Those of you that have read my soapbox of a blog may have caught a glimpse of what I value and what my believes are. I figured I would save others time and summarize them here.
I truly believe it is better to give than to receive, which shows up in everything I do. When I say it applies to everything, I mean that literally. Let your imagination run wild as to all the ways this could apply, especially if you have a dirty mind 😎😉😀
Speaking of meaning things literally, that is the only way I speak. If you are trying to read between the lines with me, you are better off reading a blank page as there is nothing between the lines with me. For better or worse, I’m a very direct and to the point kind of guy. I always strive to be kind, while being honest. Being blunt, doesn’t mean you have to be rude or hurtful. Couple of my favorite sayings are “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything” and “I sugar coat what I eat, not what I say.”
I always have the best of intentions. While I sometimes don’t phrase things the best, it is always a poor choice of words, never with malicious intent. I am perfectly human and, as such, mess up from time to time. Sometimes frustrations (not always related to the topic at hand) do color my word choices. When this happens, I do appreciate being called on it and given an opportunity to rephrase. If you ever feel that I am being rude or dismissive, please call me on it. Oh, and I do have a dirty mind from time to time 😀
Anyway, as I was saying, I love helping others out. The only thing I expect to get out of it is the knowledge I helped them. The challenge is that I can’t help everyone, plus there are people out there who will take advantage of a kind soul if you let them. Despite that knowledge, I tend to err on the side of helping people, even if I suspect they are just using me.
I try to volunteer and donate as I can. My chosen type of charities are the ones in humanitarian aid and human rights space. This includes organizations that do disaster response work and organizations doing work with Civil Liberties, Social Justice, and Human rights. For more details about my volunteering check out my volunteering page
I think it is not only important, but a duty of the society as a whole, to help those that are down and enable them to get back on their feet. Those of us that are privileged and more fortunate should be helping out those less fortunate. As I stated above there will always abusers that take advantage of a kind heart. People who’s only mission in life is to do nothing, and the more of a drain they are on society the more successful they feel. These people will swindle, lie and steel. There will always be thieves, con artists and other swindlers, always have always will be. We should be aware of these people and do our best to spot them and minimize the damage these folks cause. We should however not let these people deter us from helping folks that truly need it. If we end up helping someone who is truly just a swindler, so be it. It is not ours to judge who is needy. They will get their judgement elsewhere, whether you call that karma, afterlife, or some religious deity, etc.
As far as what sort of help is the best, I am a believer in enabling, or as the saying goes, teach people how to fish over just feeding them. Yes, you will need to feed them while you are getting them set up with fishing equipment and teaching them to fish. This is why I am a supporter of unemployment benefits that come with job training. I find any claims that strong unemployment benefits make people lazy to be absolutely preposterous. Lazy people exist regardless. If minimum pay is lower than unemployment, the solution is to raise minimum pay, not lower unemployment.
I’m also in favor of a strong social welfare system that helps people down on their luck. I also support that those on welfare are expected to do something for it. Everyone can do something to give back to society. Maybe they need abuse or mental health treatments first, or maybe some sort of training, which society should provide. Then society should expect they contribute back to society in some form.
If people who are working full time can not afford to pay rent and buy food while others live in mansions, then society has failed, in my opinion. I have no problem with rich people living glutenous lifestyles as long as everyone can afford the basic necessities in life such as food and shelter.
I also believe that healthcare is a basic human right. No one should die because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. No one should have to choose between getting medicine they need and buying food or paying rent. Furthermore not just lifesaving healthcare should be a basic human right, healthcare that improves quality of life should be included as well.
I believe everyone should be free to make choices based on their preference free from others’ judgment. I have a major problem with people trying to use the legal system to impose their belief system on others by stripping people of their human rights because they disagree with their lifestyle, what services they have chosen to provide, who (or how many) they decided to love, what they choose for their identity, etc. The same goes for folks trying to force others to conform to their way of thinking. Just because you don’t understand, or don’t like, their self-expression or choices don’t make them wrong. It is their choice, not yours.
From where I am, there is no such thing as bad love. If it is truly and objectively bad, not just something you don’t like, it isn’t love. If it is truly love, it can’t be bad. An abusive relationship isn’t love. A loving relationship isn’t abusive. These are absolute, basic and fundamental concepts to me. The sexual identity of the people involved is completely irrelevant. No one has the right to tell someone else who they should or shouldn’t love. Trying to control other people is a form of abuse in my book; this includes trying to control who someone or a group of people should be loving or not loving. We should all strive to accept everyone with compassion, an open mind, and open arms, just as they are. If you struggle to accept people just as they are, I recommend you take some time for self-reflection to try to figure out why this is a challenge for you.
Throughout this site, you may have noticed that I am kind of into dancing, going to the theater, geeking, and making stuff. Additionally, I’m really into cuddling and even made a separate page about that.
I’m always willing to discuss pretty much anything. There is no topic I’m uncomfortable discussing. I expect those I’m discussing with to maintain a cordial conversation and abstain from name-calling and labeling. Conversation should be about learning how others think, not to convince, convert or control. BTW have I mention my opinion that control is abusive? My aim is always to learn from the other party and understand where they are coming from. Hopefully I will learn new way to think about a topic, which I may or not adopt. Sometimes opinions change following a discussion, but that should always be a byproduct of new learning and new data, never the goal.
There is one thing I will not debate, and that is how one person is better or superior to another person. Other topics can be very sensitive, and I need to know that you have pure motives for going there before engaging in those discussions. I will, and I have, engage in discussions with total strangers that others find extremely personal. There really isn’t anything I would consider too personal to discuss with a total stranger. Like I said, if we stumble into something sensitive, I will say something like, “before we go there, tell me about your interest in that topic.” If I’m satisfied that you don’t have malicious intent, I happily engage in that discussion. If the discussion gets into the territory of “group X doesn’t deserve the same Z as Y,” I simply end the discussion and walk away as that is not a discussion I will engage in. I have learned that anyone that holds those views does not listen to logic or reasons and any opposition to their views takes them down an ugly path I will have no part of.
I tend to get along best with people that are accepting, compassionate, and open-minded. While I do not care what your preferences are in any aspect of your life, I have found that those that prefer a certain political party or hold certain religious views do not have the value system of acceptance, compassion, and an open mind. Therefore I tend to not get along well with those folks. In these cases, it is their value system, not their preferences I have an issue with.
I do enjoy a good philosophical debate when done in good faith and for the purpose of learning and furthering one’s understanding. One topic that is often good to explore is the concept of the “paradox of tolerance.” I recommend you check it out.