When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. -- Confucius
Politically correct ideals are garbage: true wisdom comes from decades of deep thought and neutral observation. Only a so-called sociopath could ascertain wisdom from this crazy world in a neutral way. Cool thoughts- uncorrupted by modern politics, social norms, or societal ideals- are required for wisdom. Questioning everything, and going against the grain on all universally accepted norms is the path to true intelligence. The Gods notice this.


What I Do

'What do you do?' has replaced the former universal greeting of 'how do you do?'. It reminds me of a jackboot cop saying 'Papers, Citizen!', but is really just a more polite way of saying 'How much respect should I pay you?'

The answer is crucial to what will be said next. If I were to reply "I am a cashier at that convenience store," they would treat me very differently than if I said "I write novels," or, "I am a prison guard". What really gets people is when you say "I can't say. Undercover today. What's your name?" Then write it down on a little notepad.

It would be a better society if people would stop worrying about the profession of whomever they are about to speak to. Is it that important who makes more money, or whose job is more prestigious? Only if the person asking hopes to come off as better than you. The arrogance seethes in some, and they find it hard to conceal. When is the last time a trash collector asked you what you 'do'? Perhaps because the trodden are a little more humble than the business owners and office managers and the lawyers. Those types of people- the hoity-toity white collar bigshots with their noses in the air- they are the ones who constantly ask people what they 'do'.

Next time one of these self-presumed pillars of society asks me what I 'do', I am going to tell them:

-What do you do?

--I do a lot of things.

-Like what? A jack of all trades?

--No, besides my source of income, I do a lot of writing, reading, and movie watching.

-Of course, but I meant what do you do for a living?

--Oh that's not interesting. I put in my time to pay the bills. But I do also exercise alot- gotta control that pesky diabetes you know. And I also play mahjong now and then. I can clear a board in 8 minutes!

-Oh. But to pay your bills, you work where? I didn't catch what you said.

--I work at a business. Nothing exciting really. But I also do all of my own car repairs, house upkeep, and alot of medical stuff too. Why pay someone to do everything for you? It's a waste of money. Do you know what a few stitches cost nowadays? About a grand! Or you can do it yourself for about a dollar. Incredible ain't it?!

-Yes, but a doctor has to numb it first-

--No, the pain of the cut is already there and overwhelms the needle sticks. Is a minute of pain relief worth a grand anyway? That's my philosophy: do everything yourself instead of wasting your money paying people to pander to laziness. It's the way to save money, that's for sure.

-To an extent, but some people don't know how to fix their own cars and stuff. And besides, if you can afford it, why not just for the convenience? You can afford it can't you??

--Of course. Because I have saved so much money over the years by doing things myself. How many times have you paid someone 20. to change your oil? Add that up. You could have bought another car by now by spending a few minutes removing a bolt and a filter, then replacing them and pouring in more oil. Too easy- anyone who can't figure that out probably can't understand street lights either.

-Well some people are too old to do that...

--Sure, but I am not talking about infirmed people. I mean able-bodied folks who work for their money and then give it away so they won't have to spend a few minutes doing their own chores. They are money wasters.

-Anyway, what is your profession?

--I am a money consultant, and I have sent many people from rags to riches in just 8 weeks!

-OH! I see! You are great, what do you charge?

--The advice I gave you would normally have cost 100. But it's okay this time.


--(looking at my watch..)

-Here, let me write you a check. Can I have your card?

--Sure! (I dig in my pockets)...I seem to be out. Can I mail you one, to that address on your check?

-Oh yes, we really need some advice on how to juggle our IRA's and bonds, with our CD's about to mature and all. Plus the capital gains tax went down and we don't know what to do with the extra liquid assets!

--I understand. It's complex. (I take the check). I will be calling you. Have a nice day. (I cash check and buy a pony keg, a tank of gas, and ten bags of Fritos.)

Now this person has learned a lot about what I do, but has not succeeded in learning what I do for a living. Score one for the brainiac!...

So, the next person who asks what I 'do', just might get an answer: I do hate rich snobs.

(c) james platt

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