This post is mostly for my own refernce, do don’t bother reading it. It’s not particularly meant to make sense, it’s sorta stream of thought as I usually write thing once through without looking back.
It is not good because God says it is. God does it because it is good.
And if this isn’t true– then I don’t beleive in God.
To elaborate on my last post– I asked the question “What’s the difference between being a gear in a machine, and being the transmission?”
You can’t have a machine without those gears. But you can survive without transmission– it’s just that the energy is inefficiently used, or it’s not well directed.
We have so many people that don’t get the respect that they deserve. Nimbus mentioned nurses. It’s nurses week, ironically.
Kadongis mentioned McDonalds folks. Them too, they get no respect.
I didn’t mean disrespect in the last post– actually i meant to point out that people are often identified with the stigmas of their jobs. Plumbers are seen as rip off artists– fat guys whose ass cracks show when they crouch under youR sink for example. Construction workers who are lazy and standing at the side of the road taking breaks all the time.
While it is true that sometimes people, god forbid, take breaks… who says they’re not entitled to it? Don’t you take breaks at your job? And if you’re some sort of monster who doesn’t, shouldn’t you?
I *sleep* at work sometimes, and I jokingly mention this in posts. But the truth of the matter is that I don’t do so just because I’m a bastard– I do it because I need it, and it counters the moments of sheer madness at the workplace.
But enough about me.
My point is.
Gears in a machine… or transmission.
See, there’s a little ironic thing about life– once you know, you can’t ‘un-know’ something. You may forget, if you really avoid it. But once you’ve stumbled upon a bit of truth, you can’t get rid of it intentionally.
And some people, when they find themselves doing just another job, something as part of the oh so scariness of the big capitalist war machine, then they start to panic.
There are two kinds of people. The people who worry too much. And those who don’t worry enough.
Okay, there’s a third type… those who are just right. But these people are few and far apart.
Those who don’t worry enough are the literal gears in the machine. They don’t know what’s going on– they never take a moment to introspect, or extrospect. THey don’t know what they’re doing, where they’re going, or how they fit into the big world.
But it doesn’t bother them. Cause they’re ignorant.
Those of us who are lucky *stay* ignorant– because ignorance is a shield, they’re the beautiful blinders of bliss, the rose colored glasses. You die and you don’t even know why, or without wondering. And isn’t that great? Uncertainty is what leads, after all, to fear– to anger– to the Dark Side and all that. Why ask questions if all they are is a demonstration of uncertainty? Ignorance is that much more blissful.
SUppose you do start thinking. Well, when you start thinking, that’s when all shit breaks loose. Then you start worrying. THen you wonder what the heck you’re doing with your life, then you start wondering if everything you learned in school was wrong. There was a time that you thought your parents were all wrong. But now, maybe maybe their cynicism about the world is all real.
Or worse still– you realize that your parents were and are helpless in the world, and you don’t want to admit that you can fall into that same slot someday.
THese are the people who may likely be worrying too much.
The thing is, once you start questioning, there’s no stopping.
And so people ask themselves things like… am i doing the right thing.
People ask questions and find out more and more about how the world is going so bad and how they’re a part of it.
Well, the real thing is that people forget that they’re human.
There are a billion things that you can do wrong in the world, and only so many things that you can do right. THe wrongs outnumber the rights a million to one in many cases.
The solution, I think, is that if you ask a question– if you find something ‘wrong’ about yourself– then you have to work on it to the best of your abilities.
In some cases, this means accepting that you can do nothing about it.
You’ve got, say 100000 points of time and energy to spread over your lifetime. As long as you spend that time and energy doing mostly forward movements… then you’re fine. But part of forward movements means accepting that when you reach a wall, sometimes you can’t break through– sometimes you just have to sidestep a few kilometers and find some other way to pass it.
The problem with activisits is that they want you to align themselves with their particular cause. That’s what’s annoying about them really– because they’re so focused on a problem that they don’t see the big picture.
But that’s not really a problem in itself– it’s just annoying to us because we don’t attribute the same amount of priority to it as them.
Doing right in the world– there’s many, many paths to it. Never let anyone tell you that if your path is wrong– only you can do that.
You only have so much energy and time on this planet– you can’t jump on every bandwagon, every cause– you have to chose a few that mean something to you.
In a world with so many people and so many possibilities– there can be no real judgements from anyone but ourselves.
And thus, the only sin is hypocrisy.
I wrote a rather large text called “The Perfect Human” a long time ago– it was an anlysis of my friends. I don’t have it anymore, the text is long gone, I gave it away to someone– that’s another story.
One of the central concepts was the idea of ‘personal treason’.
That refering to the idea that everyone has their own best interests. That best interest is, in most cases, trueness.
You can lie to anyone.
But you can’t lie to yourself.
The day you beleive your own lies is when you become a true gear in the machine– to be manipulated by others, for their own goals.
But who am I to tell you just what is a lie and what isn’t? No one can do it for you– because truth is something for yourself.
Everyone is a multitasker.
That’s why the approach of activists is a bit too extreme in most cases. Someone might make you think that saving the rainforest is the biggest concern in the world. Others might say it’s preventing violence against women. Others might say it’s the fight against cancer, or the war on drugs.
There’s any number of righteous crowds for a particular torch.
But wouldn’t it really be a day when the diehard vegan says to you “It’s okay if you don’t become a vegan– I know it’s the right path, but I understand that you have limited time on this planet, and so I can only trust you to do your best!”
WOuldn’t that be the day!
What I’m saying is that just as there are at least a billion ways to go wrong, there are also at least a million ways got go right.
If you can’t fix world poverty– that’s too bad. If you can’t find more time to be more compasionate for the handicapped– that’s too bad.
What I’m saying is that you *do what you can* and give yourself credit for what you do manage to get done.
Have you ever played Contra?
The basis of the game is to run and gun.
You do what you can.
ANd this is the basis of humanity. You see, while I’m doing my thing, I’m not out there fighting forest fires; disarming mine fields; rehabilitating troubled juveniles– whatever! If we are to judge a man based on the wrongs he does in comparison to the rights– there’s a billion things i’m doing ‘wrong’ but not paying attention to him. So if that logic is self destructive, I say it isn’t logical at all.
As long as I’m doing my part.
This is what humanity is about.
You do your best– I do mine. You have your specialty. I have mine. And the magic of this kind of faith is that at the end of the line– we all find that better tomorrow.
What’s important in life though?
While there are people out there lucky enough to land a job in healthcare, education, or community work… not everyone is.
And so what happens to me if I’m the janitor at a mega mall? What if I work on an oil rig? How am I making the world a better place?
Or am I part of something encouraging a worse place?
Being a better person isn’t about creatively rationalizing your situation and your impact on the world– it’s accepting responsability and actually acting.
There was a man I knew who passed away, he played piano. It was his passion.
But what’s a piano? He didn’t play in concerts. He played in his department… for himself mostly. Those who heard his music were touched of course– but he didn’t do anything ‘grand’ with it. He didn’t play at benefit concerts for world peace– he didn’t volunteer to teach infants.
He beleived that what he was doing– just playing– was important though. He found some reason to do it. He was passionate about it.
And so if you were to dare to tell me that he was selfish– I’d have to slap you. If you dared tell me he was useless to the world, I’d knock your lights out.
Because he was a man who knew what he wanted… he had reasoned out to himself what was ‘good’ and he did it.
The whole proceeding of the world is a complex system. You know that saying “God works in mysterious ways” that’s all so often used whenever something bad happens? Well, even if you’re an atheist or an agnostic– whatever. Lets just say that ‘stuff happens’… it’s all part of a complex system that none of us is able to judge. A step forward, a step backwards… but isn’t life just a two-step anyway?
If you go through life thinking “how can I do better” or trying to figure out what you should be doing instead of what you’re doing… or why you feel this detachment. Then you’ll get lost in the indescision.
It is not enough for us to be philosophers of the human condition… we must act on what we beleive in. And if we can avoid personal treason– then we have done good.