It’s important to let people hurt you. It’s important to feel the pain, recognize the hurt, and then separate yourself until you heal. You may never get back what you lost, but you will feel at peace with your decisions. Fear prevents most of us from taking risks. Fear of rejection, fear of pain, fear of loss. Interacting with other human beings always opens yourself to the possibility of hurt.

It’s imperative to me that I maintain a trust in humanity. Trusting humanity means believing that most people are not trying to hurt you intentionally. It means making yourself vulnerable…


Yes, my genetic lineage is predominantly Polish and Irish. Yes, I look like a fresh steamed lobster after a bad day at the beach. Yes, I have an illogical preference for potatoes over most starch. But when push comes to shove I will choose Not White over White every single time.

The people of Haiti have actually done this. All citizens of Haiti are default black, their word for man derives from their word for black as a result. I don’t have a reason to become a citizen of Haiti, and doing so to make a point is probably not…


The Europeans are having a small fit right now over translating Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb.” More than one translator has been asked to do the work and then had the request rescinded. When I first heard this a week ago it made sense to me, the Black American experience is unique. There are words and turns of phrases unique to their communities and experiences. It’s not enough to translate a work, we have lost so much of the artistry of many works in their translations. …


The biggest obstacle facing humans in 2021 is borders. Yes, climate change is destroying our planet. Yes, unfettered capitalism is destroying our bodies. Yes, self absorbed individualism is destroying our souls. Every single one of these would be improved if every single border was removed and citizenship was completely abolished. No what-about, no excuses, there are no longer nations. Federal governments can exist to oversee masses of land as long as they do so in coordination with other federal governments and they are beholden to every single person in their designated area regardless of origins. This is a radical idea…


I’ve grown used to enduring this part of the year. Most of my adult life was spent in regions with extreme winter conditions. My brain is cycling around the drudge that is late winter. Except, Amsterdam doesn’t experience late winter. Amsterdam barely experiences winter.

Ten days ago we had a decent snow storm. The canals froze for the first time in 5 years. They didn’t plow the streets or the sidewalks, only the bike lanes. They don’t have snow removal infrastructure. It didn’t matter. Five days later, and we’re breaking out shorts for the first spring thaw.

I don’t trust…


I have no idea how Ayn Rand would feel about the way her philosophy is being used today. She’s been dead since 1982, and the majority of the consequences of her beliefs had yet to bear out in entirety. It’s possible if she had lived through these years she would have doubled down on the beliefs that fueled libertarianism, but I also find it hard to imagine a world in which Ayn Rand doesn’t question how she came to be on the same side as Ted Cruz.

I started reading Rand in 2002. I have read almost all of her…


I have a decent amount of empathy for the lockdown rioters here in Amsterdam. We’re over a year into the pandemic. None of the local measures have had much of an impact in stopping the spread. Not when you compare them to the impact closing the borders had back in May. When the Netherlands re-opened, I was one of the foreigners that took the opportunity to hop across the border. Spending a few free months in what felt like the blossoming of new normal. As far as I know, I didn’t bring COVID with me. …


This story is scrubbed to protect the identity of the person involved. A long time ago in a land far far away, I plagiarized a thesis paper. A 35+ page thesis paper that received an above average grade and an advanced degree with honors. I do not have an advanced degree. Not because my plagiarism was caught. But because I committed the most absurd form of academic violation. I was the one writing the paper.

I didn’t do it for money. I didn’t do it because I had to or because I was coerced in any way. I did it…


At least, that’s what my Canadian Poli Sci professor told me last month. He showed us a chart to explain why Americans priorities were illogical. This chart, like most charts in the US, compared gun homicides to acts of terrorism. The chart indicated year over year less than 20 terrorist deaths and over 11,000 gun homicides. I’m not sharing this chart because it is manipulated statistics.

The US makes no distinction in gun homicides because they want you to think terrorism is a race problem. Hundreds, if not, thousands of those 11,000 gun homicides committed every year are acts of…


At least, they are killing my ability to maximize my productivity. I don’t care. There is nothing wrong with wasting time. Time is mine to waste, I get to decide what my legacy is. I lose hours a day in video games, both on my phone and on my switch. This was true long before the pandemic.

I am a serial shirker. I will only do the bare minimum of what is asked of me. Enough to be adequate, but never enough to stand out. Yet, I’m white enough and privileged enough to have crossed the six-figure income line before…

Samuel Smurlo

I mostly write for me and on the off chance that someone can gain something from my thoughts I publish them here.

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