Little Joys Ch.71: Dog love and human obsession

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

March 12th, 2020

I have always had a bit of a strange relationship with dogs. There is a part of me that takes deep joy in seeing them, playing with them, simply letting their wild excitement infect me and going into a childish play mode.

But as the years have gone by and social media has become infested with peoples kind of creepy obsession with dogs, I have become slightly turned off by them in many instances, but I recognize that it is not the dogs I have an issue with, more so just how people are trying to turn them into human babies.

That being said, from time to time they still manage to catch me off guard and have me smiling from ear to ear, and here in Bali, with its extremely large quantity of wild dogs simply loping around in packs, I have had the chance to see some hilarious dog confrontations. As I walked the beach, two groups of dogs clashed, not in a violent way, but simply play fighting which turned into butt sniffing then into running full pelt into waves only to be thrown back onto the shore, only to resume butt sniffing.

Dogs are some of the strangest, funniest, weirdest, cutest looking creatures we have bred. I don’t think I will ever truly get tired of them, even if humans can be slightly annoying with how they treat them.

May the doggies reign supreme for many centuries to come.

As always, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly!

The toxicity of gaming culture

Many people will think this post is some man hating rant about how male toxicity is ruining the gaming industry. This simplistic idea is shared by a bunch of people who don’t understand biology nor how our environment affects us.

Take a human being, someone who is already introverted and shy, stick them in a room alone, barely interacting with other humans face to face, not learning proper social cues and emotional control, make them play something aggressive with other people who they cannot see or hear or touch, and we wonder why gamers can be assholes.

Twitter, facebook and instagram are another perfect example of what happens when you remove people socializing face to face, let them remain relatively ambiguous and free from consequences, and the shit will fly.

There are aspects of male biology that make men fall into this trap more often, higher testosterone levels can really play havoc on aggression, especially considering many gamers are young teens who are already have very little control of their emotions.

But it has nothing to do with male toxicity, and everything to do with the toxicity of online gaming culture. In the same way that the toxicity on social media has to do with its culture.

Social interaction online can be a great thing, people can connect from all around the world. But we have to be realistic about the fact that most humans in the world get zero training on how to take care of themselves emotionally, physically and intellectually. They sit around in front of screens banging away, feeling like shit, cut off from the real world, and it all goes to hell.

Gaming in and of itself is great, regardless of the type of game. What we need is a paradigm shift in how we raise our children, we need to focus less on math skills and more on life skills.

We need to teach ourselves how to behave, with empathy, with courage and most especially with a higher level of understanding of how our brains are primitive and need our higher consciousness to rein them in constantly.

This takes training, lots of it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

What defines us?

What does it mean to be an individual?

Are we to be judged on the color of our skin? the misdeeds of our ancestors? hair? style of dress?

How about the foods we eat or the music we listen to?

What defines us truly?

Most of us go through life merely reacting to whatever our lizard brains throw at us. Consciously attempting to express who we are should be viewed in a positive light as it is our attempt to self reflect and figure out the world around us and who we wish to be within it.

To explore ideas, disassemble them, and come up with new and exciting ways of viewing the world is paramount to a society that wishes to progress and grow. We need to embrace complexity, refrain from putting things and people into little boxes.

But to do all this all of us requires us to be patient. We need to allow people to stumble, to say the wrong thing, to ask uncomfortable questions, to push ourselves to see the person behind the question and not just violently react whenever someone says something we disapprove of.

Social media has created a culture where its cool to start attacking whomever you disagree with without taking a single moment to attempt to understand why a person is saying what they are saying.

We can do better people.

Being kind vs nice

There is an epidemic of nice people raging through the world at this moment, and I don’t mean it in a good way.

Everywhere I turn I see people who have no backbone, who are so afraid to have a personality that they just smile and nod to everything everyone around them says, they stand for nothing and accomplish nothing.

These same people will get caught up in the internet wars, becoming little social justice warriors, but they have put zero effort into actually researching and understanding any of the topics they are raging about.

They are just putting on this nice person act.

Kindness is a different thing.

A kind person does something out of genuine empathy, they are the kind of people who radiate a kind of warmth whenever you’re around them, they bring a sense of calm to whatever situation they are involved in because they are compassionate people.

That is because truly kind people are strong. They know who they are and what they stand for and are not afraid to get their hands dirty. They don’t waste their time moaning and complaining on twitter and facebook, they are out there in the trenches, whether it’s in their own cities or out in the world, they are melding thought with action.

I have met very few genuinely kind people in my life. When I do, they make me feel guilty simply by existing and being who they are.  They inspire and make me want to be a better person.

We desperately need more people like that in our lives, and I wish that social media platforms would highlight more of these people, instead of popularizing this fake let me be nice to the homeless person so I can get a million likes on my page kind of people.

We can do better folks, there are beautiful people all around us.

Morality is not simple

Morality, when broken down to its most basic definition, is a conscious choice to respect anothers  right to safety of body and mind. After all, right and wrong only have meaning when one human is talking about something that affects themselves, other humans or living creatures.

Yet this must be tempered with the knowledge that life is not black and white, the system of values that drives us forward as a species is not simple.

Determining the best possible joy for all humans is difficult, especially when including other forms of life such as plants, mammals and even insects.

People make grandiose statements every day on social media, basking in the adulation of others as they simplify immensely complex issues into memes and soundbites.

Right and wrong are shifting paradigms that evolve daily depending on context and those of us who make them out to be just you’re either on my side of the fence or the other are just children refusing to accept the reality of life.

Don’t be a child, deepen your perspective of how life really works, then you can truly join the conversation about how to better the world that we live in.