Everything is #@%!ed by Mark Manson - Ch 3 and 4

Posted by David Schaefer on

Hello again,

Last week I mentioned the father / son camping trip that we have gone on each summer as a value of mine.  These trips almost didn’t have a long tradition in our lives.  The first trip we took was when he was six years old.  We slept in his kid pop-up tent, so when we woke up in the morning, I was sore from being cramped up sleeping in a ball to fit in the thing.  Another thing to be aware of dads, is your kid is going to copy things you do.

I used a propane heater to keep us warm at night, as I said we got snowed on a couple times.  One day, in the afternoon, I was getting us food ready and when I turned towards the tent, there Noah is trying to light a match to get the propane heater working!  Me, “what are you doing?!  Holy crap, you could have blown yourself up!”   I run over there, and I could smell the propane.  He had manager to get that turned on.  That got my heart pounding.  I wouldn’t have been able to go home and would have lived in the woods for the rest of my life is he had burnt himself up. 

Getting back into chapter 3 of Mark Manson’s book, he states “our childhood experiences, both good and bad, have long-lasting effects on our identities and generate the fundamental values that go on to define much of our lives.”(66-67)  As this blog goes on, I do want to share life experiences I have had.  I guess I want to do this for a couple reasons – a huge one is it helps me to self-evaluate and work through what has happened in my life and the other is, I hope that others can find healing and self-improvement in relating experiences.  A statement from the book, “there is no such thing as change without pain, no growth without discomfort” (67) is so true.  I want to share experiences to help but also, it is hard to share personal experiences.  I think most people want to move on from them, to forget the trauma and get on with making a better life however we can.  It’s not easy at all to confront ourselves.  I must, as Mark says, “reexamine the experiences of your past and rewrite the narratives around them” (68) and then start the process of “writing the narratives of your future self.” (68) 

There is more talk about the feeling brain and the thinking brain, but you need to read all this, it’s good, and deep stuff. 

Now, as we get into chapter four, this could be tough for many.  Why, because it’s about religion.  I, personally, believe religion, in any number of its forms is a personal journey.  Religion has been the catalyst for wars (think crusades), greed, politics and other personal beliefs that give us meaning and shape our values.  As we band together in these common beliefs, a religion is formed.

For me, religion, the Christian church was a place that became a haven for me in my younger years.  I went to church to find “hope” that there was a better life than the violent home I grew up in.  I followed this security blanket for a long time.  I went to youth group, church camps, hung out with the pastor’s kid and other church kids.  I even went to the Christian college after high school.  I am thankful for these times in my life. I was able to see that I can build a better life than the one I was in, if I survived the one, I was in.

So, as Mark defines three types of religions – “Spiritual religions, Ideological religions and Interpersonal religions.” (89)  The process of forming a religion is shared in six steps.  These are gone through of course but a key point that I got is that, “religions bring groups of people together to mutually validate one another and make on feel important.   …we all need communities to build hope.” (80)  This all made since to me. 

As I said, religion is a personal journey.  Thank God, I had to church to get me through some extreme situations in my life.  I’m also thankful for many of the people that came into my life during these times in my life.  If not, who knows where I could have turned to find my acceptance and hope? 

Noah’s Input -

While growing up Noah found his religion elsewhere, almost to the point that it became an addiction. Of course, while his parents did take him to church every Sunday and they tried to get him into the church ideals, they never stuck around in his head. Really the one and only place that Noah ever felt one hundred percent at ease was his bedroom, with an Xbox turned on.  Mark says something on page 84 that says, “Values cannot be changed through reason, only through experience.” (84) Growing up, this was the case for Noah. Father would always warn me and even try to limit his game usage or his screen time, but it tended to just go in one ear out the other. In fact, to this day the only reason Noah has done away with his games was because he finally got a girlfriend. I’m led to believe that religion could be next to anything nowadays if it makes you feel safe.

Mark mentioned something else in this chapter that mad a lot of sense and almost makes me feel more at ease at some things. He goes on in the chapter to talk about that even if you don’t worship god, or a church, or even really a main ideal, all of us are religious towards something. And that could be a lot of things. Some of them good like family, your pets and your friends. And some of them detrimental like alcohol, pot or like I said, video games. If you’re reading this to yourself, you should look inside you and try and decipher what you might be looking towards for hope.

Dad’s follow-up:

From what I wrote and what Noah wrote, the difference in life experiences and generational gaps is coming through.  We will continue to write our own pieces to the chapter and book reviews as I think this is an interesting aspect to our view points.  Thank you for reading along with us and feel welcome to add your thoughts.

DB Toxic


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