“A little tap at the window, as though some missile had struck it, followed by a plentiful, falling sound, as light, though, as if a shower of sand were being sprinkled from a window overhead; then the fall spread, took on an order, a rhythm, became liquid, loud, drumming, musical, innumerable, universal. It was the rain”
Such beauty. When I first read that excerpt, it burned itself into my memory. I saw the work of a master, a genius that was honing a craft. A wordsmith at the wheel of creativity: Marcel Proust.
My English teacher in college, when reading the line, stated the following: “That’s the kind of line that gets you an ‘A’ in a Creative Writing class.”
“Withdraw into yourself, as far as you can. Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn while they teach.” – Seneca
Part 1: Associate with people that will make you a better man.
If you need to lose weight, look for athletes that have a great build. Go to the gym and get a personal trainer. If you know somebody that is a fitness fanatic, ask him/her if you can train with them. Be proactive—don’t expect happiness to come knocking on your door. You have to search for self-improvement.
Every great man has a mentor. Aristotle was a mentor to Alexander the Great; Ralph Waldo Emerson was a mentor to Henry David Thoreau; Albert Einstein had Max Talmey. These men were able to grow under the guidance of a great teacher. History was shaped by mentorships. Without these interactions, the world would be a paltry place.
Do you have a great mentor in your life? You need to find one if you don’t.
I’m afraid that women are handicapped in this regard. In today’s America, young women have a difficult time finding mentors. That’s because too many older women have petty jealousy, insecurity, etc. These older women will steer young ones in a poor direction – this is especially true in the secular world, where women are encouraged to behave in ways that denigrate their character.
Years ago, I overheard a conversation between several women. Two of them were counseling a younger one. They were encouraging the young girl to cheat on her boyfriend, telling her to follow her “emotions” and “feelings.” This kind of mentorship is not helpful, and is actually more of a poison than anything. It’s about two jealous women, trying to destroy the happiness of a “frenemy.”
What’s the solution? Well, I recommend that women seek mentorship from the Church. They’re more likely to find other women there that have a faith in God, as well as the desire to help others. These Christian women are more likely to give them advice on how to strengthen a family. Of course, the optimal place for a woman to receive mentorship is from her family. But not every young woman has this option: some come from weak or broken families, for example. So women must seek counsel in other arenas and, at this moment, the Church is the best of these options.
Part 2: Welcome Those Who You Can Improve
Mentorship is a two-way street; it’s about giving, as well as receiving. We get better by helping others, by sharing our experiences with the world. Note that there are a variety of professional mentorships available. But also, partnerships can be created from the people you meet.
Find young people with talent. Every now and then, you come across a young person with great potential. How can you help him? How can you guide him? Try to steer the youngster in a positive direction if possible. Remember that you were young at one time – how would you have benefited from advice, from the counsel of a wise elder? Personally, I would have benefited greatly.
A simple reminder: people only care about what you can do for them. Your music is great if it tells their story, your novel is great if it glorifies their life. People are inherently selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with that; we’re all locked into our bodies, trapped in our own “movie.” It’s hard for us to step into the shoes of another, to understand the totality of their life.
Remember that people don’t care about “you,” per se; they care about what you can do for them. But once you do for them, they will be forever grateful. They will speak of you in glowing terms, writing your name in the appendix of their lives. You will become an idol of sorts, an individual that lit a fire beneath them. Their selfishness is not a curse, but an avenue for opportunity.
The wisdom of Seneca is a gift that keeps giving. And his words on mentorship are telling. We should seek out the advice of others, and we should look to uplift those in need of guidance. It’s a beautiful reciprocity of existence – a circle that will improve our lives.
Monday is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday throughout the United States. It began in 1986 and now, thirty years later, I think it’s fair to ask the question—does the holiday promote war or peace?
Let’s be real, folks: race relations in America or worse now than they’ve ever been: BLK riots, police shooting and being shot at, etc. And we have President Obama…a man who, despite his intentions, has fueled the fire of a growing white nationalism movement. His dream of creating racial unity has actually done the opposite – it’s created more division.
The Connection Between MLK and Obama
Martin Luther King was a major influence on Barrack Obama. He inspired Obama to adopt the social protest Weltanschauung, to see a man’s purpose as the pursuit of identity politics. Just look to Obama’s words on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington:
We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions, how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike. His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.
He’s a fan, clearly. His presidency was, in many ways, a rekindling of the spirit of MLK. But things have changed his 1968; interracial marriage is no longer illegal, segregation has been outlawed, etc. It’s not utopia, true. By the same token, many of the institutional forms of segregation have been eliminated. 2017 is not 1968.
Times Change and We Must Adapt Accordingly
President Obama has overlooked something – the philosophy of a generation is NOT the philosophy of a succeeding generation. For example, poor and unemployed whites in Nebraska don’t want to hear about their “white privilege.” Europeans killed by Muslim terrorists don’t want to hear about tolerance. And people in Minnesota do not want their cities to adopt Sharia Law and implement female genital mutilation.
I’m old enough to remember when Americans celebrated the birthday of George Washington. However, there was sharp criticism of Washington which lead to this holiday being changed to “President’s Day” It was believed that Washington’s ownership of slaves was not a positive influence on the country. Also removed was President Lincoln, who arguably did more for racial unity than anyone.
It’s clear that national holidays are about more than celebration. They’re about more than having a day off to spend with your family. They are the propagation of a world view, the attempt to convince people of an idea. That idea should be one that brings people together – not one that tears them apart.
MLK Day is Encouraging Racial Division
Martin Luther King spoke out, specifically, about the racism of whites. For example, he never mentioned the cultural tensions between Hutus and Tutsis, or Ethiopians and Eritreans. His focus was regional – on the racism that affected him, personally. And he’s not to be faulted for that. However, make no mistake about it; he was speaking to the specific problems of the American South in the 1960s. To state otherwise is intellectually dishonest.
The “only whites are racist” narrative is a tiring one. Moreover, the longer that we promote this concept, the more unlivable the United States will become. The more we can expect “special reports” from Jake Tapper in downtown Ferguson, or college classes on “The Problem with Whiteness.” The nation will be reminded every January that the country’s history is an ugly one, as opposed to a glorious one.
The holiday works against national patriotism. For that reason alone, it should be removed. Holidays should promote pride in a nation – not keep the people in an endless cycle of identity politics.
Personally, I have great respect for Martin Luther King. As far as people worthy of receiving a national holiday, I think he’s a great choice. I think he’s a hero. But at the end of the day, there are greater forces at work here. And make no mistake about it…
Martin Luther King Day is an instrument of Cultural Marxism; it’s was specifically chosen to create “order-through-chaos” and to keep the United States in a continual state of civil war. Subsequently, money can be made from the conflict that will line the coffers of globalist leaders. Until we see the reason behind these holidays, we will continue to suffer the consequences of the chaos they create.
Unfortunately, I think that it’s time to end this holiday.
“A higher kind of human being, if I may say so, does not like “callings,” precisely because he knows himself to be called. He has time, he takes time, he does not even think of “finishing”: at thirty one is, in the sense of high culture, a beginner, a child.” – Nietzsche from Twilight of the Idols
Great words by Nietzsche. The excellent man is not looking to “find himself.” He’s already “found” by virtue of his passion, by his burning desire to win. He’s never done. Every day is a blessing and his presence is a gift to the world.
He know himself to be great; he doesn’t need a self-esteem lecture. He doesn’t need to have his aura read, his tarot cards interpreted, or his astrology signs analyzed. He is here on the earth, and the earth will shake at his presence. He’s a superman.
The detractors only serve to throw another log on the fire, to raise the flames of his will.
Mohammed Ali agreed…
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Mohammed Ali
The great man does not search for a “calling”; he is a calling.
W.H Auden’s poem “August 1968” captures the spirit of its time:
“The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master Speech.
About a subjugated plain,
Among the desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips.”
The poem is a critique of war. The Ogre is a representation of the militaristic: the rockets and the tanks. And the title of “August 1968” is a reference to the Vietnam War.
But Auden is wrong. The Ogre is not some physically, vile creature. He’s not an ugly monster, a la Shrek. He’s not a deformed soldier, running through the jungles with a rifle in his hand. He’s not strong.
The Ogre is a broken person. He (or she) is debased and jealous. He despises the happiness of others – he wants to destroy the beautiful. He want to soil the healthy marriage, or the profitable business.
Recently, I watched an excellent Dominican comedy entitled “Tuberculo Presidente.” It’s only available in Spanish to my knowledge, so if you are interested in watching it, you’ll have to adjust your closed captioning. But I feel that it is worth it. It’s a foreign film that’s low on budget, but high on laughs.
Two poor Dominicans become the President and Vice-President of their country. They’re placed in this position to do the bidding of corrupt politicians that are trying to insert a controversial pipeline in the national forest. The poor Dominicans arrive at the Presidential Palace and bring their backward habits with them: they hang laundry from the rails, bring a goat into the facility, etc. It’s funny stuff.
Some of these gags are inside jokes, relating to Dominican culture. However, the humor is still broad enough to relate to a wider audience. It’s the haughty politician vs. the humble plebian – a scenario that has been seen many times, but it works well in this context.
There’s a lot of food humor in the movie. It reminded of Jim Gaffigan, with many jokes relating to eating, portion size, etc. The President believes that if everybody is well fed, the country will be a better place. So he gives food to the local gangsters, poor villagers, etc. The Dominican Republic becomes a magical place, all due to the perfect simplicity of his logic.
What’s great about the movie is what’s missing – the subversive agenda of Hollywood. For example, we don’t have the standard display of feminism (i.e. a scene where a 100 lb. woman beats up 20 men). Also, we don’t have racial division; even though the cast is black and white, the producers are not obsessed with the topic. We see people of different races behaving like they do everyday – without hatred for one another.
It’s refreshing to see a movie like this. It shows that when directors try to tell a story – instead of promoting Cultural Marxism – that magical things can happen.