Men Like Capable Women.

However much we discuss the nuances of female desire, it seems almost taboo to discuss the subtleties of male desire. The assumption is that men care only about bodies, or ought to care about personality, that men should simply be happy and grateful to get a woman’s attention at all and that they are simple beings who want simple things.

I have already touched on the subject of intellect and desire before, in that humans, being brainy creatures, do desire intellect, just not in the exclusionary and simple way intellect is commonly presented.

But there is yet another nuance to male desire and intelligence which is rarely if ever addressed. As mentioned, most men do want a smart woman, even if an IQ score or a PhD isn’t what’s going to get you a declaration of undying love. And a key part of being a smart woman is to be capable. That means that whatever your IQ or education, you need to be using every ounce of brain to handle your life like an adult.

You could have an IQ of 145, three PhDs, make great money, and even be a solid 9/10 on top, but if you are constantly in debt despite your income, battling a prescription meds habit, and unable to keep your own living space at least hygienic, then you’re not going to draw anyone in for a long term deal. Quite simply, you have great genes, but you’re a shoddy partner.

Men, much like women, prefer it when the person they are dating is a capable, functional human being. Men like it when a woman is smarter and prettier, as that means better genes for their children. But the thing that persuades them to invest long-term is when a woman is an asset to their lives, not just to their offspring. The woman who can save money regardless of income, the woman who can polish up and dish out regardless of looks, the woman who can handle her paperwork and DIY and home regardless of intellect, these women get a bigger boost from their skills.

Of course, being a capable high earner with great looks and a high IQ will put you ahead of a capable low earner with worse looks and an average IQ. But the second woman will blow a less capable woman of almost any walk of life out of the water.

And besides, you needn’t even do it for your (extant or potential] partner. You can’t change your IQ, looks or luck by much. But making sure you have your life together will do wonders for your ability to enjoy it.

So ask yourself how much you can handle on your own, what you can’t handle, and why. It’s the first step towards a happier life and a happier man.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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We have so much goodness…

…that we can’t even see it any more.

We have a genuine perception problem.

Why do people live on £100,000, £500,000, £1,000,000 annual incomes and still end up short of change at the end of every week?

Why do third wave feminist scream and cry about misogyny when a man calls them pretty, holds a door for them or asks them on a date?

Why do nationalists and separatists live immersed in negativity despite the extreme safety and freedoms the West experiences, unprecedented and unparalleled?

Why do liberals insist that there is no white, Western, and especially no American culture to experience?

Why do anti-war groups obsess over military budgets when, thanks to globalism, we live in a time of greater peace than the majority of humans have ever experienced?

Why do racists blame their every problem on affirmative action, racial difference, race wars, migration and different-race leaders?

Why do sexists blame their every problem on the other sex, on institutional pressures, on religions and blogs and daytime TV?

Why do we make it to the very top, become wealthier, more attractive, more powerful and respected than anyone, and still find no joy in it?

Why do we take it into our hands to solve global problems through minute activities and to stress over activism and letting everyone know about it?

Why do we obsess over semantics and definitions, trying to configure ourselves as “Redpill Alpha, Libertarian, Animal-rights Activist, Separatist, Nationalist, Open-Minded, Buddhist Bloggers” or “Feminist, Anarcho-Capitalist, Painting, Demigirl, Wolfkin, Faekin, Body Positive, Working Class Dancers”?

Because we have absolutely everything we could possibly need.

Think about it.

In this world, a man can be sexually assaulted and can find some comfort in the form of online communities and support centres whose existence he may have never been aware of before this time. In this world, a person can be born after suffering an extremely rare prenatal abnormality, where their brain map does not reflect their body and they can then have parts of themselves amputated or altered to make them feel better. In this world, a girl can be obsessed with toy trucks and cars and can grow up to be a grease monkey, or a vehicular engineer. In this world a person with schizophrenia can be medicated and assisted to a point where they can return to the working world posing no more risk to themselves and others than a healthy human. In this world any person can educate themselves beyond even their wildest imaginations, through university, through apprenticeships, through books and the internet and support groups. In this world a homosexual couple can receive every state benefit afforded to heterosexual couples and enjoy a life of peace and quiet if they choose to do so. In this world a family can lose their home to a fire or flood and receive the support of millions of people to help them rebuild their house, restore their valuables and feed their children and pets. In this world anyone can retire into a fantasy land and live out their wildest, most unreachable, unachievable dreams through books and TV, films and games, role play and blogging.

In this world a teenage girl with no formal GCSEs, living alone, surviving on the bare minimum £8,000 a year benefits allowance and suffering a depressive disorder can get her A-levels, go to university, learn a trade, study whatever she pleases, start a business, get married, have children and live in relative safety and comfort.

Are there injustices? Of course there are. Let’s just take work environments. In some fields of employment women don’t feel safe due to a high volume of young, differently cultured men who may be a bit too abrasive or forward for their liking. In some fields of employment men don’t feel safe due to a high volume of spoiled, progressive, man-blaming women who may attempt to harm their career. In some fields of employment White people don’t feel safe due to a high volume of Non-White people who bring with them a different culture or set of mannerisms to what the White person is used to. Same goes for every other race on this planet. In some fields of employment a feminist, a nationalist, a transgender person, a traditionalist, a vegan or a Christian may not feel welcome due to the lack of others who resemble them.

And, when you are the minority in your surroundings, or not represented by management, you will likely suffer some discrimination. It’s just human nature to be rude to those unlike ourselves, preferential towards those we identify with and inconsiderate towards those whom we don’t understand.

And of course there are people out there who want to insult, rob, rape, beat or kill you. These people exist in every society, in every type of person, in every culture and environment. You can’t decide who they are going to be, you can’t guarantee that you will be safe and you can’t eliminate a certain type of person and live in comfort. The world has never been and will never be that fair. The best we can do is be wary and stay safe.

But we live in an incredible world. We live in a world that is a thousand times better than anyone before or outside it could even imagine. We live so deeply immersed in it that oftentimes we don’t see it and become dissatisfied. We live so long being told we are beautiful that when we feel insecure for whatever reason, we believe an injustice has been committed. We live so long being allowed to have a certain amount of personal space that when it is restricted we feel stifled. We live so long being listened to that when our voice is not the most prominent we feel ignored and oppressed. We are so used to having so much that we can’t see that everything we need is within our reach.

This world has room for improvement. But it always has, and it always will. There is a time and a place to discuss building a better world, to demand preferential or equal treatment or to begin carving ourselves a nice corner in the world we have. But if we never look at everything we already have, if we only stare longingly at what we lack, we will never actually be happy.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

FitFriday XXVI, FatFriday XIII. Lift everything…

…do all the yoga, eat all the food, sleep all day.

Or I wish I could, but I’m settling for more activity and a bit more food.

Part of the reason I’m more active is because I made myself a BORED? chart. For those who don’t know, BORED? charts are an educational tool designed to encourage children to take control of their own entertainment and responsibilities, through suggested activities starting with the letters B, O, R, E, D. And if it works for toddlers, I figured it would help me too!

Here’s my chart:

BORED

The picture being a webcam picture and thus a little blurry, this is my list:

B1: Book writing.    30-60min.

B2: Bake or cook something.

B3: Blog or reblog.   30min.

O1: Organize the room/house.

O2: Open another cafepress.

O3: Outdoor activity.   45-120min.

R1: Revise Maths/German.   60min.

R2: Repair something.

R3: Read a book.   30-60min.

E1: Exercise.   30min.

E2: Emails checked, sorted, answered.

E3: Everything clean in room/house.

D1: Draw something.

D2: Deviantart.   30min.

D3: Dance, burn energy.   30min.

They are also categorized. A star means blogging and networking. A heart means home. A lightening bolt means for when I am restless. A moon means for when I am lethargic.

In other words, if I have nothing to do or am having a hard time focusing on work, then I can consult my list for an activity that fills the time productively, matches my mood and evens me out, ready for work.

Which means that lately I’m spending a lot of time developing forearm-strike moves, doing planks and dancing.

My body is as lean as it gets without the stretchy skin being obvious, so I’m focusing on protein and fresh Spring vegetables, but also having the odd bit of fruit here and there. Broke the no dairy rule a couple of times, but I’m so careful the rest of the time that it hasn’t hit me.

The crushed knuckle is finally healed, but is now slightly shorter than its opposite (it used to be slightly longer) and widened, so there may be structural damage there. Whoops.

In terms of laziness I have been abusing the odd lie-in, meaning I’m pushing the morning tasks into the smallest time possible and having to rush them. I’ll work on getting up earlier from now.

In terms of naughty foods, I have recently made a pudding with bananas, eggs, cream and blueberries that probably hits my dairy and carb targets in a single sitting, but is delicious.

How has your week of food and exercise gone? What would your BORED chart have? If anyone wants, I can write you one of your own and submit a high quality photo or scan so you can print it out and use it. Just ask for the style and mention the most productive things you could be doing and I can put it into easy-to-follow chart form. 🙂

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

IQ is EVERYTHING… and Nothing.

Everybody is obsessed with IQ.

When it supports your absurd political ideology, biological or sociological theory or simply when the “right” people and agendas are associated with a high IQ, it means everything. It is infallible, a marker of definite quality, a sign of the Messiah.

When it offends your delicate sensibilities, disproves or works against your theories and when the “wrong” people have high IQs, or, Heavens forbid, the “right” people have low IQs, it means nothing. It is weak, a poor measure of quality, meaningless.

And once they’ve decided whether IQ is good or bad, people will trot out countless individuals and studies proving their case. It’s astonishing how well science has proven that IQ is the most important measure of individual quality, meaningless on an individual level, a marker of society’s success and independent of social development, all whilst it doesn’t even exist! Truly a miraculous thing.

Now, for what it’s worth, I sort of agree with the last statement. No, not the sarcastic remark, but that IQ doesn’t exist. At least not in the way people think about it, or want it to exist.

Many people assume IQ is a definitive marker of intelligence, like a brain scan, an exam score or the likes. Something that tells you, with at least 80% accuracy, how smart, wise, bright or otherwise intelligent a person is. The reality is a little duller. What even the most culturally neutral, squares-vs-circles, spot the difference IQ test measures is actually mathematical ability. In other words, how well you can put two and two together, order things by size and shape and work out the next item, word or number in a sequence. Which I’m pretty sure we all mastered by the age of six. Even very autistic or mentally handicapped children can do such things, albeit not always on demand.

I’m not saying these things aren’t important, mind. Being able to quickly, consistently and efficiently do such things plays a huge part in your life. Being able to work out if you got the right change, to guess which data plan suits you best, to gauge the time it will take a gazelle to reach your hiding spot, to take apart and put together machines, to whittle a point to just the right size, etc have always been important skills for humans. We need to do these things in order to live. We always have and we always will. Because regardless of your job, lifestyle, age or status, a human who can’t remember the difference between a moving and a still car, who can’t remember the severity of car impact, who can’t gauge the speed of an oncoming vehicle, who can’t work out the probability of getting hit and who can’t weigh the pros and cons of crossing an open road versus looking for a pedestrian crossing is probably a dead human. Maths matter, folks.

So why is a measure of simple mathematical ability used as a measure of intelligence? Well, it isn’t. Even the most hardcore IQ-loving scientist understands that IQ isn’t telling you how intelligent someone is. It is simply telling you their potential for intelligence. How intelligent they could be if everything worked out right.

The difference between IQ and intelligence is similar to the difference between a talent and a skill. Let’s look at my family, for two reasons. One is we are a very artistically gifted (or talented) bunch, the other is there are a lot of us. My father is a skilled musician, a decent writer and a good painter; my mother is an excellent painter and a good crafter; my eldest brother did not exploit his talents as far as I know; my other brother is a good singer; my eldest sister is a good writer and a good sketcher; my other elder sister is a good singer, but I’m not sure what else; I like to think I am a decent painter and a good crafter, sketcher and writer; my younger sister is an excellent painter and a good writer; my youngest sister is a good painter, writer and jewelery maker. So with genes that are somehow conducive to artistic talent, we all wound up with different sets of skills. And we all use those skills differently. I will write absolutely anything, my younger sister writes scripts, my father writes songs and poems. I paint landscapes and surreal and impressionist art, my father painted a lot of abstract work, my mother paints realistic portraits and illustrations and my younger sister paints manga and pop art. We have used what nature gave us very differently.

And that is the difference between talent and skill. An artistically talented two year old who never exploits this gift will not grow up to be a great artist. They will paint better than the average two year old, but no more. Likewise, a brilliantly gifted abstract artist may paint more realistic portraits than Joe Average, but will pale in comparison to a talentless professional portrait artist with years of experience. Your talent is what you are born with. Your skill is what you learn. Together, they are your total ability, your limitations. Likewise, your IQ is a rough measure of your potential intelligence. What else you have and what you do to build on it is what makes your actual intelligence.

So what are the other sides to your intelligence, the other things that contribute to how smart you can possibly get?

The first is commonly called “Creative Intelligence” or “Creativity”. The most correct term for it is “Latent Inhibition”, ie, how naturally inhibited and obedient you are. The higher the latent inhibition, the more likely you are to need rules, even instruction, before you dare act. The lower the latent inhibition, the more likely you are to do something on impulse or to break boundaries. Everyone needs both the ability to follow some sort of order, even if it’s just remembering the consequences of your actions, and the ability to act independently, even if it’s just weighing several rules or orders against each other. I have a theory that it is often a poor balance between IQ and LI that results in stranger or less adaptive behaviours, rather than low IQ causing all the trouble. Individual motivations and interests aside, someone with a below average IQ with above average LI will be just as law-abiding as someone with a high IQ and average LI and probably moreso than someone with above average IQ and below average LI.

The next is social learning. This could be in the form of empathy, sympathy, cooperativeness, etc. Basically, it’s your ability to learn from others without instruction. This is where a lot of people on the autism spectrum fall. They may have a high IQ and moderately low LI, but without the ability to infer from others and properly observe them, you can’t begin to learn. Social learning is the groundwork for all other forms of learning. This is how you integrate into your culture, develop an accent or a walk. You don’t study another person’s accent, but if you live with them it will merge with yours, either from empathy, cooperation or just acclimatization.

Finally comes education. If you just have IQ, LI and social learning as distinguishing elements of intelligence, we would be no different to most social animals. However we also have education. This comes in many forms, from schooling, to training, to immersion, to passing old wives tales around. Your education is what you have learned from others through instruction and your IQ, LI and social learning abilities will all reflect on how easily you can be educated. Therefore, the last factor is simply your personality and culture. Are you willing to be educated? Are you overly trusting, maybe not trusting enough? What will you focus on learning? What education do you have access to? What education do you need? Someone with a high IQ, high social learning, and low LI could easily avoid educating themselves, be taught the wrong thing or live in a society where certain matters are not essential to their lives. Therefore, you can have someone who is set up for high intelligence, who is wrong about many things due to cultural factors, obstinacy, lack of educational resources or emotional intensity.

Of course, a hard limit on intelligence is a hard limit. All things being equal, someone with an IQ of 120 is smarter than someone with an IQ of 70. Just as, all things being equal, a man with two legs runs faster than a man with only one. And of two people in a class, all being equal, the one with the higher IQ will be able to advance to a level where the one with a lower IQ gets stuck. It’s as simple as that.

But there is simply more to it than that in real life. All things aren’t equal, for starters. Someone may have dyslexia, synesthesia, psychopathy, nerve damage, autism, etc. And the cultural environment in which our education happens can shape us permanently, so that someone very bright is reluctant to leave the social norm, or someone very dim is in the right setting to learn harsh truths the bright person can’t. And, finally, probably most importantly, few people reach their full potential anyway. When the environment is at its harshest we are encouraged to develop our intelligence as far as possible, but we rarely have the means to become educated. When the environment is at its gentlest we are hand-held through life and discouraged from developing our highest intelligence, but we have the luxury of great education. And which matters more? Who knows. Both are highly adaptive strategies.

What does matter is IQ. Just not in the way people think it does.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

The Chains We Tie About Our Necks.

Chains1

I’ve seen this quote a thousand times and often thought upon it. You see, the idea is inspirational. We, like birds, have a million places or more we could be if we wanted to, if we really wanted to, yet we don’t go there. We dream of having the money, the freedom, the means to travel to distant places, or live somewhere better. Yet we’re apparently already free to go there. However, when I thought about it some more, I realized the modern Western human does not have the freedom of movement that Harun Yahya implied we do. In fact, we are firmly anchored, chained to one spot. And really, we have nothing and nobody to blame but ourselves.

Of course, we start out free enough. And, in the beginning, we are locked down by others, innocent in our own imprisonment. As infants, children  and often as teens we need our parents for sustenance, safety, education and comfort. Where they go, we go, and unless they fail to provision us one of our four main needs, we will be tied to them for many years. Even if we were to be separated from our parents, a new set would take us on, or we’d be cared for by an institution or another relative. Many of us, myself included, have been taken to new countries, quite against our own desires, thanks to our bond with our parents. Finally, being yet unformed, unwise and uneducated, children need guidance. A child that is free and wild is usually a child that is dead, so even if we were to secure freedom at a young age we would promptly die, implying that said freedom truly is unattainable to a child.

Fortunately, whilst we are bound to our parents, they at least normally act in our personal, individual best interests. Where they will guide us to becoming a more adjusted individual that fits well into society, they would never actually cause us harm so as to bring good to society as a whole. Having children is a selfish act and thus, so is raising them. Most parents want their children fighting fit, educated and free to fly the nest whenever they need to.  The same can’t be said for what is often our primary caregiver in terms of time invested: the educational system. Don’t believe me? A child can spend 8 hours at school (8 til 4, as it was in one of my past schools), one hour traveling to school and one back, plus at least one hour, if not two or three of homework every school day. That’s around 55 hours a week, not counting any weekend work, that a child dedicates to education over term-time. Meanwhile, a primary caregiver parent may spend two hours helping them get up in the morning, then two hours at the end of the day before it’s the child’s bed-time or TV or computer time. If we include after-school activities, a parent’s time with their children on some days could merely consist of getting them up in the morning, a few hours of driving them around followed by dinner. At the weekends the parents take control, but if a child lies in until 10am, spends 6 hours playing with friends or having fun on their own, one hour on homework and then goes to bed or back to their gadgets at 7 or 8pm, that gives the parent an opportunity to get in a whopping eight hours per weekend with their kids. So the time a child invests into parent-child time could be as low as 28 hours for primary caregivers, or even just 7 hours a week for working parents, a far cry from the 55 hours that education seizes.

Yet our new primary caregiver doesn’t particularly care. Children are kept sat still at a desk, in a small room, for between five and ten hours a day, either paying attention in class, doing extra work, having lunch indoors, doing their homework, etc. This is far from a healthy start and promotes inactivity and restlessness, contrary to the Victorian beliefs that came up with these schooling systems. Children are given large amounts of homework they are expected to complete to reach their target grades and not given any idea how much or how little this homework will help them. [Confession: as a teacher you sometimes have to hand out homework but don’t have the time to make some, or don’t see any way it would help. So you give the kids sheets that don’t help at all and will take half an hour to complete.]

And, of course, children are encouraged to be uniform in appearance, sometimes even having to wear little, expensive suits and ties to class; are educated and directed in matters of their social life, morality and individual purpose. They are tailor-made to slot into any available job or university degree around, to seamlessly fit in and start turning their little gear of society. They learn to fear nonconformism, adventure, alien beliefs and moralities. They learn that their purpose, their life, is designed for them, so they don’t need to work. Just fill in the multiple-choice test, get on the conveyor-belt and start turning your gear.

And when they reach higher education they stumble on another stone in the path, one that peddles the complete opposite message: “You can do whatever you want! Follow your dreams!”

Coincidentally, Aaron Clarey went into this a short while ago, which means I don’t have to. But the short form is: if you dream is to be a rainbow unicorn, then good luck there.

But this idea has become so prevalent that a lot of modern youth then proceed to get a degree, any degree, without considering employment prospects, time and money invested or even whether they actually want it. I’ll go into this in a little more detail in another post, so just take home that many Western graduates come out of university in debt, having lost anywhere upwards of three years of their lives, with no employment prospects in anything other than menial work. Which leads us on to the next stage: work.

The modern work system is a thing of genius. You have already skimmed the cream off the milk by filtering it through higher quality universities. Sure, a few drops remain, but all you have left is the more watery portion. They have spent almost the entirety of their formative years in a system, sometimes in daycare from age 1 until graduating at around 25, the age when your brain ceases to drastically change. You have created an adult in the system. They have little to no knowledge that would burden them with an awareness of their own state. They know nothing else but uniformity, sedentary life, conformism and slaving away. They have only just been severed from their parents and they already have debt, which means they need to work and work hard. Of course, this system is now failing due to the burden of caring for so many uneducated, weak-willed, dependent creatures. But for companies they’re still a goldmine. They can turn out a problematic worker at the drop of a hat and swap a more compliant one into their place. They have an infinite supply of a workforce.

And the workforce plays along. After all, they need the money to pay off their debt. And, even though their degree didn’t give them the rainbow unicorn job they’d dreamed of, any money is good money when you’re broke and in debt. This is often a little easier for British graduates, as we get a break when it comes to tuition fee loans. However many UK students also end up with private debt and the free access to education encourages us to fritter away three or four years of our lives even moreso. The end problem is the same, just with differing levels of hardship.

And all the while the graduate is convinced they’ll finally get their rainbow unicorn job, if only. If only they save up and specialize more in their dead-end. If only they get the work experience they need to get the job where they will get work experience. If only they pay of the debt, then they’ll be able to move somewhere there’s a demand for rainbow unicorns. They cling onto these hopes, knuckle down and continue to dedicate their lives to coffee, mops and chips. And they spend a lot of time on this coffee, mops and chips. Sometimes 40-60 hours a week. Which leaves them drained and with little time for self-improvement. Most have a day that looks like this:

6.00: Get up, dressed.

6.10: Eat something. Get ready for work. Mess around on your phone or computer.

6.30: Go to work.

7.30: Sign in.

11.00: Snack break.

11.15: Back to work.

13.00: Lunch break. Eat food and mess around on your phone or computer.

14.00: Back to work.

17.30: Finish work. Tidy up, get changed.

17.45: Head home.

18.45: Get home and sorted. Get food.

19.30: Eat food.

20.00: Mess around on your phone or computer, watch TV.

20.30: Tidy up a little, maybe do the dishes or laundry.

21.00: Get ready for the next day.

21.15: Mess around on your phone or computer, play games, read gossip or watch TV.

22.00-1.00: Go to bed and go to sleep.

Sometimes going out drinking or for dinner is inserted, or an exception is made and something worthwhile is done, like reading, properly socializing, going to the gym, studying or practising a skill. And, of course, some people made wise decisions and are in far better places than that well before they’re 25. But generally, that is a day in the life of a graduate.

But what happens if you swap out the phone, computer, games, gossip and TV? Swap in some valuable habits? Well, then we see people getting run down. A minimum-wage, full-time job is designed in the assumption that self-improvement is not your goal. Many full-time workers in jobs they don’t like find themselves becoming tired, frustrated and depressed when they curb their idle pleasures. You need these things to keep you sane. You live in a small, unnatural environment, your spare time is restricted, you are easily replaceable, eveyone around you is tense, angry or depressed, your hopes are being shattered, debt looms over you and everything is generally rubbish. Without escapism many graduates wouldn’t be here today. Financially, many end up losing out or breaking even. They may pay back their loans and finally make enough money so they feel their time was well-dedicated. But they may also end up forever burdened by the loan and their job, never quite paying everything off, going from university debt, to personal debt, to a mortgage, to the grave in debt. And any financial support that would help keep them out of the red is often more debt or charity. Basically, unless you’re truly destitute, you can’t even buy yourself time without borrowing money to buy it with.And, finally, there are the continual, gnawing, low-level expenses. I will challenge you here and now to keep a diary for 6-12 months. Every time you spend over £100 on something that isn’t groceries or rent, every time you pay more than usual on your groceries or bills, every time you have an accident and need more money, note it down. Then divide it by the month. Most people will spot anywhere from £100-300 of entirely unaccounted money leaving their accounts every month. It may be new tyres for the car. Or a more expensive phone-bill. Or new clothes. Or an upgraded games console. Or a leak in the kitchen. Or a night out. Or an ill pet. It won’t be a consistent thing. Every time you’ll just tell yourself how its “a one off”, how it “won’t happen again for a while”. But the money going out is consistent.  And oftentimes when you add the low-level expenses to your rent, debt, bills, groceries, transport expenses, hobbies and the likes, you’re breaking even or in the red. So even saving has become difficult.

Yet we can’t entirely avoid these expenses. Some happen due to pure chance. And those that don’t are almost a responsibility. Why? Well, being social animals, humans respond to other people. Whether it’s someone pressuring you into going to their cousin’s birthday party, the desire to own a new bag to fit in with your friends or being guilted into helping someone out with an expense, we all end up spending on our social lives, often more than we’d like to or are able to. Because we just can’t break those ties. And the more ties your form, or the longer you hold them, or the more you give in, the more you’re expected to spend.

But other people add more than financial ties to your life. Above we addressed our first chain: a dependence on our parents. Well, now we are choosing our social chains and I’ll suggest that parents are also tied by their children. Children depend on you. They need sustenance, shelter, protection and affection. They must be educated, raised in a stable environment. And in order to provide for a child, get them educated and keep them safe and happy, we must stay put, at least most of the time. Same goes for any dependent. When we take on the role of a carer, we sacrifice a certain amount of freedom.

However people who aren’t dependent on you will also act as a chain. If you have a partner, not only do you have your work, debt, dependence or dependents, but you take on theirs as well. As long as you are a unit with someone, you embrace their restrictions and problems and welcome them into your life. The same often goes for close friends.

Finally, on the matter of social life, we have influence. As most people lead unhealthy, unfulfilling, consumerist lives, then chances are that most of our family, friends and acquaintances will also lead such lives. And if most people around you live a certain way, then you are more likely to be drawn towards it also. If your friends want to go out and get drunk, you either go with them or miss out. If your partner doesn’t want to go to the gym, you either stay home or go on your own. The fewer people that surround you when you step outside your comfort zone, the more likely you are to return to that comfort zone. And most people’s comfort zones are the same. We seek light, easy, unfulfilling entertainment. Stuff that numbs the pain and boredom of everyday life, even if we need a continual supply of it. Humans being neophiles, we become almost instantly addicted to these new streams of bland entertainment. And even if you don’t succumb, the majority do, which means the majority of your social circle does, which means you also may eventually slip.

And what are the consequences of the way we live our lives? Well, besides the limitations I have already mentioned, we see plain, run-of-the-mill ill health. As I have already said, the average person has little time to exercise or little time they are willing or able to dedicate to exercise. Most people you know will either drink, smoke or take drugs, if not all three. Most people you know won’t work out regularly. Most people you know watch 2-4 hours of TV a day. Most people you know eat a rubbish diet at least half the time.
Our workplaces keep us out of sunlight and away from nature. The modern recommended diet, with it’s high-carb, junk-friendly bias is similar to those diets imposed by cult leaders to promote passive, weak, sheep-like followers. We are surrounded by pollution of all varieties. And our doctors are so used to just being asked for a pill that many prefer to recommend medication over lifestyle changes, even where medication is the least effective option. Our environment and our social circles conspire together to keep us overweight, undermuscled, lethargic, passive, ill, drugged-up. And when you are weak in body and mind, your will to escape comes only second to your will to survive.We are bound by debt, work, children, friends, obesity, peer pressure and ignorance.

However, ultimately, we only stay in these bonds because we want to. Not because we want the bonds. No. We hang these chains around our necks because we dislike the alternatives. Sometimes we’re afraid. We go through education because we’re scared of not having a degree, of not getting work. We go to work because we’re scared of not having money. We tie ourselves to people because we’re scared of being alone. However sometimes we’re not even afraid, sometimes we’re just too comfortable, it’s just too easy. We do what everyone else does, we refuse to change, because this takes effort. We’re led into these chains and willingly, out of pure ignorance hang them around our own necks. Eventually we reach a point where we can only stay chained through our own faults, yet our faults are the only reason we needed the chains to begin with. We’ve created characters out of ourselves. Characters that are idle, ignorant, weak, debt-ridden, consumerist, hopeless, peer-pressured, obese, neophiles, hen-pecked, infinitely replaceable people. Characters that have debt gnawing on their skulls, people depending on them, a contract. Characters who have already dug themselves in so deep, they may as well keep digging. There’s no way out for them either way. We depend on the chains to excuse and support us, because, like an arm in a cast, we have become dependent on our limitations to support us.  And keeping these comfortable chains is easier than the pain of ripping them off and standing on your own.