What The World Needs is Empathy.

I try avoiding writing personally about myself, but I have realized that a lot of who I am today is because of what I’ve seen and experienced. When I was a boy I lived in the Basque country for a period of about two years. It was a big culture shock to my system, but when you are a child it is easier to adapt to an entirely different culture. There is a reason why studies prove that it is easier to learn as a child so I benefitted in part because of this fact. I was able to learn and adapt to the culture. A culture that is both similar and different to the American one I am accustomed to. From what I remember the bounds of a community and family are still much stronger than the one’s I experienced in my homeland. It is something that I’ve learned to appreciate because elements such as those are so hard to build and maintain but so easy to lose. Especially now in our society of easy gratification, and simulation.

Living there I was close to two boys, and when it came time for me to leave the country I had one last sleepover with each of them. I was young at the time, but the adults must have understood it was probably the last time I would ever see either of them. The first night I stayed over at this boy’s Ben’s house. I don’t remember much, but I do know I had a lot of fun hanging out. It was the second night with my other friend Ivan that I remember the most. He was skinny and looked very weak my mother would tell me later that he was born prematurely. He had a PlayStation which we all loved to play with, and since he was one of the few who had one at the time we often loved to visit him at his house. On this last sleepover, we didn’t spend much time playing on the console even though I wanted to. Instead, I spent a very long time coloring pictures with him. We were coloring some egg shaped characters which to this day I don’t know where he got the design, but we colored them together. He drew them and I colored. I could see in his face that this was something he wanted to share with me. He wanted to share this moment in time with me because of this fact I have never forgotten it. He told me he really appreciated this, and thanked me for being a true friend because all too often most would turn him down in doing this activity and would only want to play with the video game console. I was pretty young but it took me back a little to this day it is one of the moments of my life that still resonates with me.

Another similar moment happened to me much later in the 4th grade. I befriended a Chinese boy in my class, and he was really into Pokemon cards. We often spent time together during recess and played cards. Sometimes we would play basketball if the big kids let us, and often they wouldn’t because, to be honest, we were pretty bad at it. It was because he was a weird kid who didn’t really socialize he got picked on a decent amount of time. It’s been so long I have forgotten why he was angry and crying but it was at the end of recess and we were waiting to get in class. He was very upset, and I reached out my arm on his shoulder telling him it was okay now. He immediately lashed out at me and swiped my hand away. Another moment I was taken aback but for different reasons. The teacher later told me she appreciated what I was trying to do, and gave me some words of encouragement.

I may appear strong on the outside, and in my demeanor and it’s not a fake strength I’ve developed to not be consumed by depression of this world. Yet deep down I have a soft heart a heart that is hard to keep hate, and bitterness. Looking back it’s why I couldn’t turn away as I became more educated and saw the pain and suffering of not only those around me but also in the world. It’s why I did try everything I could when I was younger with my limited power, and naivety. I saw injustice, and evil in the world and I couldn’t do anything about the suffering, and the pain. So I thought by understanding the world I could find the answer regardless if it would bring me happiness or not. Thus I pushed, and keep pushing I see education not as an institution, but as a way of life. As long as my heart beats I will never stop searching. I will seek the answers I am looking for until the day I die.

I see now that this was the only path for me. Even if I wasn’t curious my empathy would have driven me here. What these two stories taught me was that only when you can understand something or someone can you heal it. I see now that it is not my knowledge alone that allows me to see the world in a different light, but my abnormal personality that allows me to gain a different perspective. When I was a young teenager I would go on long walks on the weekends because sometimes the simple things can teach you more than any book you can read. Listen and observe the people walking, the architecture and position of the buildings, and the sounds and whistles of the world. We shouldn’t take for granted what is right before us. I exist to love this world. I love living things in this world because sometimes we forget how rare life really is, but also the objects that don’t have heartbeats. We are the world, and the world is us. We are fundamental of the same atoms, and too often we forget that.

The Rubber Duck

I like to talk to myself when I am alone. In my opinion, it helps me think, and problem solve much more organically. What I didn’t know is that this was actually a technique that engineers use to try to problem solve problems they are stuck on. It’s called rubber duck debugging. The logic is simple you talk to a rubber duck, or some type of object while you are debugging code you are having a problem with. What I find funny is that it’s something I’ve been doing myself since I was a young boy, but of course without the object. I sometimes get weird stares when I am out in the street when I let my habit slip, but I am beyond caring about such trivial matters.

What I’ve slowly realized is that I am not 100% socially adjusted to the mainstream society. I don’t pick up social cues as well as I should, and I have not been as considerate as I should have been to the people who actually take an interest in my life. I think, I deduce, I form opinions, and analyze. Yet I am not sure if I am always correct, but more importantly, I am not as sure of myself as I once was. I have pondered the idea that I am merely just wasting my time. Perhaps I haven’t lived and enjoyed life as I should have. There was always a plan, strategy, or something I could fall back on as I never did much spontaneously. Now I am not so sure anymore. Becoming too preoccupied with issues I had no control over.

Yet as I reflect I realize that even though I have lost many insights, and ignored certain aspects of my own individual world I must admit there are many other aspects of the world I have gained information about. My ego grew because I realized I knew much more than others. Not everything, but I could hold my own. When I was younger I wanted to show the people the true colors of this world. The world I saw. The cold reality. What I didn’t realize it was already too late for most. The indoctrination was complete as most people can’t accept they are living a farce. They live with the noble intention of working, enjoying entertainment, falling in love, and enjoying the gift of offspring.

Not me I had greater ambitions. Since I was a child I was fascinated with the world around me. At first, it was astronomy I was drawn to the idea of an infinite universe a world of possibility of distant planets, and stars. I also liked reading about dinosaurs mysterious beasts that existed before our time. When I got to see fossils for the first time I vividly remember the excitement and the joy of seeing them for the first time. Personally to the surprise of many I actually like going to museums and seeing all the exhibits I can but perhaps I should have exercised more patience at the time, but I was young and I didn’t know better. I still remember when I got really interested in technology which was mainly through video games, and the ability to enjoy worlds beyond my imagination. Thus, I began to see that I could imagine my own world and forge my own destiny. These events in my life molded me and became apart of my identity. The one I created for myself.

I finally understand now more than ever what I have always wanted. Power. The Power to forge my own destiny, and shift history in the path of my own vision. Most who dream as I do want to achieve this through wealth, and the power of the currency. I want to go beyond, and ascertain my goal within the limitless bounds of knowledge. It’s easy to kill and force others to do your bidding its even a greater victory to have others see your vision and become to believe in it as you do.

I repeat this story often to my close confidants, but I loved reading about King Arthur, Julius Cesar, and Alexander The Great. All men who conquered their enemies and brought peace to their respective kingdoms, and thus having lasting effects on human culture. The humorous part of this is all three of these men die tragic deaths. This hasn’t been lost on me either. I have realized that as we all know there are consequences to all actions. If we gained something of grandeur we must also give something in return. Nothing is free, and not everything can have a monetary value. We as individuals must balance the weights of our fate ourselves. Based on our own choices, desires, and principles.

Even if I never achieve much in my short life I will take solace in the fact that I was correct, and foresaw mankind’s destiny when others could not. The simplest form of power is knowledge, and only from there can one can construct something greater.

The plight of man

I can only see things in my perspective. For I have to consider the fact that I may be wrong and that it is entirely possible that my perspective is just a twisted view of the reality around me. Let us get back to the topic at hand the one I wish to discuss about. Idea that gender is perhaps a social construct of human imagination. A man is suppose to be tall, white and handsome with a large penis. I know this is pretty general but to look for specifics just look at television ads, movies, shows, and modern magazines. It is what you see, perhaps it is rooted in our biology and our desire to get a new mate for our offspring. There may be some truth in such an argument but to have these types of value systems distorted is beyond what I can possibly fathom. To systematically change our physiology and psychology for the desire to belong and be happy is what I consider to be the false path. I take this perspective as a man but it can also be seen as a women also. Sublime figure, perfect body, breasts, and pleasing personality that would fit in the world of men. It is this unrealistic desire of people to fit in the mold of the dominant society that leads to unhappiness for some along with additional social anxieties that can easily get out of their control. For how many of us chose our genetic makeup and upbringing? Yet we as a species will undermine and harm those who have no control over such a matter. We should feel injustice and empathy for each other as we do for the sick and poor and but society acts as if a man having a small penis is his fault and to be ridiculed, bullied, and make ashamed of something out of his control. Or the girl who does not have the perky breasts and undergoes surgery because of a need to feel loved and wanted. We should strive to master our biology and primitive instincts and become more than what we are. Humanity is still attempting to transcend prejudice and fear to embrace the unknown and strive for the truth. Embrace uncertainty and failure instead of running away from it. Accept pain and cry. Laugh and love. Ditch customs and social norms don’t do things because your told to or you feel are socially pressured to do but do it because you feel it is right thing to do. It is vague I know but that is the point, science has taught us so much yet the deeper truths of life and our world are all still vague. We should not fear it but as I stated before strive to understand it in the best way possible. Let your mind be free and let go. Give up what is not truly relevant to your life and get rid of the distractions and only care for what truly matters. It is something that is easily written but not so easily achieved.

Let me share my personal story in all of this. I believe that the reason I went down this path of rejection of society and isolation to some degree is because of the scars and pain I carry. Searching for meaning in a world that can be very cruel. Before I even focused on culture and society which would later only compounded my problem. I had to face the realities of my classmates, my peers, and my family. I do not fit the model of what western society considers ideal for a male. It is something that many do not even admit to themselves because they still hold on to the fact they can belong and still fit in somehow. I gave up on that. As someone who is not white, but actually a minority of colored skin I realized that I had become the victim of racist jokes and humor. As someone who is below average in height I got use to the jokes and embarrassment on the basketball court and lack of speed and power. Having people call me “buddy” and “kid” people patting me on the head as if I was a dog. Having a below average dick that is not very big and is often the joke of women circles. Where people snicker and demean you. I even sweat a lot more than others and in high school I become the humor of many nicknames such as “waterpark” and “raging waters.” Seeing others in the same pain also and not being able to do anything. If you are reading this and have felt similar pain than you know what I am writing about. Yet to internalize this pain, anger, and sadness I become the very thing I despised a darker person a crueler person who lacked respect for others. Where one day I looked at myself in the mirror and saw not the shy boy I was once as child but as someone who has hurt people with my words and hands. Where the bitterness and hatred filled my heart. Where the light becomes a bit dimmer each day. Ironically suicide never truly was an option for me, I do not know why but I never could allow myself to give up voluntarily. Perhaps it was always my natural curiosity and thirst for understanding. For perhaps I am more obsessed of understanding why is there cruelty, pain and angry to begin with than the mere fact I experienced so much of it.

I do not consider myself a poor speaker but I do have trouble expressing my emotions with people face to face it is part of my personality. I never show face unless I have completely broken down which is usually in my room late at night by myself. So when I write this now I just feel so much more in peace. The power of language and writing is something which I believe is understated(because even I underestimated it once myself). The computer is the greatest gift I have ever received. Now this piece of writing is very depressing and dark because it is truthful but now let me tell the rest of my story. It is easy to give into the pain, to let it consume you and drive your actions. To get that surgery you don’t need or to act a certain way around others or put down others to feel superior. To always say things and act in ways that is socially acceptable. To accept the truths given but not discovered. What saved me in the end was going down that “rabbit hole” and taking the blue pill (Matrix movie reference if you have not seen it I highly recommend it). I learned that I may be imperfect in the eyes of society and of myself but that is okay for the journey of life is a quest to better yourself in realistic tangible ways and not by measurements of socio-economic status or other forms of physical wealth. I learned to accept myself and to take the harder path to walk alone to stand alone and to search for my own path and not blindly follow others but seek things out for myself. A much harder path and even cruel one at times and I may not even be happy but I know for certain if I let myself be lied to by the world around me I would be much unhappier. I do not believe I am alone either I believe that we all deep down have the same questions of life and self-doubt and sense of awe of the world around us. We are just very good at drugging ourselves to be blinded and be safe from the what we cannot comprehend and understand. Transcend and transform and eventually ascend. Is my message for fall. Topics for another time but my message is often one found in religion and it is amazing how a book which we suppose we cherish instead we twist the words to fit anything we want to or take literal meaning where it makes no sense. As much I disagree with religions books there are some good philosophical knowledge there. The one I wish to impart from this article is that you should learn to appreciate and love your image. To respect those around you and even though you may fail and harm others do not be afraid to be wrong and apologize for such a simple act of kindness can go along way and to not ask for forgiveness for the sake of your own but to do so because we wish to undone a wrong and such an emotion can go a long way in life.

It’s a cliché but I believe in my opinion small acts of good can go a long way in repairing our fragile minds.