5 Disturbing Life Lessons from Animal Farm

In 1945 George Orwell released his iconic novella, Animal Farm. Schools across the country continue to read this book to this day due to its political symbolism and simple/direct metaphors.

This short book only has about 140 pages, but it’s filled with truth and thought provoking scenes. There’s much to be learned from Orwell’s classic. It’s eye opening and definitely changes the way one looks at government and society as a whole.

Here are five major and disturbing life lessons from Animal Farm:

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1 – Workers will work harder if they think they’re working for themselves.

The animals on the farm work twice as hard for their new swine leader and eat a lot less because they feel they’re working for themselves instead of a human master.

The pig basically turned the farm animals into free-labor slaves by making the animals think they were working for themselves and not man. They accepted less food and did twice as much labor than they did for the human owner.

The animals were being fooled, of course. They were lied to and made to believe they worked towards their own self-interest when in reality, their new pig leader was taking full advantage of their loyalty.

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2 – Creating imaginary, powerful enemies increases loyalty and faith in the leader.

The animals on the farm are constantly fed the stories that a menacing thief and saboteur is destroying their hard work. Not only is their leader lying about this, but he’s the one actually stealing more food for himself and his posse.

If you want to increase the loyalty of your followers, make up an evil enemy. Make them scared and angry at this imaginary foe. They will then allow you to steal more of their freedoms because they’ll trust you to protect them from the false enemy. In return, you as the corrupt leader will get more goods for yourself and more blind trust from your subjects.

Fake, evil enemies/antagonists = loyalty and the submission of freedom.

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3 – The fear of losing accustomed comforts will increase loyalty.

In Animal Farm, the farm animals occasionally grow tired and somewhat question the pig’s decisions. In all of these instances, the pig basically says, “Well at least we have it better now than we did with our man owner.” Or, “Hey, we have it much better than those animals on the other farms.” And then all the animals agree for fear of losing their new “freedom” and go back to work.

A lot of times, we don’t question the way things are because we’re afraid of losing some of the goods and services we feel we’re lucky to have. This doesn’t only apply to countries and governments. This is also typically the case with relationships and careers as well. We’re afraid to quit and move on because of the unknown awaiting us after the departure.

From Animal Farm, it’s implied that maybe it’s better to question the situation and try and improve conditions instead of living in misery for fear of the unknown, potentially arduous future.

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4 – History repeats.

Good intentions are common in the beginning of everything. With time, however, evil, selfishness, and greed tend to find their way back into all establishments.

How do we avoid becoming the very sinister institutions we work so very hard to escape from? History, corruption, and governments – they all tend to follow vicious cycles. They start out wanting to make a difference and end up wanting only to protect themselves.

Lies, greed, deception, stealing the freedoms of citizens, civil disturbances – it’s never ending.

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5 – Think for yourself. Question your leaders, question everything.

Anytime in Animal Farm, when an outlier calls the pig out on his inconsistencies, the pig and his crew quickly create fables to cover their tracks. They blame false enemies, they blame the animals for not trusting their leaders, and they use violence often.

Instead of questioning the pig further, the animals accept the lies and punishment and continue on with their arduous labor and starvation.

We want to believe that our leaders have our best interests in mind. We want to trust that they’ll protect us because we’re their people and because we pay them taxes and have a “democracy.” But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s probably rarely the case.

I’m not just referring to federal, massive governments. This applies to everything – bosses, relationships, partners, friends, team captains, heroes, etc. Learn to think for yourself and don’t always accept everything you hear, see, or read. Question everything.

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Animal Farm is short, insightful read and I would suggest everyone read and analyze this metaphorical story. Though it was written in retaliation to a specific government of Orwell’s time, it continues to be applicable and valid in modern society.

Question everything, watch out for repeating history, don’t be afraid to work towards a better life, make sure the enemies aren’t imaginary, and don’t be fooled into thinking you’re working for yourself. Reality can be disturbing, but we can’t be blind to the truth forever.

See the swine for what they are – gluttonous pigs.

Thank you for reading this post. Fight to keep your freedom.


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4 Insightful Life Lessons from…Rude People

No matter who you are or where you find yourself wandering, rude people are unfortunately unavoidable from time to time. Especially when working for the public and dealing with customers, it’s inevitable that we all come across these unpleasant humans occasionally.

It’s never fun to encounter those who are impolite and disrespectful, but looking on the bright side, there are four life lessons to be learned from brash people:

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1 – Being rude makes a person generally unhappy.

Typically, rudeness is a vicious cycle. Let’s say a certain lady is in a poor mood and treats a cashier with ill-tempered shortness and disrespect. By being so mean, this lady is going to worsen her already sucky mood. This will lead her to continue her impertinent behavior. She will keep spreading negativity and consequently hamper her own happiness.

Look at the people who are always rude and I can almost guarantee they are also rarely happy. They have let a poor mood fester and grow into an overall judgmental and mean-spirited personality.

If you want to be happy, don’t be rude to others. Hurting feelings is a sure way to inadvertently destroy your own emotional state. You won’t be ruining another person’s day, you’ll be ruining your own day.

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2 – Never make others feel the way rude people make a person feel.

One of the golden rules of life is to “treat others as you would like to be treated.” When someone treats me poorly, disrespects me, or is just flat out cruel to me – I know in my soul that I absolutely, sincerely hope that I NEVER make another person feel that way.

All the times someone was rude to me, it reinforced a behavior that I want to be totally sure I never repeat to others. I don’t want to make others feel poorly about themselves. I don’t want to hurt feelings. I don’t want to be an example of how not to treat people.

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3 – We are all going through hard times.

Whenever I encounter a rude person, I’ve learned to picture that person’s personal life as being stressful and strenuous. When taking this perspective, it’s easier to brush off the negativity and write off any rude comments as that person letting off steam and taking things out on me.

It’s not okay to take things out on others who have no clue what you’re going through, but many people do this unknowingly and it comes off as sheer disrespect. There’s no excuse for this behavior, so don’t let it affect you.

If you’re dealing with an impertinent human, don’t let that person upset you. He/she probably has a lot going on personally and is unfairly taking insecurities out on the wrong person. Don’t take it personally. The rude person is stressing out and needs to learn better ways of dealing with it than yelling at innocent bystanders.

On the flip side of this – make sure to never let your personal life issues lead you to explode onto those who have nothing to do with it. Find healthy ways to deal with stress because every human on the planet is dealing with something internally.

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4 – Life is too short for insolence.

Deep down we all want to leave a legacy on this planet. Don’t waste time being impatient and disrespectful. Life is too short to waste precious minutes on malicious behavior.

All we’ve been given is one life and we need to make the most of it. Don’t waste time being unhappy and spreading negativity. Instead, spend time enjoying what we have and spreading good spirits. Make others feel loved, not “less than.”

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That’s what my experiences with rude people has taught me. It’s never a pleasant moment in the midst of another’s poor attitude, but it has taught me how NOT to act. And perhaps, that’s just as important as being taught the right way to act.

On a less serious note, I’ve also learned that rude people HATE it when you’re super nice to them. Kill ’em with kindness. Flash a huge, cheesy grin. 😀

Thanks for reading this post. Go out and spread positivity and don’t let the rude people bring you down.


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Everything and Nothing (Simultaneously)


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Game of Thrones Haikus

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3 Tips from The Most Dangerous Game

Published in 1924, The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell is a suspenseful short story. The main character, Rainsford, is sailing by a mysterious island on his way to the Amazon to hunt jaguars. He and his mate discuss the ominous land in the distance.

Rainsford admits he has a bad feeling about the place and ends up shipwrecked on the island soon after. He quickly meets the owner of the dark island and learns the reason why this place is feared.

This is a short, exciting read and even better – it’s in the public domain (it’s free).

The Most Dangerous Game provides three lessons about life:

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1 – Put yourself into the shoes of the prey.

Rainsford shows a hint of an ethical dilemma early on in the story as he speaks to his partner on the ship. He brings up the question of how the jaguars they’re hunting will feel about being hunted. This foreshadows the fact that Rainsfored will very soon become the hunted instead of the hunter.

Not only with the sport of hunting, but with all things in life – put yourself into the other person’s shoes. How are your decisions and actions going to affect others around you? How are you actions going to make others feel? Are you doing what’s right by other people or are you having fun at the expense of the “prey?”

Consider others’ feelings and show empathy. Don’t pursue things that aren’t necessary if it’s going to severely hurt someone else.

2 – Don’t let your guard down.

The owner of the island and his exhilarating “game” came to an abrupt end because he let his guard down. He thought he was safe in his home and he allowed himself to grow overconfident in his ability to be the hunter. He left himself open for Rainsford to sneak in and end the suffering of shipwrecked sailors.

Even if you’re the best in the game or at the top of the food chain, stay on your toes. Don’t let outsiders come in and destroy your hard earned empire by getting cocky. Don’t assume there’s no one out there capable of one-upping your skills.

Stay fresh and humble until it’s time to retire.

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3 – People need to be challenged.

Rainsford discovers that the owner of the island hunts down men because of man’s ability to reason, unlike his big game prey. The owner hunted every type of animal and grew bored with the lack of competition from the creatures. Consequently, he turned to hunting men.

Obviously the man had a bit of sociopath in his genes. The owner could have found other ways to satisfy his thrill (like maybe trying to hunt with only a knife instead of using a gun?).

But the fact remains that if we as humans are not challenged, we will grow uninterested and we will lose motivation.

Keep yourself challenged and always explore new opportunities to test yourself. This will keep you from growing idle and seeing life as mundane.

(Disclaimer – don’t hunt people, or any animals either. I’m not condoning hunting of any kind here except the hunt for self-improvement.)

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To recap, The Most Dangerous Game‘s Life Lessons are to put yourself into the shoes of the prey, never let your guard down, and keep yourself challenged.

On a safety note, watch out for spiked pits and flying knives if you’re trekking through the jungle. These might severely injure you and your hounds.

Thanks for reading. Try not to get shipwrecked on an island owned by a psycho.

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3 Motivating Lessons from I, Eye Guy

Eye Guy makes his appearance in episode 8 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1. Eye Guy is a guy, covered all over in eyes. I bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Rita is starting to understand that she and her minions aren’t very smart, so she concocts a plan to steal a young boy with high intelligence. Why is Rita’s latest solution to her problems to kidnap children? That’s not going to solve anything, Rita.

Anyways, there are three big life lessons in “I, Eye Guy”:

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1 – Don’t let the putties get you down.

The Rangers walk their little friend to his science fair. Along the way they’re attacked by putties. Once they defeat the putties, they continue walking to the fair.

Don’t let distractions and haters keep you from achieving your goal. Brush them off, maybe kick them in the chest, and then go on about your day as if nothing happened. Don’t be upset, don’t dwell on it, just keep doing your thing.

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2 – Go after a friend in need.

The little boy’s science project is disqualified because the judge thinks the boy is playing around and causing a scene at the fair. Though it wasn’t the boy’s fault, he can’t convince the judge and runs away from the fair upset. Concerned, Billy, Jason, and Zack go after the boy.

When a friend runs off and acts like he/she doesn’t want to talk, that might be when that friend needs you most. We all do irrational, crazy things when we’re emotional and hysterically upset. We need a friend to chase after us and give us a hug or a pat on the back to let us know that everything will be okay.

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3 – Let your work speak for you.

The boy returns to the fair after his kidnapping by Eye Guy and rescue by the Power Rangers. He’s delighted to find the judge and another person laughing and enjoying his exciting invention.

The judge honors the boy with a first-place blue ribbon. The kid doesn’t have to speak, in fact, he thought he’d been kicked out of the fair. But because his invention is so well designed, he’s automatically pushed to the top of the ranks.

Let your hard work and valuable creations do all the talking for you. Too many people talk too much and produce nothing of value or interest. They’re all talk. Sometimes it’s more productive to keep your head down, your mouth closed, and work nonstop on your goal.

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That’s it for “I, Eye Guy.” Don’t let the putties get you down, go after friends in need, and let your work speak for you.

On an employer note, if you’re trying to kidnap a child because your minions aren’t smart enough, just fire them and hire new employees. Why go through the trouble of stealing a kid? Seriously, Rita.

Thanks for reading this post. Watch out for those internal vortexes.

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Sea Rim State Park


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Dear Past…Go

I don’t much obsess over you anymore. Thank the Lord, or whomever. I guess I’ve just got brighter things in my life now. I have a plan now. Well, not a plan. That’s laughable, I suppose. But I have dreams and goals.

And where are you? Stuck back in 2002?

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I don’t want to change you, Past. Not anymore. You’re set in stone so what good is it to pray for some change to a published book? No go backs. And that’s fine. I don’t want to go back. The future is bright.

The future might not be bright, Past. But it doesn’t matter because it’s my choice. It’s my book of blank pages. You’re already published, Past, so rot, rust, and collect dust. I’ve got some more writing to do.

Thanks for the lessons, Past. You can keep most of the memories. I’ll be making more everyday now. I’ll be moving forward instead of looking back.

Past, I won’t miss you. In fact, I’ll be glad you’re gone.

No offense, Past, I’m just moving on.

Sincerely,

A Dreamer


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Advice from Big Sisters To Help You in a Crisis

Two powerful giant eggs in a magic box sit quietly in a cave near Angel Grove. Rita knows these eggs contain “universal power,” but learns that only an innocent child can open the box containing the eggs.

Rita’s solution = create a giant chicken and kidnap a child. Because, why not? She’s an evil witch.

The conflict arises when putties crash a peaceful picnic with Kimberly, Trini, and a child they’re helping. The girls fight but the putties end up teleporting away with the child.

There are four important life lessons in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 1:7:

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1 – Stay calm in a crisis.

Kimberly starts to lose a little of her cool while the team of rangers searches for the missing child. Jason calmly reminds her to settle down and reassures her that they’ll succeed in locating and rescuing her little friend.

Kimberly is close to this child and probably feels somewhat responsible for the kid’s kidnapping, so she’s not keeping a level head. Thankfully, team leader Jason is there to talk her down and keep her mind on the mission at hand.

Stay calm in a crisis because panicking won’t help anyone but the enemy. You won’t accomplish anything if you don’t keep your cool and focus on the task.

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2 – Find alternatives if the normal path isn’t available.

The Rangers’ teleportation and communication devices are malfunctioning just when they need them. They need the guidance of Zordon but aren’t able to speak with or see him right away.

The Rangers don’t give up, they don’t get angry, they just find another way to get to Zordon. Billy saves the day with his new invention, the “Rad Bug.” It’s basically a slug bug that flies. So the Rangers end up flying in the “Rad Bug” to the Command Center.

Problem solved.

Regarding real life, if something isn’t working don’t give up or get angry. Be creative and find another way to accomplish your goal. The possibilities are endless if only you explore them.

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3 – Sometimes the boss has to come get his/her hands dirty.

Once the Rangers launch the precious power eggs back into the lake, Rita rides her 18th century bicycle down from space and joins the fight. This is the first time Rita has directly entered a fight with the Rangers on Earth.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, right? The boss is the leader, the commanding officer, but that doesn’t mean he/she can’t come down and help out the employees if they’re struggling. It’s builds respect to see the boss come in and do some grunt work for a change.

Of course, Rita achieves nothing with her appearance. I’m not sure she gained any respect. She’s a terrible example.

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4 – Don’t kidnap children.

Obviously.


“Big Sisters” ends with the child claiming she’ll now be the most “popular” in her class because she was rescued by the Power Rangers. At least she has good priorities.

Always stay calm, find alternatives if your way isn’t working, the boss should get her hands dirty occasionally, and don’t kidnap children. Thanks, “Big Sisters.”

On an inventive note, I learned that a great way to create monsters to fight the Power Rangers is to abnormally enlarge everyday animals. Make that farm animal super big and boom – we have our next villain.

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you aren’t disqualified from any science fairs today.

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2 Eye-Openers from the Flat Earth Theory

Last year a kid told me about his theory that the Earth is actually flat, not round. I laughed it off until I listened to a podcast on this very conspiracy theory a few weeks ago.

It was then that I realized that this idea that the Earth is flat is an actual movement – this thought is spreading. Grown men and women are buying into it. There are events out there promoting the Flat Earth Theory.

I didn’t learn about the shape of the Earth from this theory, but I did learn a couple facts about life:

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1 – An idea, no matter how insane or irrational, can spread immensely.

Whoever started this modern movement has done a great job of amassing followers. There’s no doubt about that. A full on conspiracy theory has developed and all of the spherical Earth images found online are viewed as lies by this group.

Ideas can potentially be the most powerful resources on the planet. Some are used for good, others are used to cause destruction. We all have ideas both small and large. We all hear about, read about, or spread ideas everyday. It’s only natural and it’s a gift. Ideas allow us to use our intelligent thinking and creative sides.

Some ideas have the power to spread across populations, regardless of the intent. In fact, the crazier the claim, the more likely it will probably spread.

Be careful about what you spread as far ideas go. Most importantly, be careful what you believe.

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2 – People will look for faults and lies in everything.

I believe having a hint of skepticism in life is a good trait. Some people think, “Hey, they’re lying to us about the shape of the Earth!” Maybe they are. Who knows? Who are they? And what motive would “they” have to lie to us about this topic? Regardless, we all have the right to ask these questions.

Having skepticism also allows the other side to say, “I don’t believe that theory. I think the images of round Earth are legit and that theory is incorrect.” We all have the right to make this statement as well.

Whatever you believe, you have the right to believe that. I respect those who stand by their belief systems. Make intelligent conjectures and question everything. We shouldn’t believe everything “they” tells us, but we also aren’t being lied to about all the details.

Be skeptical, not insanely cynical, but a bit skeptical.

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That’s what the Flat Earth Theory taught me. I’m personally not a fan of the theory but if you are, I respect that. Ideas have power, question everything.

On a daily routine note, it wouldn’t affect my everyday life if the Earth were flat or even a pyramid. Nothing would change except the structure of Google Earth.

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you think of some great ideas today.

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