May is done (I made a pun there with the title, did you see that?). My tendinitis is a dull ache in the background, so I’m not overly concerned, it is manageable to this point. I did run yesterday, and didn’t have time to write. It was my last long Tuesday of the school year. This morning I took off to round out my month at 150 miles (250km). It’s hot, and I took it easy. Tomorrow, I get home so early from work (relatively) that I will put my 5 in in the afternoon. Plus, I don’t work Friday! Beach time!
Sometimes I am aggressive, in-your-face, difficult, stubborn. But I always accept I might be wrong, I take constructive criticisms and examine my ideas, points of view, thoughts, opinions constantly. I feel like a day where I didn’t learn something is a waste. I don’t care if I made lots of money, or or whatever, if I didn’t learn anything it was a wasted day. I can always be better, I can always improve, I can always learn.
I think people call it humility, but I think that’s just the natural way to be. Like the Folk Song, “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”. The lieutenant wants them to cross the river a little further down than where he had cross it previously. The Sergeant says, no I think that’s a bad idea. LT orders them and goes to lead them across, he ends up drowning, Sgt takes over, tells everyone to turn around. Recovers the body and finds a new way back to the base.
The moral here is that being what we call an “alpha male”, being sure of yourself and always “knowing” what is “best” is not good survival instinct. Being cautious, knowing you may not have the best ideas, knowing you need to be better every day, knowing you always have room to improve is good survival instinct. Our modern society has turned these roles into opposite of reality. We’re told we should desire confidence, we should reward these people who stride around with “all the answers.” That the goal in life is to get it all “figured out” and then work in that field for your life amassing wealth. We want our economy to grow, amass wealth, spend wealth, grow economy. But in this philosophy we don’t actually take into account human growth. Sure, people learn to brew their own beer or make wine, or whatever, but they still leave most of the big questions of our time up to “someone or something else”. Even those tasks we train ourselves in as virtuous “hobbies” don’t compel us to think, to grow in the only way adult humans can grow.
You’re still not encouraged to be humble, you’re encouraged to master your task. I’m never going to be a spectacular runner. I’m never going to do anything completely amazing and have a cover story in Runner’s World or anything. But that’s not my goal anyway. I’m there to stay as fit as possible and push myself to be better every day, not the best.
I don’t even want to be the best thinker, I just want to improve my ideas and try and convey them to others the best I can, and maybe help affect change. Because I see the dangers we face, and even though history shows me humanity isn’t much worth saving I am guided by a Roddenberry-esque hope for a better future where humanity realizes its true potential. We are close now, if we survive, to bringing ourselves to a Kardashev Type-1 civilization. The technologies are starting to come together. If we manage to get our shit together we may be headed there in the next century. I know everything won’t change overnight, but I just want to see some sort of sign that shows we are changing for the positive. All I’ve seen are the same relative percentages of people still holding the same views, still fighting the same fights. I see much of the “progress” we’ve made to be nothing more than window dressing. We still have massive inequalities that threaten the very fabric of being. We still pollute and destroy the environment like it had no effect at all. All of this is done in the name of resource hoarding and inheritance. There is nothing to inherit on a dead planet.
Sometimes I find myself hoping for an event that will force our hand, make us abandon the old ways and work for something new. When everything happened the way it did, I was hoping Trump would be so terrible that it would force shame and humility onto the people who perpetuate these ideas of capitalist purity. But it has only exposed the fact that they lack all shame and compassion. That they buy into the system so well, they have reached the point where I have to start questioning if they have any humanity left. I do not go down the slippery-slope of them believing death for these people is justified, because I do not view them as human. No, in fact, I believe they should be forced to live on and see what we can truly accomplish without their bullshit, that perhaps they can learn the error of their ways. I may just be a dreamer in that, but it is truly how I feel.
I’m going to just keep trying to be a better me every day, and encourage others to be a better them, and hope it comes together before it’s too late. If not, then we’re all screwed. But there’s nothing more I can do. When people are participating in heinous fuckery, I will call them out. I will not be ashamed to call a fascist a fascist, or a racist a racist. I will shit on people for waving Confederate (traitor) flags, and saying hateful (even if unintentional) things. If my friends see me say something, they are free to return the favor to me. Because objectively, some people are wrong. Nazis are always wrong, racists are always wrong. There’s no reason for this shit. It’s part of the system that is holding us all back.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!
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