10 Pragmatics For Living A Higher Quality of Life

Pragmatics For Living

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

An interesting (kinda stupid) experiment

I’ve found 10 pragmatics for living a higher quality of life.  But before we get started, let’s take a moment to look at and make sure we understand what is meant by pragmatics for living.  Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics and semiotics that studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.  And to be pragmatic means dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

I was inspired to put together these 10 pragmatics for living a higher quality of life after an interesting (kinda stupid) experiment I played on myself.  I allowed myself to take the full force of Twitter.  After listening to a podcast with Joe Rogan and Jack Dorsey with Vijaya Gadde and Tim Poole, I realized that there’s a lot of Twitter I was filtering out.  A lot of the experiences they were describing were not my experiences.  I had heard about the vitriol and have seen it to a degree but never realized the magnitude of anger, cynicism, negativity and outright disregard for one’s humanity.

I often wonder what it takes for someone to be cruel

It’s almost as if some of these folks out there have forgotten that they’re tweeting to an actual person.  I often wonder what it takes for someone to be cruel and see a certain group as subhuman and literally remove their empathy for someone else.

Historically, what has happened in the past that allows one group of humans to eradicate another?  I mean how does an entire nation tolerate systematic genocide?  Whether that’s Nazi Germany or The United States.  Both countries are guilty of it and both countries have moved past it.

Yet, in many ways, we as a global community are still challenged with seeing

I think one of the things that makes it possible to be cruel, hateful and then disregard another’s humanity is fear.  Fear is a powerful emotion and if Yoda is correct here (and I think he is), fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.  This is also very much an “as in the micro, so in the macro” kind of thing.  This can be fear as a single person or as a community.  What fear?  Fear for survival.

We are driven to survive

Down to our very core, even at the cellular level, the drive to survive and not die is fundamental programming.  Fear means your brain for whatever reason feels its survival is being threatened.  Real or imagined, that fear requires a decision about what to do next.  And that decision happens so fast, you may not even notice it just occurred.  But it did.  If you’re a mama bear, you don’t decide, you just act.  As a human, you’re fully capable to decide your next action.  It’s the main thing that separates homo sapiens from the rest of the pack.

Response…  Ability.

The ability to respond.  And this ability, like any ability, atrophies when not used.  When people believe their survival is threatened, they start to question and consequently compromise their belief systems.  “I would never…”  Really?  Easier said than done.  Until you’ve stood on Corporal Upham’s stairs, better to just stay quiet.

YOU are just as guilty

Speaking of responsibility, let’s turn it inward for a second.  The reason the Triangle Trade happened, the reason the Calvary delivered infected blankets, the reason Germans looked the other way was their fear allowed them to see other people as less than human.  So, if you take anything away from this post, please take a moment and really ask yourself, who do you see as less than human?  And then what cruelty are you tolerating towards your fellow human.  They are not substandard.  Perhaps misinformed.  Perhaps they are operating from their own place of fear and making the wrong decision.  Anger is not the answer here.  Compassion and tolerance is the correct decision because they are hard and require you to be fully human and chose a better response.  Because ultimately, here’s what happens…

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook.  It’s very important for us to ensure that we do not get caught by it.  Anger is the real destroyer of our good human qualities; an enemy with a weapon cannot destroy these qualities, but anger can.  Anger is our real enemy… 

The Dali Lama

This quote is interesting because it doesn’t allow for any anger.  So even if you’re angry at an injustice, it’s still anger and it still destroys your good human qualities.  This is a deep level of responsibility.  It is all too easy to blame others for your anger and to pass your responsibility off to another but what happens when we do that?  We are also passing off control to someone else.

Blame is the energy that makes slaves.

-Grant Cardone | The 10X Rule 

And it is my belief that the media is in full awareness of this concept and the sole purpose of the news media in this generation is to keep YOU afraid, distracted, offended and in mystery.

Who’s in control of your life?

You are.  Don’t give that away.  Not to anyone or anything.  You are too amazing to pass control and responsibility off to anyone.

So… after a few weeks of observation and engagement I came up with 10 pragmatics for functioning on Twitter that as I looked at them, realized that these go well beyond the Twitter and are actually are 10 pragmatics for living a higher quality of life in general.  We’re hitting on real life now.

These are things to work on, these are things I’m working on and these are things you can start working on right now.  Be honest with yourself on these.  Be willing to pop out of your body for a sec and look at you and your behavior in the third person.  Observe.

The challenge and the question is, are you willing to confront YOUR fear, YOUR anger and YOUR hatred?

So, if your life experience isn’t matching your idea of what it should be, try these.  And here we go…

10 Pragmatics For Living A Higher Quality of Life

  1. Don’t be an asshole.  Period.
  2. Even if someone else is an asshole, doesn’t mean you get to be one too.  Seriously, there’s just no need to perpetuate the being of an asshole.  Stop the cycle of “assholeness”.
  3. Let go of your need to “be offended” and your need to “be right.  Your time on Earth is too short and way too valuable to spend it being offended and looking for outside validation.
  4. You are NOT limited by your color, sex, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or anything else that makes you uniquely glorious.
  5. Anyone who tries to give you any type of label and then convince you that because of that label you are somehow incapable, have limited potential or are at some disadvantage know that that person in reality is the real oppressor and is not a true friend.
  6. Being a victim and staying a victim are two very different things.  One is a moment in time the other is a choice and a habit that you learned or were taught by an oppressive source.
  7. You elevate others when you you elevate yourself.  You can be a better human by being a better human.  What are you doing to self-improve daily?  You are either getting better or your getting worse.
  8. Lack in life comes from lack of knowledge and skill.  What are you willing to tolerate from yourself?  Answer that before you sling any shade anywhere but at your own mirror.
  9. The life you are experiencing is created by your thoughts, actions, decisions and the meanings you assign to the things you currently believe are beyond your control.
  10. Go out there and be your awesome unique self