Juan Valencia's Website

Yet another year

As I grow older, my perception of the world is constantly transforming. I would say that the world around me is transforming as well, but only part of it is changing. While the technology and the achievements of our civilization advance, the truth is that our civilization never changes. We are dealing with the very same issues that our ancestors faced: insatiable greed, endemic corruption, the desire of small groups of individuals to control the population, discrimination, selfishness, you name it. But, on top of this, we are facing new problems never faced before by previous generations: an overpopulation that is reaching unimaginable levels, which leads to hunger and even more disputes over the limited resources of our planet. And the unprecedented contamination of the planet.

With such problems at hand it is easy to miss the fact that the right to privacy, which our ancestors fought and died to gain, are slowly being eroded by the governments across pretty much all nations of the world, and the robbery of the culture of our nations by powerful multinationals under the pretext of "protecting the artists", even though they rob from the artists themselves everything that they can take. And thankfully patents here are not the nightmare that are in the United States, although we have a very costly war on the drug cartels in my country (Mexico) at the moment, and we are getting closer to a police state by the day, the government here had already started getting the biometric information of the children.

This is the world that I face at my 29th birthday, I, and most of the people of my generation and of future generations had no say or hand in bringing the world to this reality, but we still have to face it anyway, and hopefully change it, despite the efforts of the older generation for control our generation and our cultural heritage. Because it is our cultural heritage that which our governments sold to the entertainment industry. I will never be able to freely and legally use and build upon the great majority of the art created during my lifetime, in fact, my children and maybe my grand children won't be able to do this with the great majority of art created during my lifetime thanks to the greedy politicians that are currently governing us.

But in my opinion, all of the generations currently inhabiting the planet have one problem, and this problem is apathy. Most of us seem to have a complete indifference for the problems that are not affecting us right at this moment, even though they have others on the verge of complete desperation, even though our children are going to have to deal with the problem in the future, and even though the problem is going to eventually affect us. We are so tired and sometimes depressed, that we would rather sit down in front of our television box or in front or a browser with facebook loaded than dedicate even a little time to do something of anybody else, not even to ourselves.

I know this, I had the same problem some years ago, I didn't care for hungry people beyond being condescending and the occasional charity until things gave a wrong turn and I experienced hunger myself. In the end, it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, because for many years I drifted through life without a dream and without a purpose. I have no idea how I am going to change things yet, I am still recovering from that economic downturn, but I am not going to just sit and watch things happen, I haven't post as often lately because, among other things, I am researching more about poverty and I am trying to find a way to obtain funds to distribute them among the ones whom need them in my local area, and this is new for me.

To not make this post even longer, because I do tend to write a lot, I would like to share some lessons that I learned while living, in the hope that someone else finds them useful:

  1. Don't idealize. I actually have a whole post about this, but it is basically how by idealizing the end result of a project we may never get it done, and by idealizing a person we may get disappointed when they don't live up to our expectations.
  2. Don't assume an answer, ask. Our insecurities may make us refrain from asking a question because, let's face it, we dread negative answers. But even though we may do get a negative answer, by not asking we don't even have a chance of a positive answer, you may be surprised how many of those answers turn out to be "yes".
  3. Don't judge a person based solely in what others say. I made this mistake once, and I lost what may have become a beautiful friendship for that, I was 10 back then, but I never forgot that lesson.
  4. Keep your goals where you can see them. If you don't write your goals, and you don't check it each and every day, they are just wishes. Unfortunately I can't remember where did I read this, but I think is one of the best advices.
  5. They are not you (or that person that you know). We tend to identify ourselves in other persons, but nobody else is you. If you want something, don't think "it didn't work for him/her, so it won't work for me", go for it.
  6. Question what you are told. The person saying it is also human, with it's own biases, preconceptions, and ideology. I am not necessarily saying to question the person while is saying it, you can check the facts at home and then choose what to conclude.
  7. Know when enough is enough. The idea of fighting up to the very end regardless of the cost is very romantic, and I like to go to great distances when I try to accomplish something, but, some times one needs to accept the fact that some things are just not going to happen, it doesn't matter how much and how hard we try to make them happen. Don't waste your life, your health and everything on something, leave this for when you are fighting for your life purpose.
  8. Admit when you are wrong, and accept the fact that you are human and you can be wrong.