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Truths

Shots Fired: Your Move.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

 

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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.

 

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About AlishiaDee (378 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

7 Comments on Shots Fired: Your Move.

  1. I’ve always done well by the traditional metrics of school without terribly much concentrated effort. I do make quite a few stupid mistakes though, and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a better metric of some sort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, when everything is mostly based on memorization, it’s not that difficult. Since there’s nothing else to grade on, mistakes end up being huge. Maybe there is something better. I’m sure with all the people working on improving our systems, something good will come out of it lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post! You write too good!! I could seriously read a book written by you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mmm. Your boyfriend is going thru philosophy because that’s the only class where your answers are graded based on the logical progression of the arguments you present. That’s the whole point of philosophy, to learn how to make statement A, move onto statement B, and conclude with statement C, not remember that this is true or that’s false.

    Your man will also have a very tough time IRL if he thinks he’s gonna make sure all the children working in Korea are taken care of. I was in my senior year of business school when my eyes were opened; we were not being trained to change things, to make things better. We were being trained to continue the status quo. Every graduate of business school, if they go into the field they’re trained in, will be asked to give up their morals and values for a high paid salary, and most will. He will be asked to not look at the shacks outside the factory, to ignore the smell because there’s no plumbing or sanitation, to pass by those very children he claims right now that he wants to save. And if he wants to stay in the business world, he’s gonna have to do just that. His job and professional reputation will be on the line, and trust me – when they blackball you you’ll never be welcome back. Ever.

    Money only has value because everyone believe in it. You can’t eat money, you can’t plant it in the ground to grow anything, you can’t make fabrics out of it, you can’t defend yourself against an attacker with it, you can’t build anything with it. In and of itself, it’s just paper. Good for starting a fire and that’s about it. We have, however, built a culture that worships those slips of paper. They seem to be the gateway into ‘a better life’ for us, whatever that may entail. That is another lie. Money has no intrinsic value, especially since the gold standard was dropped. Just watch the exchange rates; one day your bank balance might read a million of whatever currency you’re obsessed with, the next day you’ve become a pauper. The value of the paper is only based on the perceived value of future output of the country. Perceived because it’s done via a complex set of equations which, quite frankly, do not take into account all the variables needed to properly compute such a thing. AND there are various people and large organizations who work to suppress and manipulate currency rates. No. Money is just one more game to play, like playing the stock market or buying a house or having a family. That’s it’s only real value; as a game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah that’s why he isn’t really into philosophy really, and I think it’s why a lot of people aren’t, because it’s hard to separate your opinion of what’s right and wrong or true and false from an argument that just is or isn’t. . . at least, that’s what I see some people who struggle with philosophy go through. I personally enjoy it.

      And I also agree, technically money only has value because we place a value on it, but people never seem to care for that argument because they always come back at me with “it’s a necessity in our society” and so I’m like alright, if you want to play that card, than I’ll give you another reason for why I say money and value don’t necessarily go hand in hand . . .and that post is basically what I come up with haha. We’ve all made life into one big game really, we’ve assigned reason and meaning and requirements to it that wasn’t ever there from the beginning, at least as far as I’m concerned. But no one likes to think about this kind of stuff. A shame, really lol. But thanks for your input! I love hearing your opinions and sorry it took so long to get back

      Liked by 1 person

      • No apologies necessary! I’m glad to find someone who thinks along similar lines. It IS difficult to find people who think that way!

        Oh, yes. Many people have problems defending a viewpoint they don’t agree with. lol! Is that what Philosophy 101 really is? A course designed to weed out those people who can argue any point? Hmmm!

        Perhaps the better line of argument with money worshippers is to point out that what’s really going on is we’re putting a value on each of us as human beings. We’re saying the street cleaners are only worth minimum wage, that their children do not deserve better schools simply because the parents clean streets. We’re saying the corporate executives are worth millions of us regular guys. Is there ANY truth in that? I don’t think so.

        Like

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