I prefer watching educational videos on YouTube more than watching television, but it’s tedious digging for good content, and I’ve already seen most of the good stuff while searching for videos to put in my blogs. In case anyone else is looking for entertaining educational videos on YouTube, I made a series of posts with all the ones I’ve used on The Wise Sloth, organized by topic, with links to the posts they appear in. You’re bound to be enlightentained, and if you need help exploring the 600+ essays on The Wise Sloth, these video lists offer a quick overview that practically summarize my philosophies.
Modern Western culture is obsessed with leadership and authority. It’s shoved in your face from the time you’re born. Parents have godlike legal powers over their children, and schools have almost as much control over the movements and behavior of students as prisons have over prisoners. Going through school the brightest students are sent to leadership clubs, courses, and conventions. Businesses force employees to sign contracts that bind them to submit to the authority of their employer as if their employer were their king. Inside and outside of your home, school, and workplace your government forces you to obey laws written at the whim of politicians and enforced by police and military personnel. Every government’s public relations departments encourage its citizens to have faith in their political leaders and to believe that questioning your leaders is a sign of lack of respect for everything your country stands for.
If you don’t fall in line and obey your leaders you’ll be told that you “have a problem with authority” as if that were a sign of weakness and immaturity on your part. That point of view overlooks the fact that, from a cosmic perspective, all people were created equal. You’re not equal once you reach 18, get married, get a degree, get commissioned or elected. Everyone is always completely equal. There’s no way to earn the right to demand unquestioning obedience and reverence from other people with less age, or social, economic or political credentials than you. You can demand unquestioning obedience from other human beings, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to. That just means you’ve chosen to treat other people like a second class citizen to you. You can come up with all sorts of reasons to justify your actions that sound good on paper, but in the end, you’re justifying the unethical subjugation of your equals.
Granted, parents have a responsibility to raise their children to their full potential, and this requires discipline. School teachers have to maintain good order in classrooms in order to facilitate learning. Police have to maintain order on the streets, and politicians have to set boundaries for everyone within their jurisdiction. Life has to have rules because good rules are nothing more than good advice for how to fulfill your potential, and when an entire population follows those best practices, then society as a whole is able to accomplish greater things.
The thing about rules is that they were created by humans to help humans. Humans were not created by a dogmatic authority figure to follow rules. When a rule is illogical and counterproductive it negates its purpose for existing. Also, rules don’t draw their validity from the authority figure who wrote them. When a king, elected politician, police officer, teacher or parent tell another human being that they have to obey and respect their authority simply because they’ve been imbued with the right to control another human being they’re really just forcing you into submission to serve their own purposes. When an authority figure’s rules or orders are illogical, then the source of their authority is negated.
When an entire population mindlessly kneels before their self-proclaimed leaders they create a culture of servitude which undermines their own ability and responsibility to fulfill their individual potential. Plus, the next generation of humans who will grow up in this culture will assume that willful subservience is the norm. So they’ll mimic their elders’ beliefs and behaviors and pass them onto the next generation. In the process, they’ll also spoil their leaders into thinking that their ability to control others equates to their right to. This arrogance will inevitably blind them and cause them to behave irrationally, and since they’re steering society they’ll steer society in a counterproductive direction.
Celebrating and revering other human beings’ authority over you is equivalent to celebrating your own subjugation, and celebrating your own subjugation is immature and irresponsible because it limits your (and society’s) ability to fulfill your potential. It would be illogical and counterproductive to will that everyone should obey their self-proclaimed masters.You simply can’t make a categorical imperative out of this behavior
On the flip side, if nobody follows any rules then society will devolve into chaos, but that doesn’t mean that you have to choose between being a mindless slave or a marauding bandit. Just rules are based on just reason. The most utopian individuals are the most reasonable individuals, and the most utopian societies are based on reason. You have an obligation to think and behave reasonably regardless of what anyone else insists is reasonable. History has taught us that authority figures aren’t perfect. Despite their credentials, and because of the arrogance they tend to draw from their credentials, they can act as irrationally as anyone else. Mindlessly obeying them is like giving a monkey a gun. Every tyrannical dictator who ever has and ever will set the world back was and will be held aloft by legions of faithful supporters who equate obedience with maturity. Tyranny cannot exist unless good men follow orders. So if you don’t have a problem with authority then you are the problem.
Look, there’s something that everyone who knows you wants to tell you, but they don’t know how to say it, and frankly, they’re a little afraid to because they know how you would react to hearing it. What they want to tell you is that you’re an asshole. There’s no simpler or kinder way of putting it, but that’s what you are. And that’s not meant as an insult. This is constructive criticism, tough love. Look, there’s a lot about you that we like. That’s why we tolerate the behavior that makes you an asshole. We want you around. We just want you to stop being such an asshole all the time. We want to help you grow so that we can all have a better time together. But in order for that to happen, you need to stop being an asshole. And I hate to pull the guilt trip card, but if you really cared about us you would want to get your head straight out of respect for us so that we don’t have to live with an asshole.
Here’s what I mean when I say you’re being an asshole. Basically, it all stems from the fact that you only think about yourself. You’re so focused on the importance of your own wants that you walk all over those around you like a marauding zombie oblivious to the path of destruction you leave behind you everywhere you go. You may or may not realize it, but you’re prone to treating others with a lack of respect. This means you must not understand how important people are, because if you understood how important they are, you wouldn’t treat them the way you do. So before the night is over you should read these blogs that explain the concept your parents must have never taught you:
It’s not hard to treat people well. All you have to do is look at things from other people’s point of view. When you’re standing around talking to people and milling about, stop and look at the people around you. Think about how your actions affect them. Imagine different possibilities of ways you could behave that would make everybody’s lives better.
When you start to do something that you know is going to hurt or inconvenience them, stop and ask yourself what your justification is. Whatever your justification is, I can guarantee it’s wrong. Nobody deserves to be yelled at, belittled, intimidated, screwed over, beaten or killed. I mean, look at you. You’re an asshole. You lower the quality of life for most of the people around you. Should you be yelled at, beaten or killed? No. As many vendettas as people could rightfully claim against you, nobody wants that. We want you to grow. We’d rather you learn from your mistakes than for us to have to punish you for them. The only reason we would punish you anyway is to teach you a lesson. Nobody has to get blood on their hands if you would just realize what an asshole you are and fix that.
You need to look at others the same way. You don’t need to go through life being an asshole to other people. You don’t have to be mean to get what you want. You don’t have to hurt others to get what you want, and you can go out of your way for other people without being rewarded for it and still be happy. In fact, the better you treat others the better you’ll feel about yourself and the happier you’ll be.
Look, I don’t know what happened to you in your past that made you be such an asshole. I’m sure somewhere down the line someone was an asshole to you. Or maybe someone passively neglected your needs the way you neglect others’ today. If you’re in pain then you have everyone’s sympathy. It’s understandable if you’re lashing out at the world out of fear and anger at the things that have happened to you. It’s understandable if nobody ever taught you how to act respectfully towards others. If people knew your whole story, they’d sympathize with you instead of resenting you. They’d understand that you’re not a bad person. You’re just a hurt person.
Or maybe the problem isn’t that you had an unfair life. Maybe the problem is you were pampered and spoiled growing up. If that’s the case you’re still a victim because your life of privilege has crippled you. Your arrogance and sense of entitlement deserve our sympathy, not the resentment we feel towards you.
At any rate, even if we could find the exact excuse that explains your behavior an excuse is not a justification. You can’t keep treating people like they’re less important than you. Your actions are your responsibility, and if you’re old enough to read this then you’re old enough to accept responsibility for your actions.
Nobody expects you to have a religious conversion right here and now. Just spend some time alone in a place you feel comfortable and do some serious soul-searching. Put your ego aside and question yourself objectively. Ask yourself what’s wrong with you instead of waiting for someone else to tell you. Once you figure that out then figure out a reason and a way to fix those flaws. When you’re ready to listen to other people ask them to tell you what they wish you would fix about yourself. When they tell you don’t argue with them. Don’t say a word except to ask for clarification and elaboration. No matter what they say or how off base or rude they are, when they’re done talking say, “Thank you for telling me how you feel.” Then walk away and think about what they said.
If you disagree with anything they said, have the wisdom and humility to assume they might be right. The reason you’re an asshole is because you’ve got something figured out wrong. So when other people tell you that you’re wrong about something, there’s a good chance there’s some truth to what they’re telling you. The point of discussing your flaws isn’t to win an argument. The point is to arrive at truth. Your way of arguing has a history of ending in violence. So you need to learn how to argue effectively before you have another argument. If you can’t take criticism without getting angry at the person in front of you then ask your friends and family to write you a letter explaining why you’re an asshole and what you can do to fix it. When you read those letters, read for truth.
Look, I’m sorry I had to call you an asshole, but you needed to hear it. Now that you’ve heard it you need to face the fact that it’s true and man up and fix that not just for our sake but for your own. And don’t beat yourself up over this, and don’t get mad at the person who sent you this. Take it like an adult. Use it, and move forward so we can all get back to making the most out of our lives. Thank you for listening.
Every culture on earth teaches its young that it’s virtuous to place certain people above them. We’re supposed to call our parents, elders, the police, teachers and bosses “sir” and “ma’am.” We’re supposed to address judges and politicians as “your honorable” or “the honorable.” We’re supposed to address anyone with a doctorate degree as “doctor.” We’re even supposed to call priests “father.” Aside from using titles to distinguish these people as being superior to us, we were taught not to talk back to them and obey them without question. Some languages even have formal speech patterns lower ranking members of society are supposed to use when talking to higher ranking members.
We’re told we’re supposed to subjugate ourselves to our superiors out of respect, but that justification ignores several profound truths. Firstly, we were all created equal. We have equal value and deserve equal respect because the value of a human life isn’t determined by social status; it’s determined entirely by the fact that we’re alive. We can believe in equality, but that belief is meaningless if we’re not all treated equally.
Even if higher ranking members of society have accomplished something in their lives worth bragging about, that doesn’t mean that everyone else has done something wrong by being born later, poorer, or less academically inclined. One person’s success in life isn’t someone else’s failure and doesn’t indebt others to them.
The people who enjoy the privilege of titles will insist there’s nothing sinister about expecting others to treat them with respect, but that claim is proven false by what happens if you don’t subjugate yourself to them: you get punished.
The best example of this is the power dynamic between military officers and enlisted troops. Enlisted troops are told to salute officers out of respect, but if they don’t then they get punished. They’ll keep getting punished until they conform to the rules or get kicked out of the military with a bad conduct discharge that will keep them from getting a good job for the rest of their lives. So enlisted troops can salute officers out of respect if they want, but they have to salute them out of fear.
Anyone who threatens to punish you for not massaging their ego is placing you beneath them, which is disrespectful to you and disregards your equal status to them in the eyes of God and the cosmic perspective.
Military and civilian leaders alike will defend their actions and expectations by asserting that forced respect is necessary to instill discipline, maturity and good order in society. Every cult leader and dictator in history will agree that it’s necessary to convince the lower ranking majority of society that blind respect for their superiors is necessary to ensure good order, but their idea of good order is being worshipped and served like gods forever by the toiling masses who will never have any real hope of upward mobility.
No honest psychologist would argue that wilful self-subjugation is a vital step towards self-actualization. It is a long-established fact that forced respect is a step towards battered person syndrome though.
Enthusiastically subjugating yourself to anyone isn’t a sign of maturity. It’s a sign of captivity. It doesn’t make you into a better person. It makes you into a servile person, and the more you practice it the more you normalize subservience in your mind until you take it for granted. Then, at the end of your life, you won’t be able to turn around and realize it was never preparing you for your turn at being a leader. It was just indoctrinating you into spending your life serving others. And an entire society that thinks this way isn’t progressing towards an enlightened utopia; it’s regressing into a stratified dystopian society where the powerful and privileged exploit everyone else.
1. It reflects a lack of understanding of reality.
It doesn’t matter how much you know, how clever you can think, how successful you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve experienced… you don’t know anything about anything. You don’t know what set the universe in motion. You don’t know what all has been happening for the past 4.7 billion years or where the atoms in your body have been in that time. You don’t know the meaning of life or the secret to creating it. You don’t know how backward your culture is. You don’t know what the leaders of the world are doing. You don’t know what anyone else in the world is thinking. You don’t know how all the technology you use every day works, and there are places in this world you wouldn’t survive a day in. You might have mastered a skill, but you’re only good at a handful of them. There are libraries full of things you don’t know. If you walk around congratulating yourself for how smart you are then you have a flawed perception of reality. Your perception of yourself obviously doesn’t take into account the fact that you don’t know shit about shit.
2. Conceit is obvious, and others will look down on you for it.
While you go around viewing yourself as a golden god everyone around you will view you as a fool, and they won’t want to get close to you or do things for or with you. Not only will they look down on you for overestimating your importance, but they’ll look down on you for being too thick to realize that everyone thinks you’re a fool.
3. Conceit is a waste of time.
Being conceited requires you dedicate a certain percentage of your brain power to thinking about how great you are and analyzing how inferior other people are to you. This takes time, and you only have so much time each day to think about who and what you are, where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to do. In between all that you also have to think about how to navigate your way through your daily routine, and at some point you need to take a break from thinking and just enjoy the experience of being here now. If you want to make the most out of your life you need to use your thinking time wisely, and thinking about how much better than everyone else you are is a waste of time. The cost/benefit analysis doesn’t add up. Sure, you get a warm, fuzzy feeling out of it, but it’s a sadistic, short-sighted pleasure. There are greater pleasures in the universe, and there’s more important work that needs to be done for the sake of humanity than patting yourself on the back all day.
If you really did something worth patting yourself on the back for you accomplished it not by thinking about how great you are but by applying your mind to the task in front of you. If you did that and accomplished something great, and now you’re patting yourself on the back about it all day, then you’re not applying your mind to doing more great stuff. If you’re not moving forward then you’re stagnating and regressing. That will still happen even in an ivory tower.
4. Conceited people are untrustworthy.
You might be a well-credentialed, professionally successful person, but if you’re so conceited that it shows then that says something about the way you look at life. That says something about how you treat people. The only way to get conceited is to obsess over yourself. Anyone who is conceited is the center of their own universe. You can bet that people like that will almost always put their wants and needs before anyone else’s.
There are about 7 billion people in the world, and there’s more on the way. You only have a short amount of time to find the best people out there to spend your fleeting, irreplaceable life with. Conceited people don’t have what it takes to become true best friends. So as soon as you see someone with their nose up in the air, write them off. They’re not the friend or ally you’re looking for, and if you do end up tangling your lives together then don’t be surprised when it turns out you can’t count on a conceited fool to get your back when you’re in a tight spot.
5. You end up hating yourself with the same level of intensity as you love yourself.
Conceit stems from self-obsession. Your narrow mindedness might blind you to a lot of your flaws, but eventually, you’re going to fail to live up to your own unrealistically high expectations, and you’re going to know it. And since you’re so obsessed with your perfection, and you’re so hard on others who fail to live up to those standards, you’re inevitably going to treat yourself the same way. Conceited people beat themselves up worse than anyone. So anytime you see someone making a spectacle out of patting themself on the back, you can be sure their other arm is secretly stabbing their self in the chest. That obsessive self-abuse isn’t mature, responsible or laudable.
Beating yourself up is irresponsible because it has negative real-world consequences. Making the most out of your life requires good mental health. You have to be able to think straight and approach life’s challenges with confidence and concentration. As you overcome bigger and bigger challenges you need to keep the presence of mind to enjoy life along the way. Riding an emotional roller coaster where you praise yourself blind and then beat yourself up can only hold you back from fulfilling your potential.
The more you beat yourself up the worse you’re going to feel awful, which is a travesty in and of itself, but long-term anxiety will yield a whole new batch of psychological problems. Conceit is like a drug. It makes you feel good for a little bit, but if you do it too much you risk losing yourself in a downward spiral of misery. So if you ever catch yourself being conceited, stop yourself.
It’s impossible to overstate how important knowledge is. The sum of your knowledge shapes your personality and abilities. So having an encyclopedic amount of knowledge in your brain will truly make you a stronger, more complete person. However, being smart doesn’t warrant being conceited, because being conceited about your intelligence is shortsighted and illogical on multiple levels.
There’s more to know about life than your brain is capable of comprehending. Bragging about being the smartest person in the room is like an ant bragging about being the smartest ant in the hive. All it proves is how little you really understand about life.
Even if you know that you don’t know everything, you may still be tempted to feel better than other people if you’re the foremost expert in your field, but that just means you’re great at one or a few things. Most people are really good at one or two things, and everybody knows about all sorts of things that you never will. Being really good at something doesn’t make you any better than anyone else. All it proves is that you’re doing something while you’re alive, and you were supposed to be doing something anyway. So bragging about knowing something is jerking yourself off for doing the mandatory minimum.
By all means, strive to become a genius. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing, but how far you’ve walked your path doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. The person next to you is just another animated pile of stardust, on their own, private quest to figure out what the heck they’re doing here. If you’re smart enough to understand the value of life you wouldn’t place others beneath you because of their IQ level. You would treat everyone with the full respect and appreciation that a living, breathing, conscious animated pile of start dust deserves.
2: By how less smart you are than everyone else
If you’re not academically inclined, don’t judge yourself contemptibly. You don’t have to be as smart as anyone else to justify your existence. Your worth is not determined by your test scores or anyone else’s. The value of your existence stems from the fact that you’re in a unique position in all of space and time to do something that nobody else can do: become you. You don’t need to match other people’s success. You just need to find what interests you and learn what you can about it for your own personal sake.
3: By the size of your bank account
Money has no inherent worth. It’s a symbolic medium of exchange that represents whatever it can be traded for, which is almost everything. Since money is so powerful, the more of it you have, the more people will love, forgive, respect, worship, fear and obey you. If you have enough money to effectively wield the power of a demigod, and people are always treating you like one, eventually you might start identifying as one.
If you don’t have any money, and you have to work like a slave for a rich boss who treats you like a subhuman creature, you might start to feel like a subhuman creature. If you spend long enough unable to afford good food, housing, clothes, transportation or leisure, eventually you may forget or just stop believing that life could be any other way. After you get used to living like a subhuman, you might start to identify as a subhuman.
These assumptions are shortsighted though, because while money affects what you can do in a monetary economy, it doesn’t affect what you inherently, fundamentally are, because what you are, is a mind with a body that grew out of an inexplicable spinning wad of atoms. You’re a phenomenal cosmic miracle mystery, the existence of which raises profound questions and possibilities. The root of your value extends all the way back to before the big ban, but money is just dust in the wind.
While having money/debt can’t define what you are, what you do with it does. Your spending habits are your choices. They’re based on your values and are indicative of your prime prerogative. If you choose to spend your life jerking yourself off over how much money you have and hoarding overpriced designer widgets, instead of solving the world’s problems, you’re going to look like a fool to whatever created you. If you do choose to use your money to solve the fundamental problems facing humanity, there’s no telling how far your actions will echo.
4: By how much power you have over other people
If you live long enough, you’re going to find yourself in a position of authority over someone else. You’ll have the power to inflict real-world consequences on that person if they don’t obey you, and you’ll be able to point to real-world reasons why your authority is justified. The longer you spend in a position of authority and the more authority you have, the more you’ll get used to it. Eventually, your brain will just take the social hierarchy you and everyone else lives by for granted. If/when that happens, you’re likely to assume that you really do deserve power over people… and that the people beneath you deserve to be controlled by you.
The fact that one person can control another has no bearing on the intrinsic worth of either person. We’re all equal. Our ancestors just taught our elders to teach us customs that stratify humanity into tiers where certain people have control over other people’s lives. These customs don’t reflect the intrinsic nature of reality. They’re just the rules of a game that people made up. Authority is a social contract between equal beings deserving of equal respect.
5: By how much power other people have over you
If you live long enough, eventually you’ll find yourself at the bottom of a pyramid-shaped authority structure. Often times the people with power over you will force you to perform gestures of subservience to them like bowing, saluting, addressing them as “Mr.,” “Mr.” “Sir,” “Ma’am,” “Your Honor,” etc. If you get used to treating other people like they’re a higher form of life than you, then eventually you’re likely to start believing it, which is why these customs were created in the first place, to subjugate the subjugate-able. When your superiors have the authority and resources to threaten, punish and control you, it seems all the more real that they’re more than you. But like I said in the previous section, the power structures around you are made up. Your position in society doesn’t define your intrinsic worth.
Make no mistake though, you can’t just go around telling your parents, bosses, and police that their authority is a fraudulent pyramid scheme, and you don’t have to obey them. If you do that they’ll draw on the real world resources available to them to punish you in a very real way. And sometimes they should for your own good. So, sure, fight the system if it’s doing more harm to you than good, but understand that you have to play by the rules to survive. Just try not to let it get you down. You’re worth more than your superiors say you are, and they’re not worth as much as they think they are.
6: By your beauty or lack thereof
Beauty isn’t a force of nature woven into the fabric of the universe like gravity, space or light. It’s an idea that exists nowhere else in the universe except the neurons of animals’ brains. It’s not even an original idea. It’s an instinct that was preprogrammed in our brains as a rote survival mechanism. So, on a lot of levels, when we look at something in awe, lust or disgust, it’s nothing personal. You shouldn’t be too flattered or offended by preprogrammed knee-jerk selfish reactions that happen in the brains of tiny animals.
Tiny animals we may be, but we’re still important. If you cut the integumentary system off of a human and look at what’s under our skin, you’ll see a machine so complex it defies all explanation. The design of the human body is as complex as the design of the solar system we live in. Your body is a force of nature strong enough to conquer light and gravity, which in my opinion makes you worth more than a star, more than a galaxy.
On the cosmic scale of things, it’s a non-event if someone (including you) likes or dislikes the way your integumentary system looks. Your base worth is already infinitely valuable. So anyone’s opinion of your is already irrelevant.
Granted, it’s hard to stay optimistic when people call you ugly names and treat you like you’re worth less than them. All I can say is, try to keep in perspective what’s happening and what’s truly important. All that really matters is that you achieve your life goals. That’s how you earn a more personally meaningful life. People’s opinion of you is just one rote side-detail you pass by on the highway of life that leads to your dreams.
7: By your age or lack thereof
The fact that you just happened to be born before or after someone else has no bearing on the intrinsic value of either person. Being old may give you authority/responsibility over younger people, but that has no bearing on the intrinsic value of either person either. Your personal experiences/accomplishments have no bearing on anyone else’s life other than your own. Nobody owes you anything just because you were born before them and did stuff while you were around. You don’t owe anyone older than you any more honors than they owe you. We’re all equals on different stages of the same journey. There’s simply no sane reason to conclude that the chronological stage of one’s journey has any positive or negative effect on the worth of a separate being.
Without comparing yourself to others, you might still judge yourself for being too young or too old. If you do, you might want to take a camping trip and rethink how you define your self-worth. People are like trees. Young and old trees don’t suck more than adult trees. They’re all just trees that, when placed next to each other make a beautiful forest. Granted, it’s hard to be so optimistic when you’re getting spanked by your parent or staring at the wall of a retirement home thinking about how you don’t have any time, friends, family, money or energy left. The truth is, sometimes life sucks. That’s the cost of living. Luckily, your comfort level isn’t synonymous with the value of your life.
8: By your success
Being successful is useful, and you should feel proud of your accomplishments. However, having success doesn’t change what you are any more than having money, beauty or authority does for all the same reasons. Success isn’t a force of nature. It’s a perception that doesn’t exist anywhere else except in your mind, and your idea of success is different from everyone else’s. So if you believe you’re successful, it’s only because you’ve achieved your personal goals. That doesn’t mean you’re worth more than the day you were born or that you’re worth more than anyone else who hasn’t achieved what you’ve achieved.
It’s easy to view your failures as proof that you’re incapable, inferior, defective, and worthless. But again, this is just your perception. The goals you’re failing to achieve may not even be important, and you might be beating yourself up for failing to live a counterproductive lifestyle.
Any goal you want to achieve requires mastery of some skill, and the only way to hone a skill is by practicing. Only by doing things wrong can you learn how to do them right. There’s really no such thing as failure. There’s only the learning process. So if you’re failing at something, that means you’re on the path to mastery. Granted, it might not feel like you’re mastering anything if say, your marriage fails and you lose your house, but your tragedy will teach you lessons that could have prevented your loss if you’d known them earlier. Look, no sports team gets to win every game, but the only way to win after a loss is to keep playing and apply the lessons that cost you so dearly to learn.
Suppose you did screw up big once or twice or a thousand times, and you learned all the lessons you should have from those mistakes… but you still feel guilty for screwing up so bad in the first place at all. If that’s the case, your heart is in the right place, but your perception is shortsighted. You wouldn’t have made the mistakes you made then if you knew the things you knew now. Since you didn’t know the things you know now, there’s no way you could have made the right decisions then. You hadn’t experienced enough of life to know the right thing to do, and the only way you were ever going to learn about life is by experiencing it unprepared. Sure, if you screwed up, then on some level, that’s bad or else it wouldn’t need to be corrected, but on the cosmic scale of things, failure is growth.
10: By how much you’re mistreated
The subconscious processes in your brain tend to associate the way you’re treated with your self-image. That’s just human nature. Maybe it’s a design flaw, or maybe there’s a higher purpose. We don’t know. However, we do know that if you take a pair of identical twin babies and raise one in an abusive house and another in a loving house, the one in the loving house will grow up with higher self-esteem. So the difference isn’t the individual, it’s the environment.
You can only base your perception of reality on what you’ve learned from your environment, but even though you’re a product of your environment, you’re more than that. You have the capacity to consciously build on what you’ve learned. So if a lifetime of abuse has left you feeling depressed, you should see a mental health professional and learn the facts of life that weren’t handed to you by the people you ended up surrounded by. One of the things a mental health professional will likely teach you is that when people are abusive, they’re usually just projecting their own fears, traumas, stresses and negative self-image. In other words, people don’t treat you according to who you are. They treat you according to who they perceive you to be, which is a shadow of who they see themselves to be.
11: By what ancient mythology says you’re worth
Humans have invented thousands of religions, but none of them pass every test for truth. They all contain scientifically inaccurate claims, speculation, contradictions, absurdities and moral values that reflect the cultures that produced them. There isn’t one single religion that humans could rediscover and recreate exactly the way it was originally written because they’re all based on the personal experiences, values, prejudices, misunderstandings, and speculations of the original authors.
Every religion humans have ever created contain enough evidence to fit the definition of mythology. Sometimes mythologies teach us that God loves us, but they tend to also teach us that we don’t deserve to be loved by God. They tend to teach that we’re sinners who need to atone for our evil ways. Often times they teach us that humans can be divided into the righteous and the wicked or the high caste and the low caste. These claims can’t be backed up with empirical evidence. They’re just ideas created by people who don’t understand their place in the universe. I’m not saying that I understand our place in the universe, but I do know that you shouldn’t base your self-worth on any belief system which passes the mythology test.
From this data alone we can deduce that not all women want a 12-inch-long, 6-inch-wide penis fully inserted in their vagina. Petite girls under 5 feet tall (with proportionately sized vaginas) couldn’t take a 12-inch penis inside them. It would literally tear them apart. A 12-inch penis wouldn’t even fit all the way into an average sized woman’s vagina, and cramming it in as far as possible would stretch her out so much it would physically damage her body. Far from being pleasurable, it would be unbearably painful.
If it’s important for a girl to be “filled up,” then the average sized penis is well suited for the average-sized vagina. This is one of those cases in life when average isn’t mediocre; average is statistically ideal. However, on the Bell Curve of sexual cravings, there are a minority of women who prefer above-average sized penises, and there are also women who prefer (and even need) below average-sized penises. Any man with a below average sized penis should consider dating petite girls whose vagina will need a smaller penis.
To this, some men might say, “Wouldn’t a petite girl still prefer an average sized penis since that would be large to them? After all, don’t all women like to be stretched out as much as possible since more is always better?”
The answer to that question is, “not necessarily.” A little stretching can feel good. A lot of stretching usually hurts. Stretching any bodily tissue past its normal limits hurts, especially tissue as sensitive as our all-important sexual organs. If you don’t believe me then ask every woman you know if she’d rather have a penis inside of her that’s a little too big or a little too small for her. Most women would be relieved to have a penis inside them that’s too small if the alternative is to have to endure taking in a penis that is too big.
To this, some men might say, “I don’t believe that, because I’ve been to porn stores, and I’ve seen the massive dildos they sell. I even know women who own and use a dildo the size of a fist. If women didn’t want the biggest penis as possible inside them then why do women buy dildos that big?”
Nobody who has ever worked at a porn store would ask that question. I speak from experience, and I’m not the only member of my family who has worked at a porn store. I can tell you porn stores sell very few dildos the size of a human forearm, and most of the ones they do sell are bought by gay men or frat boys. Take a closer look at the dildos and vibrators for sale at any erotic novelty store, and you’ll see they come in all shapes and sizes, some even as small as a pinky finger. Yeah, some women would literally pay to have something the size of a human pinky finger inserted into their vagina. Think about that.
If you look closer at the sex toys women pay money for, you’ll also notice a lot of them aren’t even designed to be inserted into the vagina at all. They’re designed to stimulate the clitoris, a pencil eraser-sized bump just above the opening of the vagina that contains more pleasure nerve endings than a man’s entire penis. Think about that. The ultimate pleasure device doesn’t even require a penis to operate. If you’ve ever wondered how lesbians can live without dick, that’s how. In fact, most women can’t achieve an orgasm through PIV sex alone. Most women literally can’t have an orgasm unless their clitoris is stimulated. So any man who is more obsessed with the size of his penis than how good he is at going down on a woman doesn’t understand women or their vaginas.
Technique may be more important to women than size, but meaning is more important than technique. Very few women would turn down the opportunity to have sex with a really great, confident, sweet, funny, strong, successful guy whose penis is smaller than her dildo. In fact, there are millions, if not billions, of women out there who own dildos and are married and totally committed to men whose penises are smaller than their dildos, and those women prefer having their husband’s penis inside them over their larger dildo because, again, sex is about more than penis size. To this, some men may ask, “But if they prefer their husband’s smaller penis then why do they own big dildos at all?”
The answer is because size is a novelty; it’s not the point. If a man bought a pocket pussy he might choose one a little looser or tighter than his lover’s actual vagina, but that has zero bearing on what he thinks about the size of his lover’s vagina, how he feels about her as a person, how badly he wants to fuck her or stay with her for the rest of his life. The same is equally, if not more true for women and their dildos. Sure, using a large vibrating dildo with a clitoral stimulator can be fun, but a dildo is just a piece of plastic. It can’t hold you. It can’t whisper compliments in your ear. It can’t make you feel like the only woman in the world. It can’t sweep you off your feet and offer you a lifetime of love and security. A man with a big cock and a cold heart is worth about as much to a woman as a dildo.
If the thing women wanted most out of sex was to have their genitals stimulated until they blow their load, they could just walk into any gym at any time and walk out with some big stud to have noncommittal sex with, but women don’t do that. They bide their time and choose their sexual partners based on much more than just the size of a man’s organs. What women want most out of sex most of the time is the emotional connection to the person they’re having sex with. They’re in it more for the total mind/body life experience, not the base physical chore of genital rubbing. They measure the quality of a sexual encounter more on whether or not a man can make them feel special than whether or not he works their pussy like a champ. Granted, if he can work their pussy like a champ also then so much the better, but if a women had to choose she’d usually choose emotional pleasure over physical pleasure. At any rate, working a pussy like a champ can be learned and has little to do with dick size. If you’re obsessed with your sexual prowess enough to study how to work a pussy like a champ, you should be more obsessed with how to make a woman glow emotionally, because, again, women are more obsessed with that then having their pussy worked like a champ.
Granted, if a woman found a genie lamp on a beach, and the genie offered to create the perfect man for her unconditionally, there’s a good chance she’d wish for a man with a better body than you have, dick and all. But to be fair, if a man found a genie lamp on a beach, and the genie offered to create the perfect woman for him, he’d probably choose to create a woman with an unrealistically beautiful body. If women are selfish, greedy size queens for wanting a hefty cock inside of them then men are selfish, greedy ass holes for wanting a busty petite beauty queen underneath them. But in reality, nobody is a bad person for being sexually attracted to sexually attractive people.
And in reality, most people will never get to have sex with or marry someone who fits their ideal sexual fantasy anyway. We have to settle for a real person, but we don’t resent the flaws of the people we love. We accept and celebrate them for everything they are. If someone can’t accept you and love you for who you are then you shouldn’t be with that person. If you can’t accept and love yourself for who you are then you won’t make a good partner for anyone.
Sometimes women do insult men’s penis sizes, but if a woman ever insults your penis it’s probably not because the size of your penis is so important to her; it’s more likely because she’s mad at you for something else and is just saying what she knows will hurt you because she knows how important your penis size is to you. If she’s genuinely judgmental and cruel about the size of your penis, the problem still isn’t the size of your penis. The problem is that she’s a petty, shallow human being whose petty, shallow opinions aren’t worth taking seriously.
In the end, neither God nor good women measure the value of a man’s life by the size of his penis. Penis size is more or less an incidental detail, and whatever pleasure (if any) is lost in sex by having a small penis can be more than made up for by giving a woman all the other things that are more important to her.
Part of growing up is struggling with confidence and the temptation to act fake to impress people. The benefits of being fake are obvious and endless. It can get you laid, make and keep friends, get you a job, a promotion, a higher social status, awards, and fame. But at the same time, being fake has hidden costs.
The highest cost is that it defeats the purpose of life. You’re here to be you. If you’re not going to be you then there’s little point for you to be here; you’re just killing time until you die. In order to truly live and love you need to be yourself. When you behave genuinely you express and grow your identity, and that’s important. That’s life. Even if you get friends and riches from being fake, it’s a hollow victory. It’s winning a battle but losing the war.
Even if people smile to your face and swear they like you, there’s a very good chance that they’ll be lying to you as much as you’re lying to them. People don’t like fake people, and people are experts at spotting fakeness. Even if they want you to be fake to them, and even if they demand that you be fake to them, they’ll always know you as a fake. Even if they genuinely like you in certain ways, they’ll always know you’re a fake, and they won’t be able to respect you as much as they would otherwise.
Even if you make enemies by being yourself, you’ll still have a certain amount of your enemy’s respect because you had the integrity to stand up for yourself and stand for something in the life. Even if they don’t respect you, you can respect yourself, and that’s all that really matters. Everyone takes their self-respect to the grave individually. When we’re dead it doesn’t matter what anyone else thought about us. We go to eternity as individuals, and all we take with us is with us is who we are.
Having said that, there are deeply rewarding social benefits to be gained from being honest and genuine, even if that means closing a few doors and burning a few bridges in the process. If you’re honest with other people, then they’re more likely to be honest with you. Everybody’s exhausted by the pretending game, and it’s a relief to talk to a genuine person you don’t have to wear your heavy glass mask around.
When two people’s relationship is defined by mutual dishonesty, then all they’re really doing is using each other to see what they can get from each other. The people you’re dishonest with are effectively tools to you, but when you’re honest with people and they’re honest with you then can truly experience each other’s company. What more could you ask from life than getting to experience the inner warmth and beauty of the people around you? Those are the experiences you cherish most, but you won’t get those by being fake.
Still, nobody wants to look back on their life and see conflict. If you’re genuine with people, eventually someone is going to disagree with you and pull your card. They’re going to test you, and if you don’t tell them what they want to hear they’re going to want to punish you. Sometimes it’s smart to tell a maniac what they want to hear even if you don’t mean it, but in everyday life standing up for yourself will usually just mean that somebody barks at you and then won’t hang around you anymore. It’s a shame that you two human beings couldn’t get along and enjoy experiencing each other’s unique perspective, but that was inevitable.
Regardless of whether or not you’re fake or genuine, there was always going to be a certain percentage of the people you meet in life who were never going to like you, and frankly, they’re doing you a favor by not liking you. There are over six billion people in the world, and most of them have incompatible interests. There’s a very small percentage of the people in the world who have all the right interests, attributes, beliefs, personalities, values, attitudes and skills that click euphorically with yours. Sure, you’ll get along with people from all walks of life, but most of them will bore you. You’ll only meet a few people cut from the same cloth as you who you instantly hit it off with and become soul mates with. You have a very short life to find these potential soul mates and build a lifetime of experiences together before you take your history to the grave forever. You don’t have any time to waste. If somebody gets pissed off at you for being yourself, then you can wish them the best of luck as they fuck off and not waste any more of your precious time.
Before you can meet people whose souls are compatible with yours, you have to become yourself. The only way to become yourself is by being yourself. It takes a lot of mistakes and a lot of practice. Every second you spend not being yourself is time eternally and irrevocably lost that could have been spent becoming more you. Every second you waste is another second that you risk not meeting and clicking with a potential soul mate. This is unfortunate for you and your potential friends and family.
In 1987 I was seven years old. I had just moved from Pleasanton, Texas (population 8,000) to Paris, Texas (population 25,000) and was starting the first grade. Like any child, I was anxious about making friends and succeeding at my first year of school and life in general.
I didn’t have a very complicated personality at that age. I was so shy that my parents had to send me to speech therapy at an earlier age because I never spoke. It’s not that I couldn’t. I just let my identical twin brother do all the talking for me. He understood me. So he translated for the adults until they caught on to what we were doing and put a stop to it.
I was also trusting to a fault and vividly insecure. Despite my anxieties, I didn’t have a hard time integrating into my new environment because children enjoy meeting new children. So it wasn’t long before I was on a first name basis with a third of the kids on the playground, and I even had my own best friend, a swell kid named Robert who lived within walking distance of my house.
I’d been in first grade for almost a semester, and Christmas break was coming up. One day Robert and I were walking aimlessly around the perimeter of the playground at school after lunch talking about all things Christmas. At some point in the conversation I said one of the things I liked best about Christmas was that stores sold eggnog, and I love eggnog. Robert looked at me like he was a Ku Klux Klan member, and I just told him I was a gay black atheist.
Wide-eyed and with a tone of voice full of accusation, he shouted, “EGGNOG!” I flinched, and he shouted again, “EGGNOG!!” He kept shouting it over and over, and soon other kids standing nearby joined in. In no time there was a crowd of 5-10 children shouting angrily at me, “EGGNOG! EGGNOG! EGGNOG!”
I was just a poor country boy who moved up to the big city and was trying to fit in. I didn’t understand what social faux pas I had broken, but apparently, it was pretty major. I was terrified. So I ran. It didn’t take long before all 40-60 children on the playground saw what was happening and joined in. They chased me through jungle gyms and across basketball courts. I ran as hard as I could, but it was only a matter of time before they caught me and pinned me to ground. I can still remember the crowd surging above me screaming with such sincere disgust, “EGGNOG! EGGNOG!”
I don’t remember how long I laid on the ground in a fetal position while my peers pelted me with accusations of eggnog. I remember going home feeling more confused about life than ever. I wanted to be a good person. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to make adults proud of me. But I couldn’t even get the eggnog thing right. I’d gone and fucked up by liking eggnog, and I didn’t even know why that was a bad thing.
These thoughts and question racked my mind all night and the next day until the end of lunch break when my classmates and I were released onto the playground again. I walked outside that day feeling vulnerable. So I hung back by the edge of the building to survey the scene. I made eye contact with a few kids, and nothing happened. My paranoia began to dissipate until I heard a shout from behind me, “EGGNOG!” As soon as that happened, every child on the playground immediately joined in. Again, I was chased around the playground by a mob of angry anti-egg-noggers until they pinned me.
I know there were teachers watching this whole fiasco unfold, and to my memory, they didn’t put a stop to it. I imagine they were just leaning against the wall of the school smoking cigarettes laughing at us.
I don’t know if they ever said anything to any of the other children, but nobody ever said anything about eggnog to me again after that day. It’s like it never happened. At times I’ve wondered if did since my memory is the only validation I have that this scenario ever occurred. Whether or not it was real, the experience shook me deeply for a long time. I didn’t admit to anyone else that I liked eggnog until high school. Even then I did so timidly.
As much damage as this event did to my self-esteem, it taught me a few things:
1: Question everything.
2: People tend to do whatever the people around them are doing, even if it’s being mean to someone else.
3: You don’t have to be ashamed of your choices if other people don’t agree with them. They may get on top of you sometimes, but in the end, they’re not going to spend their lives with you. You can do what you want when they’re not around.
4: Young people do stupid things that don’t make sense. That’s because we’re all born crazy, and life is a life-long struggle to figure out what sanity is. None of us will ever truly know what that is. So we all deserve a little leeway for doing stupid things like shouting “EGGNOG!” at their best friend and causing a riot that scars him emotionally for years of his formative life.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what other people thought about you if you realized how seldom they did.” Think about that. Most people walk around agonizing about what other people think of them. They don’t go around agonizing about what they think about you. Nobody is scrutinizing you. Nobody gives a fuck about you. They’re too busy thinking about themselves. So don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about you. You’re under the radar.
Well, you’re not really under the radar. Everyone can see you more clearly than you could imagine. They just don’t generally care about you or your image enough to tell you everything they understand about you.
People don’t need to scrutinize you to see you for who you are. We put so much time and energy into constructing these elaborate masks to present a polished Hollywood image of ourselves to the rest of the world and hide the vulnerable, shattered people we truly are, but the irony in this is that we’re only fooling ourselves.
You can fool a person on a first date. You can fool a person at a job interview. You can fool anyone for a week at most, but the real you will shine through eventually, and people will pick up on the real you much, much, much, much sooner than you’d expect.
We all like to think we’re smooth. We like to think we’re unique snowflakes. We like to think we’re different. But we’re not. People are people. We’re all 99% the same. The differences are barely consequential. This is why advertising works. This is why brainwashing works. This is why self-help books work. This is why our whole society works.
But it doesn’t take a professional psychologist to read you. You’re transparent. Period. I’m transparent. Period. I don’t bother pretending to be anyone but who I am anymore even though I know I’m not perfect because I am who I want to be, as we all are. Apparently, we don’t really want to be perfect, or we would be. Whatever. Fuck it. As long as I like who I am, I’m not going to bother hiding the stains. It wouldn’t do any good if I tried because you’d see through my glass mask eventually. So why expend the extra effort?
So do yourself a favor. Stop hiding, because you’re not really hiding from anyone but yourself. And when someone points out your stains, don’t waste their time with this, “You don’t know me! You don’t know anything about me!” bullshit. You’re not complicated. You’re not special. You’re cut from a generic cookie cutter. What little else there is to know about you, everyone already knows… because you told them all about yourself with your actions.
We know you. And we can see all the stains you’ve wiped all over your face behind your glass mask.