a random tuesday: kant
13/07/2010 § 1 Comment
Yesterday, sitting in the park I had a lot of things on my mind. I explained to Mr. P that I was feeling rather overwhelmed. Recently, I have been unable to grasp the moments of life because I have been in a perpetual whirlwind of “things to do”. I explained to him that I have been feeling uninspired and burnt out, finding it difficult to follow through on plans because I am always making the next one. I was beginning to realize that I have been running around like a headless chicken, or an untrained dog off the leash.
Needless to say, after a much needed conversation, I have touched down. A little. Instead of overworking my fingers on the keyboard, I decided to take a nap, go for a walk, enjoy an exhausting bike ride at dusk — in order to get me breathing again, — peruse facebook and see what others are saying. At the end of it, I slept.
It was after a much needed rest that my mind was able to synthesize my new found situation and appreciate those that are in my life. These are people who challenge my ideas, not in an oppressive manner, but in a push for progress, an informal, Socratic school of thought.
Being a lover of all things community based, I began to question why we choose to produce and consume things by the masses. An obvious answer is Capitalism.
Mr. P & I:
– It’s the Capitalist nature of things. We support things that create jobs because we believe in the whole process of working as a lifestyle. It’s in our nature.
– Yeah, man, absolutely. You’re right. Do you think that it’s human nature or just the animal within? Capitalism appeals to our instinct for competition, territoriality and ownership. Being humans, we have a beautiful thing called the mind that we, as a whole, just haven’t figured out how to use.
So it was, I began to feel better about where things are and the direction things are flowing. It is nice to think that there is a greater goal to strive for — an end that will be worth it. It seems Kantian to think that as long as the process is there, that’s all that matters.
And then I read things that friends are writing, such as this:
I’m an optimist no doubt, but a realist first. Here’s the sad truth: the mechanisms are simply not in place to hold anyone accountable. That is why time and time again across the world civil liberties are trampled upon by police and politicians alike (in “free” countries) and nothing happens, in spite of the outrage and outcry.
Think about… police and politicians are branches of a single system, so when they misbehave we take our complaint to another branch of the same system for investigation and then that branch passes on their findings to another branch for “prosecution”… which never happens. When you look at it like that, it’s not hard to figure out why nothing happens. The system needs to be completely retooled.So, while I appreciate everyone’s participation in the “Toronto G20 investigation”, it concerns me that people think that the same system that abused them will dole out justice from a different branch. It simply will not and we will be much better off accepting that fact and looking at ways to change the system instead of pleading with it to hold it’s brothers and sister responsible for their unlawful activities.
– James Wallace, facebook status update
It is refreshing to be challenged on the most fundamental level: freedom.
As human beings, we have become enamoured with complacency — which personally, is the biggest crime against ourselves. We tend to be content to live a prescribed lifestyle, adhering to a standard that is, humanely, sub-par. It is refreshing when friends and family challenge the status quo, not to be edgy and trendy, but in the pursuit of progress.
Mr. P & I:
– You know, the unfortunate thing about our generation is that we all think of becoming somebody, but that somebody is usually a false representation of what society thinks is a somebody. People do things, other things, and try to do them really well. In the end, we realize that everybody is doing the same thing.
– Hm. I never thought of it that way. I guess with 6 billion people in the world trying to become a part of this something, there is going to be a lot of overlap. As a kid, growing up, I always thought I wanted to be “successful” (I air-quoted) at something.
– As long as someone is continually doing excellent things, then he or she should feel successful at being happy, don’t you think?
It is in our nature, our biological tendency, to fear the unknown or to question things that may induce pain. Pain comes in all forms and the most pervasive one is not belonging to the group. We see it as children and teenagers, the “it” crowd, and we see it as adults, fitting in with a prescribed paradigm. It’s astonishing to realize that “high school” may never end.
However, as a self-proclaimed optimist and friend of optimists, there is hope. Even if the Pandora’s box of Capitalism has been opened — and has been a strong component to human history for hundreds, if not thousands, of years — there is a small beacon of light. I see it shining in so many that I have met.
It is in our human potential where we find the chance to grow. Finding our passions and doing excellent things with them, being open to new ideas and methods of living a life, untainted and free.
Life should be a playground, not a cage. Stepping back and recognizing the necessity of others, for they are your playmates; seeing the importance of difference and wholesomeness in individuals; accepting that a community of sorts, even virtual, is a far better forum than an overarching system. These are the things that lead us to something greater.
We Kant do it.
To do it, we must question what is already in play.