Wednesday, 12 December 2012
A couple of pointers for enjoying the decline.
As Cappy Cap often says: "enjoy the decline".
I don't claim to be anywhere as wise as the Captain (I only have an 'A' levels in economics, the equivalent of high-school. Does that make me a private, or hopefully a corporal?), but here's what I've gleaned (or at least, I think I have) from a number of his posts and videos I've perused:
1. Realise that the hopes and dreams that you may have had are not possible given today's socio-economic climate. Adjust your hopes and dreams accordingly. If this means lowering the bar all the way to the ocean floor, so be it. Of course, this is rarely the case. You can probably still do something you want.
2. Get rid of as much stuff as you reasonably can. The less junk you have lying about, the less space you need to store it, the less tied down you are and the less likely your stuff will get confiscated in one form or another.
3. Try to keep things in perspective. Don't always assume things are your fault. Sometimes they aren't. Of course, don't always assume things aren't your fault. Understand the limits of your agency, and while it's good to try to extend those limits, no one's expecting you to be a superhero.
4. Remember that the purpose of your life is to have fun - you only live once and all that. Work to live, not live to work.
5. Whenever someone gives you a piece of their mind, consider whether said person is someone whose opinion, for one reason or another, is one that you should care about. If not, screw them and move on. This should happen more often in a lot of peoples' lives.
6. Puppies and unicorns are just that - puppies and unicorns. Don't believe in them, and for goodness' sake, don't major in them.
7. The truth is what matters, not your feelings, because at the end of the day reality is going to put a cold hard one on you if you decide to ignore it. Saying you don't believe in gravity isn't going to save you if you jump off a skyscraper.
8. Remember that we're utterly screwed in a lot of ways. If you want to fight the decline, don't get overly despondent over slow progress; rally, regroup and set forth again. If you're the sort of person to enjoy the decline, try not to let those bouts when you feel like going out and righting everything in the world hurt too much.
If everything goes to hell in a handbasket and the only remnants we humans leave on this world are a few decaying skyscrapers and pieces of plastic just above the Burgess Shale, I really hope that the reptilian/avian/sentient jellyfish/whatever species comes after us will have a better go of making it than we've done. We could've been a lot worse, true, but we also could've been a lot better.