November, 1999, LOS ANGELES - Thanks to "Star Trek," a show with its sight set steadfastly on the future, I have come to appreciate the richness and the complexity of the past. Recently I did two Star Trek events that literally transported me into a deeper appreciation of the vast history of human civilization. One was a Star Trek cruise from Los Angeles down the coast of Mexico, sailing through the Panama Canal and across the Caribbean to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The other was a gigantic Star Trek convention in Berlin, Germany.
A cruise may not immediately seem like a journey into times gone by. It's fun, feasting and frolicking as one sails to exotic ports. And a Star Trek cruise is indeed all that. But this one, arranged by Cruise Trek of Agoura Hills, California, was also like a time machine that took me to three different centuries in our past.
One of our ports of call was a sleepy Guatemalan harbor called Puerto Quetzal. A 90-minute jet plane ride away, hidden deep in the dense jungle growth of centuries, is the ruins of the great Mayan civilization of Tikal. I wanted to visit it. But when we boarded our ship, the S.S. Veendam, in Los Angeles, we discovered that this off-ship tour was sold out! It was such a popular tour that the eager beavers had faxed in their reservation requests early and completely bought up all available seats on the jet to the jungle airport. At the welcome reception on board, actor Cecily Adams made an impassioned plea for more people to request the tour so that another plane might be chartered. I was already on the waiting list.
Happily, there were many others who wanted to view the ruins of Tikal and we got the required number to hire another plane. But this one was not a jet. To be charitable, it was a plane that amply qualified to be in a Guatemalan antique museum. But we aren't in Puerto Quetzal every other weekend and if this was our only way to get to Tikal, so be it. We wanted to experience the great Mayan ruins.
We boarded the old plane, our desire to go to Tikal greater than our confidence in the aged aircraft to get us there. As we climbed to cruising altitude, we wondered if there might be an omen in the music that wafted softly from the sound system. It was the theme from "Titanic." After a two-hour test of our nerves, we landed at the jungle airport a bit frazzled but intact and grateful.
Tikal blew away all apprehensions over that flight. It was astounding. Built some 2,500 years ago, central Tikal covers about 6 miles. We were told that there are over 3,000 structures --- temples, palaces, shrines, plazas both large and small, terraces, residences and ball courts all surrounded by a network of causeways. With our limited time, we would be able to see only the highlights.
Looming up out of the tangle of dense jungle growth, awe inspiring in its majesty, stood the ruins of four temple structures. Their bases were not pyramids but steeply slanted stepped shafts that soared up to a terrace in the sky. Imposingly ensconced on top were the ornately carved stone temples of the Mayan high priests. Climbing to the top was, literally, a breath-taking work out. Many in our group didn't even attempt it. Cecily Adams, fit athlete that she is, made it to the top. The view from that spectacular vantage was as breathtaking as the climb. Below was the great central plaza where the ritual ceremonies were held. Across the way were the other temple structures. And surrounding us all was the jungle that had claimed these awesome edifices when the Mayan nation mysteriously vanished long before the coming of the conquistadores. It boggled the mind to realize that this amazing civilization was built without the use of the wheel.
A delicious native lunch was prepared for us at a jungle compound. We could have roamed among the ruins for the rest of the day. But our guide rushed us on. We had to return to the plane, he told us, so that we could take off by three o'clock in order to land at the Puerto Quetzal landing strip while there still was daylight. The reason for the urgency being that the Puerto Quetzal airstrip had no lights for night landings.
We arrived back at the plane with time to spare. But once we were strapped into our seats, the pilot and co-pilot began inspecting the bottom of the ancient instrument panel with flashlights. Then a parade of people in sweat-stained work clothes began shambling up to the cockpit. They peered and tinkered and whispered cryptically among themselves. After a tense half-hour sitting in the tropical heat of an unventilated old plane, we were asked to return to the terminal building. I've never liked the word "terminal" associated with anything to do with flying, but now it was more unnerving than ever.
Riddled with apprehension, we filed back. Some headed straight for the bar and some good Guatemalan beer. Cecily, I discovered, is a woman with a remarkably low threshold of hysteria. She immediately placed a long distance call to her husband Jim back in Los Angeles and began a tear choked "I've always loved you and always will - forever and ever -- " farewell call. I felt more for the poor, hapless man than for Cecily.
Another suspenseful half hour later, a sweaty man came out to tell us that our plane cannot fly but that three small replacement planes were flying out from Guatemala City to take us back to Puerto Quetzal. If Cecily had an ounce of control left, that announcement blew it away. With panic flashing in her eyes, she began pounding on the glass wall of the waiting room. The terminal manager came out and rushed her into his office where she remained for the rest of our tension filled wait. The rest of us merely sat on pins and needles and waited. We had already lost more than an hour of precious daylight. The beer flowed freely as the Guatemalan sun slowly sank toward the jungle tree line.
It was twilight when the first plane arrived. Immediately, a semblance of a queue formed at the door. Through the plate glass window, we saw Cecily being hustled on board the first plane. The door was opened and people began to be let through, slowly and not too methodically, one after the other. Just three people before me, the first plane reached capacity. I didn't make it on to that plane. In a sense, I was kind of glad. When the passengers of one plane get divided up into three small planes, the risks are tripled. And I had an uneasy premonition about the one carrying Cecily.
The second plane landed just as the first was taxiing away. It was old and smaller but it didn't look as decrepit as the big one that brought us here. We boarded quickly and strapped ourselves in as rapidly as we could. But it was already dark as we began our taxi down the primitive runway. Everyone sat silently. But in the tense stillness, I sensed the one question screaming in everyone's mind. How is this plane going to land on an airstrip that has no lights?
The plane strained and heaved trying to lift itself off the runway. It coughed and gasped. I pulled up on my armrest hoping it would help. Just as the plane reached the end of the cracked concrete strip, it lifted off. It continued pulling and flexing, strenuously trying to avoid the treetops. It shuddered, recovered, then trembled wildly. Finally and thankfully, it reached its allowed flying altitude. The plane continued trembling as it droned into the darkened night sky.
Among the many activities on the cruise ship, I had been taking the yoga exercise class. The idea was to achieve inner peace by bringing one's mind and body into harmony with one's environment. If ever I needed peace and harmony with my surrounding, now was it. I closed my eyes and slowly began breathing in and out. I relaxed my mind and tried to become one with the droning, shivering world surrounding me. All of a sudden, that world turned electric white! Everything became a blinding, shocking, blazing whiteness. Was this it? Is this the way it happens? Was this the end? I was petrified. Then just as shockingly, everything turned back to as it had been. I saw the dark outlines of the passengers' heads ahead of me. The heads turned to each other in startled puzzlement. I realized then, that we had just experienced a silent lightening. Suddenly, it happened again. Another flash. An instantaneous splash of blue-white electricity that was gone as quickly as it came. We were flying through a tropical-lightening storm. A few more silent flashes and we were again flying through the ominously unchanging black sky.
After about an hour, I noticed a sprinkle of lights down in the blackness of the landscape below. Then, I noticed a river of moving lights snaking in the darkness. It looked like a road with automobiles. That must be Guatemala City, I thought. It was supposed to be the biggest city in the country and the capital. But it looked merely like a few dots and a squiggle of light. A few moments later, the landscape returned to black again.
The tension began to intensify as we sensed the plane beginning the descent into the darkness below. How is the pilot going to manage the landing without any lights to guide him? Our imaginations went wild as we girded ourselves for a rough landing. Our breaths held tight as the plane descended lower and lower. It was all blackness below. Then, far off in the distance, we saw something mystifying. We could make out what looked like a double row of lights. What was this? We were told that Puerto Quetzal had no landing lights. As we descended lower, we could surely see two distinct rows of lights beckoning us in the dark. Our pilot headed straight for it. Thank god, they had lights after all, we thought. It wasn't until we were almost about to touch down that we noticed that the lights were, in fact, a row of flickering flames. Standing next to the flaming lights, we saw the silhouettes of men carrying arms. With a hard, bone snapping bump, we touched down. We bounced and jounced down a potholed landing strip between the rows of flaming pots. When we finally came to a stop, we saw that the last part of the row of lights was made up of a line up of trucks and jeeps all parked with their headlights on. The Guatemalan authorities had risen to the challenge in a most creative way. They had improvised a primitive landing system by marshalling the Guatemalan armed forces to light fires in coconut shells lined up in a row together with the headlights of military vehicles. Necessity combined with human ingenuity had brought us back to earth, drained and weary but safe.
And dear Cecily. When we got back to the ship, we learned that the first thing she did when she got back on board was to place an international call to her anxiety-riddled husband back in Los Angeles. Their devotion to each other is genuinely touching. Such a contrast to the frazzled woman seated in front of me on the bus back to the ship. "When I get back to our cabin onboard," she groused, "my husband better not be asleep."
It was a nightmare trip back. But Tikal was worth it. In fact, the flight back seemed to underscore what we had seen at Tikal. The same original thinking and resourcefulness that produced the flaming night landing lights, had raised those amazing architectural splendors of Tikal without the use of the wheel. The power of human creativity and inventiveness is the one constant that defines civilizations through the ages. We would soon be experiencing another example of that from another age and another people --Americans with the Panama Canal.
The French tried for twenty years and failed to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama connecting the Caribbean with the Pacific. Despite their success with the Suez Canal in Egypt, they could not overcome two great adversaries in Panama -- a devastating tropical disease and an awesome mountain range. The disease decimated whole armies of their workers and the earth from the towering mountainside kept caving down into their excavation.
With characteristic bravado, United States President Teddy Roosevelt took over when the French finally gave up. The first task for the Americans was to overcome the killer disease, which they found to be malaria. When they discovered that the carrier was mosquitoes, a massive eradication program was launched. All bodies of water were either drained or disinfected. Then a new, sanitary village was built to house the workers.
The great challenge then became to conquer the formidable barrier mountain range of the Continental Divide. The solution the engineers came up with was ingenious. Rather than digging a cut into the daunting obstacle, their idea instead was to create a lake rising above the mountain range, then lifting the ships up and over the mountain. The solution was as brilliant as the engineering job would be formidable. First, a lake in the sky had to be constructed. Then, a series of locks had to be built to raise the ships up to the man-made lake. Then another set of locks on the opposite side would lower the ships back down to sea level. It was a mind-boggling project. But the Americans did it. The Panama Canal took ten grueling years to build but in August of 1914, the first ship made the virgin crossing. Since then, over 800,000 ships have gone through the waterway. Our passage in October of 1999 was to be one of the last transits under American administration. At midnight, December 31, 1999, the canal is to be handed over to the Panamanian government. President Jimmy Carter, who signed the treaty in 1977, will represent the U.S. at the ceremony. There was a sense of history for all of us on board the S.S. Veendam as we sailed toward our crossing.
We got up bright and early in the morning and crowded onto the decks and other good vantage points. I found a comfortable seat by a panoramic picture window in the Crow's Nest, the topmost cocktail lounge in the ship. In the pale light of dawn, I could see the metropolitan skyline of Panama City in the distant northeastern horizon. We were munching on a breakfast of Panama rolls and coffee by the time we sailed under the massive steel girders of the Bridge of the Americas guarding the entrance to the canal.
Promptly at 7:30 a.m., we entered the first of a series of locks, this one called Miraflore Locks. The water came churning in with massive force as the ship slowly rose up. I marveled at the colossal power of water. Forty-five minutes later, we were sailing out and onto the first of the stepped lakes, Miraflore Lake. Soon we entered the next series of locks, the Pedro Miguel Locks. These locks raised our vessel up to the top level of the system and a great waterway called the Gaillard Cut. This was the part that was the greatest challenge to the builders of the canal - the cut through the rugged mountain range of the Continental Divide. About 8 miles long, it was carved through rock and shale. It was here that the principal excavation was required and here that those devastating slides occurred during construction.
I stepped outside to the deck and gazed out at the semi jungle landscape on each side of the great waterway. The dense tropical air instantly wrapped around me in a sultry embrace. It was awe inspiring to imagine men just a century ago, struggling against this brutal heat, disease and the savagery of the jungle to carve out this massive system of waterways. I marveled at the sheer ingenuity of the engineers. The Panama Canal is a triumph of human will, creativity and determination. It is as incredible an achievement as that of the Mayans centuries ago.
It was lunchtime when we sailed out onto the huge man-made body of water, Gatun Lake, and I was hungry. We had a few hours to go before we would be entering the downhill set of locks. I decided to go down for lunch. The view of the lake from the air-conditioned comfort of the ship's dining room was superb. As I dined on an exquisite lunch of poached sole with baby asparagus, I couldn't help but appreciate the almost surreal world that we inhabited. Certainly, it would have been science fiction to those who had struggled so valiantly to make this fantastical existence so comfortably real for us. Ah, the wondrous rewards of man's ingenuity.
Promptly at 2 p.m., we entered the Gatun Locks, the system lowering our ship down to sea level on the Caribbean side. By sunset, we were again out on the high seas. Our historic 9-hour transit across the Panama Canal was over. On our way back to Ft. Lauderdale, we enjoyed an all-too-brief stop at the charmingly preserved colonial city, Cartagena in Colombia. Like a dream, our two-week floating Star Trek convention was over. But the rich lessons from the past, experienced on this ocean trek, will remain with me for a long time.
Two days after returning from the cruise, I flew off to another Star Trek event -- this one, a land based convention. It, too, was a rich experience in a city dense with history -- the former, and once again, capital of Germany -- Berlin.
The convention, "Galileo 7-III," was gigantic. Over 2,500 fans gathered from throughout Europe and even a few from the U.S. Berlin was the place to be for Star Trek fans that weekend. The huge attendance, however, seemed to overwhelm the management of the convention. There were program delays, interminable lines and confusion. Yet, bless their hearts, the fans' enthusiasm remained unabated. The applause at each program event was thunderous. They reveled in the joy of sharing a weekend with kindred souls. And the convention raised 30 thousand German marks for charity as well.
But what truly impressed me was the city of Berlin itself. Here was a city, mindful of its history, vigorously building a future of unity. At a point in time when Europe is struggling to join eleven nations in an economic union, and when Germany is heroically working to bring together its two parts brutally separated for decades by a political wall, Berlin was building a world city. To accomplish this, the city had gathered some of the best architects from throughout the world. There were dazzling buildings designed by architects from the United States, Italy, Japan, Holland and, of course, Germany. Berlin was the shining symbol of a people confidant of their destiny and building for the next millenium. I sensed it in the spirit of the people. I felt it in the dynamism of the city. I saw it in the architecture of the new buildings.
The most intriguing building was the Jewish Museum by American architect David Leibeskind. The museum was to open in 2000 but I was privileged to tour the completed but empty building. The shape of the zinc-clad, zigzag structure could be seen as a bolt of lightning, a deconstructed Star of David or a sharp, metallic prison. The windows cut into this structure look like slashes, shards or fragments of shattered glass -- jagged reminders from history. The building is entered from an underground tunnel. The sense one gets on entering the slate paved entrance corridor is one of chilly disorientation. The walls are canted. The floor slightly ramped. Other corridors intersect at sharp angles. Nothing is parallel and regular. There are unexpected spatial voids suggesting the absence of a part of the community that once made up the people of Berlin. The design is at once sobering and stunning. But I couldn't help wondering how the building would work as an exhibition space for a museum. How do you hang things on these canted walls? How do you arrange artifact display cases in these oddly formed galleries? How do you keep the architecture from upstaging the exhibits themselves? My questions on the practicality, however, were overwhelmed by my awe of the virtuosity of the architect. The building alone makes the most unforgettable statement on the history of the Jewish people in Berlin. The new Jewish Museum is an eloquent architectural sculpture.
The most exhilarating new symbol in Berlin, for me, is the restored German parliament building, the Reichstag. The architect is Sir Norman Foster. His British citizenship is as symbolic, it seems to me, as his architectural brilliance is world renown. He took the bold, stony Baroque edifice of the Reichstag with all its turbulent history and sensitively restored the shell. In it, he designed a starkly contemporary legislative chamber and offices. The reminder of the past containing the vigor of a modern nation. His most inspired piece of the design however, is the glass dome that he placed right over the legislative chamber. The transparency of government could not have been more clearly communicated. Even more significantly, he designed a bank of elevators that whisk the public - with no admission charge - up to the roof of the building. The view of Berlin from this rooftop terrace is spectacular. From this terrace, Foster designed a spiral ramp in the dome allowing the people to traverse up to the top of the glass structure. From there, the people, not only of Germany but of the world, can look down directly on the lawmakers at work in the legislative chamber below. It is a potent statement about a people's democracy. As I was walking away from this inspiring building, I looked back again to get another perspective on it. Even from a distance, the Reichstag was alive with movement. There was the constant motion of people going up and down on the ramp in the glass dome over the heads of the politicians. What a powerful symbol for the future of democracy.
The gift of Star Trek's incredible popularity has provided me with these undreamed of opportunities to know this world. These experiences have given me a keen appreciation of the inseparable link between our past and our future. The barbarism of man's inhumanity to man reminds us of our terrible fallibility. The extraordinary achievements of our antecedents, their determination against sometimes awesome adversity, their great organizational competence and their creative genius inspires us to face the many challenges that we confront today. The solid launching pad of our future is the confidence we gain from the glorious attainments from history.
Chosen family is family. Sometimes they are the closest and most important family. Just because you share blood with someone, doesn't mean you have to form a bond.
That's why best friends are so important.
BFFs are forged in many ways. They're there for you in triumph and sorrow. They hold your hand. T
They know where the bodies are buried because they helped bury them. That's why it's so heartbreaking to lose them.
It's just a bitter pill to swallow when it's a relationship you thought was going to be endless.
Redditor FindingDale wanted to hear all the reasons why sometimes we just have to say goodbye to certain people in life, by asking:
How did you lose your best friend?
I've lost a few besties. Some through death. Some through personal growth and some just because it was time. That was an important lesson. Just like lovers, friends also outgrow one another.
I'm ExhaustedI Cant Modern Family GIF by HULUGiphy
"I got tired of it being all about her all of the time. I couldn't tell her anything in my life good or bad because she would make it about herself." ~ Wide-Fig-1063
"He was the passenger in a single-car accident. The driver was drunk, showing off, and drifting on an unfamiliar dirt road in California. They found the car at the bottom of a 70-foot cliff. Everyone in the car walked away except my friend, who died instantly."
"He was already passed out drunk himself so he likely didn't feel anything, but it was still such a terrible senseless way to go. That was 10 years ago last June. He was barely 21, the nicest guy you'd ever meet, and one hell of a bassist. Miss ya, Jake." ~ FormerLurker3
"Best friends since we were 12. Best Man at my wedding when we were 28. Day after the wedding he never spoke to me again. No explanation. Calls and texts went unanswered. He would avoid being at any social event I would be at, which was a few because we had the same circle of friends. Tried for two years to keep that friendship alive." ~ Tionek
"I had a weird dynamic to continue because of trauma. We had been friends for most of our lives (26 years) and every conversation was all about her. I was fine with that because she had a traumatic childhood and I knew she wasn't super socially with it. I'm happy to listen when my friends need it."
"Then she just unloaded on me saying I wasn't listening enough to her problems and how I had mistreated her by not asking enough pointed questions about abuse she had suffered as a kid. This was days after a three hour call where she did all the talking and it was mostly about her abuse."
"I was six months pregnant at the time and all I could think was "do I really have the bandwidth to take care of two babies?" I haven't spoken to her since." ~ keepinitcornmeal
It's WeirdFriends Tv GIFGiphy
"His wife tried to sleep with me. I didn't let it happen and I told him about it. They reconciled and had more kids, then it got weird whenever I was around so we drifted apart." ~ mycowild
Yeah, beware the partner of a loved one who is trying to trap you in a scandal. They are shady. Take that drama and run fast and far.
Why?Peering Looking GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"No idea. He slowly stopped answering calls, texts, emails... his wife, even more so. I'd occasionally stop by to see them and everything appeared to be OK. They never stopped to see us, even though his mother lived just a few miles away. I just quit trying." ~ NagromTrebloc
"It was October 16, 2015. I was working from home that day when I saw a call from him at around 9:15am. I had to ignore the call because I was in an online meeting. At 2pm my Dad calls my phone, which is unusual since he knows I'm working. I answer it."
"He is speaking quietly and very calmly. He says, "Son, I love you very much. I have some terrible news. Jared passed away this morning." Jared's wife was calling me from his phone to say she found him dead. I couldn't process what he was saying."
"I said, "That's not funny. Jared, his wife and me and my wife were supposed to meet up next weekend for dinner." Jared had sleep apnea surgery that same week. He had taken a painkiller and Benadryl together. It stopped his heart. He died 2 days before his 40th birthday. We were friends since grade school."
"We did everything together, he was my brother. He was the best man at my wedding earlier that year. I had just shared my son's heartbeat with him via a text message 2 days before. Jared was so excited to be his crazy uncle. I miss him every single day." ~ SnooCapers1425
"Codependency. I became basically obsessed with her and it just became too toxic. I had to cut it off because it was eating me up inside and she didn't deserve how I was treating her." ~ SuccessfulEggplant82
"Good on you for recognizing the problem you were having. It takes a lot (and I mean a crap ton) for an individual to come to this realization. Most people like to live in denial or fight it. I did the same thing and by the time I realized it, it was to late. I hope your able to get through it." ~ Nakanon85
"I noticed that he never came to my place to catch up. I stopped going over to his place to see how long until he noticed.... It's been 5 years now 🤷♂️." ~ Mr_Nonesuch
"Over the years I have observed in number of friendships that its always me that makes the call. They always are delighted to hear from me. If I organise something they come. They just don't make the effort. I have been best man five times so I don't think that its because the friendships are not valued. I don't know, am I missing something?" ~ Yarray2
"My ex wife. Even after we split we stayed close, co-parenting, helping each other out. She died 3.5 years ago. I could have made peace I think but after her death and our daughter was living with me full time I found out about how abusive my ex had been to her when I was around and it felt like losing her all over."
"Like I thought I knew who she was in the 13 years we'd had both together and separated, but it turns out I knew nothing. Now I'm just angry about it, like how dare you get to do this crap and then leave me to clean up your mess."
"How dare you have peace when my daughter has nothing but struggles and therapy. I felt like we were robbed of the good person, the good mother I thought she was." ~ Scarecrowqueen
Far Far Away...Jake Gyllenhaal Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Friend moved to the other side of the planet, with their spouse, to be nearer to both their families. I never understood what real friendship was before friend was in my life; and now they're alive, but not here." ~ ClutchCrgo
One of the natural parts of life... saying goodbye. Or in some cases getting ghosted and forgotten. Either way, chin up.
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Humans have had an undeniably significant impact on our environment and the other species that inhabit the planet with us.
What might happen if humans weren't here to exert that influence, though?
What if we never had?
Reddit user Mompkey asked:
"Which species do you think would be dominant if humans didn't exist?"
"Wolves. They can, and have, successfully adapted to most of the various biomes on the planet."
"There's a reason we domesticated them and took them everywhere with us."Giphy
- Everything is garbage
- Garbage is delicious"
"I would agree, but now I'm wondering if our presence is the reason cockroaches have thrived as well as they have."Giphy
"Sharks, they are the dominant species on 3/4 of the Earth's surface already, they have survived mass extinctions and would thrive even more without humans mucking up their habitat."Giphy
"Humans are the only species that seek to dominate others. Other animals just want to live in the balance of nature. They're just trying to survive, they don't have time to take over the world."
"Pinky and The Brain theme song played in my head."Giphy
"We've killed off so many throughout history but of the ones that remains intelligence and versatility would be the key factors. Their food supply and habitat would greatly increase in our absence so with this being said.........primates."
"We are simply the superior primate therefore we are the dominant species. That opposable thumb is a mf when you have a large brain."
"Wouldn't it be just another off shoot of humans like the Neanderthal or heidelbergensis?"Giphy
While we'll probably never know definitively which species would truly thrive without us around, it's still fun to speculate.
Do you have thoughts?
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A haiku is a style of poetry that originated in Japan. The form involves having 5-7-5 syllable pattern.
Some people on Ask Reddit shared where they work and what they do based on these constraints.
The results ended up being very fun.
Redditor Lost_Borealian invited workers to express themselves:
"Writing only in Haiku, what do you do for work?"
Can you guess where they work based on their poem?
Have you tried restarting it?
"How can I help you?"
"'Oh my god it is blinking.'"
"Try restarting it."
"You broke your laptop"
"Somehow this is my problem?"
"Yelling won't fix it."
"I am in law school"
"I do research for money"
"I used to do that"
"Now I write briefs all damn day"
"But it pays the bills."
"I see black and white."
"Gray all over in between."
"When X-rays hit you."
We've all heard this before.
"Black or pinto beans?"
"You know guac is extra right?"
"Any sides with that?"
"Whaddup cake day bro"
"I ate Chipotle tonight"
"It was damn good, thanks"
Out of work.
"Work was years ago,"
"Unfortunately got sick."
"On Reddit all day..."
"but I cannot stand people,"
"so I bus tables."
"Put away returns"
"Are you ready to check out?"
"'May I speak with the-'"
"'Manager? That's me, Karen'"
"Screaming then ensues."
Chilling poem on end of life care.
"The care in the end"
"There in silence they will lay"
"As I treat their pain"
The stock room lament.
"Boxes keep coming"
"Nowhere to put the products"
"The stock room is full"
"I need a new job"
"No career satisfaction"
"I fear the unknown"
They did not understand the assignment.
"Nobody wants to hire me because I suck at following directions."
We hope you enjoyed these poems and thought about how you could describe your own jobs.
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Sometimes, it's not that complicated.
Sometimes, you wish the whole world would just take a second and chill out and really just look at something in its barest essence.
Humans are career over-thinkers and over-complicators.
We love to insert our own storylines and our own hopes and dreams into other narratives so that we can attach to them—even if the narrative we've affixed to is false.
Redditor NeRo447 asked:
"What simple fact do you wish more people understood?"
Here were some of those answers.
On The Brain
"Not everyone likes you. Not everyone dislikes you. Not everyone so much as thinks about you at all, and that's okay."
"Spending your time worrying about what everyone else thinks will make absolutely no difference in your life, except that you'll spend your time worrying instead of enjoying yourself."-ThomasAHarper
Science Ain't Religion
"Science is a process of discovery, not a set of beliefs."
"When scientists change their mind it's because they're impressed with better evidence. It doesn't mean they're lying or they can't keep a story straight."-doublestitch
What's Right Or Wrong?
"Disagreement doesn't mean competition. What may work for you, may not work for me. We are still both valid individuals, we don't have to try to prove a point. People tie being right in with their self esteem."-Rainalikesit
"It's so mind blowing that some people will come up with a whole slew of reasons why you're wrong when you express an opinion that they don't agree with."
"One time I said that I liked pallet bed frames (when people just take old wooden pallets and put a mattress on top) and an old friend went off about how it was wrong and ugly when you can afford a regular bed frame. Geez just let people like things."-shelluminati
The struggle and mental energy it takes to be around and explain these concepts to people who don't understand them is truly unparalleled.
Dying On A Hill
"There are many hills that are just not worth dying on. You're better off considering the bigger picture than the moment."
"I have this thought during many AITA readings."-ThrowRARAw
"When you pick your battles you don't die on hills. It's just not productive."-Puppy-Zwolle
A Waste Of Energy
"Nothing can be truly solved by argument/attack. People naturally resist aggression it and will shut down in a multitude of ways including fight, flight or freeze."
"Even when you 'win' an argument (I'm talking about yelling type, not a discussion) you most likely just wore the other person down and created resentment and/or future retaliation."-iceisniceLazlo
"'Can I use the restroom?"'
"You should've gone during lunch."'
"Oh, I'm sorry, lemme just hold it in. Kids can't control their bladder, schools shouldn't withhold a second or third grader from using the restroom. Middle and high school is even worse, especially for girls."-queenettaa
And YouTube Isn't Research
"Research is a really, really tedious and difficult process. Smart people with phd's try as hard as possible to get it right and still sometimes make mistakes that's why it's important for the conclusions to be repeatable."
"You didn't do research and have probably never done research in your life. You have just read other people's research."-discostud1515
It's especially disarming to see some of the greater issues at hand in the world showing up in these "simple concepts we wish you understood" page.
This Is Just My Face
"Just because I'm a quiet person doesn't mean something is wrong. And stop telling me to smile or cheer up, it's incredibly patronising."-bonster85
"I feel these are the same people that are the reason zoos have signs 'Don't tap on the glass.'"-ToastAndASideOfToast
"Every time someone told me to smile, I would look at them, hold out my hand and say, '50 bucks.'"
"Then they start stammering and stuttering, I leave with, 'you got nothing? Then piss off! I don't do jack-shit for free.'"-The_Book-JDP
Set Up For The Wealthy
"The US tax code is progressive. You are not penalized for making more money. The first $x you make are tax-free. The next $y you make are taxed at z% up to $a, etc, etc, etc."
"There is no point where you make less and the money you made up to $x or $y or $a are taxed at a higher rate because your highest earnings are in a higher tax bracket."-DumDumGimmeYumYums
Just Tell The Doctors
"That if you come into the ER clearly high on drugs, we don't give a sh*t. We're not going to bust you, judge you, or refuse to help you, but we DO need to know what the f**k you're on, how much you took, and how long ago it was."
"So, don't lie to us, because we can obviously tell, and don't refuse to give us piss. Sure, were gonna drug test it, but only because your tweaker a** lied to us!"
"There are about 400 other reasons why we need your piss, and trust us, drug testing it is LOW priority, and as it turns out, we are way too busy trying to keep you from dying to call any cops, ok?"
"THIS WHOLE THING will go way easier, faster, and safer if you just tell the truth and give us piss."-Ghost_on_Toast
Part Of A Balanced Breakfast
"The only truly good diet is the balanced one, coupled with not overeating and being physically active. All other diets are unsustainable and useless at best or dangerous at worst."
"Some diets like keto are also designed for people with specific medical conditions (diabetes in this case) and if you don't have those, do not try those diets. You can actually mess up your health by fixing what ain't broken."
"Also, just because a certain diet works for you does not mean it's suitable for everyone else."-puella_
These things have been needlessly complicated by capitalism; by your peers and family; by society; and so many other things that the simplicity of them has truly gotten lost over time.
If we find it again, who knows what other magic lies there?
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