I think that I might try posting a song of mine at the beginning of my posts for extra exposure. You can listen to it while you read this crap! The song of mine that has been on my mind most lately has been the one above. In this case, you will probably be able to finish reading this post before the song is finished playing. It’s a long symphonic metal epic that ties the three most important pieces of my writing together, calling in to question specific facets of the Multiple Personality Solipsism philosophy that, in this fictional Universe, may need appropriate answers in order to prevent complete destruction by an anomaly of Universal memory. Yeeeeeup!
Any way, some people aren’t very good at making observations. It’s not that they fail to observe or even to draw conclusions; it’s just that these conclusions can be really misinformed and should really be creating cognitive dissonance in stead of suppressing it. For example, if believing in magic serves to quell your cognitive dissonance, you are doing it wrong. I understand why this happens. Emotions are powerful. We want to feel significant to the point of important. We want to feel loved despite our negative traits. We want to feel righteous and justified. We want to feel powerful, like we have control. The problem with emotional drive is that emotions are often easily satisfied by cutting corners. In a very basic sense, to the emotional part of our minds, the ends always justify the means. You could murder twelve people out of spite, but, if it made you feel happy, the emotional part of you would be satisfied and would expect to just move on to the next thrill. Our emotions are what encourage us to cut corners and ignore ethical implications.
It is not just a problem of hurting others, how ever. When we let our emotions run rampant, we often develop a long list of bad habits that are self-destructive. Even if we are lucky enough not to end up with habits that hurt us in ways that we are immediately conscious of, emotions and their needs are very complex, and can easily create contradictory expectations of happiness and comfort. We might end up with one habit that makes us feel that it is of absolute importance to impress our friends alongside a habit that makes us feel that it is of absolute importance to make our romantic partner feel loved alongside a habit that drives us to impress people by using humor that puts other people down. You may have these three habits, and find your self spitefully mocking your romantic partner in front of your friends, and immediately regretting it as they laugh at him or her. You may find your self not learning any thing from this experience, because all of these habits have qualified as necessary aspects of your identity. You may not even learn to change after your significant other leaves you because he or she can not stand any more careless humiliation. But it wasn’t careless- you were carefully maintaining the habits that you have learned to be effective. After all, they would not have been established in the first place, if they were not effective. Right?
Why do we continually use fallacies to defend our selves? Why doesn’t it naturally occur to people that circular reasoning or making calls to authorities is foolish? It is because appealing to our emotions is easier than appealing to our logic, and our emotions are very good at turning our logic off, at only letting it work until they are satisfied with the results, no matter how fragmented the results are. An interesting subject where this comes in to play is the subjects of rights, kindness, and love.
We all know what political correctness is. It seems to have been established and put in place in order to reduce discrimination, to reduce prejudice. It is bad for people to be treated wrongly, especially for baseless reasons. Right? Right. That’s some thing that is easy to get angry about. But it can be imagined that what we have now is a result of overcompensation. Being offended is now some horrible victimization, and there’s strong pressure in this country to avoid hurting an other’s feelings at all costs. Obviously this is not a mentality that is taken to heart in a widespread manner, but it’s still a powerful idea. Never mind that, if your ideas aren’t offensive to at least some one, that they probably aren’t very valuable. The bigger problem is that this idea is missing the point. We should strive to be more ethical, not less offensive. Hurting some one’s feelings is not ethically wrong by definition. No one should be afraid to say what they believe to be the truth just because some one might get upset about it. The entire politically correct movement places too much emphasis on words and not enough on what is meant. Some one can call you ‘gay’ and just mean that you are being a dummy. Gay as a word has been perverted plenty already, so there’s no reason to stop at ‘synonym for homosexual’. The word is not the problem. Don’t get angry because some one used a word in a way that you think some other people might be offended about. In this case, if you are heterosexual, that is what you are doing. You’re not homosexual. Why are you offended? But that’s not even the issue. The issue is that you are upset about a word in stead of what the word was used for. That person just insulted your intelligence, and it doesn’t stop there. Why did they choose to do that? Was it spiteful, and what they really meant was that they dislike you? Did they mean it, and do they have a good reason? Do they only disagree with your point? Was it just a term of endearment in this case? All of these questions matter. The word used is trivial unless it utterly fails to communicate the meaning, and even then clarity is not beyond reach. Have a damned conversation in stead of just getting angry about your inferences.
There is a difference between specifically respecting some one’s rights and generally acting respectful. There is a difference between acting unjustly and acting mean. Spite is a common drive toward both ends, and spite is always a bad vehicle to use. Feeling as though you have been treated unjustly and feeling as though a person is being mean do not tell you that that is in fact what it is that they are doing, though. Some one might defend their opinion strongly, but that is not necessarily a sign of spite. Some one might get frustrated when you continue to disagree with them as they provide more support for their argument. They might even become angry with you. These two items alone are not enough to tell you that the person is trying to make you feel bad. It is okay to be angry at each other. It is okay to get frustrated when things don’t go our way. A person who gets angry at an other for getting angry at them must agree with this at least.
I have finally started to notice major acknowledgement of the concept that different types of people react on different levels to different things. This pleased me at first, being a particularly emotionally sensitive individual. Then it began to annoy me, as I started to see articles and infographics explaining how sensitive people and introverts need special care. Some of them were talking about us like we’re god damned infants. It is affirmative action all over again. ‘Be easier on black people than on white people, because they’re different from us. Glamorize homosexuals, because we feel bad for them.’ Positive discrimination is still discrimination. Don’t tell me that people need to change their life style in order to avoid hurting my sensitive feelings, and don’t act like we’re all sensitive in the same ways about the same things. I wouldn’t want some one to immediately treat me differently, if I were homosexual and they found out. I don’t want people to start to baby me as soon as they find out that I am an introvert. It is my challenge, and I must adjust to it, not you. An other problem? My emotions would love it, if my life were suddenly made easier by blanket judgments. If my school was all paid for because I am an introvert, that would feel awesome. If the government would give me disability money because of it, I’d breath a huge sigh of relief, but I’d be pissed at the same time, and the cognitive dissonance would be crushing. The moment that I say, ‘I can’t do that because I am emotionally sensitive,’ I have failed at my life.
It has gone even further. Over the past few months I have seen a handful of articles floating around explaining how horrible depression can be and how it is a serious condition. Again, at first I was impressed in a positive manner and then realized that most of them were propagating a big pity party. Yes. Severe depression can be devastating. No. It is not permanent unless you let it be. Yes. It is rooted in your biology. No. It is not true that this means that it is a permanent condition. People argue that it should be classified as a physical disease basically just because drugs can act on it and because aspects of it are genetic. I can see some benefit to this change of perspective, but come now. Can depression kill you? What part of your body does it destroy? Does it actually put holes in your brain? Let’s not confuse an already complicated matter. Depression can not be solved in the same way for every one, and often times words of encouragement do not help, but what do these articles propose as a solution? No thing, and what’s worse: they encourage acceptance of this idea that there is no solution. Thanks. I would have preferred a ‘well, that sucks. Cheer up!’ The solution begins with drugs, if you’re starting from a really low point, and then you slowly work on your psychological and behavioral patterns until the ones that propagate depression lessen and the ones that propagate joy increase to the desired level. And then you keep training your brain to be happy every day of your life. It’s hard; it sucks; it probably won’t work consistently, but it’s still better than ‘there is no cure’.
True love is _____. Have you seen these posts on Facebook? It’s usually some fancy text on a cute background image? May be they actually bothered to cite a source that no one recognizes and yet no one bothers to look it up? I have seen a few handfuls, and I have never fully agreed with the text. Some of them are downright absurd- and no, not just the tongue-in-cheek ones. I acknowledge that ‘true love’ is a romantic term, and so I see why people will fall for lovey-dovey explanations that tug on their heart strings, especially when the background image is of two attractive people kissing and holding hands. Love is a very real and systematic thing, though, and you can’t just define it with whimsical proverbs. All too many people define love by what they want. ‘I want a cute guy to pamper me, so true love must involve me getting pampered.’ ‘I make a lot of mistakes, and I don’t plan on changing, so true love must be accepting all of one’s flaws and never retaliating when I wrong you.’ The worst is the trap of love requiring that we accept others exactly the way that they are- wait. But otherwise, aren’t you just in love with certain parts of them? You are either not loving them in their entirety or are loving an ideal of them? Isn’t it crazy to love a fantasy clone of a person, pretending that that is who they really are? Yes and no. It is not beneficial to pretend that some one is different from their real selves, but it is perfectly healthy to fall in love with a person’s potential, and it is downright silly not to. After all, people often change, and should always be growing and bettering their selves. If you get so fixated on the way a person is now, you might be horribly disappointed when they develop in to a better person, even though they are better. The more likely problem there is that, in loving some one exactly the way that they are, you are saying that they they make for a wonderful stagnant person.
If you love some one with a horrible addiction, it is perfectly all right to love them under the expectation that they will eventually kick the habit. If they give up on kicking said habit, they can not truthfully tell you that you never really loved them, if you choose to leave them. All love is conditional. If it was not, every one would love every one else no matter who they were or what they did. Love would be meaningless, if there was no means of earning or losing it. Sure. Some people’s qualifications for falling in love and expectations for keeping it are silly, and ‘you failed your potential to be a billionaire’ is a petty argument. You can say ‘growing in to a man rich with currency’, but that does not make it actual personal growth. Who wants to fall in love with a stagnant personality, a static character? Shouldn’t ‘dynamic character’ be one of the basic conditions of our love interest? A powerful ability to learn?
Here I am talking about wants again, what we want from the other person. That is an other tricky issue. On the one hand we enjoy certain kinds of attention from others. On the other hand to expect them to prioritize your wants above every thing else in their life is absurd. ‘I want so-and-so to give me affections’ is not even close to a sign of loving them. Love is about giving, not about receiving. Yeah, yeah. We’ve heard all of that generic crap before. The key here is that we love in our own ways. I do not need to love a person in the way that they want me to in order to be considered as feeling strong love for that person. How I love is more personal to me than it is to that person, and it is not conditional of them loving me in return in any way. That may be what the old wise men from ancient times meant when they were talking about unconditional love, before the idea was bastardized. Love works better when you are able to think more about what you can do for them on your own terms and how their life is progressing and less about what they are not doing for you and how they are holding you back.