Category Archives: Life

Greed


Why do we desire more than we need?

A car is a car, yet some must have the most expensive to validate their existence. Such cars would not be made if we did not, as individuals, crave attention or simply desired ‘the best’.

Do we, in effect, just want the best we can buy or is it the status that our greed desires? Transport provides the same function, with various degrees of comfort, until more comfort is unnecessarily luxurious. Then it becomes greed, or simply the desire to possess the best.

The best. This also relates to homes, jobs, clothes, food, all items we purchase. If we were to remove the top end of luxury and place that monetary value into the hands of the almost four billion poor we would progress as a society.

For some, progress as an individual is more valuable.

Who notices the luxury more than the owner? If it is not recognised by anyone else then its desirability reduces. What does this say about us? Do we truly pursue ‘quality’ as some philosophers state and does this intrude into personal space, or is our desire for art all encompassing.

Perhaps we require recognition for our efforts, inheritance or luck to place us above others in our world view.

Unfortunately the ‘others’, apart from a very brief moment of recognition, do not desire the same level of luxury as a permanent quality. Therefore the money used to impress is mostly wasted.

Purchase luxury for your sake, judge it for yourself, and only purchase it if your life is further fulfilled by its presence.

If luxury has no more meaning for you, assist those who will never experience it to provide them with the basics of life to achieve true fulfilment.

What to do all day??


Some people ask this when they are at ‘work’, or in hospital, or sick at home.

The more difficult the answer becomes relates to how much time you have to ‘kill’. But isn’t that the worst thing we could ever do, kill time?

How many people are there, right now, who would give anything for more time?

If we added all the time wasting activities we indulged in as a race just how much time are we wasting? Probably enough time to put another man on the moon (or mars). Or write the next ‘once in a generation’ novel.

So why would we ever want time to go quickly? Well if you’re in pain the answer is an easy one, but for the rest it is not so simple. Even if bored beyond belief you can use time to accomplish something… anything!

Do yourself a favour and next time you want time to speed up, slow down and think about what your goals and dreams are and could you actually spend time on those instead? Even if it is in the form of some preliminary investigation for a few minutes? I assure you time will move more quickly if you do.

No more time wasting. On your deathbed you will regret it, I promise you!

Corruption exists where power exists


To say otherwise is naivety in the extreme.

Of course there are people who refuse to give in and shine like beacons, but unfortunately they are far too few.

If you want something done, and have enough money, then it is done. Simple.

Why are we so surprised when corruption is ‘uncovered’? Banking Royal Commissions, investigations into top legal firms, political donations, misuse of public money, misuse of public credit cards…it is announced in the news almost daily yet the shock value never gets old.

Perhaps it is because we want, so desperately, to believe that we have the same chance as the very rich in life, that we can get by on our merit alone. Some indeed can, and do, but it is more because of luck and timing than their good intentions.

Corruption is everywhere, at every level of our society. Fortunately it is nowhere near as bad as other countries, such as India or China, but it is there. Just below the surface, ready to emerge for the right amount of money or power.

So why are we surprised when it is exposed? Is it just jealousy that we do not have the money required to bribe someone and make our own lives easier? Possibly.

Or possibly it is because we, the un-rich, cling to this notion of a Fair Go. We struggle so much, through so much and somehow over so much in life we simply cannot stand the thought of someone using a chequebook to accomplish what it takes a pound of flesh for us to do the same.

So when it is revealed as being so easy for others, just the stroke of a pen, we recoil in horror once again. Even though we all hear stories, sometimes witness it firsthand, we strive to believe people are good.

Unfortunately all are not, and the wealthier they are the more they can ‘accomplish’.

Why is life so much easier when you have a lot of money? When you answer that question truthfully you will realise why it should not shock you anymore.

GIFs: How I hate them!


Yes I know, not liking one of the largest and latest crazes is not great for a writer’s popularity, but then they call them crazes for a reason, don’t they?

Because they are followed by people who are crazy.

And this is not just a recent ‘thing’, or an attempt to be different or to create a headline. I genuinely hate GIFs!

Why?

They distract me from what I am reading. They seem to have no point other than attempt to assist the writer to make a point – which if they need help doing then they are not a good writer to begin with.

My opinion.

What purpose do they serve? To show how clever someone is for remembering every second of every Seinfeld episode? Or that you can take any video footage and ruin it by shortening it to a few seconds of ever repeating, distracting, meaningless rubbish?

To me, and I realise I could be in the minority here, it shows nothing but someone with time to waste who wants to spend it by wasting my time.

And I can’t switch them off!! I can stop videos playing as I scroll through the leftovers of humanity but when I get to a GIF….bang! No escape!

Call me old fashioned by how can you possibly say something meaningful in several seconds of repeated video of people making funny faces?

That old maxim comes to mind – Get a life!

And yes, for writing this you can say exactly the same about me.

Have we, as Australians, lost our unique identity?


Back when we were throwing ourselves onto an outdoor cooking appliance to try to be noticed, we knew (or at least knew we thought we knew) who we were.

We were fun beachgoers who didn’t take ourselves too seriously, had a permanent cheeky grin, didn’t care if the world liked us as we we were or not, and loved a bit of mischief with tongues firmly planted in cheeks.

Then we completely forgot where we were and became rather demanding (“Where the bloody hell are you?”), refused to call prawns shrimps anymore, used outside for lonesome walks instead of social gatherings, knew we had your attention and thought we deserved more, and smugly believed we were better than most (mainly because we were).

Now we are overconfident, look down our noses at others (“No more boats!”), know we are the best at everything except for keeping our talent from leaving Australia, haven’t got time to go to the beach anymore because we constantly worry about working harder for less money, suffering hidden inflation (eventually we will be buying chip bags with only one chip in them and drinks with only a few drops to quench our once mighty thirst), hidden unemployment, an average income apparently of around $72,000 when HECS debts start being repaid at the ‘average income’ of $54,000, can’t buy a home and don’t know who our Prime Minister is (mainly because half the time we don’t have one).

The concept of a ‘fair go’, once the core of our essence, has been redefined and mostly abandoned (just ask a pensioner). We pay relatives $250 a fortnight to be full time carers when the market rate is $2,000, have not increased social security payments in over thirty years yet the cost of living (CPI) has increased light years beyond official figures (which the Australian Bureau of Statistics agrees, and now calls ‘Cannot Prove Inflation’), have the highest electricity prices in the world, an absurd ‘Australia Tax’ made worse by adding GST, and currently have as our nation’s leader a guy who we don’t know, don’t really care about, or for.

I think I prefer the old Australia, even if I have to call a prawn a shrimp.

At least back then I wouldn’t have to call our Prime Minister “temporary”, or pretend that everything was under control. In particular I wouldn’t have to listen to the words “humble, grass roots, servants of the people, we really care” every year when the next PM is sworn in.

I’ll take some unknown food cooked over a melted female doll anyday.

It’s enough to make you choke on your shrimp.

Everything in life comes down to one thing – Timing


Well, alright, there are just a few more things involved, but for me timing is the most important.

I suppose it relates back to that ‘sliding doors’ moment. Had you not turned left when you got off the bus this morning and turned right instead, you might have bumped into the love of your life.

Depressing but a possibility.

But more to the point, I am referring to those who rave about how great they are because they made lots of money when they sold their house, or bought shares low and sold very high and gave their lives a freedom from financial woes that ninety percent of us go through each month (or at least every few months when the dreaded power bill arrives).

These people are not geniuses, they have not discovered the secret to the financial markets. Yes, they would like to think they have, and indeed tell us so, but no they haven’t.

How can I be so sure?

Do a quick search of the main so called ‘expert’ economists, financial ‘wizards’ and see what they wrote as their predictions at the beginning of last year. They are there for all to see. And the one common thread throughout? They are almost all completely wrong.

I saw one the other day, adamant that inflation would reach twenty percent by the end of last year in the US. I have seen others who predicted a major crash in China (which will no doubt occur one day but no-one knows exactly when).

Timing. It is like predicting an interest rate increase. If you predict one publicly and loudly and one actually occurs within a month you are an instant expert. You could have been predicting an increase every month for two years but because you finally got one right you know everything, right?

Wrong!

Or if you predict that the next Apple iPad will be a total flop, which very senior people have done every year since the first model was released, and that year you happen to be right, suddenly people think you know everything.

Sorry, but it was just a lucky guess.

The markets are mainly driven by emotion. Yes there are some facts in there that a very, very few can follow and predict how people will react, but no-one gets it right all the time. Not even Warren Buffett.

The vast majority get it utterly, completely wrong, especially now when our markets are so wildly unpredictable.

So the next time someone tells you of their great gain when they sold their property, think how lucky they were to find the one buyer who fell in love with it and had to have it. Or the shares that could easily have tanked because of a bad asparagus crop out of Croatia.

It is all timing. Yes some call it luck, and I suppose it is lucky to get the timing right, but I prefer simple timing.

So next time you get off the bus, walk a different way to work.

You never know.