The problem with welthy

So I was scrolling through Tumblr and came across this post/conversation that I feel is very much worth sharing and discussing:

mostlyjudson

bernie sanders voters be like

What 16 trillion dollar debt?
I have no idea how my free stuff is going to appear. I just know I want it.
 
fullten

He’s raising taxes on the rich

mostlyjudson

He’s planning on stealing more from people… ok that makes sense. Just because *They* are rich doesn’t mean those people deserve to have more of their wealth stolen from them.

fullten

Yes because the wealthy billionaires that steal and undervalue labor, and companies that scapegoat paying taxes are really hurting

ohmygil

why even bring up the national debt if you don’t want people to pay taxes

fullten

I’m on the phone half asleep, but yeah, Thank you for real

hollowedskin

I don’t think OP understands what rich people are.
Like
they literally won’t even notice the taxes. It will make no impact on the wealthy at all. You could take literally 50% of the income of the top 10% and they would have to make zero changes to their lifestyle. 

Money to them is just a high score. They whinge when you take them down a bit but it makes literally no difference because they’re still winning the fucking game.

queercatmermaid

They do actually 100% deserve to have their money taken. People are starving to death because we think disability payments shouldn’t be enough to live on and minimum wage should be half of what you need to survive so yeah, I think millionaires and billionaires deserve to have a tiny fucking fraction of the money they could never spend in a fucking lifetime so I can fucking EAT AT ALL.

hollowedskin

I also don’t think people understand actually how much a billion dollars is. Like. it’s such an enormous number.

We think of numbers that big like a set of stairs, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million, ten million, a hundred million, a billion.

With each jump just being another step on the staircase and not realising HOW FUCKING HUGE each step is, and how vast the gap is between each of them.

Aside from the fact that even a million dollars is far more than you need, a billion is disgusting excess. There is no conceivable way one person could justify needing a billion dollars when you know HOW MUCH that is.

To put it in perspective:
a million seconds is 11 and a half days
a billion seconds is 31 years and 9 months.

Another example would be Warren Buffett: 
He made $US12.7 billion in 2013. That was his yearly income, not his total worth. Just his income for 2013.

That’s $37 million per day; 
$1.54 million per hour;  
$25,694 per minute 

How much do you get per hour? Is it enough to live on?
the minimum wage in america is $15,080 per year
That man makes more money per minute just for being alive, even in his sleep than most of you do in an entire year.  

also, just using seconds for reference again

15,080 seconds is just over 4 hours.
12.7 billion seconds is 402 years and 4 months.

phineaslightfootDeactivated

Can someone please make a staircase graph with dollar amounts?

I have discalcula and have a hard time conceptualizing numbers. 
I feel like that’s a great analogy and would help me.

hollowedskin

Ok so I tried and the number differences broke the weird little graphing thing I was using.

so here we have one thousand (1,000) not showing
one million (1,000,000) at one pixel

and one billlion (100,000,000) is the big pilon there.

I added fifty million in to show because that graph goes in increments of 50 million.

So how much is 50 million compared to a million though, it’s only one pixel? 

so smol.
But still we’re trying to get down to a thousand, (which is ten hundred-dollar-bills.)

So what does a million look like compared to a thousand?

oh. We broke it again. It will only go in 50 thousands. 
So we got to look at how big 50k is compared to our wad of hunjies.

ok.

This is why i like using the seconds instead of graphs… 
But I won’t give up here. 

the reason it’s so so hard to process is because a BILLION is an enormous number. there comes a point with numbers where we can’t actually process them and its just like…a lot. And more than “a lot” is still “a lot”.

So we need visual representation. Lets use pennies (thanks megapenny)

Imagine a penny. Just one.

Ok, you get a thousand pennies a week, and you end up with 52 thousand in a year. If they were dollars that’s a nice paying wage. 

with me?

now this is a thousand pennies. 

this is 50 thousand pennies (1 square foot solid of pennies! COOOOL) 
It’s roughly how many pennies you would have in a year if you got a thousand pennies a week.

This is a million pennies

And this is a billion pennies

(Which is 5 schoolbuss sized blocks of solid pennies.)

that is so many.

.

The problem with numbers is that we see them written like this

1
100
1000
1000000
1000000000
And we kind of subconciously go “well… it’s only increasing a little at a time,like a staircase. When the progression is more like 

1.

10……….

100………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. 
1000………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. 

And so on. which is not a staircase I want to climb because it starts off reasonable and then jumps to building size, then mountain size.
We ‘add a zero’ which is confusing because it’s timesing (x) not adding (+).

to make ten thousand dots, I would copy all the dots in my thousand pile, and paste them ten times. to make a hundred thousand, I would copy all the dots in my ten-thousand-dot pile and paste them ten times. thats what “times by ten” means. 

That’s what adding a zero is, it’s multiplying (x) the last number we had by ten. (i also say timesing: as in copy and pasting it ten times)
try it with a word document and see how many pages it takes to get you a billion dots, and how many it takes for 15 thousand (minimum wage anual)

hopefully this was at least somewhat useful.

Anyway, the point is that if we imagine them as dollar coins, and one square block is established as good enough to live by a year, there’s no reason one individual deserves 5 bus-worths.

phineaslightfootDeactivated

Omg this is excellent!
Thank you so much, that does really help!
The pennies in particular

Check out this awesome visual representation of how messed up our society is, everyone!

soundlyawake

I literally was about to google a visual representation of this and then THERE IT WAS IN THE POST

nierfenhimer

Seriously. It’s time for people to wake the fuck up. I’m sick of the godsdamned wilful blindness.

stappls

We had this conversation in my sociology class.

If you dont understand the wealth distribution in america, here you go

This is what OP and America thinks it is

What it actually is. Evaluate your life. Evaluate your income. This is why we need to take from the 1%

The 1% makes so much money its off the grid. 

If you stack the 1% money next to eachother it would be like this

That 0% is your college students and people working fast food. Its below the poverty line. So taxing the 1% wont do shit to him.

isiwashere

This post got so incredibly awesome I’m almost glad OP posted it in the first place-almost

littleredqueen
the graphs stappls posted is exactly what my econ instructor shared with my class three years ago. that graph is what made me even MORE pissed off about income distribution. icing and sprinkles on the god damn cake.

I really feel this is an issue not enough people understand. Especially the last 3 images. Let’s look at them again. This is what people think wealth distribution is, or at least closer to what people agree it should be:

Here’s what it really is:

That’s a huuuge difference. And it’s a problem. The first of those images makes sense, and is far from un-achievable. There’s many, many ways we can make it happen. The problem isn’t that people shouldn’t be rich or poor. The problem is that the people who are rich are not trying to simply be better off, they’re trying to hoard and monopolize the worlds wealth. It’s insane. It’s like they’re toddlers insisting everything they see is theirs whether it really is or not, and not letting anyone else have it.

The whole point of “trickle down” economics was that the wealthy were supposed to turn around and pay that excess to the rest of us by creating jobs etc. but that didn’t actually happen. Instead of letting their excess trikle down when we allowed them to have it, they’ve been hoarding it to themselves. We allowed this “trickle down” economics to exist, and they did not hold up their end of the deal; now that people are getting the government to step in and make them hold their end of the bargain by taxing them, these wealthy one percenters are crying foul and bitching that we’re making the government “steal” what they say is their “hard-earned” money. Except they didn’t actually earn 70% – 80% of that wealth shown in the second and third pictures; the hard working people at the bottom that they’re stepping on are the ones who worked hard and actually earned it, but they essentially tricked us into letting them have it instead.

I’m all for a healthy kind of capitalism where ingenuity and hard work can make you wealthy; what I’m against is this sick form of corporate aristocracy that thinks it deserves all the wealth just because of who they are. As long as even the lowliest of us has a living and decently comfortable income, then it actually makes being wealthy at all that much more special and honest than it is right now. Imagine a world where no matter what your walk of life or who you are, everyone on the whole planet has a minimum living income of… let’s say, just as an example, $20/h and basic medical benefits. When you think about it, that’s not a huge amount and there’s still a lot of room for earning a higher income, but it’s high enough that people aren’t living in destitution and poverty like we have now. Also imagine that college and university tuition is lowered drastically. We can leave all other costs of living where they are right now.

Think about what that does for the economy and the work force. None of us would have to worry about having enough to eat or having a roof over our head. We’d all be spending money in stores, which increases the profits of the wealthy and pays more money in sales taxes to the government. More people would be getting better educations, meaning they could continue to pursue better careers and higher incomes. We’d have less people burning out so fast and more of society would be productive in general.

Because so many more people would not be burnt out from just trying to pay rent and have anything to eat at all, they’d be happier and more free to actually fix crap that is wrong in the world. A lot of business owners are under the insane assumption that if people got paid a minimum living wage amount regardless of whether they’re actually working or they’re unemployed on welfare or permanent disability income assistance, they’ll be lazy and not work and it would hurt the economy. I think they assume that because that’s the lifestyle they want – to not work, be lazy, and yet have enough money to do pretty much whatever they want. They don’t seem to grasp that the large majority of people actually want to work. They want to be productive and help the economy by spending money. they don’t want to just be lazy all the time.

Having a $12/h to $15/h salary-like income as the bare minimum for every person, even people on welfare/disability ($12 for welfare, $15 for permanent disability), with a minimum wage of $20/h, really isn’t as huge an amount of money as they imply it is. That’s only $24,960, $31,200, and $41,000 a year, respectively. When you think about it, that’s not so huge but still far better than a lot of people live with currently. If we, hypothetically, put an income “cap” of as much as $500,000 a year (I’ll go into what I mean by that in a moment), that’s still huge room for people to strive to better themselves and their incomes. Also, basic medical isn’t as all-inclusive as the wealthy seems to think it is. Canada has basic medical for it’s citizens, but there’s so much that it doesn’t cover. What it does do is keep people able to work for the most part, and offers that emotional security of knowing you’ll be okay in an emergency; peace of mind that improves productivity overall. It also leaves plenty of room for people to continue wanting a better income for themselves.

I honestly wonder if there should be an income “cap” that basically says an individual person cannot keep more than a specific amount of personal income each year regardless of what or how many sources of income they have, which would include salaries and contracts. Sports stars wouldn’t be making millions of dollars in annual contracts, and CEOs wouldn’t be voting themselves a pay hike into the millions a year anymore. Some people might look at that and say that’s unfair and will stunt business growth. My response: 1) how is making $5 million a year as a CEO that works 15 hours a week more fair than the construction worker slaving for 70 hours a week for minimum wage just to afford rent with a slum landlord? and 2) I said an individual person, not a business. I don’t care what the US courts say, corporations are not people and don’t deserve the same rights. We need to throw the laws saying that out the window entirely.

Personally, I think $500,000 a year for personal income, totally separate from any corporation, is more than good for a cap for a person. I feel no one individual person needs an annual take-home pay cheque of more than that (though that gives couples and families lots of room, because I’d say keep that limit as “per individual” which means a couple each earning $500,000 a year actually brings $1,000,000 into their household). Also, perhaps set the income tax at the same for everyone; the same as an average credit card interest rate, somewhere between 15% and 22%, then have that the tax every individual person pays on their income. Tax large corporations separate from people too, giving the businesses higher taxes and tax brackets based on overall profit margins.

Some might say that doesn’t work with how, legally, a sole proprietor is the same as their business. I say that there’s solutions around that. When a small business is making over $500,000 a year, it’s not so small and it needs to not be a sole proprietorship anymore. Or perhaps the government can not count anything that is considered a “business expense” such as the commercial space used or employee wages towards that $500,000 limit; we already get business expenses deducted from our personal income taxes, so that wouldn’t be hard.

There’s a lot of big companies and corporations that, if their CEOs were limited to that kind of cap, the company would have way more profits to distribute to things like better employee wages and benefits, expansion, research and development, donating to tax deductible charities, aiding in funding community infrastructure improvements and programs, etc. And these people making over $500,000 a year would be able to keep their title as wealthiest people in the world. Even better, instead of them competing to see which of them has the bigger private bank accounts, they should be competing for which one’s company had the best growth or best overall profits; they can still take credit for it and call it part of their own wealth, even though they themselves don’t get to take it home and spend it on themselves beyond that income cap.

Now imagine if every country in the world did something like this. The rich are still rich, the poor become productive and happier, everyone’s buying more, the economy grows, taxes become a more stable income for government, communities become more prosperous, etc. Even small businesses could afford paying a $20/h minimum wage when everyone is getting that which makes everyone able to buy more. And if people are getting paid that money, they definitely will buy more. People would buy so much that every business, big and small, would have to hire more to keep up with the demands; there goes unemployment, eh? The people who really are lazy and don’t want to bother working would be obvious, but they’d still be spending and adding to the economy by paying sales taxes. Plus, they’re the minority; the vast majority of people on income assistance are hungry to be working, but there’s no jobs because the rich are hoarding their wealth instead of using it the way they had promised us for decades to use it.

The simple truth is the world and the worldwide economy is broken. There are lots of ways to fix it, but nothing can change as long as the wealthiest people continue hoarding their treasures like the dragon Smaug.

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Eleven things adults with Asperger’s/Autism wish you knew

Someone I care dearly about shared this article with me this morning: 10 things every child with Autism wishes you knew. It’s a great article, with very good points; but there’s things that don’t quite so much pertain to adults or need to be re-phrased for adults, and I felt a need to write that version. This is my list, specific to people with “high functioning” autism, such as myself. This is just my feelings and thoughts at the moment, and a constant work in progress; it’s not a comprehensive list, and as there’s so many different ways Autism can manifest, this might not all be the case for everyone with Autism or Asperger’s.

11: I am not Autistic. I have Asperger’s/Autism, or I’m on the spectrum; what I am is a person.

My Autism is a part of me, and something I can’t just get rid of; but it isn’t who or what I am. It’s only one of many facets that helps to understand why I do things the way I do; it’s not the end-all and be-all of me. It’s not my passions or my talents or what makes me come alive. It’s not all of what I have to offer the world or what I can give back to the community around me. There’s so much more to me; learning how my Autism affects me is one thing, but thinking you know everything you need to about me just because you’ve learned that I have Autism is prejudiced and judgmental.

10: I am not “too smart/normal to have Autism” and I am not “mentally retarded” or “like Rainman”

Don’t disrespect me by declaring your blatant ignorance with one of these two sentiments. Autism is not Downs syndrome or brain retardation. On average, people with Autism have higher IQs than the average “normal” person. We can learn to mimic most body language and learn to cope in most casual social situations. This does not mean I don’t have Autism; all you are seeing is the first layer. You can’t “see” my Autism just by looking at me. It’s in my brain; of course you can’t see it, my skull isn’t transparent. I’m not “lazy” just because I can’t hold certain kinds of jobs or can’t deal well in certain kinds of school environments. I’m not “Rainman” and not everyone with Autism is; that’s a very specific form of autism, and a small sliver of the spectrum; it’s not anywhere near as common as people expect. My admitting that I have Autism is not a license to disregard everything I say as wrong or useless automatically, either. I’m not stupid, and I’m not broken.

9: My senses are out of sync and intensified; I will get overloaded sometimes.

I’m not uncaring, I’m not heartless, and I don’t simply have “anger management” issues. Autism affects each person with it differently. As children, some sights, sounds, smells, textures, and ways of being touched would affect me differently and more intensely than people might expect; I don’t grow out of that. My senses may become a bit more controlled as I get older, but what I feel with those senses doesn’t go away and I don’t just grow out of it. Some things will always just be too intense and too uncomfortable, even painful, for me.

I didn’t ask to be that way any more than a person born without an arm asked for that. Getting mad at me for not enjoying something you think I should, like hugs or certain fabrics, is no different than getting mad at that man with one arm for not being able to do things that require two hands without him needing a prosthetic. Food texture really is as important to me as taste, and there’s some things I just can’t eat because my body rejects the taste or tactile sensation so violently that I just cannot eat it.

8: Don’t overcomplicate things when telling me what you need or giving instructions

I’m not a child, so don’t talk down to me like you might to a child, but don’t give me too much at once either. I will try to let you know how much I can multitask and how much is too much; the simpler and clearer the instructions, the faster and more accurately I can get things done. Be clear and be blunt without being mean. It’s not that I can’t understand; it’s just that I need to be efficient. Break bigger, longer tasks into chunks and give me one chunk at a time; I might not have the ability to keep track of the passage of time as easily and I’m not able to cope with certain emotional stress as well as you might think I should; giving me too many complex tasks at once can cause me pressure to perform well, and that kind of stress can all too often cause meltdowns because it’s an emotion that overwhelms me.

7: My brain is like a computer, and body language is a foreign language; say what you mean, I take things literally.

I may seem like I’m able to understand subtle social nuances or signals, but I can’t always do that the way other people do. Body language and unspoken social guidelines that most people naturally learn are a foreign language to me. I might have learned to mimic some, but don’t expect me to know them all; tell me straight out what you want, and what you mean. My brain doesn’t have a master key that will always translate the things you say into what you really mean, and if your opinions, feelings, or boundaries change, I need you to tell me instead of expecting me to just know or just pick up on your subtle hints. Sometimes I need you to even explain why; I won’t automatically link cause to effect in my head. A lot of those patterns are not plainly visible, and because my brain takes things so literally, I need those subtleties pointed out and made obvious to me. It’s not a choice I made; it’s how my brain just processes information.

6: Listen to what I’m saying; not what you think I mean.

Emotions are hard for me to translate into words. Yes, thoughts aren’t the same things as emotions. Yet at the same time, my thoughts in my mind are not in words or written language; they are in images and sounds and raw, unfiltered emotions. So it’s usually hard for me to say what’s going on in my head and my heart, and I need your patience and I need you to not be judgmental when I share my thoughts and feelings. I may not always understand that how I feel and what I think can be different from what I do. I may not understand certain social guidelines or expectations you consider “normal.” I need help accepting that sometimes I don’t need to understand something, I just have to understand that going along with it sometimes makes it easier to deal with people, even if it seems pointless and illogical.

On the flip side, I may need help spotting social predators. I don’t just mean the violent kind. I don’t read body language easily, so I tend to trust by default, and so it’s sometimes easy for me to end up trusting the wrong people and getting hurt, either physically or emotionally. I can also stubborn and loyal, so be patient with me; sometimes it takes me learning things the hard way. Don’t gloat or rub it in my face when I do; help me to keep in mind that not everyone is like that, and I jsut need to be cautious.

5: I learn kinesthetically more than any other way

Teach me by showing me how it’s done, then guiding me as I do it myself. Do this more than once so it ingrains into me. Just giving me a lecture of instructions, verbal or written, does not teach me. Handing me a book and telling me to read it isn’t teaching me. Having me sit and watch a video isn’t teaching me. You need to show me, then be there to guide me as I do it myself. This is why a lot of college and university courses are hard for me without a 1-on-1 tutor, no matter how smart I am. It’s not me being “difficult” or “lazy.” This is just how my brain functions.

Changing the environment I learn new skills in means everything I learned is changed and I need to learn it again. When I learn something, my brain  doesn’t just learn the lessons themselves; they learn how, when, and where they’re done. My brain does not always have the ability to assume that the environment around me which the lesson is taking place in isn’t part of that lesson; be patient with me when the environment changes and I need time to readjust those lessons to the new environment, or if I need to be shown again in the new environment.

4: Encourage my strengths and talents; don’t accentuate my challenges or failures

I need constructive feedback, and often will need validation more than people expect. As a kid, I had a lot of rejection and judgments; that’s not something I can just “get over,” I need to learn that I’m not like that. My brain does not process or understand change the way other people’s do; I see change when it’s pointed out to me, and sometimes it’s hard for me to adjust. That includes change in myself, even small change like realizing I’ve gotten better at something.

Focusing on what I’ve done wrong does not help me learn to be better; focus on how I can be better, but constructively; Show me simply and quickly where I messed up, then work with me on how to be better. I will move toward where I focus; focusing on the mistake itself merely keeps me moving in that same direction and repeating the mistake.

3: I am often awkward. Get over it, but don’t put up with absolutely everything.

We all learn social skills and reading body language through our understanding of emotions, both ours and other peoples. But my emotions are intense, overpowering, and confusing; as a kid, this made learning body language and social nuances like boundaries difficult, and that’s no less true as an adult. This means that I might slip up and say things I think or feel which might be inappropriate in certain social contexts, or I might seem selfish and disassociated in certain situations. I might not always find some jokes funny, or I might laugh at things that might be inappropriate to be laughing at. Be patient with me.

That said, this isn’t a license for me to act like a jerk. Not understanding boundaries does not mean I’m free to ignore them; I’m not king of the world. Be patient, but be clear in where your boundaries are, and what the consequences of my disrespecting them will be. Hold me accountable. I may have meltdowns; be patient with me, but I am an adult and need to remember that my emotions, including my meltdowns, are symptoms I need to deal with; they are not your fault or your responsibility to fix or control. Even if you’ve done something that hurts me; that may warrant my feeling hurt and angry, but that’s not an excuse for me to abuse you. My Autism is also not an excuse for you to disregard when I am hurt or upset. Work with me, find the middle ground.

Also, don’t assume that I’m completely socially inept; I’ve learned a lot of skills for coping in social situations. Take the time to learn where I’m strong and where my understanding and social skills need help. Don’t assume I don’t know any, and don’t expect me to just learn these; social skills and body language are a foreign language to me, it’s just like how a person can learn later in life to speak another language but will never have the same inflection as a native speaker of that language or someone who learned from childhood. Just like that person will always have that hint of an accent which reveals it’s not their native language, I’ll always seem just slightly odd no matter how skilled at mimicking body language and social nuance I become.

Sometimes I need people to help guide me into being social; I might need friends who go out of their way to include me in activities or to take me out. Learn what my interests are, learn where my hard limits are, and help pull me gently with love, patience, and positive reinforcements out of my shell. It can sometimes take a while, but I really am worth it. I can be a dedicated and loving friend when in the right kind of social environment.

2: Learn what triggers my meltdowns and understand what a meltdown is

A meltdown isn’t simply me having a tantrum like a toddler. I’m in serious distress and having either a sensory or emotional overload – too much informational input into my brain in too short a time. I can have them on bad days, and also on good days; even too much happiness or good things can become intensely overwhelming and result in a meltdown. I hate having them. I’m embarrassed when people see me having them. At the same time, it really is rude for me to expect anyone and everyone around me to just let me have one anywhere I happen to be.

There are often things that will trigger meltdowns more than others; being crowded in a large space with too many people, too many conflicting noises, overwhelming smells, it’s different for each person with Autism. Don’t assume immediately you’ll know what my triggers are just because you might know someone else with Autism; take the time to learn what mine are specifically.

1: Love me unconditionally and accept me as I am; not as you think I should be

Autism is something that permeates every aspect of my life; but it is not who I am. It doesn’t define me, any more than you’re defined by your height or how big your feet are. Your height may decide whether you’ll be an all-star basketball player, but it doesn’t determine your potential as a person overall. Your foot size may determine things like the way you step or what kinds of shoes you can wear, but it doesn’t determine what career path you’re going to take or what pastimes you should have. My autism isn’t much different. It makes me different, unique, even odd; but I’m still human. I still have fears and needs and dreams. I still deserve respect for the person I am, not assumptions or judgement because I have Autism.

I can’t do just any job at all; I need the right job. I need a work environment that suits my specific needs and limitations, and that means understanding what my unique needs and challenges are because no two people with Autism are exactly the same. Don’t patronize me by telling me to “just get a job” or judge me for not being able to hold jobs for very long; without the right patience and encouragement from family and friends, it can sometimes be hard for me to figure out what my talents and strengths even are, let alone know how to develop those into skills and find work that uses those skills.

I have problems and challenges, but I have talents and skills too. I’m no less human and deserve no less respect than anyone else. There’s amazing things I can do with the right environment and the right encouragement, and I can be an amazing friend or even lover/spouse. See past my limitations to the person underneath, take the time to learn what makes me a unique person and what makes me come alive; for what makes me come alive is who I really am.

You don’t understand; I *am* doing it for myself

I fight depression and battle self-doubt (or self-loathing, whichever term is more intense) way more often and way harder than I think anyone realizes. I want to be successful more than anyone knows, and I struggle with figuring out how I can be. A lot of times, people hear me talk about the struggle and what help I wish I could ask other people for or help people have been, and I keep hearing the same phrase “You need to do it for you.” Almost any time anyone ever says that to me, that’s not at all what they mean, though. What they really mean is, “you have to do it alone without my help.”

The problem with that is, that doesn’t work. Not for anyone. Not one single successful person in the world has ever become successful alone, and they haven’t become successful by literally not caring what others think of them. They all had help and emotional supports. They all have lists of people they thank in their award speeches. They all have mentors that never gave up on them and stuck by them, supporting them, pushing them back onto their feet when they fell. No one becomes successful alone.

Being alone is part of my greatest fear, and part of the way I conceptualize Hell. I honestly do believe that past this huge weight and huge bock of depression and low self-worth, I have the same potential as anyone for amazing things and ability to change the world for the better. But I am nowhere near strong enough to push past this block by myself. I need help. And no one wants to help me, they all keep saying “you need to do it for yourself” and meaning “you gotta do it alone.”

Yes, there’s goals I have that involve my mom. I want to get a small truck for myself, and some of my requirements for what I’m looking for are that it can’t be too low because it’s too difficult for her to get in and out of low vehicles without a heck of a lot of pain. That’s a goal that involves her as the measurement; but the goal is for me. I personally don’t like getting in and out of low vehicles, either; but more to the point, I want to be able to help her. That’s a goal for me. I want to be charitable, I want to help others. Not simply because they need help; it’s not that I feel obligated. I want to do it. For me. Because I like to.

Too many people mistake my goals that use other people in particular and their circumstances as the measurement of the qualities I want to have and want to cultivate. They think I’m doing it for those people. That’s jsut plain wrong. I’m doing it for me. Because I want to be that kind of person who’s capable of helping people in those kinds of situations.

And too many people push me away when I need help breaking through my self-loathing and depression and anger. They don’t get that I need help breaking through it. I need those reminders that I am worth it and I am capable. I need friends who can and will hammer through that depression and push me back to my feet when I fall into that pit, whether it’s by getting stern and telling me how worthwhile I really am, or just being there quietly and cuddling me until the moments of depression pass. I need friends who will have faith in me when I’ve lost my grip on my faith in myself.

For all I try to pretend I am, I’m really not Superman. I have some screwed up expectations of myself that I’ve not been able to shake yet. For years, when most people hear that I’m”disabled” but am considered to be “high functioning,” they tend to treat me in one of two ways: 1) act like it must mean I’m high functioning when compared to most average people like themselves then wonder why I have “problems” or can’t jsut do the same things everyone else does such as hold whatever job I can get indefinitely (the “you’re too smart to be disabled” mentality), or 2) they seem to ignore the “high functioning” and focus on the “disabled” then treat me like I’m broken or useless or to be pitied, as if I’m mentally deficient and low IQ.

Because of this, I’ve learned that in order for me to be accepted as “good enough,” I have to counteract the drop in people’s opinions of my worth by being better than everyone else so that their views of me balances out to “average.” But the truth is that I can’t maintain that; I’m not superman, and I’m not “average.” So I fail. A lot. And people abandon me; sometimes just in little bits or emotionally, pushing me away and becoming more “casual acquaintances” than “good friends,” sometimes by just disappearing from my life and no longer replying to me when I try to stay in touch. Which makes that big block of depression weighing me down even bigger. And it’s been getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger for years.

It’s gotten so big now that there’s no way I can just push it aside without help. But now it seems like people abandon me because of the block itself, because they think it’s too much to touch, and as if it’s my own fault. Maybe it is my fault; maybe I should not have tried so hard to be “good enough” by fighting to be better. But I found that just being myself made me even more abandoned and alone, and as I said earlier – no one person in the world ever became successful alone. And what I need isn’t as hard as people think; I need validation, affection, and sometimes I need people to spend time with me, talk to me, and not let me focus on the depression itself; does it really take that much to push me to talk about things I enjoy? No, it doesn’t; anyone who knows me knows that when you get me started on one of my passions, it’s hard to shut me up. I need to feel like I want to be listened to and people want me around. It’s really that simple.

am doing it for myself. But I need to do it with help. I’m not Superman.

Drawing the line, painful or not

Today I had to do something very hard for me. I made a hard decision to block a guy I’ve wanted to consider a friend for a long time. I’d gotten frustrated and blocked him before, but a few weeks back I unblocked him because I felt that originally I might have been over-reacting and just needed some time not talking to him to get myself sorted. But today, I just found that he and I share very different worldviews that are extremely opposed to each other, to the point that his is toxic to me.

It all started when he re-shared a video that claimed to disprove Solar Roadways as something that could work. The friend of his he re-shared from ended up getting into an argument with me, telling me that because I found a lot of the video info to be based on assumptions and conjecture rather than facts, I was an idiot and the video was proof in and of itself. Then he proceeded to keep demanding repeatedly that I prove to him that it works. Excuse me? why should I prove that an experimental prototype technology is functional and meets all that they claimed it would? Dude, it’s not done being developed yet! Of course it’s not yet meeting all their claims, because they’re still building it! 

But what really got me was the arrogant, self-centered attitude this guy had that he was right, the tech was bogus, and if I could not prove right there that it works, then the world had to accept that it’s a scam. Talk about narcissism. I’d finally had enough of talking to this prick and just blocked him. His attitude was selfish, destructive, and toxic.

I then had a weird feeling and went with it; I asked my friend, the one who re-shared the video in the first place, if he held this guy’s opinions in high regard. Apparently, the asshole was one of my buddies “best friends” who has a degree in electrical systems. Based on the specific way he phrased it, I’m guessing a bachelor’s degree. Then my friend told me I was bashing my head against a brick wall of “knowledge.” A degree in electrical systems? Then how can he be so ignorant about the level and quality of the technology being used, or in the fact that the couple making it both hold Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering? And employ several other engineers with Masters and Bachelors degrees to help develop these things? If he’s got so much knowledge, then why is he not offering to help fix the flaws he’s bitching about? 

My friend didn’t get it. He just had no clue why I was upset about the debate. It wasn’t about the technology. It was about the self-serving and destructive attitude. It was how the guy cared more about proving that he was right and the tech didn’t work than he cared about doing something to make it work. It was how the guy was only interested in ripping the developers, and anyone else who had faith in the project, down. It was how he couldn’t offer a shred of factual proof that he was right, yet demanded that I show proof I’m right.

I told my friend that he wasn’t getting it.

He said no he wasn’t, and he didn’t care.

That sealed it. That was the nail in the coffin. It’s been proven on psychology that the 5 people you associate with most are the people you become most like. I know the kind of person I want to be; and apathetically self-centered is not one of them. I blocked him before because too many times he would disagree with something that’s actually been proven to be a psychological fact, because he was constantly getting pissy and ripping down posts I shared that were purely and blatantly comedic but he treated them as if they were serious, and because he has insisted on multiple occasions that he used to be a gentleman and could be if he tried but he wanted to be an asshole. I mean he literally said that he would rather be an asshole and hated than be a gentleman and respected. That’s so very much not the kind of person I want to be, or the kind of person I want influencing my life. He’s a self-proclaimed gun-toting redneck idiot, and while he admits it’s a bad thing to be, brags that it’s what he is.

That’s not a kind of person I can be close to enough to call “friend.”

I need friends who are constructive; not destructive. Friends who want to make the world better, not simply bitch about what’s wrong or tear the world down and burn it. Friends who actually care. I’d known this guy for a couple years, and sometimes he seems to be the kind of white knight or Paladin he loved to play as in gaming, but other times he seemed the complete opposite. I had thought we were good friends and that he shared some of the same ideals I did; but as time has been going on, I’ve more and more found he just doesn’t; he’s grown more angry and selfish and self-abusive over time, despite my best attempts to encourage otherwise. It hurts that I tried so much to trust him, only to find that trust means nothing to him and that he prefers people in his life that match his own destructive attitudes and mindsets. It doesn’t matter how much I care; I can’t let that kind of attitude damage me. 

Not again.

Those who say it cannot be done…

Today I got into a bit of a disagreement with someone online about Solar Roadways, when a buddy of mine shared a video claiming they are “busted” and fictional. For those who have never heard of them, here’s the info video:

Personally, I think they are an amazing idea and the tech is sound. Since that video was first made, they raised almost $3,000,000 for the second prototype experiment phase of creating a solar roadways parking lot; that’s 3x more than they were asking for.

But this post isn’t actually about Solar Roadways.

It’s about naysayers and trolls. The video claiming to “debunk” the technology claims that they’re fiction, but gives only assumptions and uses obsolete tech information to claim they can’t work. Except technology is not static; it is evolving faster and faster, way faster than even society’s ability to morally and ethically keep up with. So if tech is improving at such a high rate, how does claiming old tech can’t do it have any bearing on the new tech they’re using, which can do it?

And more importantly, why waste our time like that? Are you trying to convince the world to scrap it? Why would you even want to? Are you being bought out by oil companies to make false claims that it’s bogus?

“Those who say it cannot be done better get out of the way of those doing it.” Just because something hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it never can. If you say it’s a great idea ans you wish it could really happen, then prove it; do something to make it happen. Either get onboard and help find ways to make it work, or just shut up, because it’s getting done with or without you. Trying to argue why something will fail doesn’t help it succeed; if you say it’s great then turn around and point out all the reasons it will “never” work, you’re a liar and a troll. You lied when you said it’s a great idea that you wish could be real, and you’re a troll by just trying to tear it down. Either way, keep it up and you simply won’t exist to me anymore.

~clicks block button~

The real meaning of “Embrace where you are”

Good Rules to FollowI found this image on Google+ today and I really like it, but something about point #5 really struck me. It struck me enough that I want to share my thoughts on it. It’s a lesson I’ve been forgetting, and I guess I needed this to remind and inspire me today.

5. Embrace the place where you are.

THis is great advice, but I find a lot of people misinterpret what this means. All too often, people assume that figuratively embracing the place where they are in their lives means to settle in where they are, love where their lives are at no matter how dysfunctional or damaging, and never change or grow or develop further. This couldn’t be further from the truth of the statement. Embracing where you are means accepting where you are at right now and the direction you are working towards, rather than letting where you are be an excuse to beat yourself up or wallow in negative emotions and thoughts.

You are where you are, whether because of choices you made in the past or trials thrown into your life, and you can’t snap your fingers and magically not be in the life you’re in. Embrace it and accept it for what it is. There’s lessons to learn and foundations to build. If you want something different, then do something different, but don’t just try to run away from your life; build a better one. Live in the here and now, day by day, but use that day by day to build the foundation of a better life. It will do no good to focus so hard on the future that you neglect taking the steps that are in front of you that are needed to make that future happen, jsut as it will do no good to live in the here and now if you do nothing with it but let it slip by and be wasted. Have a direction, have goals; but focus on what you can do right now, not on how far you have to go or where you aren’t yet.

Thoughts and grumbles over morning Chai – 001

You know, there’s 2 things bugging me this morning about society. Don’t ask me why they popped in my head today as I enjoy my morning chai, they just did. 

1) People who, instead of giving their personal opinion, try to make their opinion a universal truth everyone else is supposed t believe (eg. “she’s ugly,” “he’s boring” instead of “I don’t find her attractive,” or “his interests don’t appeal to me”)

2) People who freak out when *I* try giving my personal opinion and are assuming I’m making a judgment call or being prejudice. (eg. “I am not as attracted to darker skinned women” gets met with “Racist!” or “I don’t find most body piercings appealing” gets met with “you’re repressing my right to express myself!”)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everything has at least some kind of beauty. There’s as many different kinds of beauty as there are stars in the sky or people who have lived and died throughout all of human history. 

So to tell someone they’re ugly just because you think they are not the kind of beauty you find appealing is total bullshit, and to tell me that I’m not allowed to have my own tastes that differ from yours is equally bullshit. You’re welcome to find someone covered head to toe in piercings and tattoos to be incredibly beautiful and artistic. And I’m welcome to find it a little disturbing, even if artistic. I’m not telling people not to do it just because I say I don’t find it appealing. Do whatever you want, your idea of beautiful is no less valid than mine – but remember, your idea of beauty is YOURS. It does not have to be mine, and you don’t have the right to make false accusations about my integrity just because you and I disagree due to having totally different artistic tastes.

That said, just because you might find someone excessively obese or dangerously anorexic to be beautiful does not mean it’s right to tell them it’s healthy and right; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes, but health is health, and promoting both mental and physical illness is just plain harmful and dangerous. Beauty should be encouraged to be preserved, and encouraging obesity or anorexia is the opposite of that. It’s totally okay to be a little curvy/plump or a little thin, but obesity and anorexia are not “curvy” and “thin.” They are taking those too far into extremes and have become health issues. When I use the word “fat,” I don’t talk about a person’s appearance; I am talking about a part of the human body, and everyone needs a certain minimum level of body fat to maintain basic health, the trick is not letting that ratio go out of balance, either too much or too little, and though the threshold of what is too much or too little is different for each person, there’s still a universal range everyone should stick to.