So goes the capitalist game — -and he just won again.

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“Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work together for the benefit of all.” ~ John Maynard Keynes

Capitalism is based on this premise: selling ideas for personal profit.

When you need to convince someone of an idea, you need to find the target market — -that is, you find the people that will buy your idea. This idea can be a good or a service that legitimately improves the buyer’s life; if it doesn’t, we can offer a money back guarantee.

When we sell things with a guarantee, we are choosing an option to work with some honesty and transparency within the relatively unforgiving confines of the self-obsessed capitalist regime. This is one small way of using the system to the benefit of all parties, though there are plenty of other working models that present a more egalitarian scenario.

Clearly, Trump has a lot of practice working this system. For the past 19 months, he’s just been doing what he always does: finding his target market — -the people that were the most easily convincible — and selling his idea of “change.”

He’s got the balls and money (clout) to get up in people’s faces and sell. And he’s good at it.

Only Trump doesn’t come with a money back guarantee. The way that he operates will never benefit of the majority. He has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not understand or care to operate in such a way that — well, cares about people.

The fact that so many people (supposedly) swung right in the US election sends a huge message to the world: that there are too many people willing to turn a blind eye to the terrible behaviour of a person in the hopes that the person will help them “get ahead.”

They think that Trump is going to help them “get in the game” — -but in the very act of believing this, they’ve already lost.

He’s already beat them in the game, so why would he help them now?

The people that he “got” to —that he switched, if that was the case, or even that voted for him in protest — many of these people, the vulnerable populations, are going to be the most effected by this government. They’ll wait for “change” and then at the end of the day, claim it never came. Then they’ll vote again, a few years later, because they need that person to changethem. That’s the scary part, that people think they have to depend on this one person to change things, because the last person didn’t do “enough.”

And they may never see it, because they never learned how to ask the questions that need to be asked.

Trump just handed them the exact thing that they shouldn’t want: a ruler that clearly doesn’t care about the good of the whole.

I’m sure there were many factors playing into these disastrous election results, including racism, sexism, and a whole host of other maddening factors. But the thing that saddens me the most about this decision is that it is an indication of a perceived lack of choice in their own lives, be it through a protest vote or a push for change. The very fact that they believe one person/government will forever have a hold on their lives is the limiting factor.

It’s now official: It looks like Trump can buy/bully/rig/manipulate/coerce his way into anything — if the people on the other side of the deal fall for it. And no one on the bottom (the 99%) will be better off.

He has just completed a whole new level of manipulating the system and other people for personal gain.

So goes the capitalist game — and he just won again.

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The Graceful Exit.

shirley-valentine

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

Something amazing happens when we choose to step gracefully out of a relationship that no longer serves us.

When I say relationship, it could be a relationship with anything or anyone: a partner, friend, workplace, city—hell, maybe even that classic novel that you somehow feel that you “should” read because it’s a classic but you secretly hate it.

If we walk away still feeling desperate, we will fall desperately into the next job, relationship, book, or town out of fear. We will attract others and situations that operate out of fear as well.

I know this may sound a little woo woo—but it’s just about understanding that we have choices in life, and that the harder we exercise that choice, the richer and more fulfilling our lives will be.

If we enter a relationship based on a fear of being lonely, for instance, that is going to show up time and time again throughout the relationship. Same with if we settle for a job that pays us less than we are worth—maybe it’s not entirely about money, but that gesture, that offering, is the company/client telling us how much they value us and our worth, ultimately.

Of course there are those times that it’s still better to have a crap job than no job—we all have to get by. And so, sometimes, we have to accept the less-than-stellar situation—but the key is to only do it for as long as we absolutely have to, and know not only when to walk away, but how.

If we can walk away gracefully, we carry that gesture of strength and resiliency into our next endeavours.

Running away out of anger, wanting revenge, even feeling “betrayed”—all of those have the potential to leave us in victim mode. Then we keep moving through our life in this fear-based mode, thereby continuing to find new situations where our victim selves “fit”—places where we’re not valued, where we’re manipulated or abused.

Sometimes getting angry–really angry–is exactly what we need to get the fires burning. There is a beauty in its ability to free us. So I’m not saying don’t walk away in anger—sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed.

But holding onto that only holds us back. If, after we remove ourselves from the situation, we are still operating out of anger (which is basically just another version of fear), we tend to find others who meet us where we’re at.

Fear attracts fear, and so on.

Taking the high road doesn’t mean “don’t ever be angry”—but the thing is that we generally won’t find our higher pursuit, (the one that serves us), until we’ve resolved the anger for ourselves. This may or may not include forgiveness or reconciliation with the other party.

When we walk away with confidence, it’s this very act of grace, of faith, that carries us forward to people and places that meet us where we’re at: as calm, clear and shining beings.

Reservation is Not a Weakness.

bukowski quote

 

In this digital culture of everything-on-display-with-immediacy, we can say anything we want and it might reach a million people in a day.

We can and do express and create and share ourselves freely, completely.

With so much information available at all times, with so much coming at us, we are easily overwhelmed with a million things to react to.

These screens simultaneously connect us and separate us, creating a fictional, two-dimensional world where we can “see” each other but not really be there.

I think it’s simultaneously freeing us and fucking us up.

I’m such a proponent of authenticity. But when it comes to sharing how we feel, I think that we sometimes confuse vulnerability and openness with reactivity and emotionalism—maybe even a little bit of narcissism.

I’ve certainly been this way, and I don’t judge people for it, nor am I asking people to suppress emotions or accept abuse.

We’re learning how to be open and honest, vulnerable and real, but we still need to understand when to choose our battles and how to step into them with grace.

But what if it’s sometimes in ours and others’ best interest to shut up and maybe even fake it a little until all parties are willing and able to have a reasonable conversation?

Expressing emotions is healthy and necessary, but we also need to know how and when it’s best to just take a step back while still facing the problem or issue (person) in question.

This offers space and objectivity in difficult situations—basically, a break.

Then when we’re ready we can step back in with fresh ears.

We now may more easily have an audience, but the flip side of this is that we have more responsibility to participate as attentive audience members as well.

A negative consequence of this sharing and connection economy is that we tend to talk more than we listen.

Or maybe we have always been that way.

Either way, reservation need not be seen as a weakness. It can be an act of grace and a tool of empowerment if we approach it in it the right way.