Friday, November 26, 2010

coming to realize

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I feel like my posts are all 'epiphany' or 'coming to realize' posts. As though, there must be an elaborate moment of truth that emerges from the text or the experience. I dunno.

Anyway, I'm coming to realize that life is nothing without the relationships that are found within it. Life is not worth living, if not for the people life is shared with. I am not talking about spouse or a family member per se, but human interaction at large. I feel like we're on the verge of a societal decline, because people have relegated relationships to the internet. Relationships of the here and now are deteriorating at a fast pace, because people are so focused on past relationships and future networking. You need to realize that the past is the past, and the future is the future, but the here and now only comes once in a life time. People from your past are important, but if you spread yourself so thin, you'll have no meaningful relationships in your present. That's what online networking does. It spreads you thin. You tell everyone, regardless of how shallow the relationship is, about your life, and your 'deeper' friends get the same information. I don't really know how to explain it, but I feel like relationships have become destroyed. Because someone can figure out what you've been up to through networks like facebook, they never have to call you or contact you directly. We are forced to live in a virtual world, and forget that there is a greater reality.

People can spend hours on facebook, but when it comes to spending one hour with a friend they have no time. You will never get those virtual hours back. Nor will you ever be able to develop true relationships through the internet. You need physical, face-to-face contact. You need to speak, hear, smell, touch and see. If long distance relationships are difficult to maintain, well how do you expect virtual relationships to be. Why do people love TV? Because the characters are DOING SOMETHING! They are moving, seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting, LIVING! So, screw the television, screw the internet. Just take time on a daily basis and call someone, meet up with someone, do something that is unrelated to school or work. Develop some sort of human contact or interaction. The world is no place to live in, if people are not living it. The best moments of my life are those when my friends and I do something completely out of the ordinary, like walk around our apartment building for 15 minutes at 1 am, just because we can. Or playing pingpong with my dad, just because we have 10 minutes to spare. SOMETHING!

So, why am I blogging about something, when I could be doing something? Am I being hypocritical? Not really, no. Because I don't really live in a virtual reality. Everything needs some time, and I probably spend a total of an hour at most, daily, on the internet. The last time I blogged was about 2-3 weeks ago. I share my experiences with people who I may not physically see or hear, essentially come into contact with, but experiences are there to be shared. But you need to realize that every tool is just a means. I find blogging an effective way of communicating my experiences. But if I live to blog, then that's a problem. Hence, the fact that I'm not a daily blogger. :x

Anyway, so my message is this. L.I.V.E. Living entails human interaction, and not at a virtual level. Move, experience, test, smell, aspire, change, forget, remember... DO SOMETHING! Get off your computer and just talk to your dad/mom/sibling/friend/acquaintance for like 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes! Recognize that human interaction is the foundation of society, and without it, we'll fall apart.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

learnable moments.

Quote of the day:
From the 'Anarchist Against the Wall' presentation at WSU today from 12:15-1:15pm.

"Congratulations LGBT community.. you have now the ability to be masculine and kill people." (Gal Lugasi; Anarchists Against the Wall), on the DADT. This is an anti-war activist, anti-occupation activist. It had nothing to do with LGBT rights, but about warfare.

Well I guess you learn something everyday.

So, I am discovering, through my oral history class, that everything someone says can be filled with so many things to learn. Meaning, even if it sounds stupid as hell, you will experience a 'teachable moment' (or maybe a 'learnable moment'); you just need to be RECEPTIVE and OPEN to it.

This is teaching me so much about myself. I am discovering that I talk a lot less than I used to. I have become an observer. Where everything someone says must be filled with something to take from it. It doesn't matter who they are, what they represent, or whether or not you agree with them. Regardless, there is something that you will learn. It has turned into a game with me, I must discover something that I learned before the conversation (or the day!) ends!

So, as a teacher/instructor, we talk about 'teachable moments', but we forget that we need to be receptive to those moments. We have to recognize that everyone has something, some sort of impact and influence. This influence shapes you (and them) internally and externally, whether it's at a shallow level or a deep level. Recognizing this makes you unravel personal biases, and accept everyone without a standard that you may unintentionally set for them. The only standard set is the recognition that they have some sort of reciprocal influence on you, and therefore they are valuable. This value is never to be discounted, because, whether or not you discover the 'learnable moment', you recognize the person as someone who is worthy as an individual.

Dubois says that the factors that make a life worthy are the ability: to move, to know, to love, to aspire. (The Dubois Reader, Representative Men, John Brown, pg 259)

I agree with Dubois on that one. And I feel like, one mechanism towards achieving that worthy life is through recognition of other beings who are capable of doing those things. To not live in your own self-created bubble of a biased world. To move, to know, to love, and to aspire.

I guess I'll stop here...