What I Learned From 2013Posted: December 13, 2013 | |
2K13 is coming to an end with Christmas on the horizon and ’14 just around the corner. I experienced a lot of crazy things this year. I recorded drum tracks for an album, buried my old dog, became a creativity consultant to an education organization in the States, spoke to students in universities, summer camps, and youth groups, went on a long road trip all over the West Coast with some Swiss friends, learned how to play the piano well enough to convince people that I can actually play the piano, experienced what it feels like to have zero money and be homeless for a while, and started writing a novel together with a good friend of mine.
It’s been quite a wild ride to say the least. Lots of ups and almost as many downs, which concludes a relatively balanced and reasonably productive year.
A lot of other things happened, too. Here’s a quick recap of the world in 2013:
In January, it was reported that more than 60,000 people died in Syria’s Civil War and very few Western people seemed to care. After an exhausted Pope Benedict XVI resigned in February, Pope Francis took the religious stage in March and just recently became TIME’s Person of the Year. In April, two bombs killed three people at the Boston Marathon and the media went absolutely nuts. What happened in May? In June, Edward Snowden started to stir it up, causing many technologically impaired individuals to turn on private browsing when surfing the Net as to shield their activity from the NSA. Croatia joined the European Union in July. Islamic terrorists attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi in August. October is the tenth month of the year. In November, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) destroyed the Philippines. In December, Nelson Mandela passed away causing an uncomfortable amount of educated teenagers to tweet “RIP Nelson Mandela” with an attached picture of actor Morgan Freeman.
What a strange world we live in.
If there’s one lesson I got from this year, it’s that rich people care more about money than the value of human life, and that, percentage-wise, poor people give more money away than the rich. A sculpture of a balloon dog was sold for $58.4 million at an auction while the typhoon wrecked the houses and lives of many friends of mine in the Philippines.
Money is the most fascinating thing to me. It’s what we aren’t taught enough about in high school, it’s what makes sure we are controllable, it’s the number one cause for divorce, it’s something we have to deal with throughout our entire lives, and it seems nobody really knows how to handle it properly.
And if you don’t know how to handle money properly, then it brings with it its own agenda, thus controlling you instead of you controlling the money, even if you have a doctorate in economics. Maybe especially if you have a doctorate in economics. It always seems to dictate your next move in this big game of chess we call life.
The rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. Elysium isn’t far away if this continues. And, really, the only thing we need to do is this simple concept we teach our children and are incapable of doing ourselves: