Per the INTRO, and Parts I – V, and VI, VII, VIII, IX — tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating. 90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam to come up w/ these nuggets! . . . But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
Part X here we go, spraying on opportunity and how blessed (and paradoxically handicapped) we are . . .
Are you in the United States right now / a U.S. citizen? Go kiss the ground you win. I’m open to all kinds of lenses and edge cases that say that is not the case just because you are born in the U.S. or live in the U.S. doesn’t mean you are happy or have it great relative to the rest of the world, etc. And sure for some peeps that is true. But the ability to pursue a dream, to use your freedom, to have access to capital and ideas and infrastructure, to get an education . . . it is all so tangible to me now.
So much I’ve taken for granted no matter how intellectually hard I’d tried not to. Reading the Economist and/or just seeing numbers on paper does not do it. Want a world view go live it w/ your kids for half a year dev nation style.
Back home — oooohhhh the challenges we face!!! Should I pursue awesome profession X or Y, start company b or c, should I make blah or 10xblah, how much should I travel for work, should my kids go to awesome school X or awesome school Y, should we build a custom house on our lands or stay in our awesome/amazing house, should Megan go back to work or not, should she do it for money or focus on money or not, should I race bikes more or less, should I mountaineer more or less, should we eat more organic or local or plants or . . . should I start another company, or join the team of a more established startup, should I focus on local economic development or save that for later, should I mow my own lawn and clean my own house or pay some other peeps to do it, what am i going to be for halloween! . . . HIGH CLASS PROBLEMS.
Crazy, because the complexity of the privilege in many ways is way harder to manage the simplicity of the base levels of survival (shelter and food). If “winning” is purely based on I fed myself/my family, reproduced, lived another day/year, etc. — at least that is black and white and we all know what we have to do. Once it’s all about self actualizing and beyond the will I live or die, now it gets murky and wow maybe we just haven’t evolved fast enough to keep up w/ challenges of self actualization/etc. up the chain on maslow’s heirarchy of needs.
I remember the first quarter of my first year at Dartmouth getting shelled in an international government class. It was out of my league/over my head. C+ I think. Had never even see those figures on a report card. The prof, while banging on principles of deterrence and nuclear proliferation amongst nation states, managed to weave in a theme at all times that went something like “you all have no idea how good you have it you soft ass ivy wusses sweet jesus please recognize you actually have a RESPONSIBILITY not just opportunity to at least not be a random loser my god you are in the top .00001% of opportunity given in the world don’t be an idiot and throw it away at least try and do your best and hey maybe help make the world a better place because you are already rich, did i mention how good you have it and what stuck up wusses you are btw?”.
Thanks for the C+ bro :) I earned it.