I remember hearing on a documentary about communism the workers would say, "They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work." Somehow I think that is how the United States has come in allowing the work force to be inundated with low-wage jobs such as Wal-Mart where workers are forced to be on food stamps, etc. Even in our military due to inflation service members are on WIC. Now, we're gambling with our economic future allowing Citibank to practically write the provisions in the trillion dollar spending bill just as we're allowing the 1% to continually benefit from the trickle down theory. It seems all this is doing is trying to make our GDP competitive with China. We're modeling ourselves to be competitive with China which has had an exceedingly burgeoning middle class. There is no way we will ever be competitive with China when their GDP will outgrow ours in 2016. We're destabilizing our middle class to stay ahead of the game. Just my thoughts as an international relations scholar. Say what you will, add your own thoughts.
The thing about success is no matter what you always have to be determined. Sometimes success is relying on others. It took me years to understand the latter. In 2008, I was at the beginning stages of a successful career in cyber intelligence. I was offered a top secret job with a defense contractor and very much looked forward to working in the realm of work. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I would’ve been successful. Wildly successful.
Today success looks much different.
Today, I am successful just by living and being me. Sure, I have other commitments but I am still a success in my eyes. Through the years I’ve had to realign my concepts of success and challenge them in order to re-imagine what is possible. The possibilities of a successful career in the sense of working a job and moving up through the conventional ladder of success are nil for myself.
Of course, the conventional ladders of success are not what the 21st Century youth are looking for today anyways, and although at one time I would’ve as a youth looked at those conventional ladders with envy it’s not what I really wanted in the end. Everyone looks up to the CEO of a major corporation or a General in the military with envy. But what is it that I really wanted and what do I have now?
What I really wanted is the sort of thing that few people get. Satisfaction. What I have now is satisfaction. I wanted two things out of this life when I was a youth. One was to make a difference and the other was to have what I need. I have what I need and I am making a difference by being me.
The challenge with mental illness is that as a society we’re not open with ourselves about what we need. We need reflection on who we are, where we’re going, and what we’ve been through. In the hustle and bustle of today’s society truly few people get these things. Luckily, after six years of deep reflection on all aspects of who I am, where I’m going, and what I’ve been through I can tell you that it has helped me appreciate more of the challenges others are going through. It has helped me have compassion with myself and others.
Compassion is what we’re all yearning for but rarely give. It seems that the more we reflect on the situations we’re going through, ourselves, and the broader world out there we’ll find more compassion and humility within ourselves to guide us to make the best decisions we can make.
It’s not a cure to end all cures, but it is a start. The start to success is having compassion for yourself and your fellow man. As Americans we’re jaded, especially because of the news. We see black children being killed by cops, riots in the streets, and we’re not sure if we’re living in a third world nation or a post-developed nation anymore. We need to stop and reflect on the problems we’re facing in our own lives before we can begin to tackle the problems in the nation and the world.
Success though, success is compassion. The more compassion we give, the more we get. Let’s all have a little bit more compassion in the world and the problems will work themselves out.
Over the course of this illness known as schizophrenia I’ve developed a number of talents like how to stay away from people. Retreating into the recesses of my mind inside the house I own. Personally, I do it because I feel safe and add a mixture of humbleness. I feel a bit more humble living in a house all alone. The only wish I have is that it had a view. Maybe a canyon or two in the distance or an ocean. I couldn’t care either way about which kind of view.
A System of Egregious Differences
As a child and young teen I remember looking up to billionaires as people to model myself after. My hero as a child was Bill Gates, and I vividly remember why. Because like him I loved technology. Today I am still more technologically inclined than many of my peers. I looked up to him because not only had he built a business completely on his own but because at that time in the 90s he was the big hoss among the tech companies.
Today Americans have a different mindset as billionaires are no longer looked up to as a role models but despised for their wealth, envied, reviled. It goes against the America that I once knew as a child. As a child, I knew both sets of my parents teachers and mill workers were not rich but they understood their place in society and accepted it.
I’m still not sure how or why America has changed. Pointing to the system of egregious differences where 1.2 billion welfare dollars is spent on McDonald’s employees shows that there is a lack of corporate social responsibility. But the reason billionaires are envied, reviled, and despised is because Americans want their independence.
In a world where ditzy Hollywood stars such as Paris Hilton can command millions of dollars for an appearance or tweet and 42% of fast food workers have a bachelor’s degree shows a dichotomy of economic power that is entrenched with suspicious intent.
Americans, in my opinion, have given up on capitalism. Others have resigned to accept their fate.
Once again, we are faced with a shooter in the midst of society. Once again, the debate on gun control perseveres in society. Once again, mental illness is given the cop-out as the preeminent motivator. One in four people have a diagnosed mental illness. I would assume three out of four have a mental illness yet undiagnosed.
Surely, you’d think as Americans we’d learn from these situations. I’m not arguing for more gun control or less. I’m not arguing for a debate on society and guns. I’m only arguing that the debate is not intelligent.
The predicament that leads to these situations often can somehow be prevented, no doubt. Yes, often time’s mental illness is a source of the problem. On the proposed assumption a majority of people are mentally ill whether you like it or not.
So, when you talk about mental illness and violence. What are you saying? You’re saying that people are not people. That people with mental illness are not human and should be treated differently. We are subhuman.
Here is a good quote from Mental Health Reporting, "Although studies suggest a link between mental illnesses and violence, the contribution of people with mental illnesses to overall rates of violence is small, and further, the magnitude of the relationship is greatly exaggerated in the minds of the general population (Institute of Medicine, 2006)."
These quotes come from here: http://depts.washington.edu/...
- "…the vast majority of people who are violent do not suffer from mental illnesses (American Psychiatric Association, 1994)."
- "The absolute risk of violence among the mentally ill as a group is very small. . . only a small proportion of the violence in our society can be attributed to persons who are mentally ill (Mulvey, 1994)."
-"People with psychiatric disabilities are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime (Appleby, et al., 2001). People with severe mental illnesses, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis, are 2 ½ times more likely to be attacked, raped or mugged than the general population (Hiday, et al.,1999)."
Millennials are always given a bad rap due to the perceived inability to get a job and live the American dream that our father’s and mother’s were able to get and achieve by the time they were our age. Millennials are the black sheeps of our society today because the dreams that America had for us have not come to fruition.
Millennials though are creating the society you weren’t able to. To a large extent we’ve already shaped the political atmosphere. A large part of the reason President Obama was elected was due to social media, and guess who was behind that? Millennials.
Millennials have fought in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So quit telling people millennials are lazy!
Millennials are shaping the future, and we’re intelligent, dedicated, passionate, and far more inclusive than the eggheads on Fox News.
The Transition from Military to Wacko
By Dustin DeMoss
This weekend I will be attending SARDAA (Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America) to participate in a Question and Answer session on the feature film Light Wounds. This is a movie inspired by my life.
This is an article I posted in Red Dirt Report (RedDirtReport.com) and some errors have been fixed. In the original article it looks as if I had been in Korea for two years. This is a phenomenal mistake on my part as I wasn't paying close attention.
Christina Fallin wore a headdress on Instagram. I don't have a problem with that as a non-member with Cherokee blood running through my veins. The firing of Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlockis not something I have a problem with because as I'm sure he would agree that working with people who believe in surrounding themselves with people that are disrespectful to the heritage and cultures of others is not something that would be advantageous to anyone.
However, I do have a problem with a governor that signs into law a bill preventing cities from increasing the minimum wage effectively leaving 440,000 Oklahomans on food stamps and government assistance. A governor and Republican party that protests government assistance yet they do nothing to help people get out of government assistance.
It bothers me that Oklahomans continue to elect Senators, Governors, and Congressmen that do little to help those they detest besides detesting and ostracizing them. And all too often those people who are ostracized for government assistance vote for them because they aren't educated on what they're doing to them. They rely on keeping the education levels low, poverty high, and keeping people on assistance.
Oklahomans usually vote with "faith." Faith in their public leaders to do the Christian thing, but I see no faith in that vote. I see no faith in their reasoning. I see no faith in ostracizing people and keeping them on assistance for votes. That's not the Christian I was raised to be.
I wrote this with the hopes that it could get published in Rappler.com, a Philippines based news agency, but it didn't make the cut so I am publishing it here.