I am often asked why I changed from agriculture to coaching, particularly when you consider how much I simply loved every part of growing trees.

I loved it all: the hot days, the cold ones, planting in the bitter cold and loading truck in the rain. I was crazy about it all and it gave me a good life, a really good life.

That being said, I felt things were missing. Over time, the meaning I gained from doing something as good and wholesome as growing trees felt like it just wasn’t enough. Yes, the business got harder; we had to do other things like landscaping to make it all work, but with all of it happening, it was just not making it like it once had. It lost its meaning to me.

 

I had read enough of George Orwell

to know that socialism and its ilk were failures.

 

During the last five years of that work I had spent a lifetime learning, I felt plagued with doubt. I had outgrown the feeling I once had of doing good for the world. I had friends and acquaintances around me with problems that didn’t fit with my values anymore. The thought that money solves it all had proved to be insignificant…and in a big way.

I watched politics devolve into what we see today and felt nothing but disgust. I had read enough of George Orwell to know that socialism and its ilk were failures.

That ideology was then—and remains today—motivated less by truly helping the poor than by a hatred for the rich and their accomplishments. Besides, as I once heard said:

“…socialists were more intrinsically capitalist than the capitalists themselves. They (the socialists) too believed in money, and strongly. They only thought that if they gave the money to different people the problems of the world would vanish.”

This is untrue.

There are loads of problems that money simply won’t solve, and some that it even makes worse. Rich people still cheat on each other and divorce. Rich people still alienate themselves from their children and suffer from not understanding their own nature or reality. They get cancer, heart attacks, strokes and can just like a low income person, die alone and angry, unloved. Just look at the tabloids and tell me if you find one withoutsome rich recovering addict of some kind, drinking, snorting or fucking themselves into oblivion. Check with my 93-year-old father; he will tell you that boredom is a terrible thing to experience.

Unlike many of you, I grew up in the 20thcentury, with the West maintaining magnificent arsenals of soldiers and weapons aimed at each other, 24/7. Like the politics I watch on the news today in our own country, I wonder; was one arbitrary and corrupt with the other not being so? Were values just what were used at the time to cover up the desire for raw power? Curious things to think among with thousands of trees, each saying nothing, but still everything.

Think about it; what the hell happened to 20thcentury man? Why did so many millions have to die so horribly? In the space of about 25 years, Europe went from an aristocracy and the corruption and politicization of the church, to the evils of communism and fascism in just 25 years. Then roll forward to the 21stcentury and in its second year, an aberrant group of Islamists fly airplanes into buildings and now we have a war that has been going on for roughly 17 years with no end in sight. I was out on the farm that day, and I wondered at the end of the day, where is something solid to build on? Where is something that is good and not evil?

Some things are just that—wrong.

In my reading, I came across a “description” of a practice in Auschwitz that was particularly evil. Guards would force inmates to carry 100 lb. sacks of wet salt from one side of the compound to the other, and then back again. The motto of the camp was “Arbeit Mach Frei.” It was written over the entrance to the camp. “Work will set you free.” They were right—free to die. The freedom of death was their gift to their charges. It was an act of pointless suffering. It was a malignant art form mastered by people who had surrendered their very souls. It crossed my mind out there among the quiet of the trees that there was some terrible wrong in the world. Some things are just that—wrong.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in one of his books, discusses the Nuremburg trials. He considered them the most important events of the 20thcentury, a humble thought for someone who wrote the book that destroyed the intellectual underpinnings for communism from his gulag cell.

For those of you who are too young or who didn’t care to focus on history when you were in school, the conclusion of those Nuremburg trials was that there are just some actions that are so intrinsically terrible that they run counter to the proper nature of we see as being human. And this is true across cultures, time, and place. These are simply evil actions and that there can be noexcuse for engaging in them. To dehumanize a fellow human, to reduce him or her to the level of an animal, to slaughter, to torture, with no thought of innocence or lack thereof, to make pain an art form—it is just wrong.

Suffering is real and to inflict it

purposefully, and artfully on another

human for its own sake is despicable.

In the end, what doubt can there be? Suffering is real. It tolerates no dispute. Nihilists can’t undermine it with their famed skepticism when they encounter it. Cynics can’t escape its reality when they come upon it. Suffering is real and to inflict it purposefully, and artfully on another human for its own sake is despicable.

During my alone time in the trees, with my books, my books on tape (no, CD players weren’t in tractors then), it became the cornerstone of my revised belief system. We can all do evil, and terrible evil is only a small step away for many of us. Within us is an enormous capacity for darkness as well as for good. When you read enough, you can try and place yourself in books and when you look in the darkest parts of yourself, you can find, like most people, the capacity to act like one of those prison guards… Nazi… Japanese… Russian… trustee, or torturer of kids in a dungeon. It makes you wonder about the strength Jesus must have had to take the sins of the whole world upon himself, then and forever—those are some pretty dark sins to confront.

Within us is an enormous

capacity for darkness as well as for good.

Everyone understands—independent of outside input—what is good and what is not. And if there is something that is not good, then there is always something that isgood to balance it out. In balance, if the worst sin we can imagine is inflicting torment and suffering on others, just for the sake of doing it, then good is whatever on the other side of the wall. It is whatever is fundamentally opposed to it. Good is whatever stops that from happening, right?

So here is what I came up with, and no, it isn’t an original idea and lots of others have said it in much more eloquent fashion. Try to:

Aim for the best.

Fix what you can fix.

Pay attention to what happens around you.

Don’t be so arrogant in what you think you know.

Strive for humility, because pride shows itself as intolerance, oppression, and finally death.

Learn to be aware of your own inadequacies, e.g., your cowardice, wickedness, resentment, and hatred.

 

As the psychologist, philosopher Jordan Peterson once said:

“Consider the murderousness of your own spirit before you dare accuse others,

and before you attempt to repair the fabric of the world.

Maybe it’s not the world’s fault.”

Do you ever think it may be you? Maybe it is you who have missed the goal, missed the mark. Maybe you have fallen short your own glorious image of paradise. You have made mistakes, committed wrongs, and when you do those things, they are your personal contribution to the insufficiency and evil in the world.

And don’t lie about it. Don’t lie at all. Don’t lie about anything. Lies—great and small combined—lead to death camps and the millions of lives that they spent so carelessly and malevolently. When you lie, you lay the foundation for such things.

So, give this some thought as you drive to work or home. The alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering is a good thing. It is good. Make that an axiom in your life. Make it this axiom:

 

I will, to the best of my ability,

act in a manner that leads to the alleviation

of what unnecessary pain and suffering I can.

 

 I challenge you…

SAY IT OUT LOUD!

I will, to the best of my ability,

act in a manner that leads to the alleviation

of what unnecessary pain and suffering I can.

Don’t be weak—just do it. Force yourself.

When you do, you will feel something, and I will save you six years of struggle to figure what it is. You have just placed yourself and your very soul at the zenith of your own or anyone else’s moral hierarchy. You have upon utterance accepted a set of assumptions aimed at the betterment of “being.”

Do you feel it? You goddamn well know what the alternatives of that utterance are, don’t you?

Stop before you speak without thinking. Didn’t I ask you not to lie?

You really do know the alternative. The alternative is a hell on earth that we have all seen, or can listen to live accounts of. And don’t doubt it; hell is a real place. Just ask a Holocaust survivor, or a gulag survivor, or a survivor of Pol Pot’s camps in Cambodia who learned from personal experiences.

I challenge you to step out of your life and find one of those people and ask them. When you put the alleviation of unnecessary suffering and pain at the top of your personal hierarchy, you work to bring the Kingdom of Heaven into the lives of all you meet. If you think much about it you will come to see that it is a state and a state of mind all at the same time. So you ask, “How do you live such a way? Well, for me, I decided to change my career and become a Life Coach.

You might ask yourself:

How could I use my time to make things better instead of worse?

 For some, tasks like this start with keeping your room straight, or taking out the trash for your mom, or is found in that meal that you could help make, or make a little more tasty and thankfully deliver it to your family table. You might just find that if you attend to these little moral obligations, once you have decided to live in a fashion that will “make the world a little better,” you will experience moments of ever-deepening meaning. Not the cheap stuff of self-help books, but true meaning.

I am not saying it is happiness, or ecstasy. It is something more like atonement for your previously life. It is payment of a debt you owe the miracle of your very existence in this world. I stand with those who see how you remember the people in the gulags, the Holocaust, every person touched by evil. It is how you do your part to make amends for the evil in our shared history. It is the adoption of the responsibility of being a potential destroyer. It is a sign of your willingness to serve as someone who, one kind act at a time, brings a little of heaven to earth.

That’s not a bad reason, and it’s why I left those bucolic fields and the rows of trees I loved and began trying to understand and help people.

Why do you do what you do?


So, what do you think?  Do you know why you do what you do?  You really should…Don’t you think?

If you you aren’t sure, give me a call and lets see where it goes… Schedule a time for a free call and tell me your story.

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1 Comment

  • by ปั้มไลค์
    Posted November 10, 2019 8:12 pm 0Likes

    Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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