12 December 2017

A Quietly Reasonable Living

Defining a quietly reasonable living can be just as difficult as defining quietly reasonable living more generally.  Quietness itself is difficult to define.  There are many different aspects to it.

Quietness is something many people appear to avoid, especially people who intrude upon the quietness other people value.  When people cannot cope with quietness, they are in considerable conflict with individuals who value a more peaceful life.  This is especially the case when someone is waiting in boredom for customers to arrive and/or trying to make money noisily.

Choosing an occupation in keeping with personal values can lead to greater happiness, at least when there are no workplace conflicts.  But when conflicts do arise, more autonomy is required.  Autonomy is the basis of genuineness and integrity.

A desire for autonomy in the workplace is often at odds with the requirement to conform to expectations, especially the expectations of employers.  When expectations are unclear, or contradictory, or inadequate guidance is supplied on how those expectations are to be met, it is rarely possible to have a quietly reasonable life.  Nor is it possible to make a quietly reasonable living in such circumstances.

Life is not a separate experience from work, and nor is autonomy.  Most people work in a job mainly for financial reasons, but why?  Are there better alternatives?

Money may give a person more autonomy, at least when finances are managed well.  There can be more autonomy when a sufficient supply of money arrives regularly as income and/or a sufficient amount of money is stored wisely as current and future wealth.  But there are still many questions to be answered:

What is a sufficient amount of money for a reasonably quiet life?

How can a quietly reasonable living supply that money?

What are the characteristics of a reasonably quiet living?

Incompatible people tend to perceive situations differently.  Their points of view frequently come into conflict.  Often, though, differing perceptions are necessary to consider.  This is particularly the case when trying to solve difficult problems.

Firstly, there are difficult personal problems to solve.  Then there are difficult social problems to solve.  All problems are either personal or social or not problems at all.  It all depends on how problems are defined.  Solving problems becomes easier when they are defined in their personal and social contexts.

Meeting our personal needs usually involves some sort of social contact.  Whether we are buying something or being given something, a social relationship occurs.  That relationship may be fleeting or it may recur. 

There may be a digital medium in between people but that does not stop a relationship from occurring.  Digital connections provide opportunities for meeting needs at more distance, just like correspondence always has.

How are these words meeting your needs?

Do you think your benefit from my words should earn me a living?

04 December 2017

Intentionally Peaceful Communities

The desire to be peaceful can often come into conflict with other people's desires and expectations, even in intentionally peaceful communities.  There can be simmering resentments about intrusiveness anywhere.

No matter where people are, and who they are, no two people perceive situations similarly.  The senses are not always accurate.  Memories play tricks. 

People notice different things, depending on what they find interesting or annoying.  Minds are engrossed or distracted or bored or tired or unconscious.

Most lives are not lived particularly intentionally.  Anything intentional involves considerable freedom.

What is your understanding of intentional living?

What is your understanding of intentional community?

Do you have much experience of either or both?

For many years, I have tried to live an intentionally quiet life.  For me, research is a way of life.  I love discovering facts serendipitously and learning about my own ignorance in the process!

Quieter living may, to many people, be perceived as an alternative lifestyle in relation to the noisy confusion of the rat race, but cultural practices often defined as "alternative" lifestyles do not appeal to me, or to my husband.  We have always been very clear about what we like and what we don't like.  Fortunately, our likes and dislikes often coincide.

Throughout our married life, we have tried to live as though we have a low income.  That way, we have been able to save for the future while also putting aside funds for our travels and other research projects.  We have also been able to pay the regular and irregular bills when they have been due.  Quieter living has made that possible, along with disciplined frugality and a regular, average sort of income by Australian standards. 

I am clear about my own interpretation of the meaning of life: It is not to spend too much time thinking about the meaning of life.  I prefer thinking about history and human behaviour, especially human political behaviour.  My purpose is to attempt to understand the perplexing complexities of existence whilst simultaneously simplifying them.

Have you succeeded in living reasonably comfortably away from the rat race?

Over recent years, I have written quite a few blog posts about motivations and intentions:

The myth of the corporate institutional investor

On being popular

The poetry of personality

Of good moral character

Intentionally peaceful communities can develop successfully when they consist of multi-skilled, deeply committed, respectfully affectionate, interconnected affinity groups.  The community needs to be economically viable, environmentally sustainable and clear about its aims and objectives, before its members commit themselves financially, socially and technically to the challenges ahead.

Is it possible to develop intentionally peaceful communities in urban areas?

01 December 2017

Peacefully Stable Social Relationships

Stability in social relationships only exists when people feel safe, supported and respected.  Everything else is likely to be abusive, or unstable in other ways.

It is not possible to confront abuse aggressively. Aggression is abusive.

Quieter living is not about denying abuse. It is about setting the standards, and the boundaries, for safety, support, respect and stability.

What are your social and moral standards?

What are your social and moral boundaries?

How do other people respond to your standards and boundaries?

In all peaceful relationships, power is shared fairly.  There is no coercion.  There are no unfair expectations.  There is freedom, honesty and trustworthiness.

Inner peace tends to occur as a consequence of peaceful, stable social relationships. Do you have a reputation for developing and maintaining peacefully stable social relationships?

In one of my other blogs, I focus my attention on identity, not peace.  Identity is often shaped socially:

Unfortunate connotations

Dear visitor

An openness towards having our reasoning challenged is necessary in all social relationships.  When people are reluctant to improve their thinking, that is a sign of their unreasonableness.  It is not possible to maintain peacefully stable social relationships when people are unreasonable.

Our various interests and activities can often fragment our sense of identity and put pressure on our relationships.  Stability is not stagnation, however.  It is a journey towards deeper mutual understanding.

Purposeful relationships are meaningful relationships, at least when everyone involved shares a compatible purpose.  How do you usually express yourself in and through your relationships?

How do you share your most meaningful discoveries through your relationships, and beyond them with humanity at large?

Reflecting on identity

Age and identity

Identity politics

Through my standards and boundaries, I can more easily make decisions about behaviours I believe to be acceptable and those I find unacceptable.  I soon withdraw from relationships with people who breach my standards, my boundaries and therefore my trust.

Sometimes, social pressures, and a lack of wider social supports, prevents us from extricating ourselves from unpleasantness.  If you have ever tried to stay polite and cheerful in a difficult situation, why was that?

Compatible tastes, values and interests often form the basis of pleasant interactions.  Our peacefully stable social relationships help us to maintain sanity as social beings.  Those relationships support and protect our privacy.

Responsive relationships are respectful and responsible.  They give us the time and space we need for solitary activities, and to maintain our health.  They acknowledge the past, the present and the future.  They give us the time in which to reflect on our thoughts, actions, achievements, problems and plans.

Peacefully stable social relationships are not necessarily the ones we have had for many years.  Many changes take place in lives and personalities between childhood and maturity.

Who do you trust, and why?  What ages are the people you consider most trustworthy?  How are trustworthy people of service to you and how are you of service to them?  How can you prove you are trustworthy?

Peacefully stable social relationships involve genuine, mutual appreciation and a deep level of mutual gratitude.  They never involve excessive demands.  There is mutual devotion, and even dedication, but never obsession.

Stability is not competitive.  It is co-operative.  To be co-operative is to consent freely, after informed negotiation, to a planned, shared journey.  That co-operation is a firm foundation.  Competition undermines that foundation.

Whose services to you do you value most, and why?

Whose services to you do you take for granted, and possibly even treat with contempt?

Do you believe peacefully stable social relationships are the essence of a successful life?

Most people do not see their dreams come true.  They either die before that occurs, or something else befalls them.  But what is a realistic dream?  Are most dreams really just lures for abusers, who turn them into nightmares?

About your mind

How to be delightfully surprising

Entertainment, friendship and identity

Unfair social interactions are abuses.  Biases are abuses.  Fair criticism is not abuse when it is provided sensitively and privately.

I write "Via" blogs as a way to write to myself, and to remind myself about important things I may otherwise forget.  These online notes are filed in general categories to help with my later reflections, and my ongoing planning.

If you have expressed a long-term interest in evidence-based theories about peacefully stable social relationships, and a long-term devotion to the topic for possibly for over twenty or thirty years now, how have you put the most viable theories into practice?

23 November 2017

Avoiding Pretensions

Marketing is often exploitative.  It shapes expectations, takes the money and often leaves a feeling of disappointment.

I appreciate good service and quality products and I am willing to pay a fair price for them when I need them.  When I do not need them, I prefer to be left alone.

What I cannot bear at all is extravagance, especially extravagant claims, pretentiousness and the associated superficiality.  Quality is not extravagance when it is enjoyable to all the senses and is not wasteful, exploitative or unhealthy. 

Avoiding pretensions can sometimes be difficult when buying something to eat.  Anything sounding contrived is probably not as good as claimed.  But pretension sells and I am not buying.   All pretension is mediocrity.

22 November 2017

Peaceful Resilience

In a world of considerable corruption, bullying, exploitation and other abuses, it can sometimes seem impossible to maintain peaceful resilience without appearing cowardly.  Effectively confronting narcissism can seem overwhelming.  Narcissism is prevalent and possibly ubiquitous, as is manipulative charisma. 

So many people are vulnerable to abuse when attempting to make their dreams a reality, whether in Australia or elsewhere.  Self-serving politicians deny responsibility for exploitative practices yet governments have the ability to set societal priorities, and acceptable standards of conduct.

When governments fail, it is up to peaceful citizens to show resilience in the face of difficult dilemmas.  For everyone to do their best, and be their best, near enough is not good enough, but expecting the impossible is abusive in itself, even in New Zealand.

When the people defending the public against bullies are punished by the state, whether in China or elsewhere, peaceful resilience becomes the only viable option.  That resilience is the only barrier against despair for people seeking justice.

Peaceful resilience is often necessary purely for mental health reasons.  Resilience can sometimes be the only resistance against poor health, especially for people in poverty or other dangerous circumstances.

Inadequate or excessively expensive products and services, particularly products and services associated with health care, are usually signs of greed replacing need.  Narcissists run companies, hospitals and governments for their own purposes.  Peaceful people run companies, hospitals and governments to make the world a better place.

Whether overcharging for medicines in Britain or overcharging for hospitalisation in India, or providing inadequate support for distressed or bereaved family members, anywhere in the world, the public deserves better.  The narcissists must pay for their own greed and insensitivity.  But what is fair?

There have been many narcissists in politics, from Australia to Zimbabwe to all sorts of other places.  But how can peaceful resilience change that?

How do you express and maintain your own peaceful resilience when confronting abusiveness and other challenges?

14 August 2017

Peaceful Friendships

There are several important questions to be answered today, or tomorrow, or whenever you have the time to reflect upon important questions:

1. Do you believe a good friendship is like a peace of chocolate?

2. Do you believe the search for a good friendship is like going in search of a quiet garden?

3. Have you experienced a peaceful friendship during a comfortable search for peace?

4. Are peaceful friendships about returning to reflections?

5. What are the qualities of the peaceful friendships you have experienced?

6/ Do all good friendships provide peace and security?

7. Do your renewed friendships include reflections on restorations?

8. Are your peaceful friendships shaped by science and knowledge?

9. Is a peaceful friend usually a dear visitor?

10. Is a peaceful friend usually a human or can another species be a peaceful friend?

11. Is a work of art or literature or music a peaceful friend to you?

12. Can peaceful friendships take place mainly through the Internet, perhaps even in Virtual Via Nation?

13. Do peaceful friendships really only exist in the real world?

14. Do peaceful friendships provide a healthy balance to happy and normal seclusion?

15. Are peaceful friendships mainly experienced in the name of comfort?

16. Are peaceful friendships continual journeys?

17. Have you ever found peaceful friendships during a genealogical look around?

18. Have you ever found peaceful friendships through peaceful enterprises and lovely surprises?

Once you have answered the questions, can you prove you are a peaceful friend?

10 July 2017

Escaping from Distractions

Success is often about escaping from distractions.
What is a successful life?  How is it compared and measured?

What is a distraction?  How does it differ from a worthwhile diversion?

If we are successful in life, we somehow manage to meet our basic needs along the way. 

What has been distracting you from meeting your basic needs?

26 June 2017

Freedom and Community

In relation to society, how much do you believe self-expression and a fair democracy to be the basis of freedom?

In relation to self-expression and a fair democracy, how much do you believe privacy to be the basis of freedom?

How do you prefer to express yourself?

How would you prefer to express yourself through democracy if given a fair chance to do so?

How often have you heard a chainsaw at one in the morning?

How often have you experienced a silent night in suburbia?

How often have you heard anyone vacuuming the roof?

How often do you experience a medley of reflections?

02 March 2017

The Importance of Quietness

When I began this blog in January 2009, my introductory subject was freedom from noise.

If quietness is important to you, why is that?

Is quietness a form of freedom to you?

I write from the town of Dorothea.  Sometimes, Dorothea can be very noisy and sometimes very quiet.  I prefer quietness.

Like Via, the name I have chosen for myself as a blogger, Dorothea is the name I have chosen for my blogging location.  I like privacy.

In the same month in which I began blogging, I wrote on being quietly successful.  I like being successfully happy.

The importance and appreciation different people give to quietness relates to their cultural awareness of sound.  I prefer relatively quiet cultures but obviously not those I find boring.

I do not read music.  I do not perform music for anyone.  I enjoy singing privately.

I listen to nature and I at least try to listen to people if they are willing to listen to me.  I listen to music and I listen to silence. 

When I hear noises I try not to listen to them.  I always prefer to be in a noise-free environment.

I write about sounds and thoughts and feelings and knowledge.  I need quietness to write.