I can’t tell you how many times I have told the story. If you know me at all, you may well have heard it.
As a child, I made some decisions about what was “good food” and what was not. Some of the things I concluded were conscious, some subconscious.
When I was a teenager, I took a “full time” job as a “kitchen manager” in a pizza restaurant (though the title more or less describes that for which I was responsible, I by no means carried it “on the resumé.”).
The man for whom I worked was a foreigner to the country in which we lived at the time (as was I). He had resources (some his own, and some just a function of the place in which we resided) that allowed him to have access to a number of foodstuffs that made his pizza very good indeed.
As an example, we worked very near a Greek “grocery store and delicatessen.” That entity had black olives that were imported directly from Greece. To make things better, they were not subject to the same sort of import restrictions that are in place around much of the Globe today.
Initially, I not only disliked those olives, but I thought that I actually hated them. In the course of time, I began to understand the concept of an “acquired taste.” Ultimately, I came to the conclusion I very much liked them (probably far more than I should have).
This was one of a few experiences that set me on the road to reexamining the things I had decided were among the things I cared to eat and what not.
My willingness to try things I had written off made it so I realized there were items I had previously called “not food,” or at least not good food, thatwere between somewhat edible, and delicious.
About now, you may be wondering what this has to do with emotion and fact. Simply put, my dislikes where sustenance was concerned, were largely a matter of decisions on my part that were essentially emotional (no fact involved). I decided something wasn’t “good.” I sold myself on that “reality.” I acted in accordance with how I made myself feel.
This was not the only way in which I allowed emotion (read here, “feelings”) to rule my existence.
I was the quintessential “rebel without a cause.” So true was this that I was often a “rebel without a clue.”
Making this worse, I was (and remain to this day) excellent at arguing.
One of the important aspects of being a “directionless mercenary,” is that you’re more likely than not, to respond and react based on how you feel regardless of what’s real and true.
To make matters worse, my instincts were generally good. That means, often I would appear to be correct (or even be so) without having a solid basis for what I was supporting. That may not seem bad, but if it did nothing else problematic, it caused people to question whether it was reasonable to support the things for which I argued if they took any kind of serious look at my “logic” (or lack thereof).
I continued to act largely based on my feelings, well into my young adulthood.
The result was that I came to a series of conclusions that were sometimes correct, sometimes somewhat wong, and sometimes entirely errant. Even when I was correct though, when I made my decision or came to my conclusion based on my “gut feelings,” I was at best unable to truly support the conclusions to which I came.
This was just a part of the issue. I came to accept some things as truth that most definitely were not. For example, I thought that people were “doing me wrong” in ways they definitely weren’t. It seemed easier than accepting responsibility for who and what I had become (or refused to become).
The truth is though, because I held ideas and ideals with regard to who I was, had been, or could be, that were broken, I was wholly unable to improve myself, to make myself better.
I’m not “totally over that.” It’s a work in progress. Still, the fact that I generally no longer allow emotion to “rule my roost,” means that I can objectively evaluate my performance and act somewhat more appropriately, particularly when I find issues in what I’m doing. This makes it possible for me to accept my (obvious) culpability in my own situation. Once that happens, I can take appropriate remedial actions.
I also began to realize that I was accepting what people said as reasonable and correct, when just a little research made it clear they were lying to my face. One of the places I now find this to be quite common, is in what media (almost as a whole) and the “status quo” advance as their perspectives and agendas.
One of the few good things about my childhood is, because I grew up being contrary (arguing a lot and about not much of anything), I became able to weather the storms that come along with not thinking like everyone else.
By way of example, people tend to not be interested in befriending you, among many other things. The result of this is that, when I began to realize that many folks were telling me stories, it wasn’t too great a stretch to refuse their “sagacity,” and think for myself, resultant acts on their collective parts aside.
The next step in my journey, was to start to work to “clue others in on” what was happening in the society around them. That’s what articles like this are intended to do.
The first thing one must do if he or she wishes to take control of his or her life and mind, is to cease the assumption that others will be forthright. Too many people have “axes to grind” and grind them they will. Stop hearing what people say (even people you think you can respect and believe). Start doing “due diligence.” Start questioning the rectitude of those around you (all quarters). Begin to make a practice of assuming you must do the research.
I hope you find this advice useful.
Thanks for reading and may your time be good.