I am who I am as a matter of consequence, not design. It is not the independent process of destiny that has defined me, but instead my interaction with it. My choices have allowed me to contribute towards my future rather than passively waiting to see what may come to pass. It is a reality that few share with me. Most are pacifists in their lives, but aggressors in the lives of others. We tend to over compensate for our weaknesses by projecting the reasons for our failures on those around us. At the core, it is this that prompts me to share my thoughts about the failings and successes of my life. However, as I am often reminded, you need a receptive heart to be able to communicate what you truly feel or think. The thoughts flow easier when you have that receptive audience. Otherwise the ramblings remain your own and the words create a veneer of the truth without ever revealing the truth itself.
When I feel as if this endeavour is pointless, or that it does not add value, or that it is more self-indulgent than it is constructive, that is when I consider if it is a worthwhile use of my time and energy or would it be better for me to apply myself to something that will actually benefit others. To delete or not to delete. That thought crosses my mind often.
Writing is therefore not my companion. It’s more a plea for sanity to prevail. My sanity to prevail. And when the probability of that happening seems slim or non-existent, I question the rationale behind using this avenue for that plea. It’s not as self-indulgent as it may appear. We all go through life appealing for our sanity to prevail, but we lose sight of exactly that fact. That it is our perception of sanity and not necessarily the sanity that the next person experiences. And so we grow aggressive or despondent in the process, depending on how stubborn or weak we choose to be.
Gaining the credentials that are worshipped by the masses will make this endeavour significantly easier to pursue. The membership that is supposedly a reflection of intelligence. The token badge that is supposed to be a meaningful measure of our ability to regurgitate what we’re fed in a way that it is expected to be regurgitated, and if we regurgitate it correctly, then we get rewarded. If we apply a measure of independent thought or creativity beyond the predetermined tolerance level, we’re punished. So I don’t care for the credentials, and I’m ambivalent about soliciting the affirmation or validation of those that do have the credentials because the source of those credentials belong to the very system that I am critically opposed to.
The true ambivalence comes in when I realise that it will be that much more difficult to make any significant progress without their endorsement in some form or another. I spurn that system. I believe it started out with good intent, but has morphed into an elitist club that suggests that you’re incompetent by default unless you have a membership badge that they deem authentic. The tokenism that accompanies it is exactly what I despise. So even though I agree that it will make the path easier, which I have often considered as an option, at this point my conviction on that subject doesn’t allow me to become part of the very system whose legitimacy I am challenging. I know, ambitious, but nonetheless, if I am going to be true to myself, then I need to find another way of being heard.
Another consideration that often dogs my mind is the need to single out an area of thought leadership or influence and to focus on that rather than being so generalised in the breadth of topics that I tend to delve into. Do I contemplate the human condition, religion, emotions, or spirituality, or do I contemplate the whole? I do not wish to single out only one area of influence, and I accept that this further adds to the risks of not being heard. But my life’s obsession has been exactly around how all that comes together seamlessly in our lives, and that we become somewhat dysfunctional when we try to pursue or view them individually. It is the whole that I hope to define more critically, and not just one of its components. That is why I deliberately weave in thoughts grounded in religious traditions that demonstrate its practical value beyond just its religious affiliations.
I do not seek to understand others. They become easy for me to understand as I grow to know myself more intimately. Every observation I make is grounded in my observations of my own experiences, and how I related to the circumstances and challenges that I see others facing. And perhaps in that is the reasons why I needed, and continue to experience so many colourful events of betrayal in my life. It has given me a broader context from which to draw lessons compared to most people I know, or have met. By extrapolating the lessons I’ve learnt in those permutations of life that I experienced, it automatically gives me a knowledge base against which to develop those concepts and extend those principles into a much broader array of life experiences.
So in short, my understanding of people is based on my innate need to pay attention to the details of my own failures. And perhaps in some small way therein lies the blessings of the challenges of my life. I do not spurn the knowledge that may be contained in individuals that have come through the system of tokenism. I spurn the system itself. So while I am against obtaining a membership badge for purposes of opening doors, I am always happy to expand my knowledge from whichever quarters may spawn it, including that contaminated system that is so blindly celebrated.
I am by no means sufficient to myself. If I were, I would have no need for receptive hearts, nor will I need to engage with others in order to identify my own flaws in them. Do not try to define me. You will not be successful at such an attempt. I am anomalous. I take pride in my anomalous nature. I do not wish to constrain myself in line with traditional views of how we should be pigeon-holed by society. Despite how often I use the word, my emphasis is not on “I”. My focus instead is on ensuring that I do not give anyone any reason to believe that I am providing them with ‘academically derived’ perspectives, but instead, that I am relating my personal experiences to them and using that as the source against which they may find common ground relative to their own life experiences.
The ultimate goal of this approach is to prove that each person, if only they are observant enough, carry with them the wisdom and insight that I hope to impart. So if anything, it should be empowering, rather than a distraction towards supposed self-centricity. In addition to that, it is also an admission that I do not believe that I am special beyond the average person, and that I am convinced that every person possesses the same capacity for observation and insight if only they remove the distractions that blind them from these truths.