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Two kinds of facts of life

   There are two kinds of facts pertaining to the Realities of 
   Life that we all have to deal with and consider in living our 
   lives.  We can call them:  1. The general facts of life, and  
   2. The facts of our own personal circumstances.

  General Facts of Life.  The general facts of life correspond to 
   certain realities of life that are universally true in this 
   world.  An example is the fact that we all require food -- and 
   usually shelter and clothing, also -- which we must all acquire 
   in some way.  It is just a general fact of life.  It is a fact 
   that is true for every human being in the world.  (It is even 
   true for all animals and creatures of the world -- all must at 
   least eat.  Otherwise they die.)  Young children growing up may 
   not fully appreciate this universal fact of life while their 
   parents are providing for all of their needs but when they get 
   older it is a fact they are forced to face.  No one in the 
   world can live on dreams, fantasies and hopes.  It would be 
   very nice if they could but they can't.  This fact gives rise 
   to another important fact of life: the importance of money in 
   this life and the central role it plays. It is true everywhere 
   you go in this world and especially in the industrialized, 
   developed countries of the world where there is so much 
   interdependence.  We all have to have some way of acquiring 
   money because, for most of us, money is the only way we have of 
   acquiring food and the other necessities that we have to have.  
   Everywhere you go in the world money is a basic necessity and a 
   way has to be found for getting it.  That usually means that at 
   least one member of every family must seek, find and hold a 
   job.  That is pretty much another universal fact of life.  To 
   appreciate these general facts of life consider the position a 
   person finds himself in if some great natural event, such as a 
   hurricane, flood or earthquake, suddenly destroys his home and 
   those of hundreds of thousands of other people around him in a 
   great disaster, leaving everyone homeless and penniless with 
   only the clothes on their back -- such as happened with the 
   hurricane and flooding disaster of New Orleans.  What does such 
   a person do?  How does he eat?  Without money or resources how 
   does he live?   Another fact of life in most of the world: 
   competition for jobs, a scarcity of jobs, and difficulty in 
   finding jobs (especially good ones).  The world is full of 
   drab, boring, unpleasant jobs. 

  Other general facts of life:

  - Life is never perfect. There are always flies in the ointment.  
   Things always come in packages and every package has it's mix 
   of pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, pluses and 
   minuses.  It is true whether you are choosing a spouse, buying 
   a house, taking a job, whatever.  Nothing ever comes complete 
   with everything you would like.  You have to make your 
   decisions and accept the bad with the good. 

  -  Sexual attraction, sexual interest, the sexual forces within 
   us.  This is a fact of our existence that is true not only for 
   humans but for animals and essentially all creatures of the 
   earth.  It is an important force that plays a big role in life.  

 The facts of our personal circumstances.  There are many facts 
   representing Reality for each of us that are not universal 
   facts of life but rather are facts of Reality for us 
   specifically and individually.  Each of us carries with us a 
   set of personal facts that are unique to us and determine much 
   about us, how we see life, our self-image, our ability to 
   compete in life and land good well-paying jobs, etc..  They are 
   facts of life specific to us.  There are many examples: 

 - Our physical appearance.  You may be good-looking, attractive.  
   You may be obese and ugly.  You may be tall.  You may be short.  
   You may have a deformed, ugly face.  You may be a cripple.  
   Your appearance is a fact of life that goes with you wherever 
   you go.  These facts of life can have big implications, be a 
   big influence on how well we do in life, how well we can 
   compete for jobs, our relationships with other people, how 
   happy our lives are.  They are facts unique to you.  They are 
   facts that affect your self-image. 

 - One's race.  You may be white, black or oriental.  If you are 
   from some minority group that has a bad reputation for things 
   like violence, crime, ignorance, laziness, incompetence, etc. 
   it is a big negative in life for you. 

 - Our own particular mental abilities, talents, traits, quirks, 
   idiosyncrasies, inabilities, weaknesses, etc.  One person may 
   be a quick learner, quick to catch onto things.  Another person 
   may be slow.  Natural slowness is a mental trait or 
   idiosyncrasy that can have major implications for a person in 
   regard to how he does in life, how well he can compete for 
   jobs, etc..  It can be a major burden, curse and 
   hindrance to a person as he tries to make his way through life 
   -- affecting his self-image, his performance in school, his 
   confidence, and pulling him down in life.  One person may not 
   be able to function under pressure.  Another may be able to. 

 - The state of one's health.  One person may be in very good 
   health with no health problems.  Another person may have 
   generally poor health or have one or more major or minor health 
   problems.  Health is important in life.  Poor health can affect 
   one's attitudes, outlook and morale and his general ability to 
   function and cope in life. 

 - One's age.  You could be a child just getting started out, 
   middle aged, or a retired person. 

 - One's responsibilities.  One person may be single and 
   responsible only for taking care of himself.  Another person 
   may have a wife and ten children to take care of. 

 - One's educational accomplishments and qualifications in terms 
   of professional degrees, etc.  These accomplishments have a 
   great deal to do with your ability to compete in this world, 
   acquire good jobs, and get that money so necessary for 
   survival.  One person may be a physician earning a lot of 
   money.  Another person may be illiterate  or functionally so 
   and able to qualify only for the most menial of jobs. 

 - Where you are born.  One person may be born to some wealthy 
   family living in luxury with all advantages that wealth can 
   give and another person may be born an illegitimate child to 
   some poor, unwed black woman hooked on cocaine in a large city 
   ghetto.  One person may be fortunate enough to be born here in 
   the USA with all its educational and economic opportunities and 
   another may be born in some very poor third world country where 
   there are few opportunities. 

   Some facts of our personal circumstances can be changed.  
   Others can't be.  If a person is obese or lacks in education he 
   may be able to change those facts.  Other facts, like the color 
   of one's skin, can't be changed. 

   Sept 2005

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