Multigenerational Ignorance

I think basic medical training in elementary schools would greatly improve the hygiene of the population in the long term.
I have a friend who is a Registered Nurse, and I am constantly trying to get her to go into her kids school and teach the children about hygiene; washing hands, bacteria,  flu, colds, meningitis, and food poisoning.
In regular public education, there was practically no health or medical training. I think 9th grade biology was the closest I ever got to learning about infections.

It doesn’t seem like anyone teaches basic life skills anymore. Not schools or parents . We have whole generations that aren’t proficient in basic domestic skills. It seems like these skills were lost a generation ago, and we now have children that won’t ever learn it, because their parents never did.
Would you know how to handle a flu? Change a tire? Cook an omelet? Mend a torn garment? Care for wood furniture?
Health and hygiene stand out to me, because I see a generation of adults that aren’t good caregivers or housekeepers. They feed their young children junk food, and neglect their home maintenance.
In light of such large societal failings, the normal solution would be for the government pick up the slack, but with the shrinking budget for public education, this seems unlikely. I see the quality of life decreasing with every generation.
Health is on the decline; Heart Disease and Obesity rates  climb, healthcare costs raise, drug addictions lower life expectancy.  Indispensable luxury items strain finances, and the barriers to owning property increase.   Living paycheck to paycheck, people will prioritize, and cut corners where they can. All the while forgetting unnecessary information, like basic health, basic maintenance, and basic courtesy.

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Religion for sale

I don’t know how, but I got stuck on a hypothetical question I overheard in a restaurant last week.
The customers asked their waitress what would a Church could do in order for her to consider being a repeat supporter. The waitress gave an  open-minded response about inclusiveness, but it wasn’t really specific.
I was a business major, so I started thinking about a Church like a ‘product’, which changed the question to : how can this company more effectively market their specific product to  me [aka their target audience]?
I think Churches often desire a diverse congregation, but the more diverse an audience, the more watered down their marketing strategy becomes. It wouldn’t be reasonable to advertise traditionalist stylings to a congregation of all ages, infant to senior, since not everyone wants that. It becomes difficult to lecture when only half the audience finds the presentation  relatable. I wouldn’t go to a store that specializes in the types of products I wasn’t shopping for; it wouldn’t be a good fit.

Most religions have the same types of teachings. Which means that the differences between Churches are created by the communities that surround them.
Like most Millennials, I spend a great deal of time online. It would be easiest for a company to market products to me with social media, and with as much emphasis on my age group as possible.
Most people age 25-35, aren’t interested in products aimed at families, children, or seniors. Millennials have their own way of doing things, and have something specific on their mind. In order for a Church to effectively market to me, it would have cater to people my age and demographic;   understand what’s important to me, and talk to me about things that I find relevant.

Hobby or Habit

Hobby or Habit; There are some things that can be both, depending on the person.
A regular leisure activities; like collecting, sports, or creative pursuits, are obviously hobbies, but if a person gets into a routine of doing the activity, the repetition becomes unconscious, and at that point it’s hard to stop; like an addiction, but most of the time perfectly harmless.
Fitness and hygiene; Both are common habits, and most people have dedicated routines for these activities.

I’ve gotten into arguments about whether or not video games are a hobby. It’s a leisure activity, but for some people it’s an addiction, and for others just it’s to combat boredom or loneliness.   Much in the same way that Gambling is intended to be for entertainment, but people have been known to become addicted to it.
Being a wine enthusiast is a hobby, but alcoholism is an addiction.
Food is not  itself a hobby [since everyone eats], but activities like cooking or seeking out a creative fine dining experiences is.
I’m thinking that some parameters make hobbies more realistic.
For example; restoring antique bicycles is a  hobby, but commuting to work via bicycle is a habitual activity, and undiscriminating hoarding all varieties of bicycles is an addiction.

I was fairly certain that everyone had a hobby of some kind. But the older I get, the more lackluster people I happen to meet.  People that have habits, but not really hobbies.
I’m always puzzled by these hobby-less people. I find that they’re spending their spare time on unskilled activities; like binge watching tv, or posting pictures with food. We live in an age of ever-present social media, so people don’t ever have to be alone [with themselves] in their leisure time.  The ability to ‘constantly update’ means that the habit of scrolling through the main feed is their hobby.

Closet Hoarder

I find myself to be a hoarder of fancy clothing.
Clothing that I rarely wear, that I possibly got for a special occasion but have never worn again. Clothing that I can’t bring myself to get rid of, because of how pristine it still is.
When the opportunity arises, I find myself accumulating more formal clothing, for the possibility that I will at some point in the future, go to a fancy party.
This clothing occupies a special section in my closet, which has slowly managed to take up more and more space over the years.
And it only recently occurred to me that I don’t go to fancy dress parties, that I collect things that I don’t use, and that I am a hoarder of formal clothing.
The easiest way to remedy this situation would be to start going to fancy dress parties. Or simply start wearing fancy clothing to normal events. Or perhaps, to stop purchasing causal clothing, so that I may be forced to wear the nicer clothing.
It doesn’t seem like a difficult thing to do, yet, every day I find myself wearing jeans and a shabby t-shirt.
I fantasize about situations where I might theoretically want to wear fine clothing, and then I remember that it would never happen. Not once ever have I been to a gala, met royalty, or been to a formal new year’s party.
I’m not sure why these garments were created, it doesn’t seem like anyone actually needs to own them.

My perpetually single friend

I have an friend who is perpetually single. I’m sure we all have at least one.
He always talks about his desire to have a girlfriend, but is weirdly picky in the rare occurrences when a lady expresses interest in him.
Never going on more than 2-3 dates, and always revising his criteria to include more nit-picky specifics, he seems to be actively trying to remain single, while insisting that his dream girl is as easy to find as 1-2-3.
I can only hypothesize that his problem is mental because he looks fairly normal; early 30s, thin, shaved bald, but has an eccentric beard, and is obsessed with playing a certain mobile game.
Even though he’s already met a few women who meet most of his criteria, he insisted that they weren’t good enough, for various reasons never before mentioned.
At this point, even if he meets the woman of his dreams, he won’t have any dating-experience to behave in a regular-relationship style with her.
Socially stunted, his approach to dating misinterprets a ‘hangout’ as a ‘romantic date’. He will invite ladies to go on outings and ‘hangout’ while playing a mobile game, all the while believing that it’s a date, but not conveying any romantic intentions to the lady.
I’ve tried to tell him that being in proximity isn’t the same as being in a relationship.  It’s a kind of delusion similar to where you think you’re friends with your waitress, because you go into that particular restaurant frequently enough to know her name.
We all assume that he believes that a lady will do all the relationship leg-work, and he just has to sit back and wait for 1 that he likes.  And None of us are sure where he got this idea, since he isn’t terribly impressive; not talented, wealthy, or charismatic; not to mention, living like a college bachelor.  And he absolutely doesn’t have an endless parade of women throwing themselves at him.
Yet there he is, year after year, always single, and complaining that meeting women is hard and he’s getting old.

social media lookups

Out of morbid curiosity, I looked up an Ex.  I’m sure we’ve all been curious about people from our pasts. People we haven’t thought about in years. The social media stalkerish tools make it extremely easy to find people anywhere in the world. There’s a phone in my pocket, constantly beckoning.
Anyway, I’m not sure what made me think of them after all these years. Maybe a movie I watched, or a dream I had. Might’ve just been the holiday season, which always seems to knock me off balance.
I just wanted a peek, to see if they aged well. If they’re happy, married, chunky, ect. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I did want to look.
Modern social media has really changed how a lifetime is documented. Photoshop, filters, selfies, I can’t be sure of what I’m seeing.
Is everyone having glamourous adventures? Or are they just really good at overhauling their average lives in real-time, with photo manipulation and social media.
The photos I found were inconclusive.  Destination pictures; too selective to convey a narrative. Sparse; too few to establish habitual behaviors.
I don’t truly feel like I know anything real about them. But such is the nature of social media.

Winter Depression

The weather has got me down. It’s frosty every morning, and seems harder to leave the house when the world outside is so unwelcoming.  Yet, day after day, I go out and face it. Christmas is coming up, and I think this will be the last year that I give presents. It doesn’t seem like anyone else I know is taking the tradition seriously, so  I’ve lost enthusiasm for it. People used to talk about the stress of the holidays, so in theory, not participating in it should remove the strain.
People also say that winters’ cool/dark weather causes depression. The sun sets early in winter, so most working people get very little sunlight in a normal week day.      My office building doesn’t have windows on the main floor, so it’s possible for me to arrive before the sun light touches down, and leave just after the sun sets. Creating the illusion of momentary daylight and/or perpetual darkness.  I can see how living in such gloom could cause mental instability, coupled with social pressures to be jolly and festive, it’s a marvel  that people are able to remain calm for the duration of it.
It appears that I wake up every day in darkness, leave my house in twilight, go to work all day, travel again at dusk, and spend all my free time trying to run errands in the cold night-time. I am not sure how other people are functioning.    Perhaps  I have already lost my mind, and this experience is what dementia feels like.
I generally don’t devote much time to social behaviors or maintaining relationships, and  still, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish basic seasonal tasks.
My growing disinterest with the social practices of our consumer culture leaves me with just enough time to be an eccentric hermit.  Which I’ve learned can be accomplished with just a few hours of tomfoolery on the weekend.
It’s not a joyous existence, but it’s better than nothing.

Happy-Sad about the Holidays

The holiday-fever seems to get more extreme with each passing year. I saw full sections of Christmas merchandise for sale as early as Halloween.  I often wonder why no other holidays get the same reaction.  Halloween also has iconic mascots, tradition, and marketability, but there are no parades  for it, or societal pressures to be enthusiastic about it. Many people don’t even bother to dress up for it; no clothing or decorations to signify holiday participation. I’ve always enjoyed Christmas lights, so premature holiday decorations have never bothered me. It feels like the  darkness of winter is less gloomy when bright playful lights adorn the buildings. I’ve never found them to be ‘merry’ but I do find the change of scenery to be entertaining. Any change at all is welcome.

My area has a Christmas faire in downtown, which appears to have outgrown its inner-city park location. Spilling out into nearby areas, causing traffic/pedestrian overcrowding.   The event made a world record for its quantity of decorated trees this year.   So either people really like Christmas, or they just  like street carnivals; or most likely, they just like a change of scenery.
That being said, the office where I work is managed by an individual who is hell-bent on Never celebrating any holiday. We are presently less than 3.5 weeks from Christmas, and every store everywhere has their holiday displays out in full force, but this office [inside and out] is deceptively barren.
I’m fairly certain that I’m the only person working here who still has the nervous energy to be upset with the management. Everyone else is submissive to the antiquated views of the boss-man. It’s Not a disgusting/arduous place to work, but it’s just no fun at all. The blandness breaks a person, like being locked in an insane asylum, white walls everyday, while the holidays are happening outside without me .

‘Basic’ personality: the trendy safe-zone of socially acceptable behaviors

There is no unchecked individuality in our culture, because we all live by the accepted social rules of our specific subcultures. We all belong to certain social culture-groups.
If all of your friends were ‘doing something’ [fashion, hobby, opinion, ect], eventually you’d be doing it too. Or else you’d be going against your subcultures norms, and subsequently experience social rejection. Humans are social creatures, so we try to conform with our groups’ customs, whatever they may be.

The Basic B*tch/Bro behavior  is a creation of the consumer-goods marketing strategy. Companies have accidentally created a subculture of shopaholics by aggressively marketing conflicting ideas about normality, and pushing nearly every luxury product onto the same young-attractive-westernized demographic.
This demographic is forced to consider thousands of products in rapid succession, and the end result is a consumeristic young-attractive-westernized shopaholic who is shallow and fickle with their purchases. Aka: that Basic Personality.  They appear to have erratic opinions and fashion choices, rapidly jumping to the next popular trend that’s advertised to their demographic, trying to stay in the trendy safe-zone of socially acceptable behaviors.
I have a theory that ‘Basic’ Personality type arose because of the models that appear in advertisements;  the product was advertised specifically to young, attractive, conservative, westernized people. People like that  appeared in advertisements modeling with the merchandise, and encouraging others like them to buy the products and be part of their group.
Social behaviors are learned, so it makes sense that the collective group of product-crazed-shoppers would encourage their peers to mimic the behavior.  In the exact same way, the advertisement distances the product from all other demographics.  Everyone sees the same advertisements, but not everyone reacts the same way to it.  So people who live outside of that consumeristic demographic don’t feel the same urge to comply with the advertisements suggestion of social normalcy. Irregular people aren’t part of the advertising ‘target market’, so no one really presumes them to have the luxury products, therefore they aren’t socially pressured to obtain it.

Think about the advertisements for a new luxury good; popular food restaurants, new technology, new fashion, ect, and think about the type of people you’d expect to respond to those ads.

normal human experiences vs. favorable social behaviors

Normality is a cultural and geographically specific social construct. It’s not real in a tangible sense, because trends / fashions that are normal for the time and place, but will become not normal with time and/or distance. Styles change, opinions change, lifestyle choices change, geography, architecture, technology, ect.
Things that are a normal human occurrence in Alaska, are not the same as a normal human occurrence in Brazil.
So if a number of humans are able to experience something, then that thing is a normal human experience, because it is not abnormal for such a thing to happen. Or rather, it’s not impossible.
I think people have a skewed view of what  normal behavior is, because they anticipate a narrow window of socially acceptable behaviors, even if behaviors and experiences outside of that window are a common occurrence.  The intricacies of social behaviors are specific to the beliefs and values of the subculture. As a culture, we’re lead to believe that normality is a fine line, when in fact it’s expansive, and includes everything that a human is capable of doing or experiencing. It is normal to have a full range of expressive responses [hysteria, violence, depression, delirium, ecstasy, trauma, arousal, frenzy, mania, irrationality] , but openly conveying these behaviors is disapproved of by the current culture.  So many people behave as if admitting to having these outbursts alludes to mental instability.

Believing that having a mental health issues is not normal  is incorrect, because humans throughout history have experienced ailments, so it is normal. Ailments happen all the time. Every city in every country has medical services to treat all the ailments that humans have. So attempting to demonize mental health issues only intensifies the discomfort experienced by ailing people. Pushing people out of the culturally determined ‘parameters of favorable behavior’ creates prejudice, and segments society. Pretending that people are able to restrain their impulses in order to be more aligned with socially acceptable behaviors is foolish, because everyone is capable of having a mental breakdown; like PTSD, hallucinations, schizophrenia, dementia. Some things are out of your control.
If 1 human is capable of something, then other humans are capable of it as well.  If all humans are capable of experiencing an adrenaline rush, then all humans are capable of similar hormonal reactions to stimuli.   Arbitrarily deciding that some disorders are more acceptable [ like: addiction, OCD, narcissism, dysmorphic], but others are inexcusable is not right.
If a quantity of humans are able to experience something, then that thing is a normal human experience.