Everything Will Always Be Okay

I'll give the warning now that this post will feature a lot of talk about political figures and maybe some political ideas. I'm not too sure about the latter because I haven't written it yet. Despite this, there will be very little expression of my political beliefs. Rather, this post will cover such individuals due to the very nature of the topic.

My job has allowed me to spend a lot more time listening to audiobooks. That's why today's blog post is brought to you by Audible. So I've finally been able to finish the 11 book long Southern Victory series, which depicts what the world would be like if the South had won the American Civil War and there was both a United States and a Confederate States of America. Once I finished that, I read, or listened to, Joe Steele, which explores the idea of Joseph Stalin being an American Democrat and becoming President in 1932. After finishing that, I've now started John Steinbeck's East of Eden. Admittedly, I'm not sure what's going on in this book beyond loose references to biblical stories, but there is a paragraph that really stood out to me at the end of the 2nd chapter.

He talks about immigrants settling on land and building entire farms on it with no prior knowledge or experience and somehow succeeding and growing large families from nothing. The narrator firsts asks if a strong belief in God is what makes this possible, but he instead suggests that it's a belief in themselves "because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units." He then says that such a thing has disappeared because men don't trust themselves anymore and they're left to find a strong man and to dangle from his coattails, even if he is wrong.

This got me thinking. Jake Featherston in Southern Victory, Joe Steele, and real historical figures like Adolf Hitler or Donald Trump, even celebrities, Justin Bieber, Lizzo, K-Pop Stars. All of these people are figures who trust(ed) in themselves and managed to build an empire of followers who truly believe(d) that they could do no wrong. They always do and say the right thing and anyone who opposes them is a problem. In our constant search for betterment, it seems like common sense, but trusting and respecting yourself is a vital trait if you want to be able to get anything significant done. Doubt comes strong and we don't realize how much we know and how much we can do until we're truly put to the test.

How do notorious dictators gain their positions? A lot of it is simple power games, being the best spoken and put together in a group of radicals, but you can't trick a nation into giving you supreme control if they don't like you. Featherston is modeled after Hitler, and so the story of their rise to power is near identical. Both gain influence following World War I when their nation is in the worst state it's ever been. They are passionate in their beliefs and they can speak in a way that energize the populace and they start getting the country out of the hole that it's been in. This makes even more people believe in them and their ideas. Against all odds, they have risen to a place where everyone is seeing them and knows their name. Jake Featherston's Freedom Party faces outright hatred following a party member assassinating the newly elected president. These people overcome these massive setbacks. Eventually, both Hitler and Featherston become dictators and they become responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Stalin/Steele faced less setbacks, but even with his ability to make anyone who opposed him "disappear", he still needed the charisma and the belief in himself to gain any support from anyone else.

There's that story that youtuber recently did a video on the high school teacher which turned the school into a totalitarian state. He showed how easy it is for a place to fall under such control and only realize it when it becomes too late. The United States is lucky that it has a system which has managed to prevent such a regime even amid the Great Depression and The War on Terror. I won't say that I agree with the National Defense Authorization Act or the PATRIOT Act, but I know that there are people still out there today who say very negative things about government officials, and they still haven't recieved that knock on the door at midnight.

I've always said that blind followership is a sign of a weak mind. But maybe I'm wrong, or at least misguided. If you look at it from the perspective of trust. These people are confident and trust and respect themselves. The dictators, the politicians, the celebrities all do. They gain followers who adore them. If something bad happens to them, they are genuinely distraught as if it was something that happened to a loved one. They see the person they faollow as the victim who is fighting to do the right thing or just trying to live their life and everyone else is in the way and shouldn't oppose them. These followers aren't your well educated, confident bunch. It's the people who don't seem to have things going right for them. These people enter the follower's life with this glowing charisma, moving speech, energy, power. The follower becomes enamored, they spread the word and the belief grows. The pushback they get from some peers is their first hint at what becomes "the problem". In a totalitarian state, they get the ability to report those who push back and they get to surround themselves in people who think they way they do more easily. But it all still happens and works out with modern social media. People are in echo chambers which reinforce and radicalize their ideas and they can do something about the naysayers. This applies to politics and pop culture. This is your reminder of the K-Pop stans doxxing people on twitter.

Okay that's enought talking this phenomenon in the world and I'll actually get into the reason why we're here. Believe it or not, if you trust in yourself, you'll find yourself with a strong mind, things just start working out for you, people will be drawn to you. Whether you want it or not, you'll find yourself with power in some way. You might not have a position of power, but people will be drawn to you. Some of the masses that don't trust or respect themselves. They might not bend over backwards for you and see you as their messiah, but we don't want that anyway. The influence on others is the least important part of all of this. It's about good things happening and going somewhere in life. We all have goals and a vision of our future where we're happy and successful. If you mope around all day and constantly say "there's no way I could do that" then you will constantly find yourself in struggle after struggle feeling hopeless. You'll find another person with strength and you'll use their success to make you feel better. But it's only a surface level of fulfuillment. Let's get well below the surface.

I don't know what it is. There might not be an explanation to it. Steinbeck calls it God and, honestly, that's the most logical explanation, any sort of otherworldly foce that has the ability to affect people's lives. But think of the last time that you were focused on yourself and you were confident in yourself and your betterment. Oddly enough, more good things tend to happen to you. Even the bad things seem like no big deal in that light. This phenomenon is what I'm talking about. We can reach unimaginable heights when we simply believe in ourselves. No, that doesn't mean that your dream job will be handed to you. You're going to bust your ass for that job. You'll have downs. But that's okay, it's normal. The goal is push through the downs and see the light in the darkness. You'll find yourself back in that light and things will be handed to you. The little things that picked at that back of your mind that worried you are suddenly solved. You've overcome the adversity and this is how you're rewarded.

But don't stop there. Unfortunately, it never stops. We never stop looking for higher. You've reached a minor goal and you're not going to stop until you get that damn cake. You might run to it, you might walk to it, you might crawl to it on bruised and bloodied hands and knees. When you're driven by a trust in yourself, it doesn't matter how easy or hard it is. If anything, if it's harder, it's even more rewarding when you finally achieve that minor goal. You'll be stronger, more well rounded, more capable of supporting yourself and others in the future.

Everything I talk about is easier said than done. I'm still working on all of this myself and I don't think I'll ever finish. "You have to reach the mountaintop a couple times to recognize that it's not a tangible thing." One thing that makes all of this so harder is that little thing called doubt. Some people have more doubt than others. Everyone doubts their abilities more in some subjects compared to others. But as I said, if you mope around and say you can't do something because it's a daunting task or out of your comfort zone, then you can't hope to ever achieve your dreams.

I have countless phrases to push past that doubt. "The only way to do something is to do it." "There's that voice in your head that constantly says 'I can't do this' but at some point you just have to say 'fuck it' and do it anyway." Simply use your trust in yourself to fight that doubt. I assure you that you're capable of so much more than you think you are and you know that too. Think of all the times that you just took that dive and went for something and everything worked out. A week from the day that I write this marks one year since I decided to make a life changing decision. I was terrified. I knew there were things that I wasn't prepared to face. But I went for it anyway because a part of me knew that it would be much better if I did it. I trusted in myself and all of my minor concerns seemingly magically worked themselves out.

This phenomenon of self-respect and trust and it leading to power and achieving great things is seen every day but no one really takes the time to understand how it all works. I guess we really don't know how it does seem to just work. But know that it does. You can achieve your dreams if you just take that dive. Put your faith in yourself and, as Steinbeck says, let the smaller securities take care of themselves. We live in a world that is indifferent to our existence. It is unlikely that any of us will do anything that will go down in history where our names are remembered (our word will live on, of course). When we die, our loved ones will be at our funeral and will mourn the loss of us, but the world will go on anyway. You could use this thought as a way to put you down and feel meaningless. But don't look at it that way. That indifference means that life always goes on regardless of our actions. I promise that no matter what happens. Everything will always be okay.