Orgo is actually the bane of my existence.
I have always had difficulty maintaining an emotional distance from characters in books. Perhaps it’s because of all the books I read as a child, or perhaps it results from my obsession with understanding other people’s lives. Regardless, the end result is all of the vicarious lives I have lead, contained in the ink on the pages of the books I have turned through.
I often wonder if this is why I feel older than I really am. Maybe this is why people who read vociferously have such old souls. We have internalized many lives, over and over again. Of course, we have our own stories too. But what is one unfinished story to all of the lives we have read?
Man she was cute.
How do we deal with social inequality and injustice?
It isn’t enough to be a strong proponent of a cause. History has shown that it is groups, communities, movements that are wholly unswayed by individuals that enact change. On one hand, this is comforting; the momentum of a movement cannot be derailed by a firm antagonist, and when society itself is the antagonist to your actions, it would be quite disheartening to be ended by a single person. However, it is simultaneously a degrading feeling; your role in a movement is insignificant, and you will probably be unremembered. It seems to me a fulfillment of a fundamental idea, that when we are sure that our heroics will be unremembered or meaningless, we are less likely to perform them.
But then, how do we really enact change? It is true that our individual efforts may be meaningless, but then, our efforts to assist an organization can mean a great deal. A single person distributing flyers can only get through so many in a day. A single person who spends that time organizing 50 other people to distribute flyers has greatly increased the output of his work. And yet, someone has to pass the flyers about, but nobody aspires to that as an end goal. In fact, this blind naivety is probably a catalyst for cynicism, as we who desire to do good find ourselves handing out flyers instead of organizing the stacks.
Instead, I propose this; the true value of cultural change and social movements are not in the goals themselves, but in the personal development that results from fighting for something you believe in. A cynical spin of this perspective is that there is no such thing as a selfless deed because all selfless deeds pay you back in some way. However, this also lets us say then that selfless deeds are no different than self-centered deeds, except you will experience no tangible benefits from the former. The very choice of foregoing a tangible benefit, or choosing to dispense some benefit to another person in addition to yourself, means you are valuing someone else’s happiness over your own.
When we act for a cause that affects us, we are extending our protection of ourselves to everyone else who may ever be affected. When we act to eliminate an injustice that doesn’t affect us, we are valuing someone else’s happiness more than the time we spend on them. When we are generous and caring, we are forced to experience other people’s lives, other people’s happiness. Our generosity is the impetus for our personal growth, and it has been consistent in my experience that the most generous people have a vivaciousness for life that pushes them to absorb different experiences, countries, people, lives, memories, and happiness.
Perhaps this is the key to living a full life. The satisfaction of our inherent hunger to learn, to travel, to know, and to experience, is all fueled by our generosity, our willingness to devote our lives to the betterment of others. It is our desire to be better people, to learn more of the world so that we may treat it kindly, that pushes us forward to improve society. The injustices that plague our fellow human beings are dire, but very few are given the freedom and chance to act. We should try not to waste it then. Only by walking all the paths of this world can we begin to decide which is right, and then we may lead others down it.
to those who think he’s some sort of saint
please take note. europeans and british especially tend to idolize this man - a vehement white supremacist with little regard for human life. funny how he’s put on a pedestal for saving the world from the hands of the mass-killing Hitler…. when Churchill was a mass-murderer himself.