Lies We Believe
All of our ideas about identity, culture, religion, nationality, and beliefs about the world are merely mental constructs we choose to believe. Opinions. Like assholes, everyone has one, and most of them stink.
We are far less rational than we think.
We take these beliefs and construct rules to live by. We create these rules to comport with our understanding of the universe and to make life easier. Our minds create thousands of rules we know we should follow.
For example, one rule that was embedded in my brain was that I would go to college and earn a degree to guarantee success in life. A high school diploma meant nothing. School did not end until at least a B.A. degree, and maybe even graduate or law school.
The value of those degrees are fading fast. You still hear people talk about how college graduates earn more than high school graduates, but dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are the richest people in the country.
Marriage is another of those concepts we may need to question. Society tells us we should marry a person within a certain religion and a defined age range. Maybe even the same race.
I violated all of these rules and have 3 divorces to prove it. I’m not good at being married. Married folks demand that each party follow rules that you never would agree to before you say “I do”.
“The greatest restrictions upon many people are those imposed by marriage and family problems.”
~ Harry Browne
No argument here.
What Harry advocated was relationships without marriage (although he did marry again before his death). Marriage gets the state and church involved in what should be an agreement between two sovereign individuals.
He suggested that people get together for common interests and don’t force the other to compromise.
If I like football, and she likes opera, I won’t expect her fanny in the stadium seat if she doesn’t expect me to be there when the fat lady sings.
Religion and government puts out hundreds of rules and “shoulds” for married couples. You should have children. You should attend church and turn those children over to us for religious indoctrination.
You can’t get married without the permission of the state. You can’t get divorced without permission of the state. Who is really in charge of your marriage?
Another rule pushed by society is that you must work hard to succeed in life. I don’t know about you, but some of the laziest people I know seem pretty happy.
So many of us work like dogs to buy stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.
I think of boat owners. Every young man thinks about buying a boat. Your friends will be impressed. And boats in Key Biscayne are definitely pussy magnets.
But, it is said that the two happiest days of a boat owners life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it. Notice I didn’t say she. Women are too smart for all of that expense and work.
Why do we buy into this bullshit?
It starts when we are children. We are dependent on our parents, teachers, and ministers for every thought and belief.
“Do it because I say so.”
“Do it because that’s the way it is.”
“Do it because God wants it that way.”
If you resist, you pay a price. As a child, you suffer.
But it’s time as adults that we no longer bow to these “authority” figures. We want to belong, which makes us susceptible to everything from mainstream media bashing to giving in to fear-based politics.
Taken to the extreme, this need for belonging is what makes people join cults. Cults are a form of group think leading to blind tribalism.
Social proof to back up these lies can come through advertising, especially television advertising.
Over my lifetime, we have gone from the USDA Food Pyramid to other gurus telling you to eat vegan.
The USDA actually copied this chart from Sweden.
As a radical vegan, I don’t eat meat, poultry, pork, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey. I don’t eat many grains at all, and seldom eat processed grains like pasta.
I don’t wear leather clothing, belts, shoes, wool, or fur. I might wear old items out before trashing them (the harm has already been done), but you get the idea.
Here’s a sample vegan food pyramid:
Some diet doctors propose making salad the main part of your diet. Can’t be done unless you want to spend six hours a day choking down enough food to live on. Even Buddhist monks eat rice.
Now when it comes to leafy greens, I like mine cooked. But that’s an issue for another day.
What I am trying to say is that these beliefs are simply beliefs. As a kid, we ate at the same table when Dad got home from work. Meat and potatoes. Maybe fruit for dessert. The government pushed us to eat that way.
Now, some doctors say eating meat and potatoes and junk food and sugary desserts is a path to an early death.
If you manage to eat healthy and stay trim and attractive, you have to deal with all of the dating and mating rules. Some rules seem required, like those against sex with children, although all rules get violated by virtually every culture that has existed since men left their caves for villages.
We invent or accept a bunch of rules designed to make other people feel moral or superior.
Is she right for you? Is she too young, or too old? Would she be a good wife or mother? Does she practice the same faith? Is she the same race or ethnic background?
And on and on.
Individuals with backbone should question everything. If society’s rules are out of alignment with your life, you can find a way to live the life you want – as Harry Browne would suggest.
People follow old rules and customs that should long ago have been shelved.
We must push to create our own systems, what I call Walkabout Solopreneur. You can call it anything you want.
We have to blaze our own trails. We have to look internally and externally to find the way to happiness given our current circumstances.
tags: Marriage,vegan,Harry Browne,Walkabout Solopreneur,USDA Food Pyramid,Vegan Food Pyramid,Buddhist diet,sovereign individual,