Examined: The Tux


Ryan Gosling

Greetings.

There are many things I want to cover, and I refuse to waste your time without first attempting haste.

In a broad sense, this particular blog project is aimed at fashion. In specific, I will be examining trends in the world of fashion based on 5 criteria: Function, Attractiveness, Wear (casual, versatile, etc.), Purpose, and History.

For example, take The Tuxedo. Imagine who’s wearing it. Whether it’s George Clooney or Jack Black is not important. 

Functionally, the Tuxedo is versatile across formal ceremonies and occasions. Homeless men do not sleep in tuxedos, drunk men with something to celebrate would be lucky to, however, provided they don’t ruin it next to the bucket in the morning.

Are tuxedos attractive? On their own; massively. Not only as expensive attire one can aspire to, but whilst wearing it, a man can look taller, healthier, more socially dominant, and feel enormously proud. Outwardly, a gal is typically impressed more by Jack Black in a tux than Jack Black in a pastel, hippie tie-dye tee shirt with a lobster bib around his neck containing ketchup stains. 

The wear of a Tuxedo is strictly for Formal occasions. One does not visit his doctor in a tux unless he is about to murder him, possibly taking his prescription pad to start a criminal enterprise in a fit of vengeance. Tuxedo wear is simple, but wait until we cover more controversial and possibly difficult topics – i.e. high heels, the thong, the vest, the little black dress, or the skate shoe.

In terms of Purpose, the tuxedos intention was originally based on informal outdoor wear for the British upper class. What makes it a go-to for evening wear, weddings, and upscale dinners nowadays is a matter of time and direction of the men’s suit entirely.

Throughout history, the tuxedo is best known for its presence in films. The James Bond franchise, most notably. But it’s presence in the United States formed very early in the 1880’s by showing up on the backs of wealthy men who attended a highly upscale men’s club in Tuxedo Park, New York, where the name of this suit comes from. Apparently a fellow by the name of James Porter brought the idea to this location after being introduced to the fashion by the Prince of Wales around the same time.

There you have it. The 5 criteria for examining any trend in fashion today. In addition to these criteria I will offer a, hopefully short, opinion on each fashion trend.

The Tux is a mainstay. It’s longevity will be attributed to it’s requirement in the dreams of engaged couples, if not royalty itself.

I bid you adieu.

Be Well

Taking Weight Loss Seriously


Guys, raise your hand if you wanna look like this guy.

I’m out of excuses.

Before today I could blame everything from “What do I wear?” to “these antipsychotics are making me fat.” But today is different. Today I’m on different, modern antipsychotics that haven’t been shown to cause weight gain. I even weighed in at 9lbs less than before the switch.

And I have exercise outfits now. My favorites are a pair of basketball shorts from Target (black) that I can just add to any tee with Asic or Reebok active shoes and a pair of Hawaiian yoga pants that are blue but just as versatile.

But back to the conversation at hand: Taking Weight Loss Seriously.

I know, it’s the end of the year and it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions once we officially enter December and weight loss is America’s go-to resolution. But I’m talking about right now. If not tomorrow morning (because I’m blogging alongside my big brother as we continue a tradition of hard liquor and episodes of The Big Bang Theory – No, I’m not drunk. Believe me.).

My main motivation is to test out what I can do with my new psych meds. Formerly I did that with drugs to see how long I could stay high and other follies connected with mad science (a good story, I’ll have to tell it sometime). Secondarily though, I’ve been looking forward to losing weight for good and for real for a very long time.

Of course, I want my young body back. But since I don’t want to ACTUALLY be that skinny, I’ll settle for being a hunk of meat stuck to bones and sweating only in the gym (or while running) or in bed.

Concretely, I want to run. I still haven’t worked out the right conditions to begin or maintain a running schedule. I think the pressure of run clubs is only necessary if you’re headed to 5ks and beyond. But for me, this is going to be something I do until I die.

And isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day? Something that will last a lifetime?

What if that something was taking care of your physique? What if it were a daily practice? What if it were possible…?

At some point, the conditions come out in your favor, and it’s up to you to either take the opportunity before you or suffer the stagnation of your decision to remain complacent.

I refuse to stagnate. For me; that was the former medication. Now that I have this “remedy”- this new shot at wellness- I want to know how healthy I can be.

I want to know how well I can thrive, how far I can jog, how lean I can get these thighs, how much tone and mass I can get in my arms and chest, and if I can get a mature set of high quality (exposable) abs.

When I meet and surpass these goals, there’s a reward I want at the end: A back tattoo across the shoulder blades reading: “Relentless”.

And hey- I’m not dreaming here. I’m planning. I’m reapproaching my thoughts to support the habits I want to pick up.

And no- this isn’t a resolution for the new year. I’m too excited to wait for all that.

It’s time to thrive.

Focus = Physique.

Let’s do this!

Be Well.

Spoiler Alert: Cruella



Film: Cruella

Release: 2021

Director: Craig Gillespie

Written by: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara, Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis

Based on the Novel: “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith

Main Cast: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Hauser

Cruella.

In the film, an orphan reclaims her lavish birthright. Embracing her dark side along the way. Chipping away at the reason behind an overpowering alter ego… that’s slightly talented.

Cruella was dazzling. An unexpected triumph, yes, but a very beautiful story.

In general, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I thought it popped visually, that Emma Stone was brilliant. Powerhouse brilliant. I loved the soundtrack, I loved the clever dialogue, I was enamored.

In deeper terms, the story is about Alter Ego. About playing the social hand one is dealt in youth, and finding, in this case, a better game to play altogether. 

To fully examine Cruella herself would spoil the movie in a way that is quite unforgivable at this stage of my film review project. 

However, I can assure you that the dialogue was so clever that statements twisted upon each other easily. With, at times undeniably humorous, but always plot driven overtone.

I can admit that I completely dig the soundtrack.

But honestly…

Emma. Fucking. Stone.

She passed powerhouse performance at the fountain in the park roughly an hour through the film and I was far more riveted then I planned to be after that.

Not to be outdone…

Emma. Fucking. Thompson.

You hated her. You would think she had been typecast into the imbecile teacher from Hogwarts if you misjudged her entry into her first scene, but when you realized she was a fish out of water fashion mogul with the envy of London but the idea portfolio of a trout, you understood you were supposed to hate her. And she let you like an actor should.

But back to Emma Fucking Stone who’s voice narration was, and I quote my notes, “classy, flawless, and rich in the required accent.”

I was mimicking her on smoke breaks during the film and in conversation with my family as I watched, hardly interrupted, at my desk.

I wasn’t prepared for Cruella. I mean that of the alter ego. The former girl who had attempted to be a model child, Estella, was agreeable. But the Cruella she grew into… the fashion statements, the party crashing, bold, vengeful fashion stunts through the rising action were- agreeable, yes, but- the words I’m looking for are; “shocking”, “fierce”, “fashion-transcendent”, even.

Surprisingly enough, my favorite “stunt” included a garbage truck. 

(See the film.)

Thumbs Up.

Oh, and I have to mention, that any time you can add to the stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance to make an honest point, you have played the game of dialogue well. For even if it isn’t a stage in balanced psychology, any mania-prone animal who can understand the science of grief would agree that if one added the stage of Revenge, it would be a much more complete process. 

My kudos to the writing team, on that note.

Be Well.

Spoiler Alert: The Dark Knight



Film: The Dark Knight

Release: 2008

Director: Christopher Nolan

Written by: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Bob Kane

Main Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman


The Batman hanging on to the van is not Christian Bale.

But this is no time to muse…

“Who Rachel spends her time with is her business.”

-Bruce Wayne

“Batman has no limits.”

-Bruce Wayne

The recast of Rachel Dawes was controversial around the time of release. (Note release date) Maggie Gyllenhaal grew on me through this movie. But I haven’t seen her in anything else since this film.

And Katie Holmes was brilliant in Batman Begins.

In the first 20 minutes, we hear the most famous quote in a superhero film of the last decade:

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent (played brilliantly by Aaron Eckhart)

The Joker’s Apparent Ambition:

“It’s simple, we kill the Batman.”

The “Gotham Team” of Gordon, Dent, and Batman Apparent Ambition:

“We’re going after the mob’s life savings.”

The second most famous quote in a superhero film comes just 10 minutes later, this time from The Joker:

“Why so serious?”

The Gotham Team want’s Lao, the mob’s money, and then the Joker.

Strange how the Joker must prove himself worthy of Gotham’s attention. As a startup criminal no less.

What is Christopher Nolan up to?

Reframing the idea of Batman. Keeping a few key elements the same, this reinvention paints a complicated Bruce Wayne. In the animated series from Warner Bros. Bruce Wayne is not complicated, he is a tool for tale of Batman. Here, Batman has an entire life, much more like the Batman of, say, Batman Returns.

Nolan may have seen more cinematic Batman than cartoon Batman. I’m just thankful he didn’t put him in Adam West style tights and give him terrible dialogue.

But who steals the show and at the most tragic of real life costs is the quite unforgettable Heath Ledger. About that, I’d like to say that no star rests in peace. They rest in memory. No life you’ve enjoyed ends with you here not thinking of them ever again. When a mark is made, it lasts. Like Heath.

One hour into the movie, just before the assassination attempt on Gotham’s mayor, and this fragility of life hits me. What’s darker than that? Being alive isn’t a choice we make. But staying alive is. Before I carry on with this review, I’d like to mention that if you or anyone is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there is help for you. The National Suicide Hotline is available 24 hrs. Just call 800-273-8255 and speak with someone today.

Concerning the dark side of Harvey Dent: He lived up to his own words. He lived long enough… to be desperate enough… for the cost of his efforts to come to the point he was ready to kill. Once Gordon went down and Rachel became… vulnerable… Gotham’s white knight started to dim in his brightness.

Bruce Wayne: “People are dying Alfred, what would you have me do?”

Alfred: “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman. He can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make. The right choice.”

***

“The night is darkest just before the dawn.” – Harvey Dent

Though Dent was trying to explain that Batman would have his day to answer for the damage he’d done to Gotham.

So how does Batman come back from this shame?

Dude. Batman is in no real trouble. In this movie, Batman almost let’s Gotham know its been Bruce Wayne all along. And he would have if Dent didn’t claim to be the Batman during that press conference the above quote comes from.

Dent gives Batman a second chance. And the film’s action begins to rise more dramatically.

Spoiler alert: The Joker shoots the Batmobile with a rocket launcher (bazookas are out of cinematic style nowadays). The vehicle doesn’t survive. But Batman does.

The Caped Crusader isn’t even mad about it.

Measure for measure, Batman flips over The Joker’s semi.

Enough play by play.

You want my opinion? I have a tattoo of the bat symbol from this particular trilogy. Not because I’m a huge fan, which I am, or because I needed the ink, which I did. But because of the need to feel pain that wasn’t in vain. To scratch the itch on my forearm when I couldn’t afford long sleeve shirts to roll up. A friend of mine did it but he didn’t know my main reason was to cut myself. It’s not exactly my wrist, but it bled satisfactorily enough.

My point is, Batman is with me forever. So is the Joker. And Bane, and Catwoman, and the Scarecrow, and the list goes on.

I give this movie a thumbs up. For Nolan’s cerebral creative genius. For the sheer thrill of the ride. A ride that’s hard to catch in film sometimes. And sure, there have been other films that have killed it’s actors. Some have killed their crew. 

This one killed the hero’s girlfriend too.

Beat that.

The Dark Knight will remain one of history’s greatest films. In summation, I dare you to watch it again.

Be Well.

Dude, What is Omni?

You’ve gotta be some sort of asshole. 

I don’t want to hear how you’re Omni this and Omni that.

Dude, what is Omni?

If you were All knowing, then you knew my sister wouldn’t get the vaccine.

You knew that she would be hospitalized and somehow expect to leave within a day.

You knew how this would affect me.

Dude, what is Omni?

If you were All good, then would this virus have been unleashed on the world? 

Are we just Sodom & Gomorrah to you, motherfucker??

You don’t play with us.

If we are made in your image then you gave us all that shit.

What is Omni?

Dude, WE are Omni. 

We are the humans who see everything you were supposed to see but couldn’t stop from happening in all your fucked up sense of “Grace”.

In the words of Costello’s henchman Delahunt from ‘The Departed’- “so where the fuck werre ya?”

Where the fuck werre ya? In your Omnipresence to stop the woman who prayed the most in this family from…

She’s still alive. I have hope. But my prayers are small and simple:

“Be where you’re supposed to be.”

“Be here now, Jesus.”

“Where are you, my God?”

But you should recognize the flaws in my prayers are not the humility of your servants, but the pleads for mercy from those who have relied on you before and now believe that there is no sense in you.

But something must save my sister.

If it does, it will be science.

There is not a prayer in smoldering hot hell for you anymore.

Death is the end.

(How could you let death stick around too. If I were God, death would have been outdated by some point.)

Even science only comes so far…

I love my sister.

Be Well.

Introduction To Your Identity

Identity is a complicated subject. We can often get lost in the existential crisis of not knowing who we are and what we mean to the world around us.

But suppose for a moment that the answers are simpler and rely on, helpfully general and open tools of identification.

The ungraspable piece of the puzzle is the abstract illusion that our identity is something more supernatural than natural and frankly quite simple.

I propose that it is as simple as four aspects that create uniqueness out of every soul in existence. And it all comes down to this:

Identity:

  1. Individual Preferences
  2. Physical attributes
  3. Personality traits
  4. Behavioral patterns

Or you may say:

  1. One’s taste
  2. One’s physique
  3. One’s psyche
  4. One’s actions

“Know thyself.” -Shakespeare.

Your Tastes…

Things like how you like your coffee, to how you prefer to pay for your groceries, are what I mean by preferences. From the superficial preference of hair color on Halloween (or each day) to the profound group decision to select the next player for your sports team, especially your specific input as to why you think they fit or don’t but you are also included in the decision making process – identifiably.

Your Physique…

This literally refers to what you look like and what you do with it. If you are a model, identity isn’t as simple as what you look like, more important is what is done with it. Conversely, if you’re having an existential crisis as a model, simply remove the makeup for a moment and reconnect with your natural physique. The outfit can stay if it expresses your preference for your own physique. How you desire to dress yourself is intensely more important than how others dress you.

You’ll notice that I am focusing on nature more than nurture. Up until now, the subject has demanded it. Up until the next aspect of identity- your psyche. 

Your Psyche…

By “psyche” I refer to one’s temperament. One’s constant mood. If you are prone to attention deficits, fits of anger, living in denial, bouts of depression, if your confidence outweighs your humility more often than not, even if you keep your aggression in check with catholic prayer and it works… etc.

But that’s who you are. Whether your therapists is correct or not when he tells you this, believe it is true that all of these moods, especially your dominant mood, is a defense mechanism allowing you to cope with your environment. Fits of anger and denial are more of the unhealthy defenses of the ego. This brings up a touchy subject: psychopathology.

The obsessives, the psychotic, the codependent, these are literally paths of the psyche that are beyond my own grasp conceptually, yet are most certainly part of one’s temperament. An obsessed individual can be identified, known, infamous even.

Tread carefully. Your psyche is your soul…

Your Actions…

Actions are the most YOU you can get. The dominant patterns in your actions define you as you. You may be the guy that wears his favorite jacket rain or shine (I’d call you “Favorite Jacket Guy”). You could be the girl in the red leather jacket.

It gets deeper. You could be the spider trainer, the zoologist, the town mechanic, the fiction author, the beat reporter, the runway walker, the real estate auctioneer.

It gets better. Your career could make up the bulk of your behavior. Your marriage, your car, your research, your hiking through the woods at leisure… and on and on.

It gets real. Your behavioral patterns make you who you are more than anything you prefer, anything you look like, more than your moods. What those things say about you and how they identify you can all be kept under wraps or can shine like spotlights on a stage depending on whether the majority of your behavior is in line with them or not.

The times it all lines up are what we aim for. These are moments of integrity. Dark or light. 

What will determine the brightness of your light is a commonly denied action: personal decision.

But you must make a personal decision here, because the decision to prefer black over mocha, nature over nurture, one outfit over the other, to soothe your soul or let the anger out, to behave or not to behave, is yours.

#BeWell

Penalty For Romanticism

Romance is not necessary for action. Freedom is. Once you are free to act one needs very little coaxing, very little reason to move.

Therefore, how does a man act from one layer of motive and keep deep feelings like love and connection important?

I refuse to slip back into my old macho ways without dragging some enlightenment down off of my meditative mountain.

Maybe there will be a time to catch one’s breath and enter the sacred realm of intimacy, but for now, as almost always, there isn’t the necessity for it.

You see, romance is imperative when you are choosing which partner to steal away from the dance floor to get to know them on a deeper level.

“Where’d you learn the tango?”

Action, conversely, is mandatory if you haven’t yet decided when you can leave the nest. Or the new normal: the second nest. 

Sadly some are on their third or fourth nest.

A nest being a place where you are of adult age, yet you rely on another adult to be head of household. This does not apply to married couples, that is not a nest, that is a family.

The point is the question. And the question is; can you grow in initiative without throwing away your inner conflicts, demons, and angels without requiring that you act from a complex, universal… motive?

The real question is: does action come quicker when a motive is based on Naturalism or Romanticism?

Natural motives are one and whole. Romantic motives are layered (…like Ogres).

If one dives too low, they may psychologically convince (psych) themselves not to act. The more they inquire, the longer they hesitate.

In sports, this is unacceptable. “Why am I kicking this penalty kick? Is it because Flash couldn’t do it? What about Kengsinton? He’s much better. But then why am I not Flash or Kengsinton? Besides birth, I am less skilled. Why do men with less skill always end up kicking the penalty kick?”

By the time this futbol player has landed on his personal depth of the question, the game has moved on without him and he is given his own penalty violation.

Hence my preference for the Naturalist way. One layer of motive is all that is necessary, otherwise less will be done, and more will be thought of getting done.

“Hurry up!”

“Yes Coach!”

“You have 1 hour to cook the most delicious Beef Wellington.”

“Yes Chef!”

“Don’t think about it, just say yes.”

“Yes! Yes, I will marry you.”

And so on.

The real dialogue at play in my head is; “Am I free enough to live my life, day in, and day out?”

To that, I must reply: “How many reasons do you need, lad?”

Clock’s a-tickin’, innit?

#BeWell

The 50 Things Challenge

Ayn Rand once wrote: “Anything that a man desires and acts to achieve is a value, at least to him.”

Well if you are a complacent asshole in the suburbs living off of your family’s home ownership while you rent their basement using funds from the government and haven’t seen real work in over a year, it’s time you understood the value of a dollar.

It’s time you understood that; while of course, a dollar is hard to earn, easy to spend, and gone in the blink of an eye unless protected by a snobby stick up your ass, a dollar (peso, euro, what have you) may be the most valuable thing to anyone ever. 

As long as you have to work for it.

So, back to our complacent asshole who needs a swift kick in the ass. Living in the suburbs on someone else’s dime only works for housewives and dependents. The other folks are called mooches.

I can afford to insult you. I am you.

You’ve lost touch with the things you really desire while you have slipped into the role you currently occupy in bed all day with no one in it but you.

You don’t realize you eventually swapped out a queen size mattress for a twin because the rules in the house still don’t support the way you handle your own libido.

You eat next to nothing and still gain weight from your psychiatric diet and lack of exercise.

You’ve lost the will to act. And you’re reeking of it.

You can either blame anyone but yourself, but the battle lies within. 

You had good intentions in the beginning to stay out of trouble with the law, eventually “get on your feet”, and steer clear of illegal substances…

But people in your corner, also making less than they could, are telling you that you have something good going already. Asking you not to upset the status quo they’ve agreed upon for you.

It’s the same thing they’re doing to Britney Spears, but you’re the one “Tearing Up My Heart” (-*NSYNC), O Complacent One.

I want you to set a timer for 15 minutes for one purpose: to list 50 things you still want out of life. More if there is still time left. Any immediate desire does not count. Do not list “tie my shoe” or “lock up my bike”. Other than that, there are no limits.

When 15 minutes are up, it will be up to you whether you will achieve them. The goal is to help you realize your values- material, personal, spiritual- are still alive within you, and are waiting for someone to claim them.

Be well.

The Stagnant Napkin and Newton’s Laws of Motion

    I noticed a piece of trash stuck in one spot on a windy night. I thought to myself, “It’s odd for a napkin not to fly in the wind. It’s lucky it isn’t alive or it would hate the lack of motion.”

    This was revolutionary to me. I began to assume that perhaps it is ‘lack of motion’ that may dissatisfy the living. If not at most, then at least very often.

    Biologically, living beings are creatures of motion. When we rest or die, that motion ceases. Yay, if we rest too long, we simply become dissatisfied.

    Psychologically, our mind and our behavior exist in patterns, cycles, and on these paths we rely. But say we get stuck within patterns that no longer serve us. Are we not just as dissatisfied as if we were at rest for too long?

    Conversely, being in motion or in pattern for too long, and we become overwhelmed. Tired.

    As a schizophrenia patient, I’m well aware of my patterns of insanity. Namely the ones in which I am producing the same behaviors, or more dire, producing delusions in the same direction simply because I haven’t tired myself out yet. I kid you little, I will chase certain ideas until I get tired of them, and once I am, I become greatly dissatisfied. It is literally insane.

    But I cannot be at rest for too long. I cannot be in the same action, behavior, or pattern for very long. If I suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder I would leave these movements at a quicker pace. Though these days I am lucky if an online project keeps its title longer than a week.

    But in order to support our better actions, our better patterns of behavior, to stay the course when we are inspired by a positive habit, a good idea, like an exercise regimen, a good job, or a worthwhile hobby, it is we who must keep the momentum. 

    Or is it?

    According to NASA, here are Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion:

  1. An object at rest remains at rest, and an object in motion remains in motion at constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an unbalanced force.
  2. The acceleration of an object depends on the mass of the object and the amount of force applied.
  3. Whenever one object exerts a force on another object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite on the first.

According to these laws, even if you hate it, if you are at rest, you will stay at rest. Conversely, if you are in motion, even if you hate it, you will stay in motion “unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

The lesson I am reaching for here relies on the unbalanced force. 

I propose that your motivation outweigh yourself if you desire to stay in motion. Once you come to rest because you are tired, does not mean that you have stopped, but that you must remind yourself of your reasons and it must be significant enough to propel you into motion again.

We are human beings, and therefore can simply convince ourselves to end or begin anything with either simple or complex logic.

I myself can over complicate my actions with logic. This must be hit with a massive force.

Which brings me to the second Law of Motion. Bigger objects require more force applied. Smaller objects, less force.

We humans rely on a constant force, not a big push. Our hearts keep us alive, otherwise birth would be a much more complicated event (let’s not go there!). 

I also propose that in order to keep positive behaviors going, we ought to connect that behavior to a current, much like electricity and an appliance, not simply set it in motion and wait for it to produce fruit. 

Conversely, putting an end to negative behaviors requires that we pull the plug from it. Much like a brand withdrawing it’s support from a politician due to scandal.

Force is force. And it works two ways: You have it or you do not.

Think about it: We need a constant heartbeat to stay alive, why would our habits, ideas, and lifestyles, passions, jobs, desires, possibly diseases and disorders, be any different?

Stop our hearts and our motion ceases.

What’s the heart of your behavior? What’s fueling it? What are you plugged into that is keeping your behavior alive?

You could probably measure it.

Newton’s third law is about collision, which in the realm of behavior is an introduction of conflict. This is not the purpose of this piece.

So think about your fuel. The heart that’s pumping blood into your patterns of habit. 

Are you drinking so much coffee that your mind is more jittery than your body? Do you have enough energy from your diet? Is alcohol blocking your thoughts (“Isn’t that the point?”)? 

Speaking of thought: Can you think clearly? What’s fueling that? Can you remember short term goals? Long term goals? How long can you think about one object and all that it is relevant to its use? 

The real question is: are you in motion? 

Or are you stuck at rest?

The solution is to stay plugged into the electrical current that moves you. Yes you.

“What’s important to you is not important to me.” – Jack Johnson

Where formerly we thought, “what is my motivation?” Hopefully, the question now is, “what is my force?”

Be Well.

Advancement (Lesson Four)

“All life’s a stage.”

-William Shakespeare

My Dear Sons,

Actually, life is full of little stages that in the end you must find a connection amongst.

    This can be difficult.

    Nevertheless, you must progress through the stages of life having grabbed enough tools for the next stage and having made enough friends to help you see the best tools even if all you have seem to be the wrong ones.

    Be wary of friends who have many tools yet cannot use them. Of friends who only like you for your tools and use them so much that you cannot use them yourself.

    But never lose your trust in the friends that know the right tool from the wrong one. You must be this kind of friend to others.

    You will advance through many stages simply due to the knowledge of right and wrong. Useful and useless. Ripe and rotten.

    For people are like fruit from a tree. We begin to grow from tiny seeds, then we grow through each season until we are most useful. But fruit can decay much quicker than humans. A fruit’s life is short- perhaps half of a year. We humans can remain useful from the age we are fluent in the language of our culture until we have died, well past a hundred years.

    There are humans who do decay, however, and it is a tragedy that you must avoid at all costs.

    I implore you to remain useful to whatever culture you choose to be a part of. If the culture remains useful to you, that is.

    Be useful to your friends, to your community, and to your culture. These are the key to advancement.

    If a group you join soon cannot function properly without you, then you have become the main asset of the group. However, it is best to share glory in a group, amongst your friends, within your community, and if you can manage it, then in your chosen culture as well.

    Yes, culture is a choice.

    Genealogy is not.

Love,

Father