Another Friday night Netflix-whorin’ (trademark!), and I decided to settle in on Nick Offerman: American Ham. It’s an hour and nineteen stand up performance, and I found it delightful; you shall too. What I valued from watching this was his hysterical delivery of ten principles he utilizes to get through life.
Nick’s performance reminded me of what I’ve put to practice these last three years. I’ve shared them in previous posts, but am motivated to revisit these principles with you, my lovely, because if there’s anything I’m good at in life, is constantly trying out new ways to fail at something, only to come out on top!
Here now, ladies, gents and in-betweens, Von Simeon’s Four Axioms:
1) Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. (“Say Nay To The Hero Complex”)
This is for anyone who’s ever had to bear the brunt of responsibility/accountability/patriarchy/leadership/ownership/command. This is especially applicable for those who carry firearms, bear badges, wear camouflage, guard incarcerated peoples, or handle children or the elderly. This is ESPECIALLY applicable for all of the above if you’re female.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you have the mental capacity, the physical strength, the embodiment of power, the academic achievement, the title, the authority, the financial means, the superiority over friends, the familial control, the want-to without intercession, doesn’t mean YOU should exercise it. If these are the skill sets you embody, you need to spread the wealth. If it is of your nature to be dominant, then go against nature, and pass the baton on. Strike fear in the hearts you intend to enslave, or empower your subordinates by demonstrating restraint.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
2) In new/uncertain situations, frame the experience not as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but ‘different than’ what you’re used to. (“Face The Fear”)
We are all conditioned in childhood to emulate the actions of our superiors – the parental units. These people, prior to you, had their personal strengths and flaws as well as social preferences and limitations. Because those were your parents’/superiors’ values, you, by default, embody them. Now that you’re an autonomous unit (I have long given up on using the word ‘adult’ to equate to ‘maturity’), you can CHOOSE what you prefer. This means, getting out of your conditioned shell and walking the unfamiliar soil. The good news is, you can infiltrate as many unfamiliar soils you want, at any time you want, at any age or life event you’re at, and, if you decide you don’t enjoy that walk, you CAN go elsewhere! Staying the course is a very boring way to experience the world. When we do the “that’s wrong” “that’s right” mark off, we’re effectively saying, “the world needs to meet my parents’ standards since I have none.” Separate from your conditioning. Go outside. Embrace what’s different. You might realize you like it.
3) Repeat after me: I know nothing. (“Clarity”)
How’s it go? The older I get, the less I know. That’s not a line describing dementia; that’s a person actualizing her relevance in society. Truth is, we approach adulthood and the labor force in survival mode – reacting instead of planning, bearing arms instead of intellect. You do not need to embrace that. People would actually be astounded to hear you say, “I know nothing,” in our information deluge age. Consider this: you’ve known your familial conditioning, you’ve known the tasks that keep you contributing to the labor force, you’ve known the needs of your close ones. What the fuck do you know about YOU? Ask that question to yourself without an audience nor electronic devices. You will be scared shitless, then you will experience freedom.
4) Repeat after me: I am nobody. (“Oneness”)
It takes seven years for human synapses to completely change their initial routes. For every intuitive engagement you have, you’re mapping out how your brain embraces that discovery. You can, effectively, retrofit yourself to be the enlightened, engaged, enjoyable person we all want you to be. But you’ve GOT TO release that bear hug around Ego before the rewiring can commence! Society dictates the importance of the Ego. If you’re not one to get on your knees and succumb to Society’s penetration, then let go.
Everyone can swim through Axioms 1 and 2 with focus, self-respect, and a will towards living. Axioms 3 and 4, even I can’t seem to see the other end of the bridge with such a dense fog to negotiate. However, I am willed towards living, and so I will fight for Clarity and Oneness. I deserve them.
I know you do, too.
I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.
What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?