Wow, this ended up much “deeper” and darker (and self-indulgent) than expected. Enjoy 🙂
Things I’ve noticed:
* The presumption that someone doesn’t know something. Frustrating as I’ve been unwillingly “informed” of certain facts/information by people oblivious to the fact that I already knew. Sometimes the same fact by the same person on more than one occasion. Often accompanied by derision at the presence of an inferior intellect. This praising of one’s own knowledge which oppresses learning (and potentially the motivation to learn).
* Not making eye contact. You gotta be careful about reading into things too much but I find some people (either consciously or not) will avoid looking at other people, including myself, at certain “critical” moments. The interpretation being, they don’t want to know or wish to pretend they don’t know how the other person feels about something. A common example is pretending someone doesn’t exist.
Both are about obliviousness or even lying to yourself. Manipulating things (including other people) to your advantage. Then there’s the other extreme. The passive observers. Social misfits with a healthy personal morality. They may come out at night on an internet (how is that spelled incorrectly, WordPress?!) message board but they still don’t quite follow through. They observe the lies of others. The poor structures existing in society. The flaws and hypocrisies. But these wide-eyed loners have not the courage to overcome their stereotype.
* Obsession. Reluctance to admit a mistake. Stubbornness. Unwillingness to sacrifice pride for a better future. Fatal if not treated appropriately. Gets worse with time.
* Neutrality – no such thing. Everyone has demons. Minor or major. Excitement that is on hiatus. Suppressed fears. General anxiety. Unresolved tensions. Incomplete beliefs or logic. Point is, everyone has “potential” for genius, for evil, for change. Ask people why they can’t do something. They don’t have time. But they watch hours of television. Spend hours on the phone, on the internet, shopping, working, studying. All these choices they forget they have. Autopilot erases your freedom.
No situation is neutral. Preconceptions, expectations, background/history, implications, memories, moods, feelings, physical specifics.
* Goodness of humanity. The good guy always wins. Children wouldn’t have it any other way. Calamity, distress, conflict is caused by our friction with the cold, expansive universe we were accidentally born into. We are pioneers in an infant world. Evil is the echo of unlucky souls who ventured too far from home.
* Safety. Take lots of risks and you’ll learn heaps. Play it safe and you’ll get by but may notice how little you achieved. How you are no more skilled than you used to be. Don’t take it the wrong way. Enjoy your struggles, misfortunes. That’s the real point. And don’t hide from reality. You’re equipped with all the tools you’ll need. Suffer in dignity, it’s not so bad. How would others cope? Be independent intellectually but feel as others feel. We desire emotional connections and intellectual freedom.
* People down on their own capabilities. Especially maths. Even with patience and kindness they take a while to open up. You can almost hear their detractors’ voices echoing in their minds. They know they can’t do it but of course, as you know, they can. Knowledge is a powerful thing. If you’re not careful, it can come true.
* Kindness. People look up to happy, confident people. But not necessarily kind people. After all, you may be kind but if you’re not happy, what help could you possibly be? I prefer kindness. It is stable. They put other peoples’ happiness ahead of theirs. Without kindness, you are ill-equipped to deal with tragedy or even with change in general.
* Depression. Like love, a term thrown around too lightly and inaccurately. An analogy might be someone drowning. You wouldn’t want to get too close to them or they might drag you down with them. Throw them a floating object (therapist). But in the land of emotions, beliefs, our power is infinite. Pending better analogy…
* Love. A feeling. The freest feeling. Infinitely varied, coloured, shaped, experienced. The natural form of output for the human spirit. Can be withheld but only to the detriment of the withholder. Like hard work, it has its own rewards.
* Measure by effect. Another phrase that grew in my subconscious until it simply couldn’t be ignored. Basically it’s about context. You can’t measure someone’s love of poetry by the way they speak of it, how much they say they adore it. It has more to do with how it has/does affect their behaviour *outside* of poetry. Are they impatient and angry? Or calm and charming? Perhaps a person suddenly develops a love of comedy and (whether they realise it or not) it helps them through a difficult time and they quit smoking. Without all the Louis CK and Bill Burr material, they may have turned out far worse and continued to smoke.
Eg) I’d like to think my appreciation of music makes me abnormally optimistic. You might ask, what if I didn’t love music? But my lust for music is an inherent part of my being. It would be like asking, what if 787 wasn’t a prime? The appropriate question might be, what if I hadn’t discovered Naxos’ online library? Or the Conservatorium’s cd library? I don’t know. My path would have been different, perhaps far worse. Conversely, who knows what yet waits for me to be discovered and explored? New passions that I didn’t know existed?
Something similar. Hey do you wanna watch Bobby (2006)? Ummm, nah that’s okay. Two hours later… How was it? Great you should have watched it! Okay, not necessarily. It depends on what they did in the intervening two hours. On what an average two hours is like for them. Only then can a judgment be made.
* A fondness for your life path. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Why? The threat of multiple selves. Is it frightening to think how things may have turned out differently? Or simply pointless?
* Hope. Perhaps the ultimate theme of The Dark Knight. A fragile, precious thing. We invest in something. If it is corrupted, we are too. How can you ensure you won’t give up?