KEW Episode 15: Rat Racer

Are you a Rat Racer? You know, someone who wholeheartedly embraces the rat race? We’re all born having made unconscious agreements to run the race to get good grades, get a good job, make a lot of money, marry the right person, etc., etc. but do we every really stop and ask ourselves if it’s worth it?

Cuz like Lily Tomlin said, even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.

In this episode I argue that the rat race, if you actually perform well and make enough money, you can at least feel SAFE, meaning you meet all your basic biological needs. But what about your emotional needs? What about being loved and belonging? The rat race doesn’t even address those things – unless you believe that money can buy them. And, well, the Beatles say they can’t, so there’s that.

I hope you agree that we need to improve our system if we want to live fulfilled lives, and I even offer a few ways we can do that. Hope you enjoy and leave me some comments if you like!

Podcast audio:

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Preview Episode 15: Rat Racer

The great Lily Tomlin is credited with saying, “Even if you win the Rat Race, you’re still a rat”. This phrase has been with me since I saw her on the Carol Burnett show in the 70s. I was young, but I got it. For some reason I’ve always rejected the idealized model of human ‘progress’ where you get good grades, get into a good college, get a good job and BOOM! you’re happy. I don’t know why I’m so objectionable, but I am.

And as an adult I see a lot of people who have ‘successfully’ navigated the rat race who aren’t very happy. In this episode I discuss the agreement we make, upon birth, to adhere to the rat race and why I think it’s a failed system for most.

Preview clip here:

KEW Episode 14: What Can We Learn from COVID?

COVID sucks. No doubt. But often discomfort is our best teacher and there is always something to learn from suffering. In the case of COVID we are being forced to reexamine how we shop, travel, work, and educate. We have focused hard on our needs and had to let slip a bit on the wants. But what is a want or a need? What is essential vs. non-essential? How soon will the teachers get sick when schools reassemble in a few weeks? What is going to happen when the unemployment stimulus runs out next week?

There are a lot of unknowns about a lot of our critical systems, and a lot of necessary changes have to happen if we want to slow the spread. To me, this is a golden opportunity to make change in our world. In fact, I’d argue that it takes something like COVID (or a war, or some other tragic event) to change these systems. Here’s our chance! We already have to drastically alter the school systems this fall, why not give them a total overhaul? When else are we going to do it?

Anyway, my thoughts about the potentially positive side of the pandemic and what I would do if I was in charge.

Full podcast audio (also available on Stitcher, Apple podcast, Heart radio, etc.):

Full Youtube video:

Preview Episode 14: What Can We Learn from COVID?

Short video preview posted to facebook, twitter, and instagram (links below). This week I share my thoughts about the potentially positive influence of the current pandemic as an opportunity to reevaluate our values and systems.

KEW Episode 13: Slavery

Here I argue that besides the common forms of slavery we are familiar with that all sorts of *slavery persist in human culture today. Gluttonous humans have just become sneakier at disguising it.

(*there is probably a better term to describe the general concept of forced labor I discuss here, and to give credence to the more common forms of slavery that are the most terrible forms I can think of in addition to being one of the most horrible things I can ever imagine humans doing to each other).

I realize this is a very sensitive subject and potentially triggering to many people. I mean no harm nor do I intend to add to this sensitivity. I am as empathetic as I imagine a privileged white male can be. Or maybe I’m not, but I think I am and I’m being as honest as I am able.

My intention with this episode is to share my thoughts about what I believe to be the 10,000+ year old existence of abuse-for-money/power/gain in human society. These thoughts focus on my dislike of slavery, although I’m not sure that is the correct term as I discuss it.

Whatever the correct term, it has many names; slave labor, indentured servitude, caste systems, etc. Forgive my ignorance about specific nomenclature. Here I’m talking about people ‘trapped’ into working for free, next to nothing, below a living wage, by force, and other situations where the *boss* gains disproportionately over the *worker*.

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KEW Episode 12: Fear

We all have fears about a lot of different things. Some are benign and don’t really affect our daily lives. Like a fear of spiders. Yeah, we freak out when we see one but most people don’t worry every time they put their shoes on that a black widow will bite them. Other fears can be absolutely crippling, like the fear of public places rendering some folks to never leave their houses.

Fear is also the root of anxiety and depression; anxiety is the fear of the future and depression is a fear of the past. These two cripple all of us to varying degrees and make it difficult for us to grow. Fear can make it extremely difficult for us to change our lives in positive ways.

Fear is also stigmatized, especially for men, because it is often viewed as being weak. My purpose this week is to reduce the stigma of fear, provide evidence that we all suffer from fear to varying degrees, and illustrate multiple lines of evidence about what we can (and can’t) do about it. As usual, I request a discourse that includes your comments and feedback about how we process fear in our lives.

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KEW Episode 12: Fear Coming Friday (preview link)

Fear literally cripples us. It gets in the way of doing ‘fun stuff’. It reduces our life experiences. Let’s face it, it is an ultimate cause of MANY of our struggles in life. In this episode I share my fears and discuss ways I’ve tried to live with it and minimize fears’ influence.

KEW Episode 11: Analysis Paralysis

You definitely know about this one. So many choices when making a decision that you get overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, sometimes, that you can’t even MAKE the decision and end up stuck; paralyzed. Mostly, I think, it’s fear that keeps us stuck. Kind of like the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

But I think the biggest contributor to the old AP is believing there is only one right answer. I don’t think that’s true. Moreso, choosing to believe that isn’t true can greatly reduce the need to over analyze.

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