The Distance Between Bullshit and Me
Hi! I hope you are happy and healthy.
This is the end of the one-year weekly posting effort to boost SEO of Fearless Puppy. Thank you very, very much to all who clicked on the backlinks and helped so much to make Fearless Puppy easier to find online. Your effort is deeply appreciated.
This is the last post. If you want to catch any that you’ve missed or read any of them again, they are nearly all at www.fearlesspuppy.info/blog You might also find other parts of the website to be entertaining.
I can be sarcastic at times, occasionally long-winded and repetitive, a bit preachy here and there, and even a little boring now and then. I apologize for those bits and hope you have enjoyed the rest. I’m not the brightest bulb in any fixture but I have been lucky enough to experience some exceptional women and men. With any luck, their smart stuff has gotten past my density well enough to show up occasionally in the writing. Many of those exceptional people were comedians, so I also hope you got a few good laughs from some of the writing.
I really hope that you get a few good laughs somewhere — anywhere — and often.
If you do not, please seek immediate help.
“The most revolutionary act that a person…can perform is to be happy.” Patch Adams
COMMON SENSE/THE DISTANCE BETWEEN BULLSHIT AND ME
Usually I start by saying what’s going on here in Nepal and asking how you are doing there — but we all know by now how everyone is doing everywhere. This hasn’t been humanity’s best couple of years. It has left many of us feeling like Helen Keller trying to work a Rubik’s Cube.
Repeating popular rumor, the guess-work of friends, or personal views about it all seems pointless but I must do just a bit of that to set the backdrop. I apologize and will quickly get on to better stuff.
I am one of the many fools that forms subjective opinions around what might be better left as objective observations. There are so very many different opinions among us! Our species is more socially disjointed than ever before. There seems to be only one thing that almost everyone agrees on. We have all reluctantly come to realize that many of our commonly accepted pillars of stability are built on a foundation of nonsense and most of our life-long sources of supposedly true information are slanted if not lying. Entities we always thought of as being honest have proven themselves unreliable and without integrity. To paraphrase Michelle Wolf’s brilliant line at the Washington Correspondents Dinner. “Congratulations to you all who like to bring us the breaking news! You finally broke it!”
To add insult to injury, we have been forced to admit that many of these formerly-thought-to-be-trustworthy sources, through either intent or ignorance, have been feeding us a lot of bullshit for a very long time — and we have been believing much of it.
But the so-called News is just the catalytic tip of the iceberg. By now, bullshit runs through so much of our social structure that very few havens are safe from it.
Among the many opinions we build for ourselves from the shrapnel and shards of all this ca-ca, the fastest growing one may be a backlash reaction to the realization that we have been perhaps most blatantly and painfully betrayed by government and media. Sections of the population think there is no disease and the “scamdemic” is just a government plot. Nobody seems to know which government is responsible but theories run from America, to China, to America and China working together, to the whole United Nations organization, to…the list of suspects goes on and on. What seems to be the soundest of these opinions says that the governing forces behind this alleged bacterial/theatrical production are not really national governments at all but rather the banking, oil & energy, pharmaceutical, agribusiness, weapons, and other assorted industrial manufacturers and business interests that operate in the shadows of, and pull the strings attached to, all national governments. Many of these are already well known for their history of profiting from human misery.
Folks on the opposite end of popular opinion’s pendulum believe that there isn’t any intentional mismanagement being performed or misinformation circulated by the media, any government, or corporate despots. They say that conspiracy theory kooks are ignoring the simple truth of virus-as-sole-enemy and that many are also ignoring the salvation available to us all from (albeit insufficiently tested and questionably sourced) vaccines. Opinions within this camp vary as to whether the virus itself is an angry revenge of Nature, a flubbed experiment done by sloppy scientists, the purposeful manufacture of unscrupulous humans, or the result of a bat having sex with a chicken.
There is a third contingent. I am in it. Like other members of this growing third contingent, I am sure that I have no totally clear picture of what is going on. I am aware that my opinions are not facts — but three foggily obvious things have been objectively observed by myself and my fellow third contingent peeps.
The first is that whether it is an ordinary flu that has been exaggerated by the media or a developing and potentially apocalyptic new superbug, a form of virus exists that can be dangerous and even deadly to a very small percentage of the population.
The second is that an attempt is being made by sociopathic multinational interests to bring humanity to its knees and under their tightened control. Tough guys have been beating up peaceful kids and stealing their lunch money since the beginning of people, but today’s incorporated bullies have a much greater avarice and ambition inspiring them — and much greater resources and technology at their disposal.
The third is that the former is being manipulated by the latter to accomplish their purpose. It appears to many of us that the long-range effects of this profiteering and criminal socioeconomic engineering could become more detrimental to humanity than the historical Bubonic plague, much less the new virus.
Regardless of which set of causal details you believe, the effect has fostered near-universal stress and drained vast reservoirs of happiness. Some of us have been overcome by panic, come apart at the seams, and lost our center — if we ever owned it. Many among this segment of humanity have bowed to media manipulation of one flavor or the other. They have become psychologically and physically compliant with questionable sources of information and direction. These folks believe nearly everything that confirms their fears and opinions. They worry a lot. These people are more likely to get sick, more likely to die, and more vulnerable to being corn-holed in many other ways while they are healthy and alive.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel-vision! The unanimous opinion of the most logical folks from all three contingents says that regardless of what caused our problems, everyone’s time would be best spent in activity that assists in repairing them. Who is right or wrong matters a lot less than what we are going to do about it. Common Sense dictates that the only things that matter now are the things that help. A single minute of constructive action is worth much more than a year of spouting one sided rhetoric or ignoring our circumstances.
The question many people are asking is, “How can I do something constructive and helpful when my hands are tied by these terrible events?” The answer is easy.
Our hands are not tied. Our minds are. Thinking your hands are tied is a blatantly fallacious premature subjective reactive cognitive mental commitment. Put more simply, it is bullshit.
It’s our own bullshit now. It may have originally come from elsewhere but we gave it permission to stay. When people allow their hands to be tied and their minds to be controlled by forces outside of their hands and minds, they are surrendering part of their humanity to external coercion. They are thereby, at least partially, becoming slaves to someone else’s bullshit.
There’s a lot of bullshit in the world. Our odds of being exposed to this bullshit increase as we get more directly dependent upon other people. Humans beings are very interdependent animals. No one completely avoids interdependence. Therefore no one can completely avoid bullshit, either. The world smells worse in some places than others but everyone is going to get at least a little bit of stank on themselves while living here.
(Luckily, we can also find as much wisdom and kindness as we want to look for. Vast amounts of it are available although the good news rarely makes the front page.)
Whether the monsters attacking life on Earth are bacterial, governmental, corporate, naturally occurring or manufactured, demonic (if you like to look at things that way), or a combination of all these — most of what is happening in the world is beyond our individual control. But our reactions to current circumstances are totally within our own personal control.
Our present-tense happiness and the future of our species largely depends upon whether we surrender that control to bullshit or use it to deal with real shit.
There is a space, as massive as you want to make it, between external coercion and internal direction. I look at that space as the exact distance between bullshit and me. The most forcefully programmed fears that are ground into our psyches can result in unhappiness, illness, and even death — but only if we allow them to do so. They cannot stop humans from being humane, resilient, intelligent, healthy, and strong if we find it worth the effort to maintain our relationship with those characteristics.
Everyone alive has the ability to transcend bullshit and do something that helps fix real shit. Some folks don’t bother because they think they are only capable of small and perhaps meaningless contributions to the human condition. But every time we speak kindly and show patience instead of reacting with anger; every time we go a little bit out of our way to help someone else in any fashion, we add meaning and power to what might be thought of as the bigger, more important actions.
Little things often coagulate and conglomerate to form big ones. Without small things, big things don’t happen. The Mahatma could not have done his salt march to the ocean and raised a nation by himself. Martin Luther King, if working all by himself, would have been lynched or ignored at his first campaign. Any great person you can think of had many folks involved in making their effect so great. We consider Gandhi, Dr. King, and many others like them to be heroes. They considered all the historically nameless people that were abused, imprisoned, beaten, and even killed during those popular movements to be the real heroes that made things happen!
Each of us seemingly less influential people can not only make valuable contributions to life on Earth but we can also help others to do the same. Again, small actions can result in great impact. An encouraging word to a friend or a kindness offered a stranger can stand that person’s attitude up tall enough to make sure that their best qualities rise and function that day. Many people who feel powerless to help have no idea just how powerful the effects of something as simple as a hug can be.
Besides benefitting the recipient of any constructive action, and the collective well being of the world at large, there is also a well documented bi-directional effect to any positive effort. Doing a kindness always boosts the person doing it as much as it boosts up the person they are directing it toward.
I have friends that are actively working for women’s rights, health, and empowerment. I have other friends that are working to feed starving people that have been frozen out of their employment by the events of recent years. Still other friends are monks, nuns, witches, priests, shamans, and adepts of other spiritual practices that send positive energies and aspirations into the esoteric world every day. They also act kindly to everyone they meet in the physical world. Many other folks make similar efforts to keep themselves and those around them happier and healthier without employing monk-style austerity and discipline or shamanic ritual. They blend helpful physical actions and constructive, upbeat mental directions discreetly into everyday life. And we all know nurses, firemen, home care workers, and others who have figured out how to combine helpfulness with making a living.
I am pretty lazy as compared with any of those folks, but I do have one important job. I try to be nice. It doesn’t always work. When I’m not nice, I try to stay aware enough to catch myself broadcasting bullshit as quickly as possible. This diminishes the number as well as the longevity of my screw-ups. It insures that I don’t act like a jackass as often this year as I did last year. This effort is an important part of maintaining the distance between a different type of bullshit and me. In this case, not culturally influenced but rather my own internally generated bullshit.
I try to stay centered away from bullshit, whether it comes from inside or out. I don’t rent out space in my head to bullshit. I’m not going to argue with bullshit. I give bullshit as little as possible of my valuable attention. From my own ignorant, open-to-all-possibilities, altruism-as-common-sense home base, I can remember that the better aspects of what I want to be are more important than what any negative influence wants me to be.
People think of bullshit the same way they think of the good stuff — always looking for the big, impressive pieces. But as is also true of constructive action, the smaller and more commonly accepted bits of bullshit are often a lot more influential than we realize. Even the most inane and relatively harmless bullshit will steal our attention and time away from constructive good.
A lot of nonsense snares our attention away from the things that most desperately need it. Keeping up with the sexual tension scripted between immature fictional TV couples or watching other bullshit-on-a-screen in order to vacantly fill time probably deserves a little less of our attention until the ills of humanity are cured.
My parting hope and wish is that all eight billion people on Earth remember that it is worth whatever effort necessary to put some distance between yourself and bullshit — and if you should find yourself accidentally swimming in Bullshit Lake, don’t bite on any hooks there! Fish don’t end up in the frying pan if they refuse to take the bait.
There is always a shore nearby. You can swim to where you can shower off and quickly restore yourself to a more no-bullshit, constructive, happy, healthy, and helpful life.
That shore is where the party will happen.
So as you can see, the idea behind all this is simple. Once bullshit and its residual effects have been eliminated from our minds, only what is real will be left. Once we clearly see everything as it really is, we will easily figure out exactly what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. Armed with the intelligence and direction that clear vision affords, we will be happy to put in the effort to accomplish a saner, safer, and much more joyful world.
That’s when the party will happen. I’ll meet you there.
Goodbye, friends. Thank you for reading and thank you for clicking the backlinks.
Be well. Love, Tenzin www.fearlesspuppy.info/blog
p.s. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please — it literally takes only seconds — click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you!
About the Author
Doug Ten Rose has hitchhiked around America for 40 years, encountering:
- Tibetan Lamas
- Native American wise people
- Rock stars
- An all-lesbian rock band playing a concert for the deaf
- The modern day Robin Hood
- And a whole lot more…
These and many other amazing characters are described in Fearless Puppy on American Road.
“Ten” was also rescued and adopted by a temple full of Monks and Nuns in Southeast Asia. He stayed there for a half-year, although not studying Buddhism (certainly not in any conventional sense!).
Read more about that in his second offering: Reincarnation Through Common Sense.
What else is there to say?
Well, a lot.
Here’s a snippet so you can dip your toes in the water — it’s from the foreword of Fearless Puppy:
“Why would a 15 year old boy with a New York City native’s knowledge of transportation systems shun both public and private transport and opt to spend the next 35 years hitchhiking throughout North America?
Why would anyone bypass the relative ease and safety of bus, train, or a car of his own and open himself to all manner of possible disaster by braving the whims of fate and the moods of passersby? I’ll tell you why.
I have attended 8 different colleges and universities.
I’ve learned more in other people’s cars.”
INTERVIEWS & PODCASTS
Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
If you missed the Introduction to the new book or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story — and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!