Busy Man

by Eric Chaet

Believe it or not, I’m the busiest man in the world.

I’m doing the same work as Jesus
but I’m not any more the son of God
than you are the son or daughter of God
& I haven’t a disciple anywhere on the surface of Earth.

I’m trying to save myself & everyone as much as Gautama the Buddha
but my Dad’s not the king
& no one is about to offer me a public park
in which to set up my headquarters
or make proclamations in my behalf, or send in caterers.

I’m being treated pretty much the same way Confucius was—
the big shots won’t listen to me
& neither will anyone who takes his or her cue from the big shots.
(Don’t believe any bunch of mandarins
who commandeer my name in 1,000 years
& use it to push everyone around.)

I’m competing for resources
as much as Rockefeller or Carnegie or Rothschild
but it’s not my absolutely top priority
there’s plenty I won’t do to get what I hope to get.
But I’m competing for resources as desperately.
But there’s no way I could convince anyone to invest in me
who would want me to show them the numbers demonstrating
that they could expect an above-average return on investment
soon, too, at minimum risk—
I don’t even know how I’ll ever break even
let alone get an above-average return on investment—
I’m as desperate as a zebra braving a crocodile-infested river.

I was born weak, & I was misguided
but I have to make myself stronger
than whatever next would destroy me:
I hardly have time to get these words to you
in hopes that they are of use to you.

I have to constantly correct myself
so that I’m sane & composed, fit & ready—
& I have to build & maintain my momentum
however much I’m subject to the usual attempts to pick my pocket
& discourage my original, or at least unusual, thoughts.

I have to develop & maintain my discipline
& sort & examine & decide what I believe
shedding bad programming & fears.

I have to organize as much as Washington at Valley Forge
or Mao on the Long March, or Napoleon, or Caesar.
I have to have a better grasp of politics than the chatterers
or the tyrants or their enforcers, & likewise of war—
whether the wars of armies or of gangs or individuals.

I’m enmeshed in the web of petty & great commerce & finance.
I have to understand what is for sale, prices, costs, operations
& what I might do to bring in enough money to go on
& enough extra so that I can take a breath & organize & implement deeds.

I need to know more about governments—
township, county, state, federal—& foreign governments, too—
than the reporters understand & are telling me—
it’s not a spectator sport, it’s life & death.

And, likewise, I have to understand more about my body
& about the medicines & surgeries that are being pushed
just the way heroin is pushed, or this or that fad
or watered-down or distorted ideologies—
I have to understand insurance, publicity, agriculture.

No one will keep books for me, or do my accounting
& no one will protect me from legal or illegal thieves—
I need to develop a stream of revenue greater than my expenses
at the same time that I must master all the old legacy technologies
& engineer maintenance & repair around the house & yard—
wiring, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, heating & lighting & ventilation—
coming out of great ignorance
I have to learn how mechanisms & machines work
I have to break the habits of helplessness
& develop the skills & the habits of capacity
& there’s no time to waste—
& I can’t let myself succumb to counterproductive rushing, either.

Before I’m overwhelmed by the results of others’ actions
I have to learn coding & programming & artificial intelligence & robotics
& all the branches of mathematics & biotechnology—
& I have to acquaint myself with the plants, animals, & microbes
that share my infrastructure, in & out of doors.

More than they understand me
I have to understand what others are doing—
those who are content to fit into some niche that relieves them
of the necessity of making decisions
& gives them enough money to hire other specialists similarly content
& also legal & illegal psychopaths, sects, denominations, professions
I have to understand what the bankers, bureaucrats, & lawyers are doing
as well as the criminals, organized or flailing
& the parties, coalitions, conspiracies, fads.

I have to know what the politicians are doing
who are blocking one another’s efforts
& also what the politicians are doing
who have eliminated most of their opposition
& I have to remember their prisoners & victims
& the victims of plagues, great storms, fires, bad education.

I have to decide what I can do & can’t do
& do what I can do while I still have time to do it—
while improving my understanding & skills, & equipping myself—
I need to compete for wealth & power with Xi Jinping & Jeff Bezos
as well as with grumpy clerks & self-appointed arbiters
of writings I occasionally submit for publication, for instance—
I’m not trying just to win praise for how I write things down—
I’m not just trying to be the most popular or richest—
I’m trying to do what is generally considered so impossible
that it’s not generally considered.

I have to do all of this simultaneously
following a plan as best I can
but more often than not unable to follow the plan
or following the plan so successfully that I outgrow the plan—
I have to remember to rest, & I have to rest when I’m resting
which isn’t easy—
I have to prioritize—
I have to know what I’m doing
& stop doing wrong things & do more & more right things—
all the right things should be part of one inclusive right thing—
I have to visualize & integrate.

I take advice from every direction
but no one else is doing what I’m doing, I’m on my own.

It’s daunting, I groan, but what an adventure, I’m delighted.

I learn from my & humanity’s past, but try to emerge from it.
I’m struggling from helplessness to effectiveness
to break the future out of its insane, cruel, doomed orbit.

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