A Facebook messenger conversation between myself and my eldest son, Joshua.
(Joshua’s posts) (My posts)
It started with this post on Joshua’s timeline:
They say most people are Libertarian they just don’t know it. Well how do you know? Are you conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues. Then your probably Libertarian. Any who good to hear a third party perspective on why the current candidates suck.
The problem with Libertarianism is that it’s root philosophy is based in selfishness.
I have read your blog on this and like most things seems logical on the surface but thats not what we actual see in our society.
See if you really care about your family and society you won’t be a burden to them. You will be self sufficient as soon as possible.
I’m not talking about people who have a mental or possible physical disability. I’m not talking About the 10% of the population that has an IQ under 80 these people need help. These people can’t pull themselves up by their boot traps.
Are you saying that I am one of these? I think the NAZI Party calls them “unproductive eaters.” Well you are right. In 2009 I was evaluated by a physician and pronounced disabled. This came about as a result of selling mattresses, particularly Tempurpedic brand, which I sometimes had to shlep out to a customers vehicle. They are very heavy, and flop around a lot. My back was not happy about this, and I developed degenerative disk disease as a result. I am permanently disabled. I take 22.5 MG of Norco (an opiate) daily for pain. So since 2009 I’ve been collecting Social Security Disability, SNAP, and MediCal (California’s version of Medicaid). Two years later Social Security granted me Medicare.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case for most. See the more independent I’m am and able to take care of myself the more margin I have to help others. Im able to absorb the problems of people in my family and in my community. I don’t have to depend on politicians to rule in my favor. I don’t have be controlled by my employer either. I don’t need to beg for a raise. I create value and if they don’t pay me what I’m worth I go somewhere else.
See what is selfish is when people don’t delay gratification. They don’t save and invest. They spend more then they make and get into debt. They have no margin to help themselves or others.
Wages in the United States have not kept up with the cost of living. If the minimum wage today (adjusted for inflation) was equivalent to what it was when it was first instituted, we would be looking at around $25.00 per hour today. Most people don’t make $15.00 / hour let alone $25. So after they pay out the minimum in living expenses (rent, utilities, gas, insurance(s), groceries, medical/dental etc.), there is nothing left to save. There is no discretionary spending. They don’t invest or save because they cannot.
Let me ask: how much are you investing/saving?
You we’re unemployed last I knew. Are you on unemployment? If not, how are you making a living?
Then they feel controlled by their jobs cause they can’t quit or move somewhere where they will be valued. They can’t afford to rock the boat. What would happen if I lost my job?
This is why they need to Unionize.
What would happen if I have a bad credit score?
My credit score has been in the toilet pretty much since I moved out here. I filed bankruptcy back in 1995. I never really recovered though. I have no credit cards, and frankly I have found that I do not need them. I live quite nicely without all that, thank you very much.
The whole credit system is a scam. Unless you are planning on buying a house (and at my age that is very impractical anyway) there is not much need for “good credit.” The only down side is that you might have to pay more for some things. But most of the time those are things you can probably live without.
When you truly become Self sufficient you realize that life is meaningless if it is only about you and your family.
Indeed. All humans, all sentient beings are in fact ONE. It is said that we are made in the image of G-d. Like G-d then, we are one. The experience of being in many separate, diverse bodies is an illusion. We experience this only while on the earth plane. You are me. You are Aisha, you are Jordan and Jesse. You are everyone whom you have ever know, know, or will know. You are everyone that you do not know.
Because of this, individuality is an illusion. All mankind is interdependent upon one another. We are like one body, each part having a job to do for the good of the whole. Just as your heart is dependent upon your brain, so too are you dependent upon others, and by extension, others depend upon you.
By extension we are also one with G-d, and therefore we are G-d. He is one with us, and we are one with Him. There is only one. There can be no other.
“The GOOD of the MANY outweighs the GOOD of the few, or the one.” — Spock
I life well lived is one that is not just consumed with your own needs. In fact when you are empathetic and see the needs of others it is the only way to be grateful for what you have. You are content and have joy. You give because you see those with less. You also able to empower instead of enable. You know the difference between a need and necessity. You are not over compassionate and enable bad behavior.
Putting your happiness in accumulation is fleeting. It is boring and temporary. Western culture is successful because it is built on the idea of the individual. Not because it perfect. It’s just better the alternatives.
Again, you are quoting Buddhist thought, which I subscribe to.
This where you usually “sigh” but I know you dad. I know everything about your life and choices you have made. Capitalism, libertarianism, Christianity, climate change, republicans and who will be the next president is not your problem.
You are right. I do get caught up in the mundane at times. More perhaps than I care to admit.
You had the freedom to do what you wanted and things haven’t gone the way you planned and so you want a safety net.
I grok. I had planned to go to college. I had planned to become a journalist. But then I latched onto Christianity. I was convinced that Jesus was coming back in my lifetime. Specifically, I was taught that Jesus would return within 40 years of Jerusalem’s liberation. So, 40 years from June of 1967. Why go to college? Why make plans if it’s all going to end. I took a job as a janitor and bided my time. 2007 has come and gone. No Jesus. Why is that?
I was mislead and misinformed.
I get it but maybe if you would lived your life knowing there was no back up plan you would have been more careful. You had the freedom to lose but you were the most selfish if where being honest.
I forgive you and love unconditionally but that because of my relationship with God and what he is done for me.
I had other choices I didn’t take. I could have moved to Canada, where things are much much more like I would like them to be. You and your brothers might be living in Quebec now and speaking French.
Do you understand that the United States, in it’s position as the most prosperous country on the planet, is the ONLY English speaking country that has a huge and growing homeless population? (That’s not to say there are no homeless in other countries, it’s just that it’s very minimal in comparison to the US). As the most prosperous country on Earth, there is not excuse for this. As a supposed Christian nation (so they say) there is REALLY no excuse for it.
As we “progress” we will be finding that more and more jobs will be replaced by automation (AI and robots). Look at the growth of self-check out at grocery stores. Where will the workers displace by this find work? They won’t. The unemployment rate will grow higher and higher.
When I speak of Libertarianism being based upon selfishness, I am alluding to the fact that modern Libertarianism is influenced by Ayn Rand. Honestly, Christianity is totally incompatible with Libertarianism. You cannot follow Christ AND be a Libertarian. You should read some of Ayn Rand’s books before continuing on this.
Maybe you should also review Matthew 25: 31-46. Are you a sheep or a goat?
See I follow Jesus. You can’t follow Jesus and not love people. They are one In the same.
A follower of Krishna can (and does) say the same thing.
My faith filter comes before my political beliefs.
And my political beliefs are derived from my faith.
So If I get off target my moral compass Jesus puts me on track. Jesus compels me to be empathetic towards people equally.
“So If I get off target my moral compass, KRISHNA, puts me on track. KRISHNA compels me to be empathetic towards people equally.”
It also compels me to empower and not enable people.
What is the difference? I mean between empower and enable? Are they not one and the same?
We are building a kingdom in heaven.
NO! The kingdom is already built. We aren’t doing anything. Adonai has already done this. And guess what? WE ARE THE KINGDOM.
Political parties comes and go. Countries and kingdoms come and go. Presidential candidates serve for a limited time and go. Why would I invest time on things that are so temporary? Wealthy and things come and go.
Very similar, if not identical, to Buddhist thinking on this.
People who allow every aspect of their lives to be controlled by other entities don’t have any margin to help others.
Well, and I hate to point this out, but Jesus is an “other entity.” Or by entity you mean something else?
At some point you have to realize it doesn’t matter where you live.
Actually it does matter. Otherwise I would move back to Kankakee. I hate the cold, and I hate the heat. Here, on the NorthWest coast of California, the temperature never gets hotter than about 70 degrees, or colder than about 45. But, I do miss you, and the twins, and I miss seeing and interacting with my grand kids.
Me and the twins will be successful where ever we live. If we made it in Kankakee we can make anywhere. You could have lived in Canada and you would had the same results.
I believe that.
You did everything your way dad.
Honestly? I did everything your mothers way for the most part. It was really only about 1985 or so that I really started thinking for myself.
You had more opportunities and advantages then everyone else. You couldn’t have been anymore selfish. I mean I don’t want be harsh but what have you done for anyone or anybody that didn’t benefit you some how?
When I was living with you I tithed. Faithfully. Not so much to the Church (because I came to not fully trust the elders) but to various and sundry charities who were doing things I believed in. Helping the poor mostly.
Last time we talked it was the first time you sort of admitted you didn’t know everything. You need to keep going down that road.
This moral superiority is exhausting. You have always acted your a little to good to do things. Some work is just beneath you as I recall.
I was a janitor at St. Mary’s, then Riverside, for over twenty years. So I acted like I was took good? What occupation is below that of janitor?
These politicians are liars.
Especially Trump. Do you know how to tell when a politician is lying? Their lips move. Tell me something I didn’t already know.
They don’t have the solutions. Spend what time you have left on this earth reconciling with the people you have hurt. Take responsibility for the things you have done that have gotten you where you are today.
That would be about 33 years then. I expect to live to at least 100. As for the rest, I have been engaged in all of that for some time now.
Realize you have legacy in Christ regardless of what you believe that will last an eternity. Start enjoying life and stop chasing some utopia that doesn’t exist.
I think I enjoy life quite a bit. I intend to enjoy the last 33+ years of it as well. Utopia? What are you talking about? But, isn’t the Kingdom of G-d a utopia? Doesn’t it exist?
Shana Tova, my son, and Peace.