How do you view the world?

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    Mar 03, 2010 8:52 AM GMT
    I'm curious as to how people view the world in general. You can get a taste through forum posts, conversations and observations, but I'm curious as to how people respond when asked the question directly.

    So through what lens do you view the world?

    What does the world, and your place within it, consist of?

    I ask, because I have come to really identify with the notion that truth is largely subjective; everyone has different views as to the truth of things, and everyone thinks they are right and others with a different view are wrong (and I am NO exception).

    My world view is often criticized as being entirely negative, pessimistic, and have been prodded with a variety of differing labels to somehow categorize my world view into a nice little box with a ribbon on top.

    None of the labels cut it for me, and I tend to take issue with most if not all of them.

    Admittedly, my view of the world and the large goings-in within it -- the composition and organizations of humanity within it, that is, is not one riddled with optimism and hope. Anyone who has seen or read my posts on any political or economic threads is likely aware of this.

    However, I just want to take a moment to explain that I don't view the world negatively, since I view the world as consisting of much more than my views on politics and economics. While I have a dark outlook on the composition of the social, political and economic state of the world, my hope, optimism, and positivity comes in the form of my faith in humanity and the 'individual'; the individual within the collective. I have a great fascination, interest, and admiration in the ability of people to adapt, change, and survive. Through the worst of conditions, the most challenging of situations, experiences, environments and eras, people - individuals - have survived, persevered, triumphed, fought and won, progressed, advanced, created, built, understood, altered, and bettered their lives and the lives of those around them. And isn't that a wondrous thing? Doesn't that just say so much about humanity and the 'human spirit'?

    So, regardless of my rather "doom and gloom" outlook on the world, I remain stubborn and adamantine in my absolute faith in the 'individual' triumphing above all else. And I don't view that as a negative thing; in fact, I view it as an entirely hopeful outlook, as no matter how bad things can become... we can... continue.

    Some people view the world and their place within it very positively: we live happy, well, and free in a democracy, where I can eat, live comfortably, and enjoy life. What's to be upset about?

    Because I disagree with that perspective, as it is not the world I know, does that make their world wrong? Does that make mine 'truth' and theirs an 'illusion' or 'lie'? The world, and how you view it, constitutes your own personal truth; it is the truth as you see it, so how could anyone else be more 'right'?

    Many people are religious, in fact the vast majority of the world is religious, yet we in the western world who are agnostic or atheist claim that is purely a 'false belief' or 'lie', and almost look at religious people with pity. From their perspective, we are misguided, lost, damned, or evil. Who is right? For the vast majority of human history, religions have played a strong role in determining people's views of the world. Are we so enlightened? Who is to say that it was not 'God's' hand that made the atoms, molecules, and DNA that we study with modern science? The human body and how it functions: is that purely science? Is that not a miracle?

    I have never been religious, nor was I raised to believe in any particular religious perspective. I identify as agnostic (but open). I have been to church once in my life, and it scared me. But does that mean that because I don't follow a religion, there is nothing in them? That there is no 'truth' to them?

    So...

    What is your 'truth'? Through what lens do you view the world?

    Where do you stand within it?
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:34 PM GMT
    Always thinking big, aren't ya? icon_smile.gif

    I am hopelessly optimistic. Sometimes to a fault. It's not that I'm ignorant, in fact I'm quite in tune to what's going on in the world. But I'm always looking for a bright side (and usually find it, even when nobody else does and it's the dimmest kind of bright you can imagine). I look for the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's a long way away, and all my hopes get pinned on that light. I do what I can to make life better for me and the people around me, but I am not the type who gets lost in the problems of the world when they are out of my control. For better or for worse, I've gotten good over the years at moving problems out of sight and, as they say, out of sight out of mind. It does backfire on me sometimes, but it's just how I am. Now... where did I put that bill was due yesterday....?

    I am also not one who relies on religion, government, or the "norm" to be my moral compass. Instead my god is common sense and logic. I feel I have a built-in sense of right and wrong, and usually rely on instincts to help me make decisions. They aren't always right, far from it. But they have served me well and I trust in myself and, like Andrew, I trust that ultimately the big ship we're all riding on will be steered into port as it always is. Even if the ride is pretty damn bumpy.

    I made too many metaphors here. Oh well.

    That's the world according to David.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:37 PM GMT
    I had a lot of negative experiences when I was young. There was a lot of rejection, loneliness, outright emotional and verbal abuse, and growing up gay in Catholic schools didn't help. I tend to see the world as a negative place and am very wary of strangers because of it. I'm working on it (because it's not a great way to live life), but I hope people can understand why I am the way I am given my past experiences.
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    Mar 03, 2010 1:42 PM GMT
    I find the world to be an amazing, adventurous place for any person of a curious mind, a place filled with many amazing people, sullied occasionally by some serious idiots, but nonetheless worth every minute of it.
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    Mar 03, 2010 2:01 PM GMT
    I won't try to characterize the lens or filter, if indeed there is one, through which i view the world.
    I'll let you read my philosophy and decide for yourself.
    I don't believe in any inherent good or evil in people. I think each individual has the ability to make decisions, no doubt influenced by their life experiences including relgious/moral beliefs, but that those decisions are independent of any intrinsic predisposition toward good or bad.

    Essentially I think life is pointless. And I don't want that to carry any negative connotation. Just because it's pointless doesn't mean it's bad or that I dislike life. I just think the act of living is purposeless.
    We all have the opportunity to do great things with our lives and touch a lot of people.
    But to think that we are here for any specific reason or to fulfill a higher purpose is likely a delusion conjured to explain away one's feeling of insignificance.

    I've gone to church, many times for extended periods of time.
    I tried to believe and even served in various youth leadership positions in an effort to "say it until i believed it." It didn't take.
    My mind won't let me buy into the idea of supernatural powers and/or superstitions being responsible for the universe, its goings on or anything of the sort.
    I, like OP apparently, am open to the possibility. I just don't see substantiation currently.

    I don't think I have any designated "place" in the world.
    I want to be a good person (obviously that in itself is subjective)
    And I want to be friendly, but I think my place in the world is just to occupy my place in the world.

    Is this an apathetic world view? I don't know.
    I don't think so because like I said I'd still like to do my part to help other people and make our meaningless existence more pleasant.
    I suppose maybe if I make that meaningless existence more pleasant for other people, perhaps that give my existence meaning.
    Again, I don't know.


  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Mar 03, 2010 2:05 PM GMT
    I see the world through the following statements:
    - man vaunts his triumphs, seeking veneration
    - sometimes the ungainly are the most valiant
    - we are surrounded by socio-political truculence
    - there is an information-seeking torpor ...
    - we have become consumers not unlike the sybarite
    - to accomplish anything, a sense of balance must be maintained
    - be the change in which you wish to see in the world (m. gandhi).

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    Mar 03, 2010 4:30 PM GMT
    RunintheCity saidI find the world to be an amazing, adventurous place for any person of a curious mind, a place filled with many amazing people, sullied occasionally by some serious idiots, but nonetheless worth every minute of it.


    Pretty much this, said far more succinctly than I could!
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    Mar 03, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidWhile I have a dark outlook on the composition of the social, political and economic state of the world, my hope, optimism, and positivity comes in the form of my faith in humanity and the 'individual'; the individual within the collective. I have a great fascination, interest, and admiration in the ability of people to adapt, change, and survive. Through the worst of conditions, the most challenging of situations, experiences, environments and eras, people - individuals - have survived, persevered, triumphed, fought and won, progressed, advanced, created, built, understood, altered, and bettered their lives and the lives of those around them. And isn't that a wondrous thing? Doesn't that just say so much about humanity and the 'human spirit'?


    Wow - I confess I'm surprised to see you say that - and I'd more or less agree. By practically every objective and empirical metric things have almost consistently been getting better for the individual - especially as we've seen power move from government to individuals.

    I don't think there's ever been a better time to be alive. To echo your point above, I've far more faith in people than governments or religious institutions. There's never been a better time in the history of the world for a great idea to thrive. There's never been a better time in the history of the world for anyone to be a fulcrum for change. Real and sustained progress happens with people in markets and not governments.

    I think it's quite easy to be empirically and objectively optimistic about the world (let alone the fact you'll probably live longer, and the fact it rarely pays to be a pessimist). That said, I'm often more optimist about the outlook for people in general than personally. Technology tends to modularize, disperse and decentralize power than aggregate it.

    The next time you're feeling a bit pessimistic, have a watch of this (it's Louis CK on Conan): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk (quality on youtube isn't great but it's also on hulu as an embed but can't be seen from outside the US).

    Humanity is capable of great evil (I did some first hand interviews of people in Rwanda a number of years ago - the first time I cried openly since I was under 10), but also great good (also from first hand interviews of people in Rwanda).

    While things sometimes have to get worse before they get better, in the context of history, things keep getting better all the time.
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    Mar 03, 2010 5:53 PM GMT
    Through Smurf colored glasses.
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    Mar 03, 2010 6:25 PM GMT
    Now this is a thread worth reading. Finally!

    17yA
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    Mar 03, 2010 7:06 PM GMT
    Aww MeOhMy has been drinking... still he does better on the internet drunk than I do.icon_biggrin.gif Fuck just check out my profile... I wrote that drunk and forgot about it til the other day.

    I'll make mine simple and through a metaphor of courses I believe are essential to human beings.
    Primatology and astronomy.
    I've taken neither but one, the study of apes, shows us how far we've come. Many of the egos and vices and foibles of humans can be found in monkeys. It forces us to question our existence as a species when we see a mirror image in something not us, animal-like, but close. 80% DNA close. And the other, astronomy... it forces us to realize how far we have yet to go, how much there is out there and how insignificant is our own troubles and quarrels.

    I can't help but think of humanity as a whole species, and I can't help think how one person's universe can be so narrow, I can't help but say "God bless" and hope they find their way. The world is far too big for us to realize, the solar system, the galaxy and the universe far too incomprehensible for us to appreciate, that it forces kindness out of me.

    When I want to be humbled, I'll travel to a place considered sacred, a place humanity built as a cathedral in homage to the wonders of the unknown. Or when I can't travel, I'll listen to this:



    Primatology and astronomy. How far, how far...


    PS: Louis CK is one of my god's of comedy.

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    Mar 03, 2010 7:09 PM GMT
    My version of the truth is you have to be lucky and in the right place at the right time. If i were more educated i would emphasize more on the philosophical and socioeconomic aspects of the topic. My lens of the world is more on the jaded side with a dash of hope.
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    Mar 03, 2010 7:38 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidI'm curious as to how people view the world in general. You can get a taste through forum posts, conversations and observations, but I'm curious as to how people respond when asked the question directly.

    So through what lens do you view the world?

    What does the world, and your place within it, consist of?

    I ask, because I have come to really identify with the notion that truth is largely subjective; everyone has different views as to the truth of things, and everyone thinks they are right and others with a different view are wrong (and I am NO exception).

    My world view is often criticized as being entirely negative, pessimistic, and have been prodded with a variety of differing labels to somehow categorize my world view into a nice little box with a ribbon on top.

    None of the labels cut it for me, and I tend to take issue with most if not all of them.

    Admittedly, my view of the world and the large goings-in within it -- the composition and organizations of humanity within it, that is, is not one riddled with optimism and hope. Anyone who has seen or read my posts on any political or economic threads is likely aware of this.

    However, I just want to take a moment to explain that I don't view the world negatively, since I view the world as consisting of much more than my views on politics and economics. While I have a dark outlook on the composition of the social, political and economic state of the world, my hope, optimism, and positivity comes in the form of my faith in humanity and the 'individual'; the individual within the collective. I have a great fascination, interest, and admiration in the ability of people to adapt, change, and survive. Through the worst of conditions, the most challenging of situations, experiences, environments and eras, people - individuals - have survived, persevered, triumphed, fought and won, progressed, advanced, created, built, understood, altered, and bettered their lives and the lives of those around them. And isn't that a wondrous thing? Doesn't that just say so much about humanity and the 'human spirit'?

    So, regardless of my rather "doom and gloom" outlook on the world, I remain stubborn and adamantine in my absolute faith in the 'individual' triumphing above all else. And I don't view that as a negative thing; in fact, I view it as an entirely hopeful outlook, as no matter how bad things can become... we can... continue.

    Some people view the world and their place within it very positively: we live happy, well, and free in a democracy, where I can eat, live comfortably, and enjoy life. What's to be upset about?

    Because I disagree with that perspective, as it is not the world I know, does that make their world wrong? Does that make mine 'truth' and theirs an 'illusion' or 'lie'? The world, and how you view it, constitutes your own personal truth; it is the truth as you see it, so how could anyone else be more 'right'?

    Many people are religious, in fact the vast majority of the world is religious, yet we in the western world who are agnostic or atheist claim that is purely a 'false belief' or 'lie', and almost look at religious people with pity. From their perspective, we are misguided, lost, damned, or evil. Who is right? For the vast majority of human history, religions have played a strong role in determining people's views of the world. Are we so enlightened? Who is to say that it was not 'God's' hand that made the atoms, molecules, and DNA that we study with modern science? The human body and how it functions: is that purely science? Is that not a miracle?

    I have never been religious, nor was I raised to believe in any particular religious perspective. I identify as agnostic (but open). I have been to church once in my life, and it scared me. But does that mean that because I don't follow a religion, there is nothing in them? That there is no 'truth' to them?

    So...

    What is your 'truth'? Through what lens do you view the world?

    Where do you stand within it?


    WHO ARE YOU?!!
    A guy who shares the same world views as i do, believing in the inner strength of the individual a la Ayn Rand?
    I think i just found my soulmate....icon_razz.gif
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    Mar 03, 2010 8:13 PM GMT
    GigoloAssassin said


    WHO ARE YOU?!!
    A guy who shares the same world views as i do, believing in the inner strength of the individual a la Ayn Rand?
    I think i just found my soulmate....icon_razz.gif



    Haha, Ayn Rand...
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    Mar 03, 2010 9:01 PM GMT
    makavelli saidAww MeOhMy has been drinking... still he does better on the internet drunk than I do.


    Believe it or not, I actually wasn't drunk or drinking at the time of writing this.
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    Mar 03, 2010 9:22 PM GMT
    I came from ugly beginnings, lots of violence, lots of abuse and sadness... so much sadness. Maybe it is because of those beginnings or in spite of them but I'm a ridiculously happy and optimistic person.

    I had a very hard day yesterday where one of my closest friends lashed out at me repeatedly, I was seriously confounded and confused by her behavior (she's NEVER like that) and I didn't even realize she was being mean till I got home. I always assume everyone wants to make me happy and that everyone just wants to love and be loved. We talked it out and it's all fine now but it was a confusing day for me until then.

    J.D. Salinger summed it up best for me:
    "I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy."
  • twostroke

    Posts: 184

    Mar 03, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    I view the world -the non-living and the living- as a moment in an eternal time. AND WE ARE PART OF IT.

    We are part of it with the difference of being very creative. And hopefully, through our creativeness, we will come closer to the truth. The truth that will answer all our questions.

    So my advice is to always look for truth (one might never get there, but maybe much closer).

    (ooohhh I feel kinda relieved. donĀ“t get me wrong)

  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Mar 03, 2010 9:27 PM GMT
    I push myself to always remember that I am incredibly blessed and that we always have a choice in how we view everything, and we always have a choice in how to lead our lives. Even if our power is taken away to make changes, we can always change our minds and perspectives.

    I see the universe and world as an empty canvass and we fill in the colours with our emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and choices ie. the world is scary if you think it is, you're strong if you think you are, etc. I also see belief and faith as the missing step between working towards and achieving your goals. It'll guide you across the final chasm, if not, it probably wasn't meant to be. I also find just believing in my goals and myself, tends to give me much more energy, as opposed to seeing things from a cynical perspective.

    I also find energy itself a huge thing. I don't really believe in gods so much, but energy is a fact. Everything gives off energy, and everyone has their own energy, as well everything IS energy. I find what I think, or certain people, messages, sounds, music, images, can really have a huge effect on the energy I feel.

    I also view people as very fragile and sensitive, including myself. I try to not judge myself to harshly or push myself too far beyond my limits and I try to do the same for others, but I do slip. But I just remind myself it's all a learning experience. Compassion and empathy are very important. But that doesn't mean compassion and empathy for others above myself ie. I'm not fond of self-destructive people, I understand their pain, but I'm careful about not exposing myself to that kind of energy often. I also feel that people are very impressionable. That what you feed your mind will reflect and colour your perspective. ie. If I read articles written by very confident, secure, successful people(basically any of my role models.). I will in turn feel the same. If I read material written by cynical, jaded, judge-mental people, I will feel unsure, nervous, etc.

    I also find our society is too reliant on intellectualism. Not everything can be solved by "thinking it through". Not everything is logical, and not everything relies on logic. There's questions and answers too big and great for us to comprehend and that's okay. We'll know it when we're ready.

    That about sums up my views at the moment, it can change at any moment icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 03, 2010 9:30 PM GMT
    I love from time to time to get off this Island Oz, and go a wondering, with a knapsack on my back. I love to integrate with new cultures, meet new people, and see new and diffrent things.

    But then I love to get back to my Island Oz, as this is where a bloke from Oz belongs. But as much as I love to interact with the outside world. I see why we need borders, and visa's to protect this Island Oz from the outside invaders; illegal immigrants. We need to maintain the right of who gets to call Oz home, not people deciding for us.

    I love to lock myself away in my acre garden and feel the serenity of it all, where there is no outside world to view.
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    Mar 03, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    Hey MeOhMy,

    "Many people are religious, in fact the vast majority of the world is religious, yet we in the western world who are agnostic or atheist claim that is purely a 'false belief' or 'lie', and almost look at religious people with pity. From their perspective, we are misguided, lost, damned, or evil. Who is right? For the vast majority of human history, religions have played a strong role in determining people's views of the world. Are we so enlightened? Who is to say that it was not 'God's' hand that made the atoms, molecules, and DNA that we study with modern science? The human body and how it functions: is that purely science? Is that not a miracle?

    I have never been religious, nor was I raised to believe in any particular religious perspective. I identify as agnostic (but open). I have been to church once in my life, and it scared me. But does that mean that because I don't follow a religion, there is nothing in them? That there is no 'truth' to them?"

    Yes, I think we are enlgihtened. Yes I think that if someone truthfully believes in god then they understand just what you said in the bold and see god that way. (The petty trappings and lies of religions fall away.) Too vast complex, intricate and unfathomable to Make in the childish manner decribed by primitive peoples. This then, to me, is the hallmark of an enlightened believer, that you can be both.
    I also think evelotion is just the tip of the iceberg in my own thinking about Creating.

    When I think this way, suddenly I feel very altruistic and existence opens up, becomes larger than I ever dreamed of, and full of promise.

    -Doug (yeah I know I know, religion, gag, but you did mention it, so...)
  • twostroke

    Posts: 184

    Mar 03, 2010 9:53 PM GMT
    locked in (?)
  • myklet1

    Posts: 345

    Mar 03, 2010 10:50 PM GMT
    I view the world and our place in it as a test. When we have many things, what do we do with them. When we have nothing, what do we still give. I feel we are all one step away from Paradise. I do not go to church, but I believe in God and Jesus Christ is my savior. My religion is in my heart. It helps me to be a good person........or at least try, but we are never the best that we can be. Though I have many good times, I make it a point to laugh a lot and I am a good practical joker, I believe our world is full of pain. My biggest wonder is why are so many people so tacky and mean............and proud of it. I have known a lot of judgmental (go figure) gay men who are some of the tackiest people I have ever met. I don't have many gay male friends because of it. I love a great joker, but not someone that puts others down and think that is funny. I view our world as having a lot of selfish, sarcastic and stupid (not academically) people. So many think they are the gift. I wonder if it is because they are so insecure and lonely. This life can be very lonely......we should all stick together. Who cares about age, muscles and looks. Granted they all help, but I would hate to miss out on a beautiful man just because his beauty is on the inside.
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    Mar 04, 2010 2:57 AM GMT
    Thank you MeOhMy,
    reppaT Now this is a thread worth reading. Finally!.
    and contributing to

    I'm a 'glass-half-full' type of guy. Trying to find the the good in everything, the bright side. Thank-you, meds.
    MeOhMyI ask, because I have come to really identify with the notion that truth is largely subjective; everyone has different views as to the truth of things, and everyone thinks they are right and others with a different view are wrong (and I am NO exception).
    I agree with this, even though it is very difficult to accept, sometimes. Why can't you all see that I'M RIGHT, godamit.
    MeOhMyAre we so enlightened? Who is to say that it was not 'God's' hand that made the atoms, molecules, and DNA that we study with modern science? The human body and how it functions: is that purely science? Is that not a miracle?
    I'm pretty convinced that there is no god, I don't believe, however I leave room for doubt. Faith is nothing that can be decided upon, it is not based on logical, rational thought. Maybe one day I'll see the light and start to believe, maybe not. I'm not losing any sleep over it.
    I believe however in lots of Christian values (I'm sure these values exist in some form or other in all religions, but I was raised a christian, hence Christian values). Love thy neighbor, forgiving of sins, do unto others..., you shall not lie, steal, kill, covet. If we all managed to live by these concepts the world would be a lot healthier place.
    Runon85Essentially I think life is pointless. And I don't want that to carry any negative connotation. Just because it's pointless doesn't mean it's bad or that I dislike life. I just think the act of living is purposeless.
    We all have the opportunity to do great things with our lives and touch a lot of people.
    But to think that we are here for any specific reason or to fulfill a higher purpose is likely a delusion conjured to explain away one's feeling of insignificance
    I see my purpose in life to live every day as happy as possible. I don't need to leave my mark on this planet, or leave any offspring to carry on my legacy.
    riddler78I don't think there's ever been a better time to be alive.
    Especially gays never had it this good before (here). Generally standards of life are still improving, current recession notwithstanding. But sometimes I'm afraid that something will be irrevocably damaged in the name of greed. Melamine in Chinese milk-products was not so long ago and what if something like this happened stealthier on a global basis? Is this fear that I have from time to time, the price I pay for my standard of living? But this is one of the issues where I do this
    djdorchesterFor better or for worse, I've gotten good over the years at moving problems out of sight and, as they say, out of sight out of mind.


    riddler78Humanity is capable of great evil
    Amen to that one. However I don't think there are very many people on this planet that get up in the morning wanting to make others miserable. Basically I'm optimistic about individuals and I give everyone a chance until proven bad.





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    Mar 04, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    One of my favorite quotes ever is from Anne Frank:
    Anne FrankDespite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.


    This is really how I look at the world. Sure, there is violence, pain, and bad things in it, but at the end of the day, I do have faith in the world, no matter how jaded or cynical I sound.
  • victor8

    Posts: 237

    Mar 04, 2010 3:34 AM GMT
    My Personal World: is pretty uncomplicated and peaceful...

    I know there are wonderful forces at work...I try to contribute what I can, however I feel that corporate greed, and a self-serving forces are making it increasingly hard to be optimistic...about the world as a whole...