Every now and then I experiment with my writing tools. There is a part of me that seeks out new things and wants to learn as much as possible about them. Today is one of those times. I am writing this post directly from WordPress, and this is the first time I have done so in years. I found that Grammarly has a plug-in that works with WP and identifies those pesky mistakes I make as I write. This is a wonderful revelation for me because I can now cut down on the amount of work that each blog post requires.
I have been thinking about my tech toys recently. I have reduced my social media presence to the bare minimum over the last year, but I still rely on my phone and laptop to stay in touch and to write. Because I am a technophile, I yearn for the latest and greatest in things, but I am also a realist who knows that the latest and greatest changes almost every week, and that the pursuit of those things is a pointless adventure. I still am happy with my Pixel XL2 even though I would love to upgrade to the Pixel XL3. I have to remind myself that I still have a perfectly serviceable device here that does not really need to be replaced.
I even toyed with the thought of leaving Project Fi and going back to a traditional cell provider, but I cannot match the price that I pay using Project Fi. Even the alluring new iPhones cannot convince me to switch right now. Sadly, the price differential between the new iPhones and the new Pixels has almost disappeared, but that makes my decision much easier to stick with what I already have.
Over the last year, as I diminished my social media presence I found that the tools are not nearly as vital as they once were. What I have is perfectly viable and will be for some time to come. I know that the real issue is my own desire and I am the only one who can overcome the temptation to spend more money that I really shouldn’t spend. I know that the key to finding serenity is within myself, and not with external factors. This is a realization that isn’t easy to admit, but it is crucial to overcoming the commercial greed that seems to govern our society.
We are all subjected to the constant bombardment of advertising about new things. The status that is derived from having the latest and greatest thing is ingrained into us from an early age. Only the cool people, or successful people, have the latest and greatest. Those who cannot keep up must be faulty in some way, or eccentric to be kind. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Of course, there are people who financially cannot afford to keep up with technology, and the number of people who are in that category increases every day. But, there are those, like myself, who finally tire of the endless chase and make the conscious decision to choose happiness over consumerism. It is not an easy choice because I have to reject the vain pursuits and the false status and focus on things that are far less tangible.
Happiness is a choice. Happiness cannot be provided by things, at least not for long. Inner peace comes from rejecting the outside world when the outside world attempts to define what makes us happy. Contenement comes from within. Let there be no mistake, breaking free from the consumer chain and the materialism is the best choice that one can make.
Don’t make yourself crazy by constantly changing what you have based on what others say you should have. Slow down and appreciate where you are in your life journey. Then you can make the important decision on what to do next.
Last night we learned that far too many people still believe the NAZI propaganda and are living in fear of everything. The “cultural” issues that NAZIS feast on continue to affect voters in rural areas. This is an issue that cannot be ignored and must be resisted at all costs. I grew up in one of those areas but I fail to understand how fear dominates them the way it does. Over the last nearly 40 years, they have become insular and afraid of anyone who is not already known to them, unless that new person clearly reflects the NAZI ideology. Anyone who is not a NAZI is written off and an enemy and shunned. That is the main reason I no longer even consider returning to my hometown for a visit.
I am amazed that after nearly 40 years of this bullshit and things never got much better, that they still support the NAZI ideology. The pictures I have seen of my hometown show the closed and vacant stores rather than new businesses and thriving older ones. And yet, they still support the ideas that cause the problems in the first place.
I feel bad for my hometown. They are not inherently bad, but they are victims of the NAZI lust for power. People there still die early from diseases that are preventable, but they see attempts at health care reform as “communism” that infringes on their freedom. Many of them have apparently died from complications that arise from environmental concerns. I am stunned every time I look at the local paper and see another classmate dead from cancer. Their obituaries are almost carbon copies of each other. Member of this or that church, loving husband or wife of so-and-so, loved watching the Wildcats. A few of them served in the military, like me, but they returned to our hometown and ended up dying early.
Because I am Gay, I know that I would never be welcome in my hometown again. The hold that religion has on the people there is saddening. Like so many areas in this country religion no longer offers hope and love, it enforces hatred and fear. Because I am also an Atheist, I recognize that this is yet another reason I will never be welcome there again.
The fact that the religion has changed over the last 40 years is an indicator that it is not true, it has been cultivated starting with what we used to call the “lunatic” churches that were small and seemed harmless. What we failed to realize was that these groups were actively seeking out new members and also focusing on political agendas. Now the people in my hometown are seemingly powerless to resist the dictates that these lunatic churches spew out every Sunday.
There are people I graduated with who also managed to get away from our hometown. These are the people who, like myself, are doing well. There has to be a connection and a commonality that clearly demonstrates why this is the case. I believe that those of us who left are prosperous and happy simply because we left.
As the years and decades pass, I find myself less and less interested in returning to my hometown for a visit. I have lost common interests with the people I grew up with who remained there. I feel terrible for them when I see that they have chosen once again to remain under the power of the NAZIS in America. With each passing day, the chances that they will ever break free of the tyranny diminishes. We are strangers to each other, I am seen as an enemy, and I see them as people who have been taken advantage of.
Sadly, none of us believe that we will change anytime soon.