(Updated and reposted from original dated February 10, 2022)
One of the things that makes man so unique is his ability to create something out of anything. No animal on our planet has ever created a medium of exchange, such as money, or shopping malls to buy things that someone else designed and created, or pieces or art and poetry, or scientific discoveries, or anything else we possess. Not even clothes.
Imagination is the source of this gift of creativity. Animals operate off of instinct and training. Some creatures can figure things out on a rudimentary level. But things not yet done are not in their quiver.
No dolphin trained to carry explosives by the Navy ever thought of the consequence of that act, and they certainly didn’t invent the deadly device strapped on their back. Nor can any monkey count to 10 without a scientist coaching them. No dog can figure out how to round up sheep correctly without someone teaching them the right way to do it.
And no AI has desire to anything outside the program. They cannot create from nothing as man can.
Only man has that creative gift
A person loses a piece of themselves when they relinquish who they are to support someone else’s dreams.
Computers are a big part of the reason for this loss.
With the advent of computers in the 1970-1980’s going mainstream as a part of company and banking industry use, the work became the same across the board.
Mediocrity in production and end result became the norm. There is no longer a drafter with unique handwriting skills displayed. No longer do bank clerks show their beautiful penmanship in entering accounts. Even clothing and cars all look alike.
Mass production for the highest profit has become the rule. Everything has become mundane. Even doctors and artists today use computers as their tools of the trade.
And man has begun searching for that one thing that makes him unique…that set him apart. His true purpose in life.
If material possessions become a man’s reason to work, he loses himself. And he wonders at those who claim that if you do what you love, the money will follow.
My personal perspective
After quitting my job, it has taken me months to realize what was missing in my life.
The dreams of others replaced the things I loved to do. My skillset in the industry had come to an end. I became tired of redoing work to please the few. I no longer wanted to learn things that, in the long run, didn’t mean anything.
There. is only one life to live. And only one opportunity to make it worthwhile. When this life is over, there is no “redo”. It is done. And all the hopes and dreams I had as a child will never come to fruition. Instead, I let someone else’s dream take its place.
Suddenly, the clouds began to clear. What was I forgetting to do? What did I really love to do when I was younger?
Paint. And write. Writing about different subjects was my favorite task. I was able to write my own version of that story. I loved to paint what I saw. And I loved to make fun of life through cartooning.
While the cartooning hasn’t come back yet, the other two have. Just stepping out and writing this blog with no direction on how it would look was the first measure to open up that door of creativity.
And it feels freeing.
Free beyond the algorithms
All the computer algorithms mean nothing to me. I will not be tied to someone’s idea of what is “acceptable” or “sellable” to anyone again.
Just to be free to do what I did as a child is enough.
A human being is meant to create. He is meant to be free to do what he is designed to do. That doesn’t mean he is to work in a cubicle all day and become someone else’s machine.
We are not meant to follow the crowds all day. We are meant to follow our own path.
Today, plan to set aside time – a LOT of time – to just sit and remember. What was it you were good at? What did you enjoy as a child? Not what you thought you wanted to do or be, but what you enjoyed doing. What made you unique?
You’d be surprised at what you find.
I thought I wanted to be a computer programmer when I was a teenager. I’d studied up on what IBM had come up with, and was excited to show off my knowledge to anyone who would listen. I took a course in computer programming and operations with Control Data back in the day. It was exciting. It was new technology. And it was simple. I aced it.
But as time went on, it quickly became more and more complex. The market is now saturated with people who do that work. Even though they don’t like it, it is easy money.
Few want to do menial tasks, such as serving at restaurants, or tilling the land.
But if everyone is to do the same thing, what will man eat? Or wear? Will robots take up those “mundane tasks”?
Then what happens to mankind?
Taking away his or her skillset removes him or her from the very essence of what makes them human.
The end goal
But if that is the end goal, then what is the purpose of their life? It is only to become a number in a large corporation (where the good paying jobs typically are) so they can have nice stuff? Or pay their mortgage? Perhaps to send money home to help their families? Or…
One former coworker told me that his wife was working. His excuse was because he “didn’t want to support any freeloader”.
So the idea of motherhood has gone by the wayside as well. Taking care of the home is now kicked to the proverbial curb. Money has become the more important factor in the relationship.
The children grow up and leave home. Time to spend with them is squandered on time spent driving them to activities. Meals come from a box or fast food restaurants. Food, creatively made and lovingly served, is replaced by pizza and soda, fast food drive-throughs.
One busy mom fed cold cereal to her child for dinner. She had no time between games and work to do any cooking. Would that child’s relationship with food be healthy when she grows up?
The family unit often isn’t strong because of this routine. Mom and dad work long hours to pay for a nice house, nice clothes, sports activities, etc. The time lost as a family, the time to spend with each other and get to know each other, is quickly disappearing.
Important things to consider
What really is important? Is family truly important? It is the first community you will ever encounter. What becomes of that intimate bond when the children are removed from the home for the majority of the day? Who will teach them the family values? Who will teach them the history of the personal heritage?
The parents now relinquish their obligations to teach and raise their children to others. The children are raised by strangers whose values may or may not be consistent with their own. Then they are shuffled from one activity to another.
They are given cell phones and technology at younger and younger ages. All this to distract them so mom and dad can have time to themselves. Time to spend on their own devices.
We went to a restaurant one day and noticed a family sitting next to us. None of them talked. None of them interacted. Each were glued to their devices. Everything and everyone around them was tuned out.
A young girl was running one day, plugged into her audio player. A guy came up behind her and tweaked her ponytail just to see if she was paying attention. She didn’t even notice.
Distractions used to be giving kids pencils, paper, crayons, scissors, clay, finger paints, outside activities such as stickball (predecessor to baseball), chasing each other playing tag, jumprope, reading, climbing trees. They learned to interact with each other and building relationships. Stickball and other creative games were encouraged.
It helped generate independent, self-reliant, unique human adults.
Now in schools, recess isn’t a “necessity”. Removed from education are course that once stimulated the mind. Courses on classical music, the beauty of art through the the ages, etc.
Gone are the teaching of practical life skills. Home economics, government and economics, and managing money is no longer part of the curriculum.
Computer sciences replace the classics that once stimulated the mind. Sex education, drug education (neither of which touch on morality and propriety that keeps kids within safe boundaries and relationships) replace parental authority on such subjects.
But learning STEAM and STEM programs, etc. have become the important courses. The children are taught to be good worker bees.
Some will go on to become good architects of the technology.
However, the majority grow up to be unhappy humans. The dreams of the masses has replaced the dreams they once had. Something of lesser value has replaced those dreams.
It is almost as if a factory were churning out duplicates of the same personality. Very few come out of it different in their thoughts or ideas anymore.
And the industry that caters to “finding your purpose in life” has gone gangbusters. Instinctively people know that there is some greater meaning to their existance. They just don’t know what that is.
And only the few are connecting the dots.
Well, not “no one”. The few who have broken away and become happy in a life with less distractions and less “stuff” have become a curiosity.
“How did they do that?”
“It’s impossible. I can’t do that.”
“Not me! I can’t give up my stuff.”
“How would I feed myself let alone a family?”
“I wish I could do that, but I don’t know how. I don’t like what they are doing. But I like the fact that they did it.”
“What is my purpose? They found theirs. But I just don’t have that kind of ability to gain such freedom. I guess I’ll just be stuck in the same job until I can retire.”
To be fully human, you need to be free. Free to make choices about yourself. All of yourself. You will regain that lost creativity. The ones lost by your choices. That important parts taken from you by others.
Moving beyond the limits…
Put away the technologies. Lock them up in a safe at a friend’s house if you can’t break away from it’s addictive power.
Save up enough money to take a month or three off. One guy I knew saved up for a year.
Then left everything behind.
He walked the beaches in South America, leaving everything behind. And he discovered what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.
You will save money by spending far less than you bring in.
Do you really need that new piece or clothing or shoes? Do you need to have a new computer, upgrade a cell phone that still works, or attain the latest and greatest device on the market?
Turn off the media and television/ROKU/movies/videos on YouTube. Remove all outside distractions. Reset yourself in the quietness of the moment. Be by yourself. You’ll never hear your inner voice if you don’t let go of everything outside of yourself.
Stop listening to what everyone else is telling you to believe. Find out what, deep inside yourself, you truly believe. If it isn’t enough, seek Truth. You will find that inner voice once all distractions disappear.
It is a promise.
But you have to be willing to take the time to remove yourself from everything else.
Remember your past…
And remember what you enjoyed doing as a child. Was it drawing? Was it horseback riding? What is writing? Was it making jewelry out of scrap wire? Was it whittling figures out of wood? What was it?
Then do it.
You’ll suck at it at first. We all do. But you’ll find satisfaction in just doing it. And, in time, you’ll regain what you’ve lost in your life.
Stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses for not finding your North Star. No one else will find it for you. Others are too busy being concerned about themselves and their own petty problems. They just flat out don’t care about anything or anyone beyond themselves.
No one will give you that direction. That direction is already inside you. You just need to let go of everything the world is pushing on you, and find what you’ve been shutting down. A still small voice is inside of you. It is telling you what you need to know.
So stop trying to “fit in” or be the same as everyone else.
You are unique. And you matter. So is what you can give to the world. Your ability to create things that are unique. What you aren’t doing that affects the world more than what you are doing. The most important thing you can ever do is recognize what you are designed to be.
Go for it. You are worth it. So is your contribution to the rest of humanity.