Age 48-63 (2008 to 2023)
This period started with two major changes:
I wanted to return to working on my humanistic projects, which have purpose and meaning in life.
I stopped drinking alcohol completely, returned to a health food diet, and was careful to get better sleep.
In business, I split off and set up my own company. I took closer control of sales people and staff myself.
Notably, I have always tried to do things with good business ethics, rather than try to maximize the amount of money I made by any tricks. I wanted to more closely watch for any tricks by sales people and try to manage them closely myself. I can better live with myself with less money and a good conscience, rather than more money from trickiness by anybody in my company.
It would be easy to just copy and conform with tricky competitors and rationalize that, saying "others do it so it's okay and better to do the same", but that is wrong, and instead I normally chose the opposite. I have always been this way. Like the Jewish Golden Rule, "That which is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow".
It would also be easy to close sales with clients without telling them all we should, but I would prefer to tell them everything at risk of closing a sale or losing the client to a competitor. For example, if I pointed out that the unit they loved at a good price had a problem, troublesome landlord, or was in a location with a lot of noise which could disturb their sleep at night, then I would do so rather than close the sale for a commission and disregard any later difficulties, landlord problems, or sleep issues.
Money comes and goes, and in modern times, we can eat and survive without a lot of money by living very economically. I can better live with myself for the rest of my life if everybody in my company does the right thing, than if we do the wrong thing for more money.
It is often difficult to compete with competitors who oversell, mislead, and use various tricky tactics of questionable ethics. However, money is not one of the most important things in life.
Learning to live well ethically on less money, and doing good things in the world, is much more fulfilling.
In this way, I am very compatible with my wife and soul mate, Na, who is a very good match for me in this way.
Na co-founded my new company so we worked together along these lines.
We created a second, separate company for our private investigations, and I started with entirely new agents. We also started pushing for family cases instead of surveillance cases. There was a lot more demand for surveillance cases, but out of all the services offered in private investigations, we decided that we would prefer family finder cases, so we tried to ramp that up.
Out of all the people I have known, I am just sad that I didn't meet Na until I was in my late 40s and she was already in her late 30s. We eventually got married when I was 49 and she was 39. We both wanted children, but we had little time. We eventually had two miscarriages, which is still very sad to us to this day. We married in September 2009.
My life with "Na" became the most stabilizing, peaceful, sane, and happy period in my life in a very long time. We are inseparable partners, doing everything together. We are soulmates with deep love, which will be life long.
(I have also maintained a good relationship with my first Thai wife, Ying, who I had married in 1996 and with whom I have my daughter Angie, and Ying was happy for Na and I and helpful, as usual. Ying has always gotten along well with Na. Ying and I had some conflict in the past around the time we split, but only over a very short time at the moment (days?), and quickly became cooperative and friends again after that, though not romantic nor physical again after our separation in the year 2000. We took care of Angie, and remained good friends, too. Ying has a good relationship with Na.)
Na and I have had a great relationship even during times of extreme financial stress, such as more than 10 years later in the COVID-19 period, which was devastating to our business and our money got very low whereby we were living on the bare minimum. Nonetheless, we continued to have a nice home environment, worked together very well, and helped each other to adapt to our new financial situation, in our loving little home.
Back when we first met, Na and I didn't start as two people attracted to each other for romance. Instead, we just crossed paths in business and started to develop a friendship over time. That friendship eventually became a loving relationship. It was not at all a "love at first sight" thing, but instead one of those things which just grows on you and keeps getting stronger and stronger. She is such a good person. I came to love her as a person more and more over time, pure goodness.
Just right out of the blue, many people have told me that they have observed that Na loves me so much, and have told Na that I love her so much. Of course, we know this already, but it's remarkable how many other people have noticed and decided to comment on this.
When I first saw her at her workplace, she was a senior manager. I saw her many times. At first, I was impressed with her diligence, pleasant leadership of staff, and customer care with everybody, going the extra mile. When she was not very busy, I'd speak with her at length, about many things. She is highly ethical and loving towards other people and life on this planet, which I appreciate, and also tries to avoid conflicts by being diplomatic, but she is also action oriented in business.
I always like to get to know people who I think are special, and come to understand them. The biggest turn-on for me is an ethical person, which triggers a caring and loving instinct, and a desire to protect them.
Na wasn't even eating meat back then out of compassion for animals. She doesn't want to kill anything except mosquitoes, and she even does that hesitatingly sometimes and says sorry to them, but we worry about dengue fever and other things. Despite her small Thai salary, she donated to charity regularly.
(The care about insects and other wild life is something I've had, too, ever since I was a child in nature. People have often poked fun at me because I don't like to kill roaches, ants, and other pests, and I don't detest stray animals which are not threatening anybody. I have sacrificed time, effort, and money to help strays. I have lots of friends who are not the same, and there is pain inside me when I witness unnecessary harm to animal or insect life. Na and I share a love of nature and the same outlook and sensitivities. My daughter Angie is also a lot like this.)
After I first met Na at her workplace, I came out talking with her on repeated visits, sometimes for a long time. From the outset, I found out that Na shared a lot of my core values and interests, though Na had lived a very different kind of life up to that point, very proper and careful. Na is a conservative, mainstream, and traditional Thai lady, but is also very intelligent and full of Goodness, clearly well raised by her parents and family. Some of her siblings are teachers. She spoke a lot about her parents, especially her mother who taught her a lot of ethics. She seemed very trustworthy.
Years later, I asked Na why she liked to speak with me in the first days. She said that I seemed like a good person and "soft". She had actually noticed me at Future Park when I didn't see her, and read my body language. It wasn't that I was handsome, and that did not play a significant factor. It was after talking with me that she felt I am special.
Just talking with Na, I could see that she was very smart and experienced as a manager of people, yet could stand up for what she thought was right regardless of what others may be doing. She was a leader, not just a follower, and was not a conformist to trends but instead questioned things first.
The whole story is kind've funny. The first time I saw Na was when she walked into a big room with many of her employees. Immediately, I saw the employees perk up upon seeing her and appear a bit more attentive to their work. Na has unusually curly hair, which was fairly long and fluffs out, and walks in a very upright and self-confident way, with dignity, respectability, and honor. The first image to come into my mind when I saw that social interaction unfold is that the "alpha lion", Na, had just walked into the room, and the pride was expressing their respects. Her curly hair was her big mane. I was gender blind at the time (as I usually am), so never mind that female lions don't have a mane, it's just the first image which came into my mind when I saw that event unfold.
It was only over time that I started to see that it's actually a very lovely and gentle lioness.
As Na told me later, at the time we met she had thought that she would be single the rest of her life. She liked living alone, was not interested in men, and nobody had been interested in her for a very long time. She had a previous long time relationship with another man she loved very much, and he took good care of her, until he departed for another lady, which very deeply crushed Na. She remained single after that, until more than 10 years later, when I came into her life. At one point, she suddenly felt "destiny" about me. (She used an ancient Thai word which was not found in Google Translate.)
Eventually, I started to discuss the possibility of her working for my company. She had worked in her job for 17 years, so it would be a major change in her life.
She started part time on weekends and holidays just to check it out, and took her time, being very thoughtful with various constructive comments about how my operation was run, one step at a time. She earned extra income doing so but the money didn't seem to be a significant motivator. I was impressed not only with her careful results but also her analysis of my organization and staff, from her management expertise and experience with people. She was the kind of person who improves things.
She eventually resigned her job of more than 15 years to join my company.
When problems cropped up, to say the least, she became one of the people who stuck by me thru bad times as well as good times, driven more by ethics than by money, and not just a fair weather good times employee and friend. We both chose ethics over money many times. Actually, money was never too much of a driver of Na. She lived economically so was not needy, never pushed customers nor took advantage of situations, always ethical and caring of others, honest, and was a good leader and role model. Friendships and people are important to her, and people are not just objects for making money or for just using and discarding.
When I set up a new company, some of Na's former coworkers who she knew for many years also made the leap of faith in switching their jobs and joining our small startup company. I started referring to us as "the pride".
Na and I work very well and harmoniously together, and we are inseparable, going everywhere and doing everything together. I've never felt so compatible with a friend become lover in all my life. I am happier than I've ever been before in a relationship, and I can't imagine life without Na at my side.
This is not just an "in love", transient feeling. This is a real lifelong friendship and partnership, with a person who I trust 100% and who can trust me 100% in all ways, and the person who I want to live with the rest of my life. It has been a relationship in which the mutual love has grown over time, no fading, and is solidly based on shared values and interests, thru good times and bad.
This has created a permanent stability in my life. I have been thru years of stress and disruptive events before, but now there is stability. I look forward to a peaceful and stable future for the rest of our lives.
Our business has had its ups and downs, including lean times in 2008, followed by some Thailand political upheavals involving violent street protests, and the great Bangkok flood (which also put water up nearly a meter high at our house) but crises did not affect me like in the past.
Then came COVID-19 in early 2020. Our business was almost entirely dependent upon incoming foreigners, so the flight ban put an end to that. Our business was hit hard by COVID.
We had to cut costs and basically stay home. Despite the financial hardships, we were still happy together and felt so lucky to have each other as partners.
I just love being at home with Na, at the office with Na, in transit with Na, and doing anything and everything out in the world with Na. And the feeling is very much mutual. We are inseparable.
People tell us we are such a nice couple, and very good for each other. So many people have told me that my wife loves me so much. I know that already, no question whatsoever, but it's remarkable how people tune into us as a couple and make such comments.
As the relationship started to develop, I joked with her about my initial impression of her as the alpha lion. Later, when we both felt even luckier to have met, we started to refer to ourselves as lucky lions.
However, she is a very gentle lionesse. She was a vegetarian when she met me. She doesn't kill any insects (ants, roaches, etc.) except the poisonous centipedes (one bit her when young and caused tremendous swelling) and mosquitoes, though she feels sorry for them when we must swat mosquitoes or find a poisonous centipede in the house. Killing anything else is off limits. This is like my daughter Angie and my mother. I have also been this way ever since I was a young kid growing up in nature. I get upset and sad when I see somebody hunting, harming any animal, or killing insects and pests unnecessarily. It's something about human nature which disturbs me.
Every relationship takes time to develop, and has many tests along the way before it passes the test of time. I was amazed at how Na just seamlessly passed my tests. She is completely trustworthy with everybody, very caring, diligent in her responsibilities, has uncommon "common sense", is a quick thinker, and personally down to Earth, able to switch modes at the appropriate times and in different environments and places.
I have known many ladies, but I am very picky about who I would consider as a wife.
(My tests include: caring about the world, caring about others, walk the walk in addition to talking the talk, being frugal with money, staying out of debt, good problem solving skills and ideas, perseverance, able to perform under pressure rather than just rationalize and skip out, taking responsibility, thinking things thru before speaking, reason over emotion, ability to control temper, ability to get along with a diversity of other people (within reason) and handle a variety of situations, and of course my various style preferences and the ability to shift modes as appropriate.)
My life has changed in many ways over the past several years, as I've settled down, and I'm happier and feel more stable than I've been in a long time. No more major frustrations, no more crazy life at times. I can see my lifelong future with my wife, and my mind has become more settled.
Na and I don't live a luxurious life at all. We live a very modest life, but we have all we need and a good home.
Visit to USA, 2014
At one time, we had saved enough money to visit the USA. Thanks to the staff Na brought in, we were able to get away and they ran things okay, all considered.
Na, Angie, and I went to the US for Angie to finish high school there, where she graduated, but we all agreed we would rather live the rest of our lives in Thailand. Years later, Angie graduated Magna Cum Laude from a university in Thailand.
Resuming Humanistic Projects, 2008
I started making time to update my PERMANENT space settlements website.
At one point, I realized that the section on biotechnology threats and potential human extinction deserved a website of its own, so in 2009 I registered the domain gainextinction.com on the risks of technological gains leading to extinction, and I have developed that website over the years.
Na loves my work trying to help humankind. Before I knew her, she had donated periodically to charities, even though she had a small salary, whereby it was a significant sacrifice to her, but she was overwhelmed with compassion. This is one of the things I love very much about Na.
Whenever I spend time on my humanistic projects, she is so encouraging with her comments and so supporting, trying to serve me any way she can so that I can continue spending my time and focus on this work.
Na manages most staff, and tries to do as much as she can, to free my time for humanistic work.
We don't have much money, and we live very cheaply. We live in a 2 bedroom townhouse in Pathum Thani. However, it is enough for us, and we are very happy. It has internet, which is our window to the world. We don't want to buy something more than we need. We want to live cheaply and have free time to do things like write this website, and promote the survival of humankind and space settlement. These are the most important things in life.
Artificial intelligence technology has become very advanced in recent years, which has led me to focus even more on the urgency of dealing with this as regards the future of humankind.
Outlook on Humans
Actually, for the past 10 years or so, I have seen human beings in a different way. When I see somebody, I see a CPU/brain encased in a skull for support and protection, with 2 optical sensors in front being their main guidance, an audio broadcast apparatus under the eyes, and two audio sensors on the sides of the head to get 360 degree directionality, the entire head located above all else. Below that is locomotion, chemical energy processing (food and breathing), robotics, and data and search entry by fingers. The fingers and optical sensors are the main feedback loop, especially for serious work, though sometimes it's audio-visual, usually for "entertainment" stimulation. That's how I've seen many people, in my own quiet way -- primates from different cultures and homes and groups on the planet.
The big problem with the world is the selfish and self-centered DNA programming of our species, and how people follow their instincts/emotions/desires more than reason. ("Rationalization" is faulty reasoning.) I have been this way before to various extents and in various ways, part of the human experience, but since 2008 I have been much more self-aware and committed to getting back on track to try to save humankind from extinction.
With the recent high profile events with artificial intelligence, I have put more emphasis on the risks of artificial intelligence in helping bad actors create super pathogens.
In 2023, I created the very brief website HumankindSurvival.com
mark-prado.com > History > Ages 48 to 63 (2008-2023)
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