Shots Fired: Your Move.


Is this what my generation has to offer the world?

Is it?

It this all we’ve got?

hashtag_selfie_drooling_on_blue_led_car_decal-r3643991aad4c4f86818bba2839e7dc61_zwcsn_324An army of vehicles with hashtag decals on the back window and girls in minishorts posing sexually against a wall on the street and asking a strange man to take a picture of them?

Is this all we’ve got?

I’m disappointed. I was expecting a little more. Get a tattoo of the first hashtag you see on your Twitter feed in the morning: now that will impress me.

Or, better yet, if you’re in high school, get a tattoo on your chest of the name of your boyfriend who you’ve been with for two weeks. That will really show me how smart you are.


You know, these people weren’t born like this. At least, in my totally expert (not) opinion. I believe they were conditioned and influenced by their surroundings to develop a lack of control of themselves and therefore delay their development of critical analysis.

It’s hard to measure someone’s intelligence though, and I certainly don’t base it off of something as simple as that. They may be very good at lacking control and being completely gullible. Better them than me.

They might be able to take a test easier than I can. I study until I can do every problem in the book (or the majority of them) and still come out with a D or F on a test because of my inattention. I skip simple steps and misread questions constantly.


Not exactly a detail I told my new bosses: in the department I work in, precision and detail is everything. If you’re a penny off in your count, the entire day’s balance is off and they have to sit around and read through every receipt until they find out where the error was.

I never blame the professors for marking me off big time on little details: it’s my fault, I should have seen them. I’m thinking about getting tests proctored elsewhere so I can have all the time I need to go over every little detail and recheck my inattentive mistakes.

9458372_origIt’s hard, in this society, not to base your intelligence off of a test score. I’m a perfectionist, so if I see anything less than a B, I’m immediately disheartened, particularly when I see the tiny, tiny details I missed that cost me so many points.

In a lot of cases that may be true. But in many, it’s not. My anxiety and attention issues often take over my ability to get things done correctly. But that’s not ever taken into account.

When I was doing runs with my trainer (runs = delivering items to particular stations) and we had to pass through the arcade and lazer tag area, the noise level was already loud, but for me and my sensory overload it was especially loud. So loud, my brain didn’t quite know what to think or where to think and my trainer had to repeat herself four times before I realized what she said. She’s very nice and patient, which I love. But I get frustrated with myself more than anything: we were only up there for two minutes, how could I get so discombobulated so quickly?

Unfortunately, part of social anxiety and anxiety in general is, when in large, noisy crowds, your brain is so busy trying to pay attention to every thing, every person, every voice, every noise, to scan for threat or a perceived threat, that you lose yourself. You’re no longer in the “now”, you’re in the black abyss I call “the possible”. I consider it “the possible” because your brain is focusing on what could, or might, or (to you) probably is happening. Like thinking someone who stared at you automatically hates you or sees something wrong with how you look or the way you dress or how your voice sounds. All from a glance.

If one glance can cause so much damage and panic in our minds, think about how ten or twenty or thirty glances affect us.


It makes us over-critical and over-judgmental of the people around us and of ourselves.

Sometimes that works to our advantages. For example, in my position when we walk through the park, we have to go very specific routes and must always maintain a certain length away from guests. If someone asks you to take a picture for them, you have to politely inform them “I’m sorry, it’s against my department’s policy to do so; if you ask anyone in tickets or games, they’d be happy to assist you”. If someone asks you a question, answer it while you’re walking: never stop on a run. 

If there’s someone suspicious wandering around, you better believe I’ll be the first to spot it. Although I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I’m suspicious of everyone. I can see the shifty eyes or stance from a mile away. I can sense someone who has been watching me or following me. It’s in my anxious nature.

It also has it’s disadvantages: I like routine, which is why I hate answering phones. You never know what kind of problem the other end is going to have.

robo_phonophobia_webBut does failing a test or having anxiety or purposefully avoiding the desks in the office with the phones, or being overly-cautious about people make me any less intelligent? 

School taught me it did, so I used to believe it did. Until I realized many (certainly not all) of those people who often aced tests and went off to huge universities or had many friends and brand new cars have never dealt with what I have. Their mind is clear. They might be stressed and they have had problems like everyone else, but they’ve never experienced what I have. Which means, but default, they could never have the same exact issues to the extent I do. That makes us different, not unequal.

A lot of times these days you’re taught what to think and made to believe they’re teaching you how to think.


For example, my boyfriend is a business major. He’s getting way better at critical thinking (that’s what he told me) and therefore was able to point some interesting things out to me in one of his business human resources something (I don’t fucking know) class book. They wanted you to believe C.E.O’s have an “aesthetic” quality about them (meaning they value harmony and artistic life episodes–anyone know what an “artistic life episode” is? Because we couldn’t figure it out.) and they wanted you to believe salespeople have a power hungry quality about them.

Then they defined something as having value when it’s “important to you”.

That’s a personal value, not an intrinsic or true value like they make it sound, because what’s important to you may not be important to your neighbor. What’s important to you isn’t important to the whole of the world.

If you’re going to give a definition, make sure you point what you’re really defining. A personal value, in this day and age, is what’s important to you.

I see why they don’t make business undergraduates take philosophy. They want you properly brainwashed before you attempt to open your mind some more.


But, you know, by that logic, if money is important to you, than it must be valuable or have value, right? Forget lying and murdering millions of people or being a douche, just pay attention to what’s important to you and only you. Whoever wrote that textbook was either a sheep or a very smart business person.

My boyfriend decided he wanted to agree (just to mess with me) that “what’s important to you” is the definition of “value”, and he wanted to agree that money is important to him and that therefore it’s valuable. I decided to give him a little run for his money.

Ha, no pun intended.

I asked why it was valuable, besides the basic definition.

He said money can run his business, take care of his family, and take care of his employees, and he threw the environmental issues in there for some brownie points.

I said okay. We’ll call that, depending on the size of his business and family, about 100 people or so, excluding the environment as people. Not to mention there was no discussion between us on the definition of what it meant to “help the environment with money.”

All those things he mentioned are true, and they’re nice of course. But could he hold those 100 people more valuable because they were simply “important to him” than the millions enslaved by his company to create his products? Can one person have more value than another? To the business definition of value, yes.

He said he’d have things made in America.


I told him the parts he’d get wouldn’t be made in America, they’d only be assembled by Americans.


He said he’d check in on the outsourced workers to make sure they’re being treated fairly and paid correctly.

I said he could never know; their bosses would lie to him. “Yeah, they’re getting paid 12 dollars an hour!” when really they’re getting a penny every three hours.



He said he’d fly out there to make sure.

I said he’d spend an awful lot of money very frequently doing that and questioned his stance again: “so then are the people more important or the money?”

He just started laughing. So did I, but the truth of the matter is they’re teaching many selfish, individualistic views in this school system. It’s what we base ourselves on these days. It’s why we obsess with selfies and beat ourselves up when our reputation isn’t what we want it to be. It’s why some fall into the abyss of a crowd and lose themselves for the sake of likability.

yin-yang-right-wrong-450More over, if what is important to you is what you value above all else, that gives you the freedom to disregard anyone’s definition of right or wrong. In fact, you skip over right and wrong. You go straight from importance to value. It becomes regardless of consequences or intention or any of that. 

Money is important. But does importance have anything to do with value?  I believe they’re separate. Money is important in that it’s now the foundation of our lives. It gives us food and shelter and keeps our kids alive. It’s now a necessity to live. But are all necessities valuable or just simply . . . needed?

What’s the true definition of value? Well, there are many, depending on who you follow. There’s intrinsic value: value something has in itself; happiness, for example. Happiness is good because it’s just good to be happy, not because you’re getting anything else out of being happy, and extrinsic value: basically the opposite of intrinsic; google it. It all depends.

Value, to me, is regardless of importance because importance can be really subjective. To me, if something is irreplaceable or hard to clone, it has a certain level of value.

Can there be both? Perhaps. I value thought. Thinking is also important; if you don’t think at some point in your life, you’re probably going to die.

To me, money is important. But I don’t value it. I can get replacements of it all sorts of ways.

Maybe that’s just me.

Read your textbooks carefully, students.