Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NUMBER ONE

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. -Henri Nouwen

Recently, I found these words surfing around the internet (is that what one does out on the information highway..?  surf it.??) and it came back to me reading a post by 'the blackest man on the internet’, Denmark Vesey.  I don’t know if DV is really a supporter of some of the things he says… I think of him like a Petey Greene of the internet, but who knows.  He has made statements that makes me think he thinks that the libertarianism of Ron Paul makes for a viable alternative to the supposed two party system that we have controlling the government.

The idea of libertarianism sounds better than the actual practice of it.  The individual is too self-centered to willingly provide for anyone other than themselves.  There are too many things that must be accounted for, maintained, in order for libertarianism to work.  I personally think that evolution taught us that we need to work together but we don’t always want to contribute to the benefit of the collective.  And I use myself as an example, because as much as I want to be a giving and thoughtful person, there are some things that I would never do and I am glad to support those who will do these things.  That said, I also do things to benefit others that perhaps those that do what I won’t do, such as go into the 3rd world and provide aide, prolly would not do.

In its strictest sense, libertarianism leaves the individual to decide what is best for their own pursuit.  But does this mean that a mother should drop their child and let it fend for itself?  Should we allow for a mother who may be overwhelmed with the responsibility of motherhood fail because of a few less than good choices?  Is it fair that some live in a tribe that is well-organized to handle such a breakdown while others do not?  That doesn’t seem fair, it seems more like chance to me.

Also, how to account for the function of society without everyone contributing to the structure that maintains it?  As flawed as the current system is, because of the underlying selfishness of the human animal, I would not want to trust that a group of people would get together and willingly help others, some of whom does not have the same ‘whatever’ to make something of themselves and in turn, contribute to society.  There is a naïveté to libertarianism that seems quaint, almost child-like.  But Ron Paul’s brand of libertarianism, leaning as it does on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, is badly flawed by that particular association.  Anywho, there have been reports charging Ron Paul with making racially-charged comments in public, speaking to groups that are themselves racist organizations.  Yeah, it bothers me, but I felt that if this was to punch a hole in his candidacy, good for that.

Some cat left a comment that was a reply to my comment… and I rarely participate in a comment forum on anyone’s blog, but I knew that my comment was going to draw some fire, so I checked back to see.  Not only did someone respond to my comment but it would make for a feature in DV’s blog!  That made me smile, because for me to have said something that ‘made sense’ is quite the accomplishment for me!  While it did not rise to the level of an ‘internet sh*tstorm’, it did remind me of how I do try to own my persona, even out here on the web.  I believe how I behave out here carries on to the carbon-based world in which we exist.  I am certain as Ivory soap is pure, the cat you think you know via the blogosphere, is the cat you can expect to see IRL.

If The Rule You Followed Brought You To This….Of What Use Was The Rule?
-Anton Chiguruh, “No Country For Old Men”

The idea of codifying my life first came to me shortly after my relationship with Tee Jay fizzled out.  I had thought that I solved for most of the character flaws that caused for me to perform ‘less than good’ in my previous relationships with women.  There were patterns that continued to repeat themselves in spite of the constant self-evaluation that I put myself through on a daily basis.  What was confounding me was my behavior and why I would make the same mistakes, and how avoidable that many of them, despite anticipating the potential for fail that they ultimately led to.

I would take most of that first post-Tee Jay year compiling a list of quotes and excerpts from books that I have read or would come across in some other media with the purpose of creating a physical reminder of who I was and the expectations that I had of myself and to help me in negotiating through the various personal relationships that I found myself in.
People often wonder why they make the same mistakes over and again, even when they believe that they are behaving differently or have made a drastic outward change.  But whether you are a cat who can’t suck it up and drop that basket of fries like the shift manager told you to, or you are a woman who can’t understand why she is always broke when her hair is in a asymmetrical design not found in nature and in spite of her meager income, she has the hippest purse and at outfits in their closet, the answer always lies within oneself.  There I think that there is a reason that people who are unhappy with themselves or headed towards that end, are often shallow and superficial.  And I think that Sun Tzu said it best:

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

I think that is also a rule that speaks for itself without any particular interpretation.  Know who you are and know what you are getting into if you want things to work out.  If you know half of that equation then you will enjoy heartbreak and loss as much as you will experience joy and victory.  And if you don’t know either, then you will fall into ruin.  Period.

THIS WILL BE A REGULAR FEATURE

Especially with the uncertainty that has came with preparing for the new year, I believe it is essential that I go over the philosophy that I claim is mine.  We have 43 more of these things left, and some will be timely and others will just be plucked at random and offered for discussion.  Hope that those who read find something worth reading and I hope that I can produce content that justifies being read!

5 comments:

LceeL said...

Libertarianism? Really? Those guys are "Free Market Economy" personified. And the only thing wrong with their perception of "Free Market Economy" is "The Invisible Hand" that guides and controls a free market - as first imagined and postulated by Adam Smith in the 1770's. It was a fiction then - and it's an even greater fiction now. It's a philosophy based on a lie - and the Republicans and the Libertarians have drunk that koolaid and called it good.

Don't let them get you, too.

Thomas Alice said...

If you go back to a time before we had government regulation, you find child labor, starvation wages, rampant drug addiction, and rivers so polluted they actually caught fire. You could argue that we tried libertarianism, and rejected it.

I agree with your quote- there's no greater comfort than a friend you can be quiet with.

Jonthy Williams said...

Mark,
You always have interesting things to say in your blog and you always respond to my blog in a concise and empathic manner. You make your reader think . . . I personally thank you for that.

FrankandMary said...

Well, now, you know how I feel politically, since we've discussed it. ;o

But usually no matter what you think, or how well you've thought it out for yourself, someone will give you biblical grief on it. Comes with the territory. ~Mary

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

That is a tall order to know thyself and to know what you are getting into. Perhaps if we would all focus on that more, we would avoid some of our stupid life decisions.