The worst thing someone can do to another person is convince them that they don't matter, that their efforts are pointless. This is called emotional slavery. A troll will say this to you every day, attempt to twist you up inside yourself. Get you to stop trying. It is the fundamental basis of evil, to give up on yourself and let yourself become a pawn of whatever forces hold power over you.
There was song I loved growing up, it says, I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do, so I leave it up to you. Tax the rich, feed the poor, til there aren't no rich no more.
That won't work to change the world. Becoming rich, however that is defined, is a primary motivator of human initiative. We feed vast numbers of poor all over the world and offer them little hope of ever being anything except poor and desperate. And because these vast numbers are a huge problem for social stability, the rulers of this world have figured out methods to keep the poor and desperate from rebelling as they did in Africa and taking the bounty of the rich who had ruled them.
Gambling is essential. It allows anybody with no skills, without working hard to become rich with the risk of a little money of the little they have. The people who run the gambling sites, gambling houses, and lotteries understand how the poor, desperate mind works. I want to change my life now, quickly, simply. I have seen it happen to others. That could be me. I have as good a chance as anybody. You have to play to win.
All of these arguments are logical in that they are true, but they are twisted. They twist society towards values that encourage destructive, personal behavior, a lack of interest in a more certain, obtainable, less glamorous future, but prevent more destructive social behavior for the status quo. Gamblers are more likely to do drugs, use prostitution, not have a religious belief system, not plan for learning opportunities, have more health problems, steal, and litter. It's an easy come-easy go mentality.
Promoting sports is essential. Sports and gambling have always gone together. Belief in one's ability to attain professional status is a gamble. So few make it. There is so much that can go wrong. But some do and they are used as examples to encourage sports participation. We like to believe that sports encourages good character, but I've seen the opposite and I think it depends very much on the sport and the ambitions of the athlete. The shelf life of a professional athlete is very short for the few who make it. The harm done to the bodies and minds of so many is great in pursuit of the dream and in the achievement. The Eagles are one of the best examples of decent men working hard to achieve a dream that I've ever seen, all of the obstacles they overcame.
Now, all enterprises are a gamble. I decided to become a successful writer ages ago. I believed in myself. I'd been told to believe in myself, as I'd been told to believe in myself as a hockey player. But there is a big difference between growing up in the 70's and being a hockey player and writing. No one had ever made it to the NHL from my area when I was playing. Not the guy who scored a hundred goals in one season. A few guys my age went to Canada to develop better skills and came back shell shocked. A few guys played in college and the game was on its way to becoming a legitimate proving ground, but it was not what it is now.
Writing is different. There have been successful writers from all over. The shelf life of a writer is like the shelf life of paper. It lasts until it crumbles. The ingredients that form a successful career are talent, but you have to meet the right people, have your work in the right place, have fortitude. I never imagined how vilified I'd be for writing a story about growing up during the Vietnam War, how really scummy the business is, how despicable some people are. I'm very innocent in a lot of ways. I trust people to do the right thing. I trust God.
It's been eye-opening to go through this process. I have learned an amazing lesson, that everybody is doing the right thing within God's plan, even the people who are trying to hurt me. Having people try to hurt me, people close to me, has shown me things about myself that I needed to change if I was ever going to become the person I wanted to be. I was twisted all up inside myself during my upbringing as a lot of people are. Untwisting all of those threads has been the reason I became a writer. There is no better way to explore ideas than through writing, through the process of writing and editing your work.
I have changed fundamentally in the last three months. It has changed my writing. It has changed my relationships. All for the better. I was so scared a month ago about how this would all turn out when I thought about all of my problems, but now, gone. How I see myself and the world is completely at peace. I still don't like people very much because they are trapped in the monkey mind, like Jeff Michka, a mind that appears debilitated by bad drugs, but as I always said, my detractors will make me a success in the end. They will be the motivators who get me to actualize my talents to their fullest, these twisted people who are only doing the will of God whether they know it or not.
Few people edit their posts here, I've noticed, but I do. I read what I wrote yesterday and realized it missed my point. I've realized that I get much more enjoyment out of writing fiction, developing characters, so I get sloppy here sometimes, let my mind run wild, like, The Yearling, and have to kill it so it doesn't cause more harm. But writerbeat is like the woods where the deer run and in being here I find ideas to forage on.
I want to make a better world. To make a better world you first have to become a better person because only in becoming a better person can you build the credibility to convince others to become better people. As my dad said, before you go out to clean up the world, clean up your own room first. Let that be a lesson to us all.