Facebook asks “What’s on your mind, Tomer?”
Thanks for asking, Facebook. Let me tell you what’s on my mind.
But at the top of my mind is Love. Capital L love. And topmost in my thoughts of Love is my love of my family, especially my household, Melissa, Cameryn and Nolan.
I love my family so much. I’d die for them. But I also get to live for them, which is way better. And I stand by them no matter what. That’s not always easy, is it Facebook?
They need me to give to them — my time, my energy, my focus, my dedication, my priority. It could be so much easier if there were no demands on me for these things. I could instead perhaps do other ‘stuff’, like scrolling endlessly through you, Facebook. But what would the purpose of that be? It would be nothing near the purpose of being there for my family.
Having a family is promise to embark on an important project for the rest of your life, and one that will go on past the end of your life. We humans are of course all here only because our parents had a family, and theirs before them, and so on to the very beginning of life.
And the future itself depends on people having families. And I have mine. And the fact that the people I love might hopefully someday have people that they love, and that this cycle will continue for many generations is the purpose of my life.
Out of love, I dedicate my life to both the immediate and long term needs and happiness of my family. That is my purpose. Not the pursuit of riches. Not the pursuit of fame. Not the pursuit of power. The pursuit of health, happiness and a proper pursuit of wealth — of being able to provide for their needs and their healthy desires.
There are daily and monthly demands: Driving, cooking, paying bills, laundry, talking with them about important matters, teaching them, loving them, showing affection, showing support, and countless other responsibilities. I take pleasure in each, because they all support my purpose. Even emptying the dishwasher.
There are also demands that I choose to take on for the long term: To make the world a better place; To resist evil that threatens my family’s health and happiness, both now and in the long run. That is a hard task. The required activities are rarely obvious. One must deal with much larger scale issues than those involved in putting away the dishes.
The work I have chosen to do, I have chosen because I believe it is the best way to achieve my purpose. My work, to be clear, is more than the energy I put into things that some company or customer pays me money to do.
I have sought out and, finally, found paying work that supports making the world a better place for the future that my family and others’ will live in. I am so deeply grateful for that to the people I do that paid work with and for.
But even this post, Facebook, is part of my work, and nobody is paying me for this.
My work is to do everything I can to build a better future for humanity, at a time when humanity’s future does not look so bright. My family lives in humanity and it is my love for them principally, but also out of my love for my fellow humans, that I do this.
We do need to build a better future. We’re not headed towards one. Our leaders have failed us. They pretty much acknowledge everything is broken when they talk about building back better, and all of them do. Well, if you need to build back, you’re in reconstruction. And I don’t think that these people who have led us into this situation — these people who didn’t know how to take care of what was already built — have any idea of how to build back.
I don’t fault them for it. It’s hard stuff, and I myself do not pretend to have all the answers. That would be tremendously arrogant. That type of arrogance though is what I do fault them for. But enough about them, because I want to focus on Love.
You see I can identify the problems, and so can most people. Not all the problems, but many problems. Anyone who spends any time with you, Facebook, will quickly have their heads filled with awareness of many problems. And one problem that comes from being aware of so many problems is the big problem of becoming hopeless and falling into depression, sadness, hopelessness, or any of similar negative outlook.
But while it is possible to identify problems, it is not necessary to focus on the problems. Focusing on the problems is where depression and sadness come from. Instead, one can focus on the solutions. And that is what I have chosen to do. And let me tell you, Facebook, it actually feels great. I am filled with hope, with purpose, with joy, with energy, with commitment, with devotion and with conviction.
There’s a lot to fix, so I’m not going to run out of things to focus on for a long time. I won’t run out of them in my lifetime.
We need to fix healthcare, medicine, education, energy, agriculture, media, politics, and economics as a whole. We need to fix the fact that people are depressed because they see that we need to fix all these things and don’t know how.
I understand why there are some people who don’t acknowledge the need to fix all of these things. Some genuinely don’t see the fact that they could be much better. Some are conflicted because they benefit from the brokenness of the system. Some are willfully blind and refuse to see because they are afraid of what it would imply to admit these hard truths.
Acknowledging something is broken implies we need to do the work to fix it or build something better in its place, and that’s not easy.
Our past couple of generations, the ones born a generation or more after World War II, have been born into a world where they thought everything had been figured out. This is especially true of us westerners who were born into a world with roads, buildings, factories, clean drinking water, abundant food, education, antibiotics, vaccines, surgery, dentistry, peaceful elections, automobiles, and increasingly, a digital domain that would look like science fiction magic to people living in the 1970s. Why, even you, Facebook, are like some kind of sorcery that allows me to share this note to you with potentially billions of people instantly and at no cost to me, although I doubt I will actually have even a hundred readers of it.
But despite all these modern wonders, something has gone very wrong. I mean, it’s not just one thing of course. Many many things are going wrong, and they don’t all have one single cause.
But one huge problem is this idea of ‘corruption’. Corruption has a few meanings and I mean all of them. There’s people who are corrupt — people who undermine the very things they are responsible to do — in exchange for some money, power or fame. If you want one example, take any of our dishonest politicians who make endless promises to get themselves cushy jobs and fame and power over other people’s lives, yet never solve the problems they promised they would solve, and never hold themselves accountable. The only thing they will resign over is failing to get elected, not failing to do the job they were elected to do. But again, let’s turn our attention to Love and hope, Facebook.
I’m not aiming to fix every problem, but I’m very bothered by corruption and that’s what I’m focussed on fixing. I think corruption is hurting the people I love so much. As the most important example in our case, my family needs excellent, honest, intelligent, timely health care. It’s been impossible to get this care for those of them who need it. This is mostly due to a different type of corruption, which is better described is decay.
Health care is decaying. Bureaucracy and regulation have grown rapidly while the number of medical practitioners has not. I’ve put a chart into this post, Facebook, so you can see just how crazy this is. Since 1970 the number of physicians in the US has only doubled. However, the number of ‘administrators’ has increased by about 3200%! What are all these administrators doing? Mostly telling doctors how they must do their jobs. It is a red-tape machine.
From personal experience I can tell you that being passed around from specialist to specialist, with long delays between appointments, with doctors telling us that they are forbidden from commenting outside their specialization, and therefore not having any interest in exploring it, has become the norm.
I can’t imagine how much money is wasted and how much health is unimproved. So I really want to focus on how to build a less burdened health care system. I won’t offer all my thoughts on how to do that here though, even though they are on my mind and you did ask me what’s on my mind, Facebook.
I just wanted to tell you that I’m focused on working to make these things better, and I know I’m not alone, although I do believe I’m in a small minority.
I think we have this mental health crisis in our civilization because many people see the problems and don’t know how to focus on fixing them. And I think we have both very powerful and nearly powerless people who’s incentives lie in keeping the system the way it is, which is in a state of decline.
And if anyone is reading this and wants to discuss how they can find hope and work towards a more hopeful future, I welcome the chance to talk with you, for both our sakes, and the sake of our families, who we both love dearly, and the sakes of all those people who love their families dearly too.