Perspective - The Morality Fallacy

Morality is not an easily definable entity. We all perceive it differently, and unfortunately this can cause many problems for us as humans. And yet, is morality in itself the issue? Can we have a peaceful society without the idea of a moral compass?

Can we be do good, or even define good and bad without the idea of morality? Well, no. We can't. Perhaps the real question is can our species move forward and prosper without the concept of morality? That one is a bit tougher. Morality is a very tricky subject, considering how broad of a range it can cover.

Lately some experiences in my own life have caused me to question the idea of a moral imperative, and the idea of benefiting from removing the concept of morality from an argument. This treads a very fine line, considering the consequences in certain circumstances. However, in applying this concept I have learned a lot about morality and the idea of life itself.

We are always quick to judge life at a glance. And yet, when we really dig deep to understand it, we find ourselves suspending judgement due to finding we don't understand it as well as we had previously thought. So when an event happens in your life that seems inherently immoral, take a step back. Look at it from the other's viewpoint, and then from an objective viewpoint.

Seek to gain knowledge from that act, and how you can benefit from it. Perhaps it is a more valuable experience than you had previously thought.

The Bleak Black Friday

Ok, here's a little bit of soap box, and a little bit of information for you. I've worked Black Friday in retail before, and anyone who has had to work it will tell you it sucks. A lot. Personally, I make sure I don't have to go to any store on Thanksgiving, making sure that stores have less of a reason to keep people from their families on the holiday.

Black Friday on the other hand, is a whole different story. It has become such a huge celebration of shopping that I avoid stores for my own sake. Stores are so packed it's not even worth trying to get in or out unless I absolutely positively need something. In which case I try to plan ahead for what I need so as not to get caught in that trap.

But let's get on to some numbers, and some real food for thought. In fiscal year 2012, shoppers shelled out a whopping $59 billion over the Black Friday weekend. NASA's entire budget for 2012 was only $18.7 billion. The American Red Cross operated in 2012 for $3.2 billion. We spent more on general shopping for one weekend than we did for humanitarian aid and even more than our entire space budget. For the entire year.

Now, I'm not saying having some good deals is a bad thing. But we've created such a shopping culture that it's more important to us to have a weekend of good deals than it is to help our fellow man or advance our sciences. What's even more sad is that many of the electronics people are buying wouldn't be possible without the very same space program we are neglecting. 

I simply hope that we can shift our attention to more important things, and let Black Friday just be a fun weekend of decent deals. As opposed to the single most important holiday to America. And if you think it's not a holiday, you're kidding yourself. It's more of a holiday than Thanksgiving is now.

Take a little bit to remember what's important to you. Is it the pair of skinny jeans you found on sale at JCPenny's? Is it that tablet or TV you really wanted that was on sale at Best Buy? Or are these things accessory to the rest of your life? Just take a minute, and think. Keep on shopping, but remember that money could be used elsewhere. That effort and man power needed to get you those deals could be used elsewhere. 

Like me or not, I hope it at least made you think. Remember: E Pluribus Unum.

Perspective - Appreciating Life

We live in a cosmos of near Infinite Probability. Think about the absolutely massive scale we are dealing with. Recently it has been theorized that Black Holes open up to different universes, with a White Hole on the other side. The manner in which White Holes would behave, is much like the manner the Big Bang occurred.

If this is true, then there may be a near infinite amount of universes in existence. Every book, every movie, every video game, every TV show, every story ever told by mankind may exist within it's own universe somewhere within the cosmos.

When confronted with the massive scale and depth to the existence in which we live, how can we call our lives anything significant? Well, Carl Sagan said it best: "We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself." It has taken me a lot of pain and understanding to get the point where I can appreciate every little thing that happens in life.

Admittedly, when I first came upon this idealism it was rather depressing and daunting. To think that our lives will never amount to anything that will change the flow of the universe feels incredibly futile at first. But when you truly start to understand what that means for you... That's when life becomes infinitely beautiful. Life is what we make it. We've all heard this before.

But until you can appreciate and understand exactly WHY that is true, it does not hold much weight. For example: I could be the most beloved man on earth, every human being knows my name and understands what I have done for humanity as a whole, and it still will not make an ounce of difference to the cosmos.

Humans as a race could go extinct, wiped entirely from the annals of existence along with all of our culture, knowledge, and history. The cosmos will not suffer because of this loss. It truly seems like a futile way to look at life doesn't it? Not once you start to understand that your life is entirely in your control. If you CHOOSE to curl up and die, then that is your choice.

I for one, choose to live to my fullest potential. I refuse complacency and seek to better myself in everything I do until the day I die. Why? Because I can. 

Perspective: Living in our Time

I think many of us have wondered what it would be like to live in another time. What was it like back when America was first free of the British? What was it like back in the times of the Mayans? What will it be like to live two hundred years from now, when technology has advanced beyond what we thought was possible?

Why stop at two hundred years? How about a thousand years from now? Millions? Will our race even still exist? We don't know honestly. But it's that not knowing that makes our lives worthwhile. A concept that has been hard to come to embrace is that despite everything we do on our little rock known as Earth, no matter how important we become to our friends, family, or society, it doesn't make a lick of difference to the rest of the universe.

You could single handedly be the most beloved person known to human kind, and it STILL will not mean a thing to the universe, living or dead. Sounds depressing right? At first, it kind of is. But when you truly grasp the nature of choice and knowing that you do things because it's important to YOU, that's when your life, and life in general, becomes amazing.

It's ok to wonder what it was like back when, or what it will be like in the future. But never forget that you are here now, and that's what truly matters. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is you. 

Perspective - To the Naked Eye

We all look to the sky. It's strangely comforting knowing that there's always something beyond the horizon we see every day. But have we really thought about how vast and expansive the Earth really is? Let's get some perspective on that.

The human eye can see on average 5km(3.1miles) away, due to the curvature of the earth. Now, this varies based on the topography of where you're standing. However, let's remember that the Earth is much, much larger than that.

In fact, the surface area of the Earth is about 510 million square kilometers. Ok ok, that's including the 70% of the earth that is covered by water. But still, the 30% we can stand on and view the sky from is 149km². In other words, we see less than 1% of the overall surface area of landmass on the planet when we look into the sky(0.02% of it roughly).

Next time you're asked if there's anywhere in the world you'd like to go, remember this: You could spend every waking moment of your entire life traveling and viewing the sky and you will STILL never see all of it. Kind of makes it hard to decide doesn't it? Or, it could make that destination that much more important. 

Because of all of the places you could go, you chose to go there. That's worth a lot more than we give it credit for.