Jumping in

Introduction: Hello and welcome! I will begin this blog in a style with a writing exercise that I was taught in highschool. It consists of simply writing your thoughts out and basically chucking whatever you feel like onto the page. It can be pretty enjoyable, not having to go back and rearrange ideas within a piece. In fact I am expecting a large number of these posts to be just writing my thoughts straight onto the page I will of course also indulge in . The therapeutic effects it has on my are great, as I feel more relaxed and can feel less crowded with my thoughts. With that cleared up, let me begin. }

One issue I am was trying to deal with a years ago that I thought I would like to share, was the notion of human character. It is common fact that everybody is a product of their genetics and circumstances as well as our past experiences. The more I thought about the idea the more I was leaning towards the idea that circumstances have more of an affect than our natural chemistry. Of course this excludes activities such as athletics and singing etc, which are definitely based on born talent. Not that I am saying you don’t have to train yourself as these things, in my (perhaps overly optimistic and clichéd) opinion that talent is just a head start and that you can accomplish anything (within physical limits) that you set your mind to. Anyway back to the original issue and that is, do we really have freedom of choice in our values and convictions? I honestly don’t believe we do.

ethics-scale
(The Nature vs Nurture has been debated about for decades)

As children, we are brought up to either be inclined to our parents views or in a polar opposite effect, be disinclined to the same extent with our parents opinions. I am not saying this is 100% true in all cases, and some parents do allow their children to grow and develops their own opinions to an extent, but it is only natural for a malleable child to gravitate towards (or away in some cases) their guardians. I won’t try and act blasé and say  (I should be a rapper) “Yeah, it was a interesting thought”, in reality this realisation of mine really caused me to think about my own values and whether they were really mine. It wasn’t that I felt like I was being exploited by a dark secret cult of any kind (not at that point anyway) but that I didn’t really know who I was deep down. Did I really own of my qualities or was just another product of circumstances that were thrust upon me. With that in my mind, is it justified that I judge a soldier of the Taliban or Al Qaeda (just using mass media bogey men for an easy example) who has most likely lost a family member or friend to American and/or NATO forces  and also lived in and around poverty all his life. All the while; glorious, white suburban me sits in my nice home miles from any war or conflict judging this man’s character.

polls_eyeswideshut_redemption_5155_421480_poll_xlarge
(All worship the New World Order! /s)

Furthermore on this topic, even this writing exercise can be traced back to an 11 year old kid with not many academic talents being told by a certain South African 5th grade teacher who decided that , creative English piece was the best in the class and then it being read aloud (this is the bit where you cry with happiness), retrospectively it wasn’t that big of an achievement but it was the seed. I began to question the seed however, “What if she just chose my piece at random because she was lazy?” or “What if the piece was not that great and she just wanted to encourage me?”. This thinking caused some anxiety with my self image, how could a major part of who I am be created  by just a small trivial event? I felt like a phony, I had never been confronted with the fact I might be living a lie! Then with a great relief I had a moment of clarity. It didn’t matter that my love of writing and literature balanced on a singular affair, and it didn’t matter if I my 5th grade English piece on Martin Luther King was not that great. What mattered is that I was inspired and I did something with that inspiration even if I maybe was a phony at the time because as a result writing as well literature have been a passion ever since.

Through this sort of  “journey of self-discovery” I believe I gained more of a less childish, black & white view of the world and maybe even matured a little bit. Thanks for reading and I hope this gave you some food for thought.

Feedback is appreciated, but not required

Thanks,
Conor

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