Popular Posts

Powered by Blogger.

Archive for July 2012

Mob Mentality

I’m in the midst of a love-hate relationship with Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness.  This is a collection of essays exploring the facets of the Objectivism school of thought, a philosophy I love, in theory, because it touts reasoning and productivity.  Closer study has shown me that it can only exist by extremes – by functioning in a void.  It gives no allowance for human imperfection because it doesn’t allow for any form of mysticism. 
So, even though I’m finding this collection difficult to read because I don’t agree with a lot – such as, America has got it all figured out and the rest of the world is wrong.   And anyplace America has erred is the fault of altruistic philosophy – I have found countless statements that resonate with me. 
“A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment – a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of man’s nature – is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule.  Such society….represents, not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man’s survival”
This sounds like the plight of minorities in America: working a lot for very little return, subpar resources limiting the ability to broaden the scope of thought and opportunity, in short contrived situations creating a less than ideal and oftentimes hazardous environment.    The majority creating a mob mentality to purposefully threaten the survival of the minority. 
And the worst part is, the minority has bought into it.  Knowledge is a person's biggest assest, but the minority community is encouraged to surpress the pursuit of it and instead focus on acquiring a glamorous, but often detrimental lifestyle.  It’s not just theory anymore.  Minorities are dying every day.  Our men end up in jail and so we can’t procreate.  Or the disparity between what minority men can achieve as opposed to what the women are permitted to achieve is promoted to the point where the two lack common ground and have no desire to partner.  And nothing against legitimately homosexual individuals, but some of our youth are doing it because it’s the in thing, not thinking about the fact that they’re contributing to their own destruction.  Minority survival is undoubtedly being threatened by a malicious school of thought.
It’s for reasons like this that I study philosophy. Taken in the academic context, it’s not enjoyable and I don’t subscribe to overarching theories, but there are people who use it to fit their needs.  So I need to understand and be able to apply philosophy to reality to survive.  They do.


Recently, I was thinking about the nature of change. Missing some people and things from my past and realizing I sacrificed them to make me the person I am today.  A work in progress.  Which means in the future, I'll be sacrificing something I currently hold dear in order to progress to my next season in life.  Made me want to enjoy and value everyone and everything in my life that much more.  To make sure I'm really living in the moment because who knows how the next one will look.
Tag : ,

Better Late Than Never

So, last week's time of reflection threw off my posting flow a little bit, but it's okay, sometimes we need to take time to think.  The downside is, I'm more than halfway done reading Devil in a Blue Dress and I haven't given my thoughts on Manchild in the Promised Land yet.

This is the autobiography of Claude Brown, published in 1965, which recounts how it was coming of age in Harlem in the '50s.  I liked it a lot and gave it four out of five stars.

As far as the story, it was what you'd expect from an account of a man who made something of himself in spite of all odds being stacked against him.  The thing that stood out about this book was Brown's writing style.  Reading it made me feel like I was in his thoughts.  When the book opens, Brown is about five years old, and his thoughts sound like those of a five-year-old child.  Over the course of the book, his writing reflects the thought process of whatever season he was in in his life.  He was also skilled in capturing his thoughts and emotions when dealing with complicated life situations.  These parts of the book felt very human and often provided humorous anecdotes.  All of this made the book enjoyable, but it also gave me the sense of Harlem in the '50s as opposed to feeling like I was reading an analytical account.

The downside to this stream of conscious writing style is that because the book is written how people think, the story was sometimes circular.  This resulted in some redundancy which was a little irritating because the autobiography was so good, I almost felt like I was reading a novel and was expecting a linear plot.

All in all, it was a good book and it comes highly recommended by me.

Boundaries...the Good Kind

I've neglected to update my blog this week because I've been even more lost in thought than usual.  At the forefront of my mind has been the question, what is the life lesson that has had the biggest impact on me over the past couple of years??  I’ve determined it’s the discovery that I need to be more of what I considered to be selfish in the past.  Now I realize it’s less selfish and more the implementation of personal boundaries.

I’m a people pleaser.  I’ve admitted this to myself and now it’s time to create some balance within that trait.  There’s nothing wrong with me wanting to say or do something that may make somebody’s day, the problem comes in when I do it at the expense of my own happiness.

Sounds crazy to admit I’ll consistently neglect my own comfort to ensure the comfort of others, but my habit I wrote about in Ownership of trying to fix peoples’ problems ties into this.  And it all has to change. 

So, I’m working on implementing boundaries.  To be more selfish by denying people more.  Not to say “no” for the sake of saying it, but to be comfortable with knowing saying it does not make me selfish.  And knowing, when applied correctly, saying “no” will result in a peace within myself.  I’m almost 100 percent positive the calm I’ll receive from using my boundaries wisely will heighten the happiness I receive from bringing others joy because it will make my actions that much more meaningful.

This was not a lesson learned easily or painlessly.  I don’t want to be in the position I’m in now - being 30 and just starting to implement boundaries - but I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the position I was about three years ago before I learned this lesson. 

Life is about growth.  Evolution.  Without that, what’s the point?? 
Tag : ,

- Copyright © LIVity - Skyblue - Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -