"More and more, when faced with the world of men, the only reaction is one of individualism.
Man alone is an end unto himself. Everything one tries to do for the common good ends in
failure." Albert Camus
"The secret of happiness is not having more, but wanting less."
"The purpose of life is just going about your business. And getting there is just putting one foot in front of the other.
"It's not what happens to you in life that matters, it's your attitude towards it."
There are three attitudes that have crept into our collective consciousness
over the past two decades. I don't know how widespread they are, but there
are certainly some people who believe one or more of them. They are:
That you are somehow not responsible for your own actions.
The attempt to place the blame on others for our own actions has become
epidemic. Everywhere you go, people seem to be pointing the finger at
others for their own failures. Many people, it seems, just refuse to take
responsibility for what they do, or what they cause to happen. Well, the
sad fact is that you, and only you are responsible for what you do.
That the world owes you a living.
People seem to grow up thinking that they have some kind of inborn
right to a good job, and a nice home and a good life. I'm sorry to be
the one to break the bad news, but the world owes you absolutely
nothing. Everything you achieve, you must either inherit from someone
who has earned it, or earn it on your own. Society has no obligation to
provide you with a place to live, or food to eat, or a nice car.
That the world has to change to accomodate you.
Some people feel that because they "need" something, that society
should automatically provide it. Many people grow up thinking that
they should not have to make any sacrifices at all because of their
shortcomings. People should adjust their lives and lifestyles to their
abilities, and not expect society to make up for their own deficiencies.
Every group in society seems to want to assure for themselves some
kind of special privilege that allows them a competitive advantage.
Minorities, women, the disabled and handicapped, gays and lesbians
and a host of others all want to be "protected" from discrimination.
What they really want, in many cases, is simply a card to play if they
need it. My view is that there should be no special privileges based
on anything but merit and our human right to be treated equally.
While it is true, as stated above, that society has no "obligation" to
have compassion for the less fortunate, each of us should make an
attempt, insofar as it is within our power, to care for those that are
not able to care for themselves. This is a characteristic of a mature
Changing the world:
Many people have what they believe to be a noble goal. To change
the world and make it better. This is not a bad ideal, but most people
don't have the means or the power to do this. You can, however, change
yourself, and that will contribute to accomplishing your goal.
Be careful who you take advice from. Unfortunately the world is full
of people who know nothing. But they love to tell people what to think,
what to do and what to believe. It is a good idea to only take advice
from reliable sources. In the long run, however, the best advice I can
give you is to collect as much objective information as you can and
then make up your own mind. Then, you will have no one to blame but
yourself if it goes badly.
Someone is paying you money to do your job. That person has a right
to get what he's paying for. If you want more money for what you do,
just ask. If the answer is no, you must either work for the amount that
is paid, or leave and find another job. You have no right to a higher
salary just because you need the money. Each job has a certain value,
that is determined by the employer. In addition, your boss has a right
to fire you if you don't meet his requirements. And, as long as he is not
violating any laws, he has the right not to hire you if he doesn't want to.
In general, the rule is, never take sides against your family.
You can disagree in private, but blood is thicker than water.
A good general rule is, when trouble comes in the front door,
go out the back door. Of course that only applies if nothing is
at stake. There are clearly times to stand and fight.
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