It’s easy to be a defeatist.

It really is. Anyone can choose to be a defeatist. Our world is not an easy one to live in.

We’re surrounded by others, yet it’s not easy to cultivate the relationships we aspire to.

We’re surrounded by money and the wealthy, yet it’s not easy to get your slice of the pie.

We’re surrounded by amazing technology, yet we’re still suffering ill health, old age and sometimes we even have to unclog a toilet.

Boo hoo.

Sorry, but life is loads easier than it used to be. Do you think making and keeping friends was easier when we had to write letters as soon as someone lived out of town? Do you think that a young man aspiring to have a harem had to work less at it when the most viable mode of transport was the horse? Do you think married couples had less relationship maintenance to do when their options were between two suitors chosen by their parents and marriage was a lifelong, enforceable contract?

Do you think it was easy to “make it” when the average person died by 50, when taxes were decided only by the rich and when you had no access to education whatsoever? Do you think it was easy to become rich when your land and house and everything in it was officially owned by a Lord? Do you think it was easier to be healthy when we were hungry, thirsty, plagued with dysentery and leprosy and died of the flu?

We’ve got it good. We’ve got it really good.

That isn’t to say all failure is your own fault. We started out under worse stars than Paris Hilton or Donald Trump. But to pretend the modern world is some magically evil Unfairland is just the easy way out.

It’s easy to join the Church of Euthanasia, to call liberal democracy the “end of history”, to enjoy the decline, to call gender and race a social construct, to blame the Government and the aliens and the Patriarchy and Satan. It’s easy to be defeatist.

I’m not saying you can’t, or shouldn’t feel that way. Just that, as far as decisions go, you’re not being radical or amazing or transformative by saying “welp, there’s nothing I can do” and sitting back on your butt and never doing anything again.

You’re just being kind of emo.

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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7 Steps to Dealing With Yourself In Relationships.

Following an article and a response a while back, I decided to construct my own reply.

Biblical Gender Roles began with “7 Steps to Dealing with a Lazy Wife”.

7 Steps to dealing with a lazy wife
Step 1 – Know beforehand that this will hurt her

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)

Very few women if any will take it well when their husband tells them he believes they have been lazy and neglectful in their duties to their home. But it must be said.  This is the sacrifice of discipline that you must make as a husband.
Step 2 – Speak the truth in love

“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:14-15 (KJV)

The “L” word is not a swear word. In some Christian circles a man saying his wife is acting “lazy” is akin to him calling her a cuss word.  The KJV uses two words for laziness – one is “slothfulness” and the other is “idleness”:

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18 (KJV)

So yes speak the truth in love – but speak the truth.  If it walks like a duck and acts likes duck – it’s a duck. In fact the Bible says that a godly wife is NOT a lazy wife:

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

There is no sugar coating this gentlemen – if a wife is not keeping up with duties of her household she is being lazy and she must be called out on this.
I think that initially you should try and handle this in private with your wife away from your children and with most other issues.  But at a future point if she continues in this sin of laziness it will become evident to the children that mom is doing something wrong.  I will talk about this more later.
Step 3 – Make the consequences for her laziness clear

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

At first give her a warning. But let her know that if you come home and see the house is a mess, laundry is not done, the home is not clean or dinners are not being prepared there will be consequences for her laziness.
I have talked in more detail about how men can discipline their wives in my post “7 Ways to Discipline your wife”.
Step 4 – Follow through on disciplinary consequences if she fails to change her ways

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

If you thought confronting your wife about her laziness was the hardest part you would be wrong.  Following through on the consequences you promised will be the most difficult part.  But remember why Christ sacrificed himself? It was to make his bride holy and so to you must do this to try and yield the fruit of righteousness in your wife’s life.
Step 5 – Attempt private discipline first
Once you have examined “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” you will notice that most of these methods could be instituted in a way that does not draw attention to your wife from your children.  I would suggest you try these kinds of private discipline first.
One method of private discipline that I added as an update to “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” is using your time as a husband as a method of discipline.  This is especially important to men in Tom’s situation where finances are tight. Many women value their husband’s time more than almost anything else.  A man can use discretion with how much of his free time that he allocates to his wife as one method of discipline.
Step 6- Move to more public discipline if private discipline does not work
An example of public discipline would be turning off the internet or cable in your home. Perhaps you might lock these things out with a code only you know. If you need the internet for work or children need it for school you could put the new code only in your computer and theirs and not your wives so she will have no access while others can still use it.  If you have to do this to shake your wife from her laziness this will get the attention of your children as it affects them.
Contrary to what some Christian teachers may teach – you do not have shield your children from your correction and discipline of your wife especially if she puts you in the position to have to do things that are more publicly visible to the rest of the family.
Some might say that this type of discipline undermines a mother’s authority in the eyes of her children and dishonors her before them in direct contradiction to I Peter 3:7’s admonition for men to honor their wives. But this could not be further from the truth.
The mother has dishonored herself by placing her husband in the position to have to elevate his discipline of her from private to public. Matthew 18:15-17 teaches us this principle that first correction is to be attempted privately but if the person remains in unrepentance their sin is to be made public.  Wives and mothers are not an exception to principle.
Step 7 – If she spurns your discipline then bring her before the Church

“…How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;” Proverbs 5:12 (KJV)

An now we come to the most public form of discipline a man might have to bring against his wife.
As husbands we have a duty to discipline our wives for sinful behavior. But whether it comes to our wives or our children there is only so much that we can do to discipline them and try and get them on the right path. If they despise our discipline and rebel then we must leave them in the Lord’s hands.
It is only when we have exhausted what we can do and if they continue in steadfast rebellion against our attempts to discipline them that we then should bring them before the church (Matthew 18:15-17).
But again they may not even listen to the church.
We must face the fact that discipline does not always yield the results that we want for those we love that are under our authority and spiritual care. But discipline requires two active parties for it to be successful. It requires the authority to perform the discipline and it requires the one under authority to learn from the discipline and change their way.
However, even if the wife does not learn from the discipline and change her ways this does not mean removing the disciplinary measures.  Once all measures have been taken those measures should stay in place until repentance is made.

VioletWisp then followed up with “7 Steps to dealing with a Sexist Partner”:

1. Insist from the start of a relationship that everything is split equally, don’t fall for nonsense notions of men choosing, paying or opening doors.
2. Once co-habiting, ensure household chores are evenly split, so outdated roles aren’t assumed without thought, and the joy of maintaining a well-kept, shared space is appreciated fully by all.
3. Always stay in some form of employment if possible, or at least keep skills up to date, so that a finance card can never be used against you.
4. Let sex fall within a natural rhythm when both of you want it. Never feel the need to go at it for the sake fulfilling an unwritten quota, and risk it becoming something you don’t look forward to.
5. If your partner ever mentions disciplining you, as if you are a child and he is a terrible parent from previous centuries, run a mile.
6. If your partner ever suggests that the egalitarian teachings of the character Jesus can be used to force you to submit to him, tell him you’re joining the Quakers and kick him out.
7. If your partner suggests you are lazy, get pens and paper out and each write down all the shortcomings you see in each other and discuss if either of you are willing or able to change. If you can’t come to agreement and feel the shortcomings are a deal breaker, go your separate ways.

My own reply was a comment at Violet Wisp’s page, but I felt it might be a breath of fresh air among so much… confrontation.

Seven steps to dealing with a relationship as adults:

1. Observe your capabilities from the start of the relationship and give freely and happily. Do not expect returns on investment other than when you invest love and do not keep score. You know, as though you love them.

2. Once co-habiting, ensure all household chores are DONE, whoever the hell does them. Who cares if you slip into traditional or nontraditional gender roles, the dishes need washing.

3. Stay busy earning or saving, but try and get one of you to work part time or from home, just so someone’s there for money saving tasks, animals, children and general conveniences. Plus, being at home all day is a luxury that the recipient will not leave unappreciated.

4. Talk about sex openly and honestly. Have sex when you both want to. Agree to masturbate or compensate sexually for each other when you’re not quite in the mood for proper intercourse. Hangups and frustration suck.

5. If your partner ever mentions disciplining you, first see if you are being unbearable in your demands or denials. There are very few people who will even threaten discipline without feeling sorely hurt. If they are not hurt, you’re dating a nonempath.

6. Work constantly to move towards a better future as a couple, rather than worry about who is or is not in charge. Disagreements are fine. Final decisions can be made by anyone. But when the argument is one vs the other, it will end in disaster.

7. If your partner finds shortcomings in you, talk about them and see if you can see the same issues and whether they bother you. If they do, change them. If they do not, offer your partner an out. Bringing up lists of negatives about each other, mulling them over and going on about them all the time is a great way to stop loving someone. Slight idealizing results in longer, happier relationships. Besides, what sort of a person are you if you can only bring up problems as a response to someone else’s complaints? Why not deal with every problem as they arrive?

Because there is no formula, Biblical, feminist or otherwise, that will make your relationship work, that will get you the “results” you want out of the independent agent that is your partner, that will make everything awesome all the time. There is only the two of you and your own agency. Your partner is not a puzzle piece in your life, nor a project. Cut loose and work on yourself and your relationship. There is only so much you can control.

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.

We Are All Blessed.

Nobody’s life is easy. Some are easier or harder than most, but to every person, our lives are going to present us with challenges and dilemmas that are serious business to us.

And sometimes, when we see everyone else gloating about their happy lives, their happy families, their great incomes and great jobs and great friends and great hobbies… we can start to wonder why everyone else seems to have it so much easier.

But this time of year isn’t the time to be jealous, because however much or little you have, relatively speaking, you are deeply and truly blessed.

You are blessed for having had any family or any friends by your side. However alone you may be now, that acute pain is there because you were, and most likely still are, loved.

You are blessed for having an internet connection with which to read this, a way to reach out to others and simply talk.

You are blessed to be alive and breathing, to have enough food, freedom, shelter and healthcare to keep you going until now, and hopefully longer.

Those are things I know for certain you are blessed with.

Furthermore you are supremely blessed for every single thing you have above that. Every penny, cent, yen or centimo to your name. Every person by your side right now. Every gift you receive, every bite of food. For being able to hear carols and see the lights strung up about town. For having children or pets to shower with love. For all the faith and love and happiness you can hold in your heart. Not because others don’t have these things, but because you do. If everyone on the planet lived a perfect life, you would be no less blessed to be their equal.

However much or however little you have today, you are blessed to have it. Not blessed in guilt of what others don’t have or in envy of what others do, but purely and simply blessed.

And I hope you’re continually and consistently blessed with more.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What feels best is not most virtuous.

However positive I am being, I felt this was a subject that needed to be broached.

At times like these, between the fragile state of the Middle East and Europe, the holiday season and family time approaching rapidly and waves of left wing activists trying to convince us that their next “victim” is worthy of our press attention, the mind is drawn to morality, happiness, human wellbeing and what it all means to us anyway.

And for some reason the attention seems to currently be on those things that make you feel best.

Give money to the homeless man with the dog because they might not get food this Winter.

Let the refugees in because our government caused this mess.

Invite round those relatives you hate because you’re still family and this is family time.

Do whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Even if the homeless man uses all the extra money for alcohol and leaves his dog ownerless.

Even if some terrorists are hiding in the refugee crowds.

Even if those relatives start an argument that further divides the family.

Because that good feeling is what matters…

Except it isn’t. The nicest, least judgemental, least cynical action isn’t always the most virtuous. Sometimes being virtuous doesn’t feel nice.

Sometimes it means directing authorities to the man and his dog so they at least have shelter, even if they are unhappy or separated.

Sometimes it means protecting yourself and your country rather than giving the refugees a chance at your quality of life.

Sometimes it means avoiding family conflict, even if you are ill thought of for a month or if you lose someone forever.

Sometimes, the most virtuous, healthiest action hurts, makes you feel guilty, makes you sad or blows back at you. And that’s OK. Virtue won’t necessarily make you, or anyone else, happy. It just sets the world to rights.

So do right by yourself, your family and your friends. If you wish to do right by others, make them healthy, not happy. And don’t worry if the right decision doesn’t feel good. That’s not what it’s supposed to do.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

Cat People and Dog People.

Cat Person: I just don’t know how you do it, putting up with all that bouncing and walking and noise. Dogs are just so… boistrous.

Dog Person: Now, I don’t think you’re being fair. Dogs can be energetic, but many dogs are also calm, peaceful animals.

CP: But they all still need walks and exercise. Dogs were literally bred to be dragged around doing work. If they aren’t they get badly behaved.

DP: Not all dogs are quite that energetic.

CP: But you DO need to walk your dog, right?

DP: Yes, but the rest of the time she’s very quiet and well behaved. A walk is hardly boistrous.

CP: Look, a dog will never compare to a cat in terms of peacefulness. My cat gets let out in the morning, goes and hunts around a little, then comes home and sleeps.

DP: That’s not less energetic, that’s just an animal that sleeps eighteen hours a day and doesn’t want you in its life. I prefer a creature that wants to have fun with me.

CP: But dogs are just so NEEDY. They just want more, more, more. And they take it personally when you don’t have the time or energy for them.

DP: But that’s what makes them great. They’re there, they’re your buddies, they’re willing to go the extra mile to save you and protect you.

CP: Because it’s in their genes! Dogs care about you because they had to to survive. They’re just mindlessly doing what they were programmed to, or they would have died out. Cats on the other hand are independent, when they save someone it’s actually virtuous.

DP: Virtuous? Most cats are entirely useless. Dogs have been by our sides for thousands of years and have been herders, hunters, searchers, they’re even finding more uses for them, like cancer dogs. What have cats done? Catch rodents.

CP: But humans were just fine without dogs. Sure, they helped, but we would have managed. Without cats all our harvests would have gone to rodents and we would have been overridden by disease.

DP: Without cats we would have trained dogs to catch rats… oh look we did!

CP: But you have to feed and train and exercise that dog. What a waste of time and money! You just got a cat, back in the day, and let it out to hunt for you.

DP: Yeah, and then it would run away because it doesn’t need you and you’d have to get another cat.

CP: Would still cost less than a dog. And what’s wrong with an animal having some independence? You just want something to control and manipulate. I pity whoever you date.

DP: You just want to excuse your lack of empathy and responsibility. I pity your children.

 

Isn’t it daft how we keep trying to persuade each other that cats make a better dog and dogs make a better cat?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Everything Dies Beautifully

As humans, we have a healthy appreciation for creation, birth, everything that is new and interesting. Which makes sense. Newborn babies, fresh fruit and innovative designs all hold promise and need to be loved and nurtured to grow and be useful to us. It gives us a sense of purpose to care for that what is new and young.

But as animals we also develop a violent aversion to it’s opposite. Destruction, death and everything that is old and samey worries us. We dislike the idea of growing old or of being hurt. But we also dislike seeing things growing old and becoming damaged. It’s as though our world is an extension of us, and we see ourselves reflected in that shirt we won’t throw away or that pet cat that died. We want everything to last forever.

The contradiction there, being of course that nothing can last forever without either becoming old or losing some interest. And nothing can be new if nothing is old. And nothing can be created without first destroying something else. Destruction, change, death and transformation are part of the process of creating new things.

A newborn life is built on thousands upon thousands of deaths, thousands of decaying, degrading bodies that break down and are reassembled into a new body. To create fire we must destroy coal and to create coal we must burn wood and to burn wood we must kill trees.

All sorts of devastating events aren’t really endings. They’re closer to recycling. Nothing can last forever in the same state because to create new things, life must first find some raw materials. Everything needs to change to keep on going, or to end and give rise to something new.

So, whilst it may shock and horrify us as animals and as humans, it’s wise to view disaster, pain, suffering, death and the slow processes that lead to them with more a sense of nostalgia than fear or sadness. After all, it’s always happening, all around us, and as life gives way to death, so does death give way to life.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

How To… avoid toxic ideologies.

In a world where we live fairly easily and happily, ideologies quickly take hold and spread and soon everyone has an opinion on everything and everyone has labeled themselves as something.

But many past ideologies were based around suffering, strife and a need for change. And when there isn’t strife, what happens to all the people selling books, skimming off the top of their charity organization and using strife as an excuse for their own inadequacy? Well, they either leave the cause and find a new one to leech off. Or they remain, causing their ideology to stagnate and turning a once favourable beliefset based on questioning and investigating into a thin veil for their opportunism: a toxic ideology.

A toxic ideology is one that needs you more than you need it. Without learning to cross the street, many children each year would die. Without God, many religious people would find their life meaningless and empty. Without anarchy, many anti-establishment people could put themselves at danger by acting independently against authority.

Don’t get me wrong: these groups don’t represent an ideology in the same way and none are without their leeches. Wherever people congregate and follow they can be exploited. But generally people turn to them because they need the ideology or the product that comes from the ideology.

However certain ideologies emerge, either independently or from an expired ideology, that are the other way around. Without the ideology, the people would find their own perspective and not run riot. But without the people, the ideology and its leeches will die. Here are some warning signs that you have found a toxic ideology.

1: No shared mission.

All ideologies share beliefs and statements. “To further the wellbeing of mankind,” “we must erase poverty” and “nobody deserves torture” are all very reasonable statements that are believed by many humans. But they aren’t a mission, a direction everyone is headed in.

If an ideology’s only mission is something as abstract as that and nobody agrees on the mission beside that one point, then it doesn’t really have a shared mission. Think of it as an organization. If you had a charity “to fight cancer”, but one manager thought only herbal remedies would work, another was pro-chemo and another believed in spiritual healing, would you donate to them? Like a charity, if there’s no shared mission an ideology can’t move forwards toward its goal.

2: Complete adherence required.

Ideologies are supposed to serve you. Yes, you can be in it to serve other people, but if you’re being evicted or attacked for small slights, then the ideology is frail. It can’t have a shared mission if everyone doesn’t agree on the mission, but it also can’t have a shared mission if every follower and supporter must adhere to every single rule. If the end goal is to stop something, then every single step towards stopping it is valuable. If the end goal is to create something, then every penny and minute of time towards creating it is valuable.

If you’re being continually berated for not doing enough, guilt-tripped for your contributions and insulted for breaking a few minor rules or disagreeing with an orbital opinion, then this ideology isn’t trying to complete its mission.

3: Infighting and segregation.

A result of complete adherence rules is that the ideology becomes very divided. It’s perfectly natural for an ideology to split after a long period of time has passed and new evidence has divided the community. But when the community and its leaders disagree and fight among themselves daily, evict individuals regularly for minor offenses and split up every few years, then there is no central cohesiveness. This is a symptom of not having a mission or of leeches at the top not wanting their mission exposed or completed.

If the ideology is continually fighting over matters they’ve always known about, repeatedly bringing up past debates that were once concluded and never stops splitting and attacking the splitters, then it is headed nowhere.

4: Continual demands for money.

The more overt forms of money demands are easily picked up on by newcomers, but people who are committed to an ideology won’t notice even an overt demand. But covert demands also happen. Guilt tripping about donation levels, complaining about salaries or going to twitter to bemoan their poverty are a variety of ways that the leeches in toxic ideologies demand their money. Some may even get creative and come up with false charities and schemes to get you to “invest” in.

It’s fine to put money towards a charitable cause or maintaining a community. Even ongoing payments are fine as long as the issue is ongoing. But if you’re regularly being asked for random or undetermined amounts of money and you can’t see where it’s going, then that is a leech.

5: Insistence on finding illness.

Many ideologies are born of the need of the people. All good ideologies are. When someone needs support, faith, answers or defense, then an ideology is born. To a human, a social animal, rejection, discrimination, lack of basic resources and lack of freedom of thought are all illness, as they limit our ability to be social with out community. So when someone is discriminated against, alienated or has their access to basic resources and education restricted, an ideology is born to ask why and to fix that problem.

But what if there is no illness? Well, this is where the Munchhausen effect comes in. A toxic ideology is like a mother with Munchhausen by proxy. It can’t stand to be ignored, to be left, to not be needed. So the ideology will approach various people and insist that they are ill. Even if you are perfectly happy, freely making your own choices, physically and mentally healthy and provided for, a toxic ideology will tell you that you are unhappy, oppressed, ill and denied. And it will repeat this again and again until new followers are convinced that they are ill.

Worst of all, toxic ideologies encourage their followers to make themselves unhappy, to restrict themselves, to make themselves ill and to deny themselves, just so that they can become “proof” that the ideology is right. Toxic ideologies make their followers want to be ill to justify the ideology.

6: Bitterness and anger.

Because of all the above, toxic ideologies and their followers are full of bitterness and anger. This is because they are continually walking the tightrope. They have no shared mission, so their legitimacy is just a thin veil, always at risk of exposure. They require complete adherence and dogmatism and are continually angry at and afraid of anyone who rejects their dogma. They are always fighting among themselves about petty matters and splitting up into small sects, denying having anything in common with other sects and defending their sect above the others. They are always thinking of new ways to make money for themselves or for the ideology. And they are always sacrificing their own wellbeing to make a point. If, worst of all, they are in the majority who actually believe it, then they end up angry and bitter because they believe they have intelligently found “the truth” and that everyone else is blind. Because there are so few of them that believe exactly the same thing and because they argue so much (read 2 and 3), they feel very isolated.

And that is how you identify a toxic ideology. Any ideology that meets those six requirements is dangerous. Any that meets even a few of them is unhealthy and not going in a good direction. And if you’re finding yourself looking for excuses as to why your ideology is exempt from toxicity despite meeting these criteria, then you may have been deceived.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.