Investing in Happiness

“When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

  • John Lennon

I’m sure a lot of the following is subjective to each individual; however, I would say that at least some of it applies to a large percentage of our fellow humans.

People, along with the relationships and interactions between each person, are the best and worst parts of our life.

Consider this: on the positive side of that statement, the first things we come to care about when we come into this world is our parents. We form bonds with them, we look to them for comfort, help, and to care for us while we are still developing. As we get older and our journey through life goes on we expand our social base. We form ties with our extended family, we make friends, we find romantic partners of which may become our significant other. Some of those relationships fade with time, and some people may accumulate more close ties than others. However, a decent amount of people usually have at least a handful of close relationships of one type or the other in their life. These are the people we count on for support. The ones we desire to spend our time with. Make memories with, confide in, share an exciting story or news in a life event with. I would also like to add that our animal family should be counted in this. However, for the purpose of staying on topic, I’ll only focus on people.

On the negative side, the loss of someone we care about is unmatched, almost without exception, in our journey through life. Not only the loss of someone through the end of a life, but also a betrayal of trust, abuse, neglect, or even parting ways.  

What about the other parts of life? Money, career, area you live in, social status, a great house or apartment, a nice car, or any of the other parts of life that people chase after? Should those things not count for anything or be sought after? Of course they should count and be sought after. We need money to live, and the other items can add value to our life. The caveat to this, I believe, is not to make these kind of things the sole focus of life to be happy.

If a person puts the desire for wealth or social status (or something similar) above the relationships he or she has with others, those relationships could suffer and possibly be severed and lost. Perhaps the person becomes wealthy, admired by peers or colleagues, achieves accolades and notoriety. But does that person become genuinely and sustainably happy for such achievements? Especially if the pursuit costs the positive relationship of those that he or she once had? These ancillary aspects of life certainly help and are important, but these things are indifferent to those who possess them. Would ten million dollars in the bank console you after a difficult life event? Does a large, luxurious house provide any more warmth on a cold night than a modest house? Does that same luxurious house provide sustainable happiness if its rooms are not occupied with loved ones? After retiring from a lifetime of career advancement ultimately mean anything if there is no one to share those accomplishments with?

Again, these things are important and they certainly help improve life. Yet, the quest for these things is a never ending one. A person seldom reaches a level of satisfaction after obtaining these items. The person ends up needing more. The shiny new car purchased two years ago loses the emotional value it gave the person shortly after obtaining it. Achieving one career goal provides a fleeting sense of accomplishment before it no longer means anything and a new goal is chased after and that cycle continues until a person reaches his or her top performance or competency level. What is left after that if that desire to keep moving up still exists?

In the end none of those things matter. We have an disproportionate investment in the things that actually bring us happiness. We focus on the things that are indifferent to our feelings and emotions. We so often take for granted the people in our lives that genuinely do bring value and happiness to us and we lose focus on what really matters in life.

Have you ever had a relationship with someone you loved end because they no longer feel for you what you feel for them? Have you ever lost a close family member, friend or pet? Most of us have. During those difficult times did you ever have a thought along the lines of “I would give anything to change this.”? Was your car, house, or bank account your primary focus at that time? Did those things seem that important? Probably not. Because in those moments of tragedy, the truly important things in life become very clear. If only for a moment. Unfortunately, the farther in time we get from those moments, we lose focus on what matters and our focus shifts and we become lost in fog once again.

Be kind, remember what matters and invest your time and efforts accordingly.



A Difference of Opinion Severs Relationships

Yesterday morning, I got a text from my dad asking how to join Twitter. I replied, answering his question and followed up with a question of why he wanted to join that particular social media platform. He stated that he wanted to follow President Trump and get his information directly from the source. While I was a bit surprised, I wasn’t shocked. My dad is a long time fan of Alex Jones and Jones’ show Info Wars. This being an alt right conspiracy filled “news” program.

I have a much more middle of the road approach to politics and firmly believe in letting people live how they want and believe what they chose as long as it isn’t harming others. And if a person’s ideological views don’t match mine that’s ok. I’d much rather have a friend and a good relationship with someone than to sever ties based solely on not having the same beliefs. My dad is not that way and yesterday I found out first hand that a relationship with his son is not as important as having the same beliefs and options as him.

Over the course of several text messages my dad asked if I disliked Trump. To which I stated that someone who brags about grabbing women by the pussy, goes on Twitter tirades over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Celebrity Apprentice show ratings, among other rants, was not someone I found to be admirable.

Then my father proceeds to ask me if I get my news from fake news CNN? Which is framed almost exactly how Trump deems that network. I answered that I did not. Which is true. I told my father that I believe that we should have a free press that questions our leaders and that not having that kind of system would put us on par with a dictatorship like North Korea, where the government regulates what people see in the news and media. I also informed him that I don’t trust some alternative news source that believes the government has a “God Machine,” can control tornados, and is putting chemicals in the water that turns frogs gay.

My dad didn’t seem to like my answer because he stated that we need to talk about this, to which I replied: No, we don’t’. He could respect that I have an opinion that is different than his and we can have a relationship or we can just not have a relationship. And my father chose the latter.

He would rather not have a relationship with his son or allow his son to think for himself and form his own options rather than just focus on common ground and agree to disagree.

My father, for as long as I can remember, has said that the government is slowly trying to take our freedoms away. How hypocritical is it then to not allow his son to have the freedom to think for himself? Is that not the essence of freedom? To think for one’s self? To chose what one believes? To live how one choses?

My father is also a “devout” Catholic, or so he claims. I wonder then what he thinks of Pope Francis speaking out against Trump regarding the ban on refugees and immigration? And how does such a moral and religious person hold a person in such high regard who brags about grabbing women’s genitals?

So, thanks to Alex Jones for doing all my father’s thinking for him and informing him what to believe, I no longer have a relationship with my dad. Because in Jones’ eyes, I am the enemy.

How Donald Trump Won the 2016 Presidential Election by: Gordon Zeng

All credit for this article goes to Gordon Zeng, and the original article can be found here.

Gordon ZengFollowed this whole mess from start to finish, glad it’s over now

Trump won thanks to the Democrats. So if that was your party, you have them to blame.

As a preface, I am writing this from a neutral, objective standpoint.

Let’s start with the key factor here. It’s summed up in one slogan:

“The silent majority stands with Trump.”

Remember this quote on those signs being held by his supporters? It served as both a slogan, and, as we have found out…

It was a warning.

A warning that went completely unheeded by every major news outletThey laughed it off.

“That’s great kids, but Clinton has the vocal majority, good game.”

And yet the election results prove that the slogan was indeed true. A huge silent majority overwhelmed the predicted polling outcome.

Why was this the key factor?

And why were the polls so radically off?

For starters, the Democrats made a terrible assumption, one that hadn’t caused them any trouble up until now:

They assumed that states that historically voted blue would continue to do so.

And this is where it all goes down. Every polling prediction used this assumption as a starting point, taking them for granted. They focused heavily on battleground states, ignoring the possibility that their home base was susceptible to attack. They ignored the warning of a silent majority.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have been blue for the past two decades. This election, each one flipped red, undermining the core of pundit predictions. It was precisely when this flip happened that everyone started panicking and Clinton’s odds of winning plummeted. The silent majority struck, and it struck hard.

But why were they silent up until now?

The Clinton campaign made it acceptable, trendy, and cool to hate Trump supporters

The Clinton campaign colluded with major media news outlets (as evidenced from Wikileaks) and constantly pumped out negative videos of Trump while largely ignoring the constant scandals Hillary found herself in.

In his speeches, Trump often made remarks of certain minority groups. These remarks usually included praise alongside criticism, and he usually made sure to add that he didn’t mean to say that a minority group as a whole was to blame.

The news outlets pounced on this. It wasn’t hard, they just had to edit out or not show the parts where Trump explained himself. As a result, the people who actually attended his rallies saw perfectly reasonable statements, and those who didn’t only saw edited footage that showed him making racist and outlandish remarks with no clarification. On top of that, the edited footage was often spliced with cheering from his audience. Any reasonable person seeing a clip like that, without knowing it was edited, would rightly be horrified by both Trump and his supporters.

And so a divide was created.

“Trump is racist and his supporters are racist” became the justification for hating Trump supporters. From that point on, any person who outed themselves as a Trump supporter while in a liberal circle could expect to get shamed. The better option was to stay silent.

The Clinton campaign didn’t stop there. They paid celebrities large sums of money to endorse Hillary, in an effort to reach a millennial base. They even paid many prominent YouTubers to endorse her, videos of which can be found right now (along with videos by YouTubers who called out that kind of play and refused).

They made it seem like all the “cool kids” were supporting Hillary, and against the evil that was Trump. How does a Trump supporter argue against a pop culture icon telling everyone they are evil? Should probably stay silent instead.

With the mainstream media calling out Trump supporters as evil, celebrities saying the same, and even many universities deeming pro-Trump comments as “hate speech”, it’s not hard to see why the silent majority formed and became as potent as it was.

The Democrats tried to show that passing judgment on groups of people as a whole was bigoted. And yet that’s exactly what they did by lumping all Trump supporters into a “basket of deplorables”.

That irony was not lost on the silent majority.

The DNC collusion against Bernie Sanders created “Bernie bros”

It’s well known now that the Democratic primary was not fairly fought. Bernie Sanders was backstabbed by the very party he was representing, due to its higher financial and political interest in a Clinton presidency. Yet Bernie’s message touched the hearts of many who sought to overthrow the establishment and the system that Clinton represented. When he was betrayed by the DNC, many of his supporters refused to back Clinton, the one who unfairly robbed the man they put their faith in of a fair fight. They saw in Bernie an outsider who would bring change to the system, and who else was a populist icon who also wanted to bring down the establishment?

You guessed it.

Well… you can’t really announce out loud that you were for Bernie and now for Trump. See the point above.

The silent majority grew even more.

Legitimate issues went unaddressed by ClintoTrump wanted to “Make America Great Again”. How was he going to do this? We still don’t know, but it does involve a lot of winning apparently.

But note the starting point. “Making it great again” recognizes that it currently is not. His platform was based around acknowledging that America had problems while under eight years of Democrat rule.

America is suffering. Unemployment is high, and worse, the government is trying to distort statistics to show otherwise, in the hopes of winning another election cycle. Trump identified areas where it was affecting the core bulk of Americans, such as job outsourcing. Did it even matter if he didn’t have a concrete plan? Just saying the problem exists alone let those infuriated by the current system feel that their voices were being heard. “Make America Great Again”, while vague in its means, was nevertheless inspirational in its promised end.

What did the Democrats do to counter this? Remember this attempt?

“MAGA” was reaching out to those who felt their concerns were being ignored by the party that had ruled for the past two terms. It showed that their problems were being acknowledged, at the very least. And what voters saw in this attempted rebuttal, was the Democratic party once again sweeping their concerns under the rug, telling disillusioned members who had voted for them before that the country was already great and that no change was necessary.

“Make America Great Again” resonated with those who wanted solutions.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign struggled for a while to come up with a good slogan. At first, they resorted to simple statements on her website, such as

“We cannot afford a Donald Trump presidency.”

Not too inspirational. Who’s the one running the fear campaign now?

Then they shopped around some more, and ultimately settled on “I’m With Her”. This was used all the way through Election Day.

Not only did their indecisiveness on a catchy slogan hurt their marketplace exposure time (and people who work in branding will know this all too well) but the slogan itself was hardly inspirational to those with legitimate concerns. It simply oozed selfishness.

Voters saw Trump as: “MAGA, we have problems but I will fix them for you”

While they saw Hillary as: “Be with me and help me become president. At least I’m not Trump. He’s racist. Me me me, it’s my turn.”

One slogan was a rallying cry for all of America.

The other slogan was all about Hillary Clinton.

And then we go to the debates.

What did Trump keep on doing in the debates? He kept on highlighting the struggles of the blue-collar workers, even in blue states. Even during questions that had nothing to do with them, he kept on bringing the topic back to why jobs were becoming scarce, and what he would do (albeit vaguely) to fix it. Clinton’s platform was largely focused on still attacking his flaws and defending herself against her own baggage rather than acknowledging the suffering voters in the blue states that she thought were hers from the start.

The silent majority of those states had other plans.

The Emails + Wikileaks

I really wonder how Hillary will feel from now every time she opens an email browser and realize what her past actions cost her. The email scandal could have gone away had she told the truth about what it was that she deleted. But she didn’t.

Supporters tried to say that they were insignificant. But if the contents were insignificant, why was she trying so desperately to hide them?

And then there were the Wikileaks, every day pumping out more and more evidence about Clinton’s media collusion, her receiving debate questions ahead of time, proof of the DNC sabotaging Bernie, the questionable use of charity money, and basically verifying that accusations dismissed by the Clinton campaign as conspiracies were indeed true.

While the mainstream media outlets refused to cover this, the silent majority were already committed to learning what they needed to further their conviction.

Liberals who were still with her tried to blow off the whole thing; there was no reason to think that she had committed anything sketchy.

The silent majority had all the reasons they needed.

Vote Wars: Episode III

Revenge of the Si – lent Majority

And then they struck. On Election Day, the silent majority flipped the predictions (by fivethirtyeight, the supposed gold standard) by turning crucial historically blue states red, and then continuing the rampage. As the map started bleeding red in parts it shouldn’t have, the media outlets panicked. It was easy enough before the election to claim that there was no way for Trump to win, in hopes of discouraging voters. But they were powerless when the actual election was underway.

The above graphic shows how every mainstream media prediction was wildly inaccurate. Many who gambled on the election and lost money can thank the mainstream media for influencing them.

This is a historic election that will go down in the books. Trump fought against a ridiculously large gauntlet of contenders in the primaries, and won. He fought against his own party refusing to back him. He recovered from his own party betraying him after his leaked comments about grabbing women. He fought against every underhanded tactic the DNC threw at him, media collusion, every mainstream media outlet being against him, his supporters being silenced, and won.

Has there ever been another moment in history when a billionaire was the underdog?

Academics, from now and possibly centuries later (if we as a species make it) will study and analyze this election. And I hope that right now, despite almost every liberal crying about how racism and bigotry are what drove these results, that they realize there were many factors at play here.

Racism? This was the same country that elected Obama. Twice. And some states that gave their votes to him now gave them to Trump.

Bigotry? The definition of bigotry is the refusal to acknowledge other viewpoints. And by nonstop claiming it was the fault of a racist country, the losing side is fulfilling this requirement.

Rather, this whole mess was the fault of the DNC, who not only screwed themselves over, in which they deserve the loss, but who also unfairly screwed the members of their own party over, who did not deserve this.

If your side lost in this election, recognize where the blame truly lies. Demonize the other side all you want, but recognize that the very ones who tried to lead you to victory performed selfish actions without your consent, used underhanded tactics, undermined democracy, divided the country by promoting intolerance to different political beliefs, withheld crucial information about your candidate’s shady dealings, and ultimately lost it for you.

You did your part. Your party didn’t.

No Reply

Perhaps this isn’t exactly a new trend. However, it is happening a lot more, to me at least. This being the act of not replying to a text or a phone call. How hard is it to take twenty seconds to reply back to a text, at the very least to inform the person you are busy at the moment, and will get back at a later time?

The excuse “I’m busy,” or, “I’ve been busy” is often used. Guess what? Everyone is busy. Everyone’s time is valuable.

This practice is quite prominent when trying to ensure a prior plan is still a go. Yet, instead of a person calling/texting to say “hey, I can’t make it tonight” and provide a legitimate reason, even if it is to say “I just don’t feel like it,” the person just doesn’t communicate at all. They just let the act of not responding or communicating, do the talking for them.

This is pathetic. Be considerate and let people know what is going on.

Experience vs. Ability

In today’s economy, almost every young person graduating with a Bachelors or Masters degree faces on common problem, the desire of employers to hire someone with experience. Often times, the graduate did not acquire much experience in the particular field he or she wants to enter. That person most likely either did not work, due to a busy schedule studying and doing extra curricular activities, or, worked a part time job in an unrelated field. Perhaps the post student was able to do some internships during the semesters, but nothing significant.

How then does one escape the paradox of needing experience to get a job, but cannot get a job due to lack of experience? The answer, employers need to stop putting so much faith in experience. The real qualifier for a job is a person’s ability. Not what the person has done in the past, but, what the person can do now and in the future.

When a person starts any new job, there will be a learning curve. Steep for some, not so much for others. If the person has the ability, then he or she could outperform anyone with years of experience. In fact, just because someone has done a job before and knows how it worked in the past, does that in fact mean that the person will know every nuance of the current job? Does it mean that the person will perform as well or better at the new job? Absolutely not. There are many cases where a person without experience can lean quicker and do better in a new environment than a seasoned individual. Plus, anyone fresh out of school is still acclimated to the study routine and adapting quickly to new things. While someone who has been out of school for many years and in the job market, may be stuck in his or her ways on doing things.

It is long past the time for employers to stop hanging on to the belief that only a person with x years of experience is the only feasible option when hiring a new employee. If this trend continues, there will be a large portion of the workforce which is retired and great deal of candidates with no experience or jobs, because no one would give them a chance.

Questions about God

Today is Easter. And while many are celebrating the resurrection of Christ, I am pondering over many questions about all aspects of the Christian teachings. First off, I was raised in a strict Catholic home. I had the faith spoon fed to me from day one, now I’m wondering more than ever, just what is truth and what is just part of a great story. Primarily, if anyone with a greater knowledge than myself reads this, please feel free to answer these questions.

-Would we have been saved if Jesus had just died of natural causes, rather than being crucified on the cross? And, if not, should we be grateful to Pontius Pilot, Judas and others who aided in his crucifixion?

-In the Old Testament, God creates Adam and Eve and they have three sons: Cain, Able and Seth. Who do Seth and Cain have children with? And, where did they come from?

-God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to save the human race. However, in the Old Testament, God destroyed everyone but Noah and his family, destroyed Sodom and Gamora, punished his faithful servant Joab in a bet with Satan (yet rewards him later), and kills the first born sons of everyone in Egypt (unless lamb’s blood is put on the door). Are these acts of love? Compared to Jesus who kept the company of and forgave prostitutes, thieves and others considered by the people to be bad.

-If the Last Supper was the first Mass, when was the second mass?

-If the Bible is to be taken literally rather than metaphorically, then why do we need priest and preachers explaining what is meant in various passages throughout the text? Are some parts history and others metaphors? Who decides which is which?

-Why do the details in different books vary? Shouldn’t they agree if it is to be taken as an historical document?

There are more questions, but, these are the one’s I’ve been thinking most on.

For the record, I do believe in God. I’m just not certain how everything works out. I also trust the practicality of science and history and the constant search for knowledge. And not just stopping when something difficult comes along and stating that “it’s just the way God made it.” I think that all questions should be thoroughly tested and able to explain at least someday. Science is a matter of fact, religion is a matter of belief.



Easily Offended?

First off I’m glad to hear that DOMA is gone. Finally LGBT couples can have the same benefits as traditional married couples. Finally, we are catching up to current times.


Has our society become a bunch of super sensitive sissies? One of my friends told me about a friend of his, from the south, who moved to Chicago for a job. This person called a woman at the work place “hunny”and was fired for sexual harassment. Honestly, that was considered harassment? There are certainly worse things to be called. Plus, people in different regions have different colloquial dialects. It is just what these people heard growing up.

However it is confusing in society. We are desensitized to a great deal of things such as violence, adult themed material and subject matter and hearing profane language in music, movies and television. But, these same people are offended when being called “hunny?” What is our society coming to?