The Urban Monk

The FOMO of watching your friends make a killing on bitcoin…

Or discussing multiple streams of passive dividend income…

Or hearing whispered secrets about the latest hot pot stock that’ll have you retiring at 30…

Well, it can make anybody a little jealous, if not outright depressed.

After all, no one wants to work forever, living paycheck to paycheck. Rich people don’t even work for money — they work for assets.

And there are only so many hours in the day for your job, your side hustle, your family, friends, responsibilities, and…

Yourself. Don’t forget about that one.

Burning the…

The Urban Monk

Culture shock is sometimes subjective — but in this case, there’s plenty of cold, hard evidence to prove it.

Seeing Europeans leave jugs of milk on the counter overnight would certainly cause an American to raise an eyebrow. (And for what it’s worth, vice versa.)

Of the top 10 countries with the lowest rates of lactose intolerance, eight of them are European.

Unsurprisingly, the United States doesn’t crest that list.

But our investigation shouldn’t stop there. It isn’t just that Americans are less likely to possess the gene that processes lactose. It’s that the cows are different. The dairy industries…

The Urban Monk

You can make a hypnotized person do just about anything, right?

Because of our subconscious eating habits, we’re hypnotized far more often than we realize.

I like to talk about focus — or lack of it. About why so many of us walk around like hungry ghosts. I spend a lot of my time trying to customize plans for people who are not in the driver’s seat of their own lives.

The competitive, individualist world we live in doesn’t allow us to address the true root of this problem. …

The Urban Monk

Ten, twenty, thirty years ago, today’s headlines were the predictions of fringe extremists.

And yet, they’ve come true.

Conversations about how to avoid what’s coming aren’t important any longer. What was coming is here, and the proof is all around us.

2021 is shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record, causing unprecedented heatwaves in parts of the world unprepared for them. But it isn’t just the heat that has people panicking…

It’s what the heat changes.

All of the systems we have in place are dependent on conditions remaining stagnant. …

The Urban Monk

As the gut microbiome ages — and absorbs assault after assault from stress, poor sleep, processed foods, binge-drinking, etc. — it becomes less robust and flexible.

What that means is, where a super-heavy gluten-dense cream-laden meal (plus leftovers) used to just put us to sleep…

It now causes discomfort and agitates underlying conditions that are more susceptible to inflammation than they once were.

Now, there are a million ways to hack meals and train your brain not to eat until you feel sick — even if that just means smaller portions or more helpings eaten over a longer period. …

The Urban Monk

Part of the fun, tinsel-laced, snow-kissed holiday tension is determining whether to say “Merry Christmas,” because it reminds you of your childhood and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, or saying “Happy Holidays,” which has no sentimental value except that it includes the previously excluded.

The reality is, of course, that there are many, many more religious and cultural holidays between Thanksgiving and NYE that don’t necessarily stem from Abrahimic traditions.

And let’s face it, the Christmas traditions that most people hold nearest and dearest — decorating the Christmas tree, giving presents, Santa Claus sneaking into the house…

The Urban Monk

Looming over the myriad losses we collectively experienced during 2020, the first cut was certainly the deepest: no more physical touch.

To varying degrees, most people spent last year limiting the access other people had to them physically. Some lost contact entirely and others have just restricted.

While we know about the chemical importance of snuggling and what an oxytocin boost can do for our mental and physical health…

And plenty of people identify “physical touch” as their most favored love language, the health benefits of hugging may have existed in your mind only anecdotally or personally.

But according to…

The Urban Monk

Metropolitan convenience and connection seemed like a much better idea before March 2020.

Although plenty of us have benefited from deliverable groceries and meals, easy access to bodegas and grocery stores, and robust internet connections…

We’ve also worn the floors out of our apartments and homes.

Apocalypse preppers finally started to seem reasonable, and the boost in people learning survival skills (that really, we should already know) has been immeasurable — gardening, sewing, knitting, woodworking, etc.

If you’ve fantasized about homesteading — a life of semi-isolated self-sufficiency — it’s safe to assume you weren’t the only one.

Some people, however…

The Urban Monk

“Stressed out” has only been pressure-tested as a concept for less than 100 years.

That sounds crazy, considering that all human advancements were designed to improve life.

Why would we have finally borrowed “stress” from the realm of physics to apply to human life in the 20th century? Why not in the 18th century? The 15th?

There are theories about that… But the consensus is that those who worked in the field of psychology in 1936 were at their wit’s end trying to describe what was happening to people all over.

The industrialization of life hadn’t freed us from labor…

The Urban Monk

It’s much harder than you’d think.

To start with, you’d probably want to approach the International Criminal Court (ICC) which oversees the four categories of international crime…

Genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression.

One of the prerequisites across the board for each of those crimes is human harm. To successfully convict a person or government, their actions must fall under one of those four categories and directly resulted in the harm of individuals.

At the moment, ecocide isn’t recognized by the United Nations. The Oxford Languages dictionary defines it as…

The destruction of the natural environment…

Pedram Shojai

NY Times Best Selling Author, filmmaker, and founder of

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