People like Katy Perry, Beyonce and PewDiePie are called influencers by the media. It makes sense: youths are fascinated by their shiny lifestyles. There is someone to inspire all of us out there as if they were made in our image. Guess what: they are made in our image, the products of publicists and data, not authenticity.
Ok, that is out of the way. Now it makes sense why these people have replaced our grandmothers, bosses, significant others, presidents, and others as our sources of wisdom. They are not people: they are memes created for profit. They should not matter.
This bit of advice is for you that has been stuck in a world of news media hype and pop culture, not seeing the obvious death of culture by financial pressure. This is your chance to wake up dignified because you have realized that there is still time to take action and assume responsibility for your future instead of being drowned in cultural emancipation sales pitches by the new rich of the world: the owners of the meme factories.
To that point, are there any memes worth following? Yes. How does one know which memes are good and which ones aren’t? Well, a good way to find this out is by seeing the actual results of a meme:
- Does it create financial prosperity for yourself?
- Does it help you grow as a person
- Does it help your community?
One meme that makes the world a better place is what the Chinese call their “economic miracle”. Imagine this: despite some silly government propaganda and a culture that to us seems to be stuck in the 1930s, they are growing because their meme is about building themselves a future.
As a result, they have transformed villages into high-tech paradises while we got really good at coffee serving in places like Little Italy and real Italy. They are building robots, houses, giant buildings, leading the space race, car sales, manufacturing, robotics, fast trains, etc. We make Twitter battles and popular video games while highways crumble. It seems like we are winning the cultural war, but the reality is that there are billions of people living their own culture and their own lives removed from what we westerners think is right while they build parallel empires.
That is right: we fight a culture war. They build an empire. Something is wrong here. We need lessons from people like the Chinese instead of criticizing their culture which seems to be the only thing we know how to do because the media knows how to move us by aggravating us with cultural shock. We are better than this: we should take a look at what moves a society and learn from the good part of it. It is like looking at Brazil and thinking: look at those rapists and murderers when realizing there are 60K of each of these capital offenses every year.
What are the lessons from the Chinese?
- Work hard, reap the benefits of your labor. There is no free lunch, folks. You can tell yourself over and over “work smart, not hard” and what you are doing is making a life of being a Netflix binger.
- Save most of your money. Yes, leave with several people, be mental about being economical until you have a stash of cash.
- Follow the rules of engagement of the society you live in so you do not have to waste money on stuff that does not improve your life.
- Respect and stay connected with your family. They are your lifeline and source of inspiration. If you do not see it, find it. There are exceptions, but for most people, this is a good path to follow.
- Be sensible, not sensitive. Huge difference. Sensible means if your kind asks about beer, talk about the pros and cons of it, have the child try a little bit so it is not a taboo. Sensitive means being outraged when a group of kids binges in a culture that makes alcohol seem like the only cool thing to do.
The Chinese have a lot of faults like every nation out there. Take sexism, the cool topic of the day. In China, the crass form of sexism is rather normal. Women drivers suck is a good one. Yet, women do not feel disempowered: they work like animals, and more or less 50% of their billionaires are women.
This is what we are saying here. Take the good things, learn how to see things from a positive light instead of criticizing everything according to your current cultural grounds in order to position socially. Instead, be an influencer by being humble, by asking for help, by loving your neighbor, by caring for your family. By working damn hard.