The Abyss

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Originally published March 23, 2020

One of my favorites quotes is from one of my favorite philosophers – the great Friedrich Nietzsche.

To wit,

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

This October I will be celebrating my 10th Anniversary in the Automotive industry. That being said, there isn’t much to be celebrating now, or worse in a few months.

I’m not going to lie, I have lost plenty of sleep over it. This week was my daughter’s 17th B-day. I always wanted to be able to give my children their first car. I dreamed of this day for so long.

I’m a car guy, it’s something I set out to do based on my experiences of living in poverty. I was blessed to live in good neighborhoods.

My parents made sure of that, nonetheless, the pain and solitude I would experience as an immigrant child – who didn’t speak any of the right languages – my Spanish was not the same as it was – in Miami, December of 1980.

It made me dream about the almighty American Dream. And boy did I have aspirations and goals.

Moving on, not only am I celebrating my 10th year, but its also my 25th year of working full time, and get this, I also turn 45. It goes without saying that – A LOT IS ON OUR MINDS!

I don’t have any idea what tomorrow brings, however, I have been preparing for this moment for 12 years. Since the collapse of the economy in 2008, along with, my wealth, my business, my dignity, my family, friends, and marriage.

I was left with nothing but time and isolation while pondering, perplexed, angry, hurt, and deeply disappointed – I felt like a failure. Here I was, ex millionaire, pillar trustee, esteemed this esteemed that. You know, the facade the majority of us convince ourselves shows off our success, as we feverishly seek to elevate the status quo.

When it’s gone, it’s gone, material possessions – you ultimately end up selling them to get you gas money, run to western union to pay electricity, utilities, maybe a nice meal. I say these things because I have experienced every single one of them.

Know that as bad as it gets, we humans are extremely resilient. The fact is, we all have an inherent ability to succeed. The question is not with what, it’s the how. The caveat is, how do we spark initiative into someone who isn’t willing to take their own advice?

For me, this is a time of self-reflection. Coupled with the brutal and ugly truth that the system is failed. What you are witnessing is a systemic failure at its core. I’ll digress, and get back to the point.

If you’re looking for answers, then it’s time you rethink and assess whether you are working for someone or working for yourself. Many of us, have reached an age and experience that is often discarded.

If you think the crisis in 2008 had a long-lasting effect, this time around it’s going to change things exponentially. There isn’t a lot of options for many, but there is one option for everyone.

And that’s the “information age.” Instead of using your time on social media to perpetuate a facade that suddenly seems unsustainable – well welcome to the club. The choice here, is on you, no one else.

Fact is, if you’re waiting for someone else, please turn the TV on and switch to any channel you want and I guarantee they’re all talking about failures. Each and every country, especially this one – are dealing with systemic failure.

You can continue to wait for the system to get back “online” or you can start working on finding your purpose. This is why I am an ardent supporter of Open Source. The sites you visit the most, use some open source in their network.

The information age is in your hands at your disposal. The languages and frameworks mentioned in the picture are all free, and with a strong community supporting every aspect you can think of.

Maybe you do think of something new, and well the rest is social media history.

Carpe Diem

Carlos Barberena

Carlos Barberena

20+ years in the Information Communication and Technology sector. Survived the doomsday bug Y2K. Wrote my first line of code on a Tandy 1000 in Basic A with a - get this - 512MB Seagate HDD. Yeah, that's right baby, I was the envy of the block.

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