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A to B

Thursday 8/10/23

I have a friend who isn't efficient, though they often talk about becoming more so. I love my friend, but they create problems and stress for me. I have enough problems and stress. I am in a war and a situation no has ever been in, with enormous stakes of life and death and things bigger than "mere" life and death.

I was thinking about my friend the other night and what you can say and what you can't say. And what you should say and what you shouldn't. I thought about many true things that I ought not to put forward--given that this is a friend--but as I was thinking about how those true things pertain here specifically, I also thought about true things more generally, and I didn't want to leave them aside, because I think the expression of those truths has value. So I will speak generally, having moved outward from the initial place of specificity.

People want change to the good--in how they are--simply to happen. To occur, as if by accident. They wish to stumble into it, and they always want it to be easy and pain-free. They don't want anything to feel different than what they were already feeling, but it doesn't work that way.

The truth is that people are inefficient and lazy and they waste time regularly while complaining about how busy they are. Often, they couldn't understand that they create ninety-percent of that busyness with their own inefficiency. That inefficiency may be evident in every exchange to one who is capable of knowing. Because it is in everything. How someone talks. How long it takes them to talk. In how they're not present which means that words are being said in essence to no one and then must be repeated.

Add this kind of thing up--and other things--and this is where life goes. This is where it all gets wasted. That's where the time went, because this form of adding up--and draining away--is constantly happening.

But people don't understand that, because it's too subtle for them. They think, "I even got to work early today." But the time is going away elsewhere. All of these little things. And they're really not so little, because they're indicative of a way that someone is. The way that they are.

Were someone to point out--that is, give the examples--of this inefficiency, where the time was going, how the mindset itself was all wrong, there's a strong chance they couldn't understand what was being said. It'd be lost on them. It's that foreign. Or they'd make it about other things. They'd get defensive. Reason would be gone, like it had took off in flight.

Two people can barely achieve real communication when they are each making an honest, focused, direct effort--to speak clearly, to listen well--and once one party ceases to do so, not a lot will get through and be understood. You might as well be talking to a bowl of gazpacho at that point. They'd bring up irrelevancies as a smokescreen to obscure accountability and doing so would be second nature--or really first nature--for them, without consciously understanding what they were doing.

People do a lip service routine about not wanting to be this way, but they are rarely sincere--the words are basically always valueless, even if they're not outright lies. Then again, they are a person's words, and a person should be true to their words, and if they're not, that, to me, is perhaps worse than lying. That means that falsity is embedded in them, and also that they don't understand what duty and honor are because you are not going to be better than your word. Whether you are true or false to your word will say much about you.

Also, people generally are surrounded by other people who never challenge them. We often don't have friends in this current age. We have the immediate family unit. One goes along to get along in many instances with the spouse, and kids are kids. And people are loath to challenge themselves. Self-motivation basically doesn't exist anymore. People will do things if they feel like they have to on account of external pressures, and usually that's just peer pressures and expectations. They rely on the external to get their ideas for anything; precious little comes from them, from within.

They want to tap out and quit and complain as fast as possible, often while speaking like they're a victim who has been wrongly attacked or gone through much. If you put these mental matters in physical terms, it'd be like they got a callous on their thumb and passed out and took to their bed for a week.

In order to change, you have to be exacting and work at it. When a basic truth is mentioned to such a person, they're apt to say that the remarker of that truth is a tyrant and things get very dramatic quickly on the protestation front, as if they'd just been shackled them to an oar in the galley.

But how does one expect things to happen and get done? By accident? By "just because"? The melodrama can be exhausting, but more dispiriting is how hard it can be to reach someone with something that's correct, but foreign to them. We tend to only know that which we already know via our limited experiences. That's why we're so bad at empathy, which is an act of imagination--of going outside one's self--more than anything. People self-coddle and they find other ways to regard what they're doing. They fly in other excuses which they term reasons. They're not. They're simply tools that are used to avoid personal accountability. And society offers these tools left and right now. Society is all about those tools that are really taking a person apart, or bolting them in place, and limiting any progress forward.

You have to have rigorous standards. Call them harsh standards. They're certainly harsh at first. If someone knew how I spoke to myself in my head, the demands I make, the terms I make those demands in...

It's intense. It's not nice. I wouldn't even set the words down here. But that voice is always there. It's called trying. Hard. That's what honest dedication and commitment is. It's not cuddles and three cheers for you and coasting and dramatics and hyperbole about how hard it is or how mean someone else is being a tiny fair point was made.

You need to move A to B. Everything has to be A to B, even if if appears prolix and labyrinthine or has those aspects. A to B exists within everything. As direct a route as possible. No waste. No diversions. No sidetracking. No extra movement. No superfluousness. No field trips. Speak with purpose. Act with purpose. If there is no value in what you are going to say, don't say it. Don't create confusion. Understand context. Don't deny--accept. Don't waste even more time and energy in defensiveness. Own. Take responsibility. Recognize the value of consistency.

Understand what inconsistency says to someone else who bothers to pay attention to you because they have enough respect to do so, even if no one else does for whatever reason. Don't be guided by whims. Don't act on whims. Think. Choose. Elect to be a given way. Make the decision. Answer to the question of value: What is the value of me saying this? What is the value of me doing this? (If you're a writer, ask yourself the question that clearly no other writer in the world ever asks themselves: What is the value in me writing this?)

Always be making vetted choices, so that it becomes habitual. If there's no value in what you're going to do, don't do it. Stop coddling yourself. Stop whining. Stop making excuses. Stop saying you want to be a certain way without being willing to work at it. If people don't have a problem with you not being a person of your word, it's only because they don't respect you enough to pay attention to how you conduct yourself, or they're just too ignorant to even realize, or live free of standards and codes themselves.

Grease the road with a little blood and sweat. It's good for you. You have plenty more. Open yourself up. Realize that you don't know what you don't know. Then start to know things. Understand that the blister isn't the same as being shot through the gut. Get some perspective. Spit on it and move forward. Take ownership and stop making excuses when you are the person who controls these things.


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