Finding better stories than the ones we’re being told

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”

Gandhi

Instead of letting myself be programmed by the mass media I like to search out and pay attention to more promising narratives. Stories like Cormac McCarthy. Here’s a guy considered America’s greatest living writer and his story is inspirational for the singularity of purpose with which he lived. Cormac didn’t do interviews. He didn’t take jobs to make money. He didn’t sell out when times were tough. He just wrote because he wanted to be an author and that is what writers do. There are stories about him being so poor that he was evicted from a $40 a month motel. Other stories tell of times where he had absolutely no money. Not just broke. Not a single dollar to his name. In these times he had nothing to eat, but he continued to write. He survived and he wrote and now he is acclaimed, but he doesn’t care. He still just writes, avoids book promotions and hasn’t seen many of the movies made from his books. There is a lot to be learned from a man like this.

In a similar perhaps more anarchistic vain is the story of Aaron Swartz. A child genius that coded an online start-up. He eventually sold the rights to a French corporation for millions, but as president he was required to turn up to work in a bland corporate office everyday. “Grey wall, grey people, grey noise” he wrote of the experience before getting himself fired spectacularly. He lived modestly, spent little, and cared not for money like his idol Tim Berners-Lee who gave us the free internet instead of cashing in for mega bucks. Aaron then turned his programming skills towards social problems like ensuring the public domain becomes publicly accessible. Something you would expect wouldn’t be required in the land of the free, but the truth is a different story. His pursuit of freedom and fairness ultimately led him to a 30-50 year prison term which he avoided by getting suicided in mysterious circumstances. A pattern all too common for those that oppose the system. Maybe it was a suicide given his circumstances, but I fear there are those who seek to contain and control the internet. These Swiss Zionist bank boys would be seriously scared of a kid with a world view like Aaron and coding skills to make some real change or at least be one hell of a nuisance.

Then there is a guy like Tom Shadyac a highly successful movie director that makes all the money in the world only to have a clarifying realization that he’s become everything that is wrong in the world. In his film “I am”. He asks what is wrong with the world and what can we do about it? For the next phase of his journey he rejects the trappings of success and embraces simple living, community, love and compassion of his fellow man. In doing so he encourages us all to shrug off our apathy and live harmoniously no matter how optimistic or idealistic that may seem. Until we change ourselves we cannot expect others to live any differently than they do today.

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