a prison sentence.  But what did I do wrong?

It would be easier to struggle if I wasn’t struggling alone.  I feel like a marathon runner that has been running for 30 years, that’s getting laughed at by people in their cars for being too slow.

I’d like to see how well you’d run in my shoes.

I’m sick of being judged by people.  I’m sorry for not being born rich.  I’m sorry my parents couldn’t give me the tools to thrive in this world.  I’m sorry school costs so much.  I’m sorry there are no deer to hunt, Honey, but don’t take it out on me.  Stand by me.  Hunt with me.  Show me you are willing to sacrifice for our children.  If you’re just going to sit there on your knees with your mouth open…

Every retard in the country has an entire team of government support workers.  People in comas have teams of people looking after them and they haven’t had brain activity in years.  Who supports me?  I don’t need to be carried for life–I just need a start…or a teammate.

Almost everyone believes in love.  No one believes in loving.

“Suck it up princess!”

Yeah thanks.  So I get that this is all a game without rules.  Fuck everybody. I realize it’s about what you take.  I get it.  Lie, cheat, steal, murder, die with more toys.  You made your point. Me or them, right?  Me or you?  Is that what you want?

“Get busy livin’ or get busy dying” (The Shawshank Redemption)

Okay that’s a good one.  But there’s more…

We all write our own stories with our choices.  I want to live a love story.  That’s my ambition, that’s my goal.  So how do I get from here to there? as a poor guy in Surrey without much of a social network?

When I look back at all the dates I have gone on they fall into two categories: Polite conversations between friends that go nowhere, and drunken naked gong shows that go nowhere.

I don’t like to touch people.  Well at the start at least.  I need to get drunk–like really drunk.  I can’t do it otherwise.  Experience requires me to have poor judgement for a bit.  It’s the only way I can connect.  Dating is about forming a bond–even if it is temporary.  I avoid bonds.  I need to get slammed.  And I hate drinking… And people that drink…

I wasn’t really looking forward to dating a bunch of drunk bar bitches… but I should be more sympathetic since this society has fucked them over too.  I guess it’s my turn, right?  That’s who you want me to be?

Do I sound pathetic?  Well that’s strange cause everyone I know goes through times where they feel just as lost as I do.  Where everything sucks. I know you have doubts about life and G_d and him and her.  I know you cry sometimes.  Usually its just a phase and it isn’t all that bad, and I can remind you of that when you come to me for help.  You’re allowed an occasional freak out.  I’m not?  Who are you to call me weak?

But were supposed to fake it.  Pretend we’re happy and confident and loyal and honest… Why?  So that we can go on being part of the social order.  An order of corruption and chaos, pain and suffering, waste and death.  So we can get ours.

The last few months I have been fighting the idea.  I’ve been mourning.  I was in denial.  I thought love was real.  I was angry.  I thought I deserved love.  I’m finally accepting it.  Love is a warm fuzzy feeling–a temporary high.  I’m going to struggle financially for years to come.  I’ll have a shitty job.  I’ll drive a shitty car.   I’ll be judged for it.  I’ll be dismissed.  I’ll be exploited.  I’ll be alone.  Pardon me if I’m not enthusiastic about it.

But then there’s this video…

What made that dog risk its life?  It pulled the other dog inch by inch while under mortal threat because every inch was an inch closer to life.

Is this ignorance? Did the dog just fail to see the danger?

Is it insanity?  A cognitive malfunction caused by a stress or trauma?

Is this weakness?

Is this love?

The video also makes me sad.  You see, I’m the dog that got hit.  I’ve been on that freeway for 30 years and I love dogs because I know no human would risk anything to save me.  Is that dog pathetic?  Both of them?  Would you rather be in a relationship with the people who sit and watch as the poor dog gets hit over and over again?  Why?

A handful have come to the side of the road and asked me what I could do for them if they saved me.  Everyone wishes me well.  They tell me they would help me but they “have to” go on an exotic vacation.  Some say they’ll help me tomorrow…  Some say they’ll help me once I’m at the curb.  When I get to the curb the push me back out into traffic.

The good thing about sitting here in the middle of the freeway is that I’m finally safe from the people on the curb that told me to cross the freeway.

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Tony Isn’t Stupid

Here is a great post from Tonyisnt about philosophy, society, and life.  Enjoy!

http://tonyisnt.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/more-quotes-personal-philosophy-and-civilization/

(Please reserve comments for Tony’s blog)

Why Am I Still Single?

Here is a great post by dating editor Kristine Gasbarre for YourTango.com

I think it is right on the money

http://ca.dating.personals.yahoo.com/singles/datingtips/88451/dating-101-why-am-i-still-single/


Sex and the “Friend Zone”

I have met many women who put guy friends–the ones that actually treat them well, listen, and are able to sustain a conversation beyond “Get me a beer” or “Can I come on your tits?”–in the dreaded “Friend Zone”.  What kind of bull-fuck is that?

“I just don’t feel that way about you.”  Us guys have all been there.  The Friend Zone sucks so bad it makes many decent guys want to behave like assholes around women just to get close to them, while other guys on the back burner have their balls melted off.

If you are going to have any type of long term relationship with anyone, it helps to be friends.  So why do women do this?

Because of the “romance” novel culture, which is really a slut novel culture, where the main character fucks the good guy, the bad guy, the really bad guy, and all their friends–in search of love and STIs.

Many women want to be “swept off their feet”, which means lacking control–being submissive–literally picked up and carried off.  They want a “real man” that essentially rapes them with their consent.  It is what Robert Jensen calls the “rape culture” in his book Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity.

Our culture teaches us to find our comfort and happiness in material wealth and institutional power structures–things that are out of our control.  Imagine the world and our political system if we placed trust or honesty or even intimacy ahead of conquest and “getting”.  Imagine your own life if you foccussed on the emotional level instead of the physical/material level.

Sure an intense quicky is fun once in a while, but does it really compare to hours of intimate sex?  If you think so–then you have never had intimate sex.

It starts with a gentle and innocent touch, yet the desire is unmistakable.  The touch becomes a caress (based on Latin carus ‘dear’).  He pulls you in–his kiss pulls you deeper.  By the time you can feel his breath on your labia, only the slightest brush will send you over the edge.  Starting slow leaves room for the passion to grow.

Sex is like an analogy of a relationship.  Relationships have stages.  If you take away the former, the latter can not exist.  First is meeting, respect, friendship, trust, intimacy, then love.

Sex is part of intimacy.  You can’t start there and expect to go back and work on trust, friendship and respect later.  I think we have all at least seen a movie where two people, after a one night stand, are embarrassed to be nude and uncomfortable cuddling.  Is this preferable to your trusted and loved friend?  Perhaps you are not friends at all…

Maybe I’m not the “real man” you have been taught to want, but just like Forrest Gump “I know what love is.”

Some great related links from readers:

http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/but_if_we_started_dating_it

http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/niceguys.shtml

Relationship Deal Makers and Breakers

Due to the vengeful comments of some woman that feels rejected by me as a result of my post Husband Resume, I want to provide some insight into how I choose a partner–well… my next partner lol

Honesty/Dishonesty

I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I do.  I mean the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  If you slept with an entire basketball team while on a week long drug bender, don’t say that you never had a threesome.  Tell me the truth.  Think about how much trust will be gained by such an admission.  It takes courage and character to admit that we do some weird stuff along our journey.  I can’t trust someone that claims to be perfect when it comes to society’s norms–I know people way too well to buy that bullshit.

Love/Practicality

I will not be the guy you just happen to be with when you freak out about getting old and want to fulfill your white dress suburban fantasy.  I am willing to wait for someone looking to build a relationship based on real love and a personal connection.

A couple in love–“for better or worse”–will be happy and content, and can overcome any obstacle.  A couple based on reciprocity (“for better”) only works when the external things go well… and we don’t have total control of those.  People lose jobs, entire industries disappear, skin sags, shit happens.  If that thing they wanted from you disappears–so will they.  That’s no way to build a life–or live it.

Passive Aggressive

If you are very passive-aggressive, then we are not going to work out.  My personality doesn’t jive with someone who refuses to give positive input into the relationship and instead sabotages me to punish me for not listening to the words they didn’t say.

Assertive/Unopinionated or Controlling

When I ask what flavor ______ you want–don’t ask me to choose.  Take responsibility for you life and be thankful you are not with a guy that doesn’t give you any choices.

And don’t choose for me.  I am not your property.  I will not be “whipped”.  If you disagree with something I do–or don’t do, then lets discuss it like adults.  Don’t try to intimidate me or force me to do what you want.

Basically, let’s just work things out and not have a huge blow-up over which video to rent.

Loyal/Cheater

I see women look at me as if to say “I want your sperm”–while they hold their husband’s hand.  I see it daily.  In my experience, at least 50% of women fit into this group.  I expect many feminists will freak out at me for saying this and call me a sexist and then say that men are worse.  Then I will laugh.

Realistically, we are all drawn to attractive people for many innocent reasons.  I don’t mind you admiring some guy, as my attraction to beautiful women will not stop once we are together.

Besides receiving resources, ending a relationship, or boosting self-esteem (all well documented) most women look to cheating when they are satisfied with their current partner, but wanting better genetics for their offspring.  My genes are pretty awesome, so if you are looking, it must be for one of the other reasons.

Victim Mentality

People with a victim mentality find, and make, ways for themselves to be victims.  Marriage is such a close partnership that the partner is also victimized.  Stay away from these people.

Feminine

Angry feminists: Start your engines! lol

I am not my car or my job or my social status.  I am not a stereotype.  I am a man.  I would be a man in the jungle or the dessert, the city or country, or another country or culture.  I want you to be a woman that is not afraid of being a woman because of some feminist penis envy that tries to make all women into men and call it “equality”.  Be as cute as a girl, pretty as a woman, and strong as a mother.  Just be your true self.

I want you to cook me dinner–because I cooked last night (and I’m a damn good cook).  I want you to come home from work, or a baby shower, put your feet up, and ask me to get you a beer.  Because you aren’t like other girls.

Sexy

A Catholic Priest once said that sex is the glue of marriage.  I would use the word intimacy in place of sex, but I basically agree.

I love sex.  I luvz it.  I love passionate love-making and all the kinky, taboo things that you like too 😉  There are two types of people in this world–perverts and repressed perverts.  I hope you are the first kind.

“Sexy” should not be confused with attractive or pretty.  Sexuality is emotional and mental.  If you are not sexy–its in your head–and therefor in your power to change.

Giving/Selfish

Don’t try to get what you want at my expense–that is not a partnership.

When two people both attempt to make the lives of both better, things have a tendency to work out.  When they only try to make their own lives better, they will fight each other instead of the external forces–then they will blame each other for the external forces and boom–the lawyers get half.  Sometimes, life is just fucking poetic.

Snuggling

If you are going to be with me, at some point in the first month, I want to go to the fridge to get a glass of milk and find that you are still attached.  I want to hold you every time I see you.  I want to wake up in each other’s arms.

Where art thou, Philosopher Princess?

99 Balloons

Crystal Igualada of crystalrealestate.ca sent me this in response to my post Liam and the Lion, about the loss of my sisters baby.  Thank you so much Crystal, this is a magnificent video.

Here is the original Oprah link

Courage and Hopelessness

In my last post, Sex and Intimacy, I referenced a statement from the movie Revolutionary Road, which was about two people looking for meaning in their lives.  I think this requires more context to be understood.

The two main characters meet a mathematician that is said to have mental health issues, partly because of his outlook on life.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s, character comments to him that he and his wife (Kate Winslet) are moving to Paris to escape the “emptiness and hopelessness”.  At that point, the mathematician responds with, (I am doing this from memory) “Anyone can see the emptiness, but it takes courage to see the hopelessness.”

I have found that only once we discover for ourselves that life is completely empty, meaningless and hopeless, can we take the courageous step of abandoning the path that others have set us on, and choose our own destiny and way of living.  Before this, we live someone else’s life.  After, we live for the first time the life of our choosing, with whatever meaning we see fit.  The courage to see the hopelessness is the birth of freedom and happiness.

Liam and the Lion

Below is a copy of an e-maill I sent to my sister Wendy while she was dealing with the loss of her baby–her second baby. I asked her if I could post it and share my thoughts on life with loss.

Wendy’s e-mail began:

We find ourselves feeling unbearable sadness, disbelief, and we long for answers as to why we have had to deal with so much grief this past year. We have begun to question our faith and we question, “why us?” and wonder if there is a God, how he can give healthy babies to so many people that don’t even want them, and yet take two babies from us, such deserving people, who so desperately want to be parents. We feel cheated, and bitter, and perplexed at how cruel and unfair the world can be. We now pray for strength to get through every new day, and we find ourselves pleading for reassurance from the universe to know that Liam feels our love, your love, and that his spirit is safe, happy and in a better place.”

I hope this can be of assistance to all you:

Wendy, Chad, and family:

I am sorry for your loss.  You have helped me with my own losses in life and I would like to give back to you, but I am unsure what I can possibly say or do.  The only thing that comes to mind, is from a book that you once lent me.

“Hold on.”

When things are beyond comprehension and completely overwhelming–hold on.  Thank you both for this wisdom.  I hope it helps you as it helped me.  I believe Winston Churchill said something similar and even more insightful:

“If you are going through hell–keep going.”

As for your faith, I can only offer you answers to your questions that will seem completely inadequate, and not like an answer at all, as questions for G_d can only be answered by G_d.

I can tell you about two people that have asked the same questions and about the answers that were given to them in a way that ceased all doubt as to whether there is a loving force we call G_d that makes everything possible.

Once, I sat in a park to escape from what was left of the life that was collapsing around me.  My mind was spinning in circles, my body tense, and my heart empty.  Reflecting on how people treat each other, I watched some birds attacking a smaller bird and asked “Why?  Why does the world have to be this way?  Why the violence, death, destruction and pure evil all around me?  Why?  Why does this happen to me?”

In that instant, the answer came.  I was suddenly calm–even blissful.  Everything around me brightened, and it was like seeing everything with greater clarity than if I examined each square inch under a microscope.  It was as if time stopped.  My thoughts silenced in anticipation of an answer that was without words or sound, yet the loudest thought to ever enter my mind–I new immediately that it did not come from me.  The closest English to the deep understanding that I received whole, is: “This is the way things are.”

But it was much more than that.  I knew in that instant, that the world is a balance, where one day the lion goes hungry and the antelope eats, while the next day the lion eats and the antelope dies.  I knew that the only way our universe can exist and sustain itself is through competition–a competition we are bound to lose from time to time–and always in the end.  What I saw was the world as it really is–not beautiful despite the pain–just beautiful.  I am thankful for all the hurt that allowed me to see the world for the first time.

I once met a professor of philosophy that had a cushy job that others would kill for.  She was Jewish, but not religious, yet she gave up her career to become a Rabbi.  Of course, I needed to ask her, “Why?”

She was living and working in North Carolina.  After one of the many intense hurricanes, that claimed many lives, she asked, “Why?  Why would G_d let this happen?”  The answer she received was, “This is the way things are.”  The experience was profound enough that she quit her job and devoted her life to G_d by going back to school and becoming a Rabbi.  Knowing that someone else had the same experience as me has deepened my faith considerably.

The universe is far too complex for us to ever really know the specifics of why a particular tragedy occurs, but hopefully, in time, you will understand some of the answers to your questions about life.  Until then, my words are a poor substitute.  Just know that you are loved and blessed, even though you will again go hungry while the lion licks his lips, and sometimes the blood will be yours, just remember, to witness such a thing means that G_d has chosen to bless you with yet another day.

Are We Listening to Steve Dodd?

The recent death of Steve Dodd has saddened me. He lived two houses down from me for much of elementary and high school. I remember playing after school with Steve, his brother Robin, and Stephen Wright. We jumped on the trampoline, wrestled, wondered through the gully between our houses and our school Harold Bishop Elementary.

The innocence of our childhood is a striking contrast to how he died. He was shot in the head Friday, February 27, 2009. He died on March 6. Unfortunately, this in not an isolated tragedy. We have lost many to drugs, alcohol, drunk-driving, and terrible violence.

I have spoken to some of you in depth, about the troubles we face. Some of us have beaten addictions to cocaine, crack, crystal meth, alcoholism. Some of us have been to jail, others imprison themselves in depression. Some still fight these battles. We are victims of abuse and neglect, and sometimes we abuse and neglect ourselves. And there is always the temptation of violence and revenge.

The volume and intensity of the challenges we face, make me grow tired of the baby-boom generation claiming that only they have the solutions to the problems they never faced. There were no gangs at their schools. No AIDS, crack, or meth. The relative cost of a home today is 5-10 times higher than it was when our parents were our age, and they didn’t need a $50,000 dollar education to buy one. Yet, our pornstar/rockstar culture demands that we live a life of riches and reckless abandon.

With all these challenges facing our generation, are we listening to what Steve Dodd says to us in his absence? Are we listening to the memory of Johan Vanloo? Are we listening to those around us that we have lost?

If we listened, we would hear them ask, “When we draw a line between courage and fear, love and hate, peace or war, on what side shall we stand if we are to be happy?” I feel great love for those that leave such a gift for us.

Our lives are difficult. As someone who has lost many battles to many demons, I pledge to not judge you for your faults, since I share many of them with you. Whatever challenges you face, know that I am here to listen, and to help in any way I can.  thequantumbuddha@hotmail.com

The service will be on Friday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, 10460 – 139th Street, Surrey, BC.

Leave your thoughts and messages for Steve and the Dodd family here.

What’s Wrong With Politics? Part 6: A “True” Solution

Many of our values and assumptions about our shared world are false. They are based of a web of delusion supported by deception.

We have no sense of our undeniable and inescapable responsibilities. We falsely believe that we are separate from each other and all living beings. We are not adversaries to the degree that our actions and attitudes indicate.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War states: “Warfare is the Toa of deception”–the way of deception. It appears that the master of warfare knows that the truth will set us free.

Every crime, every social or environmental injustice, every war, and every failure of society, has lack of truth at its core. No policy, plan or procedure, idea, ideology or individual will fix our world as long as dishonesty and delusion continue to dominate our discussions and values.

Government is here to give that which we require but cannot achieve by voluntary participation. The greatest gift that we could give ourselves and our children is a world of truth. This will separate those who work for us from those work for clandestine interests.

It is time that the criminal code be amended to require all political entities to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in official, non-official, public and private communications on any issue directly related to policy, politics, or government business. We have always demanded that–but rarely received it.

Those bound by this law would include Members of Parliament, provincial legislative assemblies, city councils, candidates for political office, party officials, think-tanks, lobbyists–and the media–which has a stranglehold on our political system. In short, every citizen, if speaking on a political issue, would be required to be honest, bound by laws similar to those for perjury in a court of law.

The most sacred oath is the one we all take before G_d, each other, and all living things. I pledge to work on the side of truth.
Part 1: The Insanity of Our Society
Part 2: Egoism and Egotism
Part 3: The Erosion of Democracy
Part 4 :The Devil is a Partisan
Part 5: Mass (Media) Ignorance
Part 6: A “True” Solution