Farewell welfare. Welcome to..better-fair.

It’s so easy to be green..

I’ve just been watching and enjoying the latest YouTube video of one   
of my heroes Paul mc keever on environmentalism and in particular the   
psychology of it.In short, environmentalism can be seen as the ‘new’ altruism or socialism. (As a matter of fact green usually stands for left wing orientation).

For anyone who took the time to read Karl Marx and did not notice the   
hate and envy behind his obsessive talk of the bourgeois class and   
industrialists, read it again and notice it.

Green has this same envy behind it. Is it a mere coincidence that their main target too is big industry with big capital? I don’t think so. 

Sure, I like clean air and water. Sure I like forests. But who likes   
the opposite? That’s is not the issue.
But is that really what green is after? Or to return to the above   
analogy: was mister Marx really after the well-fare of the   
prolatariat or just against the ‘power’ of industry? Or worse: was he after power over the productive minds? Well history proved that answer. 

“Compared to nature man is small and incompetent to cope”. Oh is men   
really small and incompetent? Sure all the technology which permits   
you to read these lines did not grow on trees? If you read this you   
might think of the fact that you have had some kind of fever once in   
your life. A fever that could have killed you already if you were   
living 300 years ago? Medical knowledge did not just arrive with the   
wind without any thoughts required to achieve it.

Let people who say we are small and that courage, happiness and capacity are random gifts of nature-not to be proud about-start over again in their saved forests without any commodity invented by the human mind through history. 

Let me enjoy the great books, advanced medical care, theatre, an opera   
by Mozart, food from far away countries, and much more. Don’t you   
worry I don’t take away your happiness or well being to do that.

Besides I can’t steal what you did not produce in the first place! After all happiness is a product of effort too.

An Apple a day..

I just added Apple as a link on my site. Do they need yet another link? Do they not have already enough publicity and money?

No, they don’t. However, they don’t for another reason you might think of immediately, (I suspect..).

Yes, of course I admire and enjoy their products. They are great and will be greater still in the time to come. But that’s not where my admiration stops really. What inspires me perhaps more is the way they approach the market place. To me a business is as much about successful living, an effective life and good philosophy as those elements which are needed to achieve personal happiness.

Just watch how they adapt to the world market, without ever denying their own identity and premises. Just watch how they understood that they needed to change their name from Apple Computers to Apple, taking away the ‘computers’ of their corporate name.

Just watch how they understood that the consumer wants more then a good computer with the apple logo on it. Just watch how their iPhone really is a mobile computer without any hassle at all in operating it, making the user interface as simple as you can ever dream of. And watch how they do all this without just copying others and run behind the facts.

Note how they launch their products giving the competition enough time to copy or improve what they have. But at the moment the competition achieves to produce what they have, they launch the next part of there carefully planned long term strategy cutting the retail-price, and offering other companies the possibility to make their profit designing applications for Apple’s phone. And surely, they have their next move ready when the competition manages to catch up with them. And no doubt they will.

Speaking about moves and next moves: one of those new applications I immediately downloaded for my ipod is the good old chess game. Frankly, I am not a good chess player at all. But I am fascinated by the game, its strict rules, the logic, and the endless possibilities it offers. The thing that fascinates me most is to master the capacity to think more then one step ahead in time. A sort of long term vision or planning. Also,it is about learning to see the options you have and perhaps fail to see. The choices you can make, like in life itself. The mercy-less consequences of a wrong move. The rationality that rules the game and its parallels to life itself.

I now play a game of ‘chess a day’, on my ‘apple a day’, I never won against the Apple but that’s not the fun of it. It’s about getting that feeling of rationality and efficacy. That inspires me. 

Happiness is about good daily practices. The more you get into the habit of good daily routines..well..the happier you get. The opposite is maybe more evident but that emphasizes the same point, does it not?

I could go into explaining all the implications on life of the above, but I don’t. I don’t want to take away your joy in thinking. I respect my readers.

Reflections on a sugar-sweet song

Rather by chance I heard a song with the title “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston some weeks ago, which I did not hear anymore since my teenage years. I usually do not pay attention to lyrics all that much but I remembered reflecting on this one years ago. But I couldn’t do much with it at the time. For those who don’t know the song, in short, Miss Houston tells us that the greatest love of all is about learning to love yourself. 

Now, the choice of words and music might not be completely to my personal liking, but that’s not the point now. My point here is that there definitely is something like a relationship with yourself, exactly with the same possible dynamics as a relationship with any other person, in any possible degree.

I want to take this analogy a bit further. A little experiment.

I can listen or not to other people, I can listen or not to myself. I can respect other people or not, I can respect myself or not. I can make other people miserable or happy, I can do that to myself. I can choose to be mean or kind to other people, likewise to myself. I can reproach other people for making mistakes, I can do so towards myself. You get the point, and you can take the analogy as far as you like. Try it out. Do this at home. I think it stands every test.

So I thought: if this is the case then how can I take this knowledge a step further and make the best use of it? In other words, what do I know about good relationships with other people, or bad ones for that matter, the take that knowledge and apply it to my relationship with myself.

Let’s start with a trading relation. The trader principle surely reminds us of business relationships. It’s about a fair trading of values. Usually work for money, but it’s more then that. I think that trust and respect are at least as essential in any trading relationship. Also think of investments. As you make an investment (in terms of money, time and effort) you’d expect something of value to you in return, right?

So, as ‘distant’ as it seems, is this principle of value for value applicable the my relationship with myself? I think it does.

Surely, respect and trust in yourself are essential if you want to make the best of your relation to yourself. It might become a tough ride otherwise all the way to your final days. But what does it mean really if all this is not to remain about throwing in some good slogans. 

When I respect my partner I give him the space to decide on his own for the part he is involved. If I trust him I’m not going to doubt every move he makes. I am not going to question every detail he creates and decides upon. Likewise, I do not intimidate him with threats or fear and put negative pressure on him, in order to feel stronger or something of that sort. When a problem arises I do not immediately think that he is trying to rip me off or being plain lazy. I would choose for at least the benefit of the doubt. Also, if I make investments and dedicate my precious time to his benefit, I could count on a benefit as a return for myself, otherwise who makes me do it?

If you re-read the part above and roughly replace ‘partner’ with ‘myself’ and ‘he’ with ‘I’ you get the picture of what I am after. I’m sure other things still could be added.

Now love is still a higher level of relationships. More then respect love is about admiration. More then liking somebody, love is about seeing your highest values in someone else. So without further ado: think about what you admire in yourself. Think about what high values you recognize in yourself. It might feel uneasy to you, to say that you admire things in yourself, but I’m sure that when you are really honest you know what you admire in yourself. You know what makes you proud. I have discovered I admire much more in myself the I admitted before. I tell you, that makes the collaboration with myself easier and life so much lighter.

More: when someone you love has a problem how do you react? And then: how do you react to yourself if you have a problem? Do you listen? Do you look the other way? Do you ignore it or fake it doesn’t exist? Or perhaps you would not do that with someone you love? You might want to listen and try to solve a problem or at least to put it into perspective, right?

These are just a few points -and not all I’m sure -that came up thinking about the subject. What is clear to me is this: you better trust yourself, you better invest a lot of time into yourself to learn, to improve skills, to deepen insights, to listen to your thoughts and feelings, to expand your possibilities and so on. It’s time worth investing and the ‘net-profit’ is guaranteed. I’m convinced about it and found that out along the way.

There is one fault in the analogy however: You can dump your lover, change your trading partner, but you better get the best out of the relationship with yourself, the choice is yours. And it’s an obvious choice too.

So when you take out the sugar and fat, turn the song into a ‘diet version’ it becomes a lot easier to digest mentally.

Miss Houston: right on.. and thank you.

Better-fair: what’s in it for me?

With all the blogs flying around on the www, I feel a justification is needed to create still another one.

Here it is: it serves my own satisfaction. Hang on… I’ll make that clearer now. 

I am a moderate blogger really. I have some favorite blogs that add something -or more than something- to my life and well being. Other blogs try and offer me suffering, loneliness, confessions of (presumed) guilt, not to mention safely anonymous declarations of hate, insults and so on.

Liberty and respect for all but: not what I need! And if that’s what you need surf on right now.

In what way then is my own satisfaction served by claiming this rightful share of http://www.bytes?

Well, here you go:

  1. Writing serves me to live better, to think better, to further expand my positive sense of life.
  2. Any comment you might want to make serves me to continuously confront my own idea’s and to improve or-if needed-revise them.
  3. I feel life is, for an important part, about self-expression and individuality.
  4. I like to learn, to grow, and to find new ways to ever higher levels of life-enjoyment and -experience
So if there’s something in there that you value too, we can be partners for sure.
Oh..I need a mission. A blog needs a mission. 
My mission is to share and to enhance my happiness, growth and joy in life and all that that could possibly entail: personal thoughts, findings, opinions, politics and so forth. I will find out as I go along I think.
Not convinced? At least appreciate the fair deal:
I am not trading my suffering for your best thoughts.