Friday, 25 September 2009

The possessiveness of mankind

One week into the tenancy of my year-long contract to spend with my new flatmates, who I have already decided are infinitely better than the ones I spent 8 months with in Brighton, I still cannot stop myself from thinking, 'well that's mine'.

Perhaps it's because that first experience scarred me so much, perhaps it's because inherently I'm just as selfish as anyone else and refuse to openly admit it. Perhaps it's because I fear that if I don't keep telling myself that I'll eventually fall into one of those 'traps' whereby I suddenly think that the world isn't so bad.

And this past week might have me think just as much.

I have come to realise, and this might yet be hasty so bear in mind that I've only been away from the relative weight of family for a week at this stage, that not all people at University are as they seem. Some of them are a lot more genuine than I first thought. Some of them were just difficult to get on with because I was so concerned by making my own feelings heard. Perhaps I was too quick to judge (in the case that I've only known these people a few months, perhaps a couple of years, rather than on and off my entire life).

The ones that have shown themselves to be good are those that I was wary of, but now I have found myself to be exactly like them. I'm canvassing a vote before I've even started campaigning, and they just started a little earlier than me. Whether that makes me an arse or whether that makes me normal I don't know; the world I currently exist within makes me out to be a politician whether I like it or not. Diplomacy tends to be the only way to end an argument that never should have started if we were all a little more open in the first place.

But then that's much like life in general. If we never say what we are thinking, or struggle to portray exactly what we mean, then we're bound to cause upset or unrest when we finally seem to 'explode' into a tirade of apparently unprovoked opinions set at someone's throat. We might not necessarily mean them, although in my case I stand true that everything I've said before I've meant at the time, if not as a permanent belief, but nonetheless we say them and get on with our lives. If we don't vent then we only end up causing serious damage to ourselves, so my selfishness is born out of a desire to make the world a better place in the future. In my opinion. Because in my opinion, of course, the world is a better place with me than without me.

And perhaps that relates back to my earlier point. Washing up pots and pans and clearing out cupboards, albeit briefly, earlier this evening I must have stumbled across what I now apparently see to be a profound metaphor for life: I'm possessive over my things because I'm selfish, and I'm selfish because I'm selfless; I give almost everything I have to other people, and I sometimes feel as though it comes across as though I only want their love rather than what's best for them.

I want to believe that I'm doing it out of compassion, like the Dalai Lama has taught me so far this year, but I reckon it's because at the heart of any situation I find myself in I always turn to what's best for me. It just so happens that it also helps more people than it hurts.

Utilitarianism is hard (not just to spell!) It requires more statistical analysis in every aspect than is always necessary or justified, whilst also causing more suffering than it's worth in most cases. In this most recent case I know that in my heart of hearts I wouldn't change a thing, although in the past that has not always been the case. If it comes back to me in a bad way then so be it, but honesty is the best policy, and if unfortunately your honesty comes at a price then perhaps you should change what you genuinely believe in, or perhaps stop believing in anything. Ideas are all the world has ever been based on, not opinions to be forced upon others.

It is not my place to judge you; I'm no higher being, merely a boy with a blog, a man with too much time on his hands. If you've found my comments to be out of place then perhaps look within before responding. If I'm wrong then I'm wrong. At the end of the world there is no right answer, only the finality of existence, as we know it anyway. Don't let the little things bother you.

Anyway, they're only words. And what did words ever do to you?


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