I used to make maps in my littler years. Those years I was intensly playing video games and trying to beat them. And learn the tricks. And do it in less time than anyone else. Long before I couldn’t get a move in Zelda accomplished and gave up gaming as an active player. Well, that story is longer than that and mucho more complicated. But that is all I will say at the moment.
So maps in Donkey Kong Country, maps in Zelda, maps in Jurassic park. All of it in detail, describing enemies in areas, how many, normal screen starting position and so on. Pages after pages of daring Nintendo power type guides of a step by step variety. Had to be pen and paper because my family could not afford Nintendo power or any other active strategy guides. This might have predated strategy guides anyway.
In later teenage years as I went through my early retirement phase, I would be actively reading a strategy guide while my still best friend would be kicking somethings ass on Resident Evil, or Silent Hill. Letting him know what was around corners and what particular zombies would need shotgunned or dismembered in the upcoming screen. Letting him know that a life could be found in the far corner or a batch of bullets would be needed and found under that shelf and so on.
Little did I know, that my childhood teachers would encourage us often as a class to design our own maps. Our own countries, our own flags, our own culture.
That’s what all these industrial to technological era advances are advocating for us to do. There is no map for something never been done before. There is no how to guide yet.
It is only up to us. We play the game, draw the map and hand that map to the next person in line to step up. We enjoy the results and then so can the next person and the next and et cetera.
So, when and where did we stop reading, producing and executing our maps? Who knows? I’m not your shrink. Get your own damn couch.
What if we were to become mapmakers once again?? Explorers as brave or braver than Lewis and Clark, early Mormon trekkers or Oregon trail mutilators? What then?
Could we expect a vastly different result in these times of weird upheaval and unlikely heroes.
Heroes in the older days used to be so damn easy to spot. Biggest dick, largest bank account, weirdest friends, healthiest abs… yada yada.
But today’s heroes look different. They act different. They aren’t surrounded by five elite people because our success magazines and their success magazines and those influential uber people are. They are simply people trying to work with what they got.
They have some awkward ass friends and some really random situations that they wind up in. Their friends may not be the five best people to hang out with but damn, they are loyal and you know where they stand.
Now, I’ve touched on the inner drama. It gets scarier from here on out.
I hear all the time from the “successful people” that we are the sum of the five people we hang out with. So, if we want to have money, we hang with the wealthy people. If we want to be beautiful, we hang out with the beautiful people. If we want to be whatever, we are told to assign our friendships based on what we can get out of the deal.
I’d like them to redefine their term of success.
How fake is it that people are hanging out with people for a possibly selfish end? Very, to me. Hypocritical. Scary even.
So, eff that notion for my life. IF that is what you seek, my words are not for you. In fact, you might want to cancel anything I’ve ever written as being of value to you.
My decisions and my life has always been aided greatly by people who come into my life. Not of my choosing, particularly. If I was to choose, I would not have half as many freaks, geeks and weirdos to call my best buds. You interpret that however you will. I’m not explaining, my friends know that we aren’t always the beautiful, successful, wonderful people that magazines only seem to offer. We are the grunged up hippies and monarchs of the service industry. We get your coffee, cook your food and establish our own little poverty stricken (nightmare to the actual beautiful, wealthy, successful people) wonderland. Its ok they know me here.
I was once attending a church as a youngster who became a teenager. I discovered girls there and loyalty and what it means to choose your friends based on a very unrealistic archetype. Eff that was the lesson.
The pastor once pulled me into his office to inform me that I would need to stop hanging out with my best friend. The one that had grown up in the same church, same (different) family situations with and so on. I jonesed for his sister. I knew his parents. I heard their fights, I knew their struggles just like they knew mine.
That right there, stopped me from going to church at that spot. It would be years before I even bothered trying to reconcile that. I might still have reservations about a preacher telling me what to do, friendwise. Was I a good influence on him or was he a bad influence on me? Doesn’t matter. Never did. We were friends. Friends who knew that we were our own person. No bullshit. No choosing ritual. We were responsible for our own actions.
So, success to me, is not the money. It’s the loyalty one can only earn not buy their rights to. That certain intangible gifts are not earned but entrusted to ones care.
So, will I hang out with only successful people because they are the five I need or want to spend time with? No. I will hang out with the interesting people that know the value of friendship and loyalty and sacrifice.
There was once a very enticing episode of HOUSE MD that House himself stated, “we don’t always get to choose who we are trapped in a room with” (paraphrased due to short memory mismappings on occasion). No, House, we do not.
Anyone interested in Lord of the Rings knows that Gollum was the weird, geeky, friend that no one would have ever requested the presence of. He might have been ugly and fiendish and selfish but we could not have chosen a better companion. You see, he really is the hero of the story. Quite unintentionally, actually. Without him, Frodo nor Sam might have thrown that damn, blasted ring into its own demise. Am I saying go find a Gollum? Hell no.
But I am saying that we do not know all ends. Nor do we know who will Judas kiss us or who will pull us up from deaths deep, dark clutches at a fateful moment. Further, lets not hang with those people just cause we want something. We all are trapped in that room with many people we all would rather not be with. From some peoples friends to some peoples families.
We can control the amount of drama allowed in though, lets not forget. So lets, control that drama and stop it from affecting other areas of our life. Just cause we have no way to monitor who or what will happen to us, we can take responsibility for our own parts and enjoy the adventures where we are able.
So, yes we started with maps. This map is a map of friendship. There will be more maps to come. This map tells us that we all should take a hard look at ourselves. If we are chasing something whether money, fame, power or some elusive thing, who is in our quest and why?
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