Sexual Misconduct Slippery Slope

Not to diminish true claims at all, but we’re on the slippery slope where someone can claim they were sexually harassed/assaulted by another to ruin the accused’s career and reputation. No proof is necessary—the claim is usually enough. 

As noted in Jon Krakauer’s book, Missoula, false sexual assault claims are rare, so it’s probably worth being on that slippery slope so that deviants can be exposed; however, it’s still a dangerous precedent when the accused has no recourse whatsoever.

Look At Me

If your Instagram (or Twitter or Facebook) feed is full of photos of yourself, whose feed is it really? Aside from the now-ubiquitous “selfies” that litter social media, who is taking these photos of you? If you’re the (purported) author of your feed, the content should be through your eyes, not through someone else’s looking back at you.

Social media platforms are little more than tools for self-aggrandization in one form or another, but the “look at me” culture is one form that is more unfortunate than others. It’s much more interesting if people with unique perspectives would use their social media platforms to say, “look at this”, “look at that”, and “look at them” rather than always “look at me”.

Gay Marriage

Gay marriage opponents’ arguments are moot because, like it or not, the United States government is in the marriage business; therefore, equal rights are compulsory. The conflation of church and state that our forefathers warned us about created this unfortunate and unnecessary debate.

In addition to a religious sacrament, marriage is also a legal relationship recognized by the government. In fact, marital status is an important legal designation that impacts people’s lives significantly, from taxes to health insurance to renting a car.

Gay couples’ legal marital status doesn’t impact anyone else’s marriage, and it doesn’t impact any religion’s definition of marriage. In fact, religious marriage can continue unchanged while the government also provides equal legal marriage rights to gay couples. There is absolutely no acceptable reason to prevent gay couples from obtaining the rights and privileges associated with marriage.

Avoid Careerism

Everyone is replaceable, so disavow yourself of the notion that you’re not. But if you knew that upper levels of management at your job considered you imminently replaceable, how many weekends would you work? How many extra hours would you work? How many vacation days would you not take?

Life’s too short to think about your job as something more than a means to an end. Don’t build castles in the sky. Your likely source of career progress is your next job, not this one. That’s the way it works nowadays. So, do a good job, but take all of your vacation days. Don’t let them overwork you, or else it becomes an expectation. Your time is more valuable than you can imagine. You’re in control. They need you; you don’t need them.

The Work/Life Balance Revolution

I have hope that a different kind of worker revolution will take shape someday. This time, with basic work environment conditions no longer an issue in the USA, the revolution will revolve around quality of life issues. This time, skilled middle-career professionals will lead the charge instead of the manual laborers that led revolutions of the past.

The faceless, cold-hearted, multi-national corporations that exist in today’s economy do not care about the quality of life and long-term health of their employees. To be fair, the majority of these skilled workers don’t truly care about the long-term profitability of their faceless corporate motherships either, so at least there exists somewhat of an equitable relationship–neither party gives a shit about the other.

A corporation’s only goal is to most efficiently produce profits for its equally faceless public shareholders. Why would an organization hire three employees to do 24 hours worth of work, when two employees will do the work without complaint because, after all, those two employees need a job and they are told by the media on a constant basis nowadays that they should be thankful to even have a job. In the process, however, they sacrifice whatever marginal work/life balance was afforded to them, and they’ve set the expectation of their service so high that they will only be asked to do even more; never less.

These employees (many of whom are in their late-twenties or early-thirties) had been promised by the generation before them for far too long that education will lead to promising careers and, ultimately, fulfillment in life. Unfortunately, these promises have created a dearth of skilled college-educated workers who are no longer properly valued because there is an oversupply of such talent. The positive risk/reward trade-off associated with 4-6+ years of college education barely exists anymore. College costs keep going up while wages have stagnated and, worse, the number of job opportunities have also stagnated relative to the number of new entrants to the workforce.

I have hope, however, that this class of skilled employee will try to take back the work/life balance afforded to generations past. They should not tolerate having to sacrifice the things that make life worth living because some corporation that employs them doesn’t find it profitable to recognize that a healthy, work/life balanced workforce is an ideal worth supporting.

I, for one, will no longer tolerate sacrificing my quality of life for the goals of some faceless corporation. I am eager to see how the small pillar I have built within my employer’s organization will crumble when I’m no longer there to lend it support. The organization as a whole will surely survive, but if enough of those that provide support to their small pillars withdraw, then maybe the organizations will eventually begin to crumble, and, when they do, only then can we expect change to take place.

The Pedestal Fallacy

As a society, we are quick to put people (i.e., celebrities) we barely know on a pedestal. Almost as quickly as we put them on the proverbial pedestal, they ultimately fail to meet our expectations. We then become disappointed to discover that they are, in fact, just human, with all the grim details that the human condition entails.

No one is perfect, and very few people in the public eye actually live up to society’s expectations. In fact, it seems that those who are advertised as the most pure, the most perfect, and the most humble, end up being the complete opposite.

We need to stop putting people on pedestals. No one deserves to be revered. We’re all just navigating this life the best way that we can. Everyone is equal. No matter a person’s successes, failures, wealth, or power—we’re all just doing what we can to survive, seek happiness, and navigate life’s situations. No one deserves a medal.

Sure, individual acts may deserve commendation, but we so quickly project individual acts onto a person’s entire existence and assume that he or she is better than other people. We need to stop projecting greatness (or malevolence) onto people so easily. Everyone is capable of individual acts worthy of commendation just the same as everyone is capable of individual acts worthy of condemnation.

Society would be better off if people were more skeptical of those hoisted up in front of us for reverence by the media. Seek the truth, and avoid people or media that try to convince you that someone is much better than (or much worse than) everyone else.

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