Free write

25 Oct

There’s a theory that if you practice 25 minutes of catharsis everyday, you’ll be less stressed out and emotionally healtheir. It just so happens that i love free writes, just unsensored, unfilteredt houghts transposed onto paper. And the only thing more raw than a free write is a drunken free write, and given the evens of the night, I am about to do just that. While emmiting some stuff…becaues even though the personal is political-hence, this blog- too personal doesn’t belong in cyberspace.Isn’t it strange how much easier it is to share thoughts instead of feelings? I think so. I guess emotion has a certain element of vulnerability…and i guess my free write has begun:

Watching family guy and eating cookies and feeling good. Came home from siani scholars…( I DELEATED A GOOD PARAGRAPH OR TWO, SORRY ABOUT THE DISCONNECT)…. There are such things as obligations, but it’s compeltly obvious when someone does something for you from a place of duty or from of place of genuine altruism or desire. Which brings me to the question that an epiSOde of Freinds raised: is there such thing as a selfless good deed? I’m not sure. From an evolutionary standpoint, altruism only exists to benifit our own survival or the survival of our offsprings of species. And in that way, it’s still selfish because the purpose is to ensure the existance of our own gene pool.But away from instancts and into concious motives, do we ever do anything for anyone else that doesn’t in some way benifit ourselves? Tonight someone told me, and I’ve had freinds say similar things before, that he wants to help the world because he empathizes with the struggles of others who have less access to resources. Technically, helping them is helping alieviate our own empathy and concious about the unfair allocation of, well , everything in the world. It gets fuzzy if the movite is based on the self or on others. I’m not sure if getting satisfaction from a good deed nullifies the altruism of the deed and makes it selfish. But I’m not saying selfish is a bad thing whatsoever. I actually think selfish is a great thing, and if a person isn’t selfish they are screwing themselves over because there is noone in the world who will put you before themself 100%. I’ve thought long and hard ( thats what she said) about the reasons why i’ve volunteered and been a quazi-activist for so long. I dont think I’m more altruistic than the next average joe, maybe more empathitic, but not kind. One self psycho-analyzing theory: I see injustice in the world. It makes me uncomfortable and angry because I have been an underdog and felt controlled, manipulated,cooerced,had my intelligence underminded and my disgnity insulted and been disrespected ingeneral, like many other people. I know that things that are unpredictable and uncontrollable are more stressful, so i empathize more with those causes, and try and gain what i percieve as some ontrol over the status of the situation through activism. By participating in a form of resistance, the anger i originally felt turns into empowerment. Instead of being alone, activism sourounds you with other people who care about the same thing/s which is relieving and takes the pressure off me. Why do i feel pressure? because being a bystander is being guilty. And why is guilt uncomfortable? Well, according to prof.Madigan, guilt is one of the four universal social emotions ( along with shame,pride and embarrasement) and it helps me mend social relationships. but why do i care about mending social relationships with people i’ve never met and never will meet? Is it some internal subconcious animal drive to perpetuate my own genes and species? Mmm maybe. So little of what I do is actually me and more of how I’m wired and evolved to function as an animal. But this is where it gets foggy,if i AM wired to care about others, why aren’t most people wired like that? And moreover, if i am programmed to care about survival, why do i have so many self-destructive habbits? And where the hell does this notion of justice come from? Honestly, it’s so strange. I know that I am programmed to see symmetry as beauty, but can symmetry translate to equality and beauty translate to good? The idea of individual morality makes sence to me, but group and cultural moarlality is just weird, and so arbitrary, and puts a lot of stress on people to supress their inclinations that deviate from the norm which probably are outletted in self destructive or aggressive ways. It’s okay for a man to have sex with an 18 year old girl but not gir of 17 year 364 days. In America we live in a consumer culture where almost anything can be used as a commodity to gain from. Except for a woman’s body. The one thing that we cannot seperate ourselves from we cannot sell, but i gues it’s that exact reason why selling one’s body is so much more painfu and invasive than selling anything else, because you can’t get away from your own body, like living in a room with post-it-notes covering the walls with horrifying memories and experiances.I guess the consensus is people are not chatel. It’s illigal to smoke weed but not illigal to drink coffee which makes complete sence from the vantage point of economic productivity. Come ot think, i think most of our laws are based off of economic productivity and not what is actually good for the people. If making smoking cigarettes illigal for people under 18 is truely based off a genuine care for the wellness of our great nation and not off of avoiding having spend so much more on health care, than why isn’t the government as concere with the hole in the ozone layer which is projected to cause 300,000 more cases of skin cancer in America if left untreated in the next few decades? And the FDA is possibly the most fucked up administration in the entire nation.The funny thing is that this topic perfectly circles back to my original thought about the motive for people giving a shit about others. Wheather it’s selfish or not, it’s still there, which is more than i can say for many people in power of many companies and countries.I feel like there is a socio-economic bell curve effect when it comes to caring. On the bottom left side is the poor and the bottom working class who are lower on the curve because they are the people who have the need to be cared for and don’t have the resources/energy to worry about others before tending to their own needs; the top part of the curve where it escaltes to maximum caring potential and then starts to dip back down again is constitued of the middle and upper middle class who have their own basic needs tended to so they can afford to be concered about others and they aren’t so removed from the concept of hardship that they’re able to empathize; and at the bottom of the bell curve are the rich, who have 7 cars and everything is private and fenced off they their detachment from society is physically represented and they make their money off of the rest of us and they can say they care about the poor and even throw company walk-a-thons for Darfur or adopt-a-family in teh office at christmas but the notion of equality is in no way eternalized and they have maids come and clean their houses 6 days a week and they don’t even know which spanish speaking contry she comes from, and they don’t care. These are sweeping generalizations, and of course there are plenty of poor people who spend their paycheck on charity and rich philanthropists who revolutionize and reconstrut the world in wonerful ways. BUT that is just a trend i see. When i started writing this i was really drunk and now im really sober. strange. this will be interesting to read in the morning.

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One Response to “Free write”

  1. A. Erik Yesayan November 1, 2007 at 11:17 PM #

    Hey, was reading your blog and you make some interesting points. I wanted to comment on one.
    I don’t think true altruism contains any selfish motive. Being selfish is not how we justify doing an “altruistic” act for others, at least not consciously. For example, if I see some old guy stuck in mud and can’t get out, I’m going to go help him out, not because I’m thinking of how good I’ll feel afterwards (actually, at that moment I’ll probably be thinking the opposite, of how muddy and dirty I’ll be) , but I’m gonna do it because I know if I don’t, he’s either gonna have to wait for someone else to help him or he’s gonna have to struggle… and for some unconscious reason I know it’s just the right thing to do. It also applies to those who put their lives at stake to save someone’s life. I don’t think those people are thinking of the rewards their gonna get at that moment (like a statue, medal of honor, or whatever), but what they’re probably thinking is that someone is in danger and they better pull them out, and their willing to risk their life to do that. Those who don’t do it, are probably aware of the dangers they’ll put their “self” in and so they don’t proceed.
    Now, there are others who might do the rescue or help the muddy old man because of other reasons, such as karma or because they know of a reward they can get if they do it (eg. the man might be an influential person in the city and this can be beneficial to the helper). I think this is what separates true altruisitic behavior and selfish acts.
    Why do some people care about others while others don’t? That’s confusing, you’re right. I think a large part probably has to do with how someone grew up or their own experiences with things.
    Anyways, ur blog is impressive… I always try to keep up with one I made for myself, but I’m not too consistent with it, at all.

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