One truth and a few pieces of advice


You’re here.

Try your best to make it worth the trouble.

Try not to cause too much damage.

Try to comfort – if you can.

Try to lighten someone else’s load – if you can.

Try to stay healthy.

Try to stay strong.

Look out for big and small breakthroughs that can take you to a higher level, or just to a better place.

Be grateful for the good things in your life. Be grateful when you’ve survived something bad.

And remember: We are not born into the same circumstances, or with the same abilities or talents. And yet, your life remains, to a significant extent, the result of how you play with the cards you were dealt.


What is your travel philosophy?


You are born as part of other people’s life journeys.

By the time you develop an awareness of what is going on, your own journey has already been going on for some time.

What’s the point? What is your goal? Why are you continuing the journey? What is your travel philosophy?

Make your journey as painless and happy as possible. If you can make one other person’s journey, or several other people’s journeys, less painful, more comfortable, and happier, then that’s a good thing too – and would probably make your own journey more worthwhile.

(By the way, happy 20-year anniversary of the first time I formulated this exact thought.)


How are things on Tuesday 30 January 2024?


For new readers: I am 52 years and seven months old. I’ve been living in the south of Taiwan for more than 25 years, for the last 15 years or so with my wife, and for the last decade with two cats. And so on and so on.

Israel and Gaza: If one observes what Israel has done to Gaza and the Palestinians since 7 October 2023, I imagine a conversation between the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and an advisor:

Netanyahu: “What should our response be to Hamas?”

Advisor: “We need to destroy Hamas, even if we destroy the entire territory of Gaza and wipe out every man, woman and child who live there.”

Netanyahu: “Wouldn’t that be considered genocide?”

Advisor: “I guess it would.”

Netanyahu: “Let’s go.”

Trump as next US President: What do I know about American politics, and I am exceptionally bad at predictions, but I think Trump is indeed going to win the election in November 2024. Why would the Deep State and their thousands of collaborators in the political establishment, the media, academia, and the entertainment world allow this? Because Trump will give them what they need. He will put a stop to the waves of undocumented immigrants flowing across the US border. They would criticise him while he’s doing it, even though they’ll know he is solving a problem they caused. He will put a stop to the excesses of the so-called Social Justice Left of the last decade or so. Of course they would pay lip service to the ideology while he tries to bottle it back up. He will also at least make an attempt to negotiate with Putin – for which they will also criticise him, knowing that everyone including their pet project Zelensky needs it. Israel is not a problem, because Trump would continue to support Israel in their effort to empty Gaza and probably the West Bank of Palestinians.

America in the Middle East: If America continues to assist Israel with weapons, money, and moral support in their mass murder of the residents of Gaza in an attempt to prepare the area for colonisation by Israeli occupiers, armed groups in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and perhaps Egypt will continue to attack US troops and bases in the Middle East. This will put America in a difficult situation. More American boots on the ground is not going to work. Bombing campaigns will only work on a scale that does not involve Iran. If Iran gets involved, it would likely be with missiles against which America cannot protect its assets in the region. America knows this, which means they know they are playing with fire. Are they stupid enough to dip their fingers in gasoline and then stick them in the flames?

Russia and Ukraine: A few more months of thousands of men (and women) desperately pushing against Russian military supremacy to keep a morally corrupt government in Kiev in power, enabling their bloodthirsty political masters in Washington to steal several more billion dollars from the American taxpayer. Eventually, Russia will occupy Kiev, and among other places will also incorporate Odessa into the Russian Federation – to the approval of the majority of the population in those areas. What would remain and continue to be known as Ukraine would move its capital to Lvov.

Next South African election: Unfortunately, South Africa does not have a viable alternative to the ruling African National Congress. However, if a coalition does emerge between opposition parties and it seems that there is a greater than 50% chance that they might unseat the ANC, the government would suddenly discover that the American government is interfering in the election in order to punish the ANC for the case the government brought against Israel at the International Court of Justice in January 2024. I suspect this is what actually moved the ANC government to make the case against Israel in the first place, seeing that it is common knowledge that the ANC government itself is morally corrupt. The government would then use this real or imagined interference to postpone the election, or if the election actually takes place and they lose significant enough support, refuse to accept the results.

* * *

As for the existential experience of being a 52-year-old man living in southern Taiwan, married, two cats – actually my wife’s pets because they simply accept me as a fourth animal in the house … Stay tuned.


Why the truth doesn’t have to be a black pill


Once again, what is life about? It’s a struggle for survival, and for some degree of happiness to make the struggle worth it. And at the end, you hope you don’t die a painful death. And when you are dead, a few people will miss you for a period of time, but the rest of the world will continue as if you were never alive.

These are cold, hard facts.

But one is tempted to wonder if the pill is not a little too black to swallow.

The key is in the degree of luck.

There are also different degrees of survival. If you are optimistic and you believe in the wide range of possibilities available to lead a good life, your survival can be relatively comfortable – from the food you feast on three to five times a day, to the drinks you pour down your throat, to the bedding you sleep under, and the amount of time you spend exploring the world and with your loved ones and friends.

The quality of your survival also contributes to your sense of happiness.

And if you assist other people in their struggle for survival and their efforts to make life worth living, it increases your own awareness of a life worth living.

However, the ending is usually not your choice.

Which makes it that much more important to be happy before the end comes – slow and gruelling, or mercifully quick.


Better than no plan


If a sensation of happiness is not a regular experience in your daily existence, or if a net positive consciousness is not something that characterises your life, some people might come to the conclusion that their daily existence is not worth the effort and the occasional hardship.

If your daily existence is not worth the effort and the occasional hardship, some people would argue that you might as well end your own life. Unless – your life-ending act will do too much harm to people you care about. In such a case, you simply must make the effort to survive and endure the occasional hardship.

If you are religious, you may have other reasons to continue with your life – even if you don’t think it’s worth it. You may believe that it is not your right to end your own life, or that the god you believe in has a plan for your life. That you simply must endure the hardship and the effort until the plan is revealed, or until the time comes for you to do what you were put on earth to do, so to speak.

Sounds bleak (especially for a first piece of text of the year), but this was also the idea behind a piece from a number of years ago: Life is sometimes hard and difficult. Experiencing happiness sometimes balances the hardships and struggles of daily existence. It’s also easy enough to end your own life. If, however, you don’t want to cause more hardship and misery for your loved ones, do what you can to make your life worthwhile. In this way, you may also facilitate your loved ones’ (and even strangers’) efforts to make their lives worthwhile, so that they don’t end their lives making your life more miserable.

In other words: I make myself happy so that my life is worth living, and in doing so I help you to be happy so that your life is also worth living.

Doesn’t always work, but it’s better than going through life with no plan at all.