I’d like you to meet my friend Fred.
Fred is what you might call your “average” Brit.
He has big dreams for himself, including a long healthy life, a happy family, a loving wife, a pension, and hopefully to have some fun along the way.
Fred has always been a really solid guy. He had a paper round when he was 12 years old that made him over ten pounds a week. He got straight “B’s” across the board in school, except in French where he got a “D”. He applied himself and got an apprenticeship when he left school and had a really great experience.
A tru Brit.
Fred’s favourite movie is “Forrest Gump”, a story about how by having a solid set of core values, pulling yourself up, and being a contributing member of society you can experience the best life has to offer.
This week Fred turned 31. His life is really just getting started. He has so much to look forward to.
Fred works for a big company where he’s got all sorts of cool perks like culturally diverse cafeterias where he can get burgers, a curry or mince and dumplings, sometimes in the same meal. Here he can safely discuss important societal issues like Brexit and blue passports.
Everything seems to be on track. 🙂
How could anything possibly go wrong?
Well, there’s a few things on the horizon that Fred hasn’t seen coming. This is the stuff that didn’t really get covered in school or even in Forrest Gump.
First off, like most good Brits, Fred likes to eat “Three square meals a day”. That includes many good old fashioned restaurants like McDonalds or KFC.
This, combined with being too busy to get to the gym, causes Fred to get fat.
Fred has no idea that you’re supposed to eat 6 small meals a day. Fred doesn’t even know what a “macro-nutrient ratio” is, let alone that the largest meal of the day is supposed to be eaten at breakfast and not before bed.
Of course, like most well-informed Brits, Fred is far too concerned about the exotic diseases he reads about in The Sun or on the Daily Mail website while he’s procrastinating at work – like AIDS, ISIS spread Anthrax, and even the dreaded Australian Flu- than to worry about the much less interesting possibility of eventually dying because he’s simply overweight.
When you ask Fred how old he’ll live to be he says “Probably 75 or 80”. Secretly though, Bob thinks he’ll live to be a hundred or even a hundred and three. He’s just too modest to say it out loud.
It never occurs to him that while the average Brit lives to his late 70s, most of them have physiques that aren’t really worth living in past 40, and that if he doesn’t proactively take on habits like lifting weights and eating properly that his knees and cardiovascular system won’t even be able to muster a simple jog up his quaint British street.
Beyond that, Fred also has a big debt on his credit card and he’s in several thousand over his head right now.
It’s funny, because when Fred got approved for his new credit card he felt so cool and adult being entrusted with the privilege of having credit.
What he didn’t realise, and what credit card companies bank on, is that studies consistently show that given credit, the vast majority human beings will be inclined to exchange the intangible numbers in a computer for the tangible goods that they can hold in their hands.
By allowing himself to go into debt more than 2 weeks pay (at least for “stuff” as opposed to investments like property or education), Fred is basically setting a pattern that ensures he’ll live with a lifetime of debt – paying interest upon compounding interest, always pushing for a “life-style upgrade” over just paying down credit cards and living debt-free.
Fred just keeps forgetting that he lives in the most consumer-driven society in the history of the world – a culture that is literally DESIGNED so that you can have a fist full of cash, blink, and find that it’s all gone.
However life really isn’t all about the money… and life isn’t necessarily even about living a long time.
Life is ultimately about quality. Living a happy, fulfilling life.
Fred knows that no matter what, he has what a lot of guys will never have. Fred has found his true love… his wife Amanda.
It was at a party back when he was 16 that Fred and Amanda first met. They had mutual friends and hit it off after Amanda accidentally spilled Fred’s drink.
“That’s OK…” Fred told her. Later, Fred ISOLATED Amanda to SEX LOCATION and they’ve been together pretty much ever since.
Life has been good for Fred and Amanda. In the past few years they’ve bought themselves a great house.
Fred has been working long hours at work to provide everything that Amanda could ever need. They still have sex in the missionary position once a week (after watching “Eastenders”), and while it might not be the marathon it used to be, the fact of the matter is that they’re still very much in love.
What Fred doesn’t know however, is that while his cholesterol-clogged heart is pounding on overdrive as he thrusts aimlessly through his 4 and 1/2 minutes of sex to orgasm, Amanda is on her back imagining a charming and exciting INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER from work.
Of course, Amanda still loves Fred. But Amanda has needs. She’s a woman, and she’s a human being.
And Fred is just… soooo Fred.
Anyway, while Fred is off for the weekend on a stag doo in Benidorm eating burgers and drinking good British lager, Amanda has been thinking about messaging back that charming INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER.
He’d slipped her his number, saying that they were into similar kinds of gardening.
It seems weird that he’d be the type of guy who would be into gardening, but really, he seemed to have good intentions and Amanda really wants to get some new plants to show to Fred when he gets back home.
Amanda calls up her INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER and he invites her out to a bar after work. Reluctantly, and after a lot of humour from her INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHER Amanda decides that it’s no big deal to drop by.
She arrives and they have a few laughs and a few drinks…
Things get a little playful and silly and next thing you know Amanda is on her back (and various other positions she never knew about) getting railed by the INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN.
Somehow it just…. happens.
This makes Amanda feel incredibly guilty, and she’s very distant from Fred when he gets back home.
Fred gets cranky without his weekly post-Eastenders lovin’, which makes Amanda seek more attention from the INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN, which causes her to continue on getting railed… and railed in a way that Fred hasn’t railed her in years.
Fred has no idea that any of this could be his own fault, believing that he’s done everything that a decent husband could ever do. Of course, when he finds out he will hate her and indignantly call her a “Deceitful bitch”.
Flashforward another 2 decades and Fred will be alone at 50 years old, divorced, broke, fat, unhealthy, and a workaholic.
Well, at least he can watch Forrest Gump and he has blue passport to brighten up his day….. *shrug*
There’s a basic societal myth that tells you if you’re a ‘good person,’ you serve the system, and you work hard – everything in your life will be OK.
The basic idea is that “THE SYSTEM WORKS…”
This is of course, a sweeping generalisation, and we could debate all day long on the true nature of this myth.
Social myths are overall a good thing. They give us a common bond, and empower us with the confidence to lead our lives feeling secure and at ease.
The issue, of course, is that times change. Things are moving fast… evolving faster than they ever have before.
In this day and age the educational system is oftentimes simply not equipped to keep up with the constantly changing landscape of our society.
The educational system (and people’s resulting systems of beliefs) tends to move at the vexingly slow pace of any other cumbersome bureaucracy.
Academia is typically rigid and rarely fluid – at least towards certain issues. To implement new knowledge into a curriculum often takes several years if not several decades.
Men can protect themselves from THE INSIDIOUS HIBERNIAN MATE POACHERS by challenging these notions and myths wherever they see them, and by keeping ahead of the game.
We still live in what is historically the most affluent and lowest mortality-rate society that has ever existed. We live in a truly phenomenal world.
It really is just a matter of staying ahead of the curve and questioning your assumptions – and making a habit of continually correcting and re-correcting your course as you become a smarter and smarter person, staying on your path to becoming TRU STABLE GENUIS.
That means being “in-the-know” about how the world works, and not just assuming that the system is going to “take care of everything” for you. The resources are available.
I hope Fred doesn’t think I’m talking jive behind his back. 🙂