Monday 17 November 2008

Faith- The Glass Is Half Full

The results of the last poll were that 15 of you thought holocaust denial laws ultimately counterproductive. 4 of you supported their existence.

The observant amongst you may notice I've recycled a poll post. Interesting to see how readership views change over time.

This week's poll I guess, is about we why live.
Why we work, why we play.
And when it comes down to it, why we blog.

How DO you see this curious mystery that is our experience?

Ultimately we can only ever see it one of two ways.
And that depends on how we view OURSELVES.

Do you look in the mirror and like what you see?
Or not?

The old glass half empty, glass half full dichotomy is truer than we often appreciate.
Because both are true. The glass is both half empty and half full. But are you concerned by what you haven't got, or what you have?

Humanity may go on for millions of years, or it may end in fifty.
We don't know.

You may acheive everything you dream of, or you may end life a bitter failure.
You don't know.

The man you have just met could your best friend, or he could be a con man.
You don't know.

But you are living a life where you HAVE to make decisions based on an assumption. Which are you going to believe?

Are you going to treat everyone as your friend, until they prove themselves an enemy?
Or treat everyone as an enemy till they prove themselves a friend?

Is it worth living a life where you see the community around you, the people you share a world with, as basically good, something worth fighting for, even worth dieing for?
Or is it just a case of most people are selfish, so carve your own little niche and sit in it, because nothing is worth believing in, except you and the tiny group of people you allow yourself to trust?

Do you believe that even though you are flawed, even though you have a list of failings that you are ashamed of, that you CAN, in some small way make a difference?
In a positive way?

And can you believe that of those around you too?

When you look at a blog you've never read before, a blog whose author you know NOTHING about, do you see a new friend?

Do you see EVERY HUMAN BEING YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH as a new face to get to know, as someone else you'd like to have as a friend?
Or not?

Because it matters.
If you are no good, than how can your species be?

If the species is going to succeed, then maybe you'll be part of that.
If it isn't, why bother?

Aren't you just trying to succeed in a futile existence?

There are millions out there doing just that. Oh, they have partners and children and four wheel drives and nice houses.
But it is dead lives they lead. They have failed, in every sense that really matters.
They have no faith in Man, and therefore, no real faith that their lives have meaning, outside the narrow world they have carved for themselves.

Life, life isn't a dress rehearsal.
You WILL cock up. You WILL cause pain and hurt, and you will receive it too.
You WILL sometimes find yourself groaning, unable to see your way out of the mess you are in.

But then you need to remind yourself;

You're a good person.
You're going to be OK.

People are good.
They're going to be OK.

Life is amazing.

And none of this may be true.
You may be wrong.
But even if you are, you win.

Because your life will have been happier.
The thoughts in it were nicer.

Do you have faith?

Have your say!


Anonymous said...

Since it's impossible to know anything but bare facts with any certainty, a leap of faith becomes necessary at some point for everyone, I think. Maybe, oh well, I'll just have faith that that's true and not worry about it.

Anonymous said...

I voted yes but I have to say I am very inclined to be cautious and even downright suspicious.

But you are right, one is happier as an optimist.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you should allow OpenID logins, Crushed! This old blogger account of mine is just a husk. (I'm 8xyzzy8.)

Anyway.. you are a man after my own heart. This is a post that I could have made myself.

I don't know about this concept of a fundamental dichotomy, though. In isolation people form their beliefs, but when faced with an opinion that contradicts their beliefs and held by someone they respect or love they have a way of bending.

Ultimately, I think you're right: people are OK.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Crushed, I needed to read some of those words today.

Everything will be ok, in the end. :)

Anonymous said...

I echo JMB. I give people a starting balance in credit in the bank of Moggs’ trust, but I figure it only makes sense to keep a weather eye on their balance.

But though people can be mean, petty, cruel and wicked… Still they can be kind, helpful, generous, great hearted and good.

I think they are more to the good than the bad and there are more to the good than the bad. Maybe we just notice the bad more, maybe that is because it stands out.

Maybe it stands out because it is actually more out of the ordinary?

Anonymous said...

i guess, for the most part i'm optimistically inclined to view people as good, until they prove me otherwise.

there have been occasions where i've taken an instant dislike to someone and will not make the effort to see whether they might surprise me by being something other than i've assumed them to be.

if that makes sense.

as for life in general - the past year and a half has been my hardest. there have been massive hurdles to get over, but i think i'm getting there.

even in the darkest moments, that little voice inside tells me that everything will be ok in the end.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad to be here, even if I'm not living up to what I think I could/should be. I've let myself down more than anyone else has, as of late.

I need to forgive myself of that!

Life is to short. I may not trust a lot of people, but I do have enough faith in humanity to let the past slide... even if that takes a bit of time.

The glass has at least got something left, and that is all the miracle in the world I need to keep coming back for another sip.

Anonymous said...

Holocaust denial laws are a load of crap. Though of course one might argue it's a good thing to turn thought-criminals into real cims... but hey ;->...

Anonymous said...

”You're a good person.
You're going to be OK.

People are good.
They're going to be OK.

Life is amazing.

Actually, I’m not just gonna be ok, I’m gonna be more than that, I’m gonna be friggin awesome.
People aren’t just good, they are wonderful. Life is indeed grand and amazing, and it is totally gonna rock!

Guess that says it all now doesn’t it. Ppl have accused me of being gullible and na├»ve, simply cuz I believe in goodness in every one of us, and kinda consider stranger as being friends I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.

But just cuz I have faith in humanity doesn’t make me no fool, or easily tricked, no way. People aren’t good or bad, but it’s the choices we make, the actions we take, that are either good or bad. And surely, one might not be able to change whom they are, but they sure can change the way they think or act/react.

People are complex, we all carry darkness but also light in our heart – but your outlook upon can change a lot. After all, you see what you wanna see doncha?

And remember to always smile – it makes ppl wonder what you are thinking abt ;)


Anonymous said...

I have faith. Things will always be what they are supposed to be and I have faith that - everything will be OK.

Nice post!


Anonymous said...

I like this post, I think about this alot! I used to be a person who proceeded with caution in life. Didn't really trust in people until they proved that they were worthy of it. Needless to say, I didn't get very far with that sentiment. Now, I do try to see the potential in everyone, even those who have really f'd up in the past. I have to believe that people are capable of change, after all, I was.

Anonymous said...

some times I see new friends, sometimes I see no point, I see very few people as an enemy. I've always been a "the glass is as it is" kind of person, I don't really worry about the fluid level.

Anonymous said...

Amen, brother!

To most people, I might seem an incurable optimist. But the reality is - what have I got to complain about? Humans are shatteringly miraculous. And I'm human - in an obscenely wealthy society to boot. A creature of astounding privelege. All of living is a joy. At some point inevitable forces will take my life away, be it cancer, diabetes, or a startled burglar. But so what? Why fear the inevitable?

Anonymous said...

Paul- I agree.
I think this truly is the only one worth taking though. The rest are just imperfect variants.

All you need to ask is; Life, Good or Bad?

The rest is a red herring.

jmb- :)
I can understand that...

I just think, most of the time, you don't know. One day you will. But it's about having time spent being happy. And that, surely, counts.

Because you only have a finite number of minutes.

Martian- ???
I wouldn't have guessed!

You are a master of disguises :)

Open ID log ins may return at some point, I'll say no more.

On thwe whole, that's why I think individualist thinking sucks. There is strength in numbers, and not just materially.

They say misery seeks company, that's shite. A funny thing about friends is, morale actually tends to rise to the happiest, not sink to the gloomiest. Or that's my experience.

People are very much OK. Look how we've always pulled through. We couldn't have done so if it wasn't true that people as a whole didn't continually strive to advance on what we were given to start with and try better it.

Obama won. Doesn't that say a lot?

Kate- I actually couldn't think of a poll topic. Then I found this in the archives.
I guess it sums up totally the overall philosophy of this blog. I really believe so much in this post, I really do.

My overall hope is that of those who disagree with this blog, more disagree because they disagree with the means to the end, than that they disagree with the end.

Moggs- Inner Reptile versus Inner Monkey.

We are individual creatures. It makes us selfish. To pass on our own genes.

But altruism is the ultimate selfishness, as insects know, as we are learning.

Altruism means more of us live longer, happier lives and pass on more genes. Long term, evolution favours us for being more loving.
Love for your fellow man is the finest logical triumph of evolution.

Yes, I think evil is truly a flaw. It is a return to more primitive dynamics of nature- ones which actually stand against the long term interests of the species- because the future of man truly is in the collective good.

We have EVOLVEd to love eachother with good reason.

And evolved to hope. It is the strength of Man- that we can see a future.

Projectivist- I think we all have.

Twelve years ago, I met a guy at a party I didn't much take to. I've often quoted it on this blog as ten, but I realise it is 12.

It was a few months until we really hit it off, Summer of 1997. And then we REALLY found we hit it off, spent every day chilling out, found we shared eachothers lives.
And we have done ever since. He's the guy I call the Baker on this blog- my best mate since that time.

This has definitely been one of my hardest years too. A year of much personal discovery. Funny that so much of it has been so public.

Like yourself, I've always had that voice. A basic belief that heart and head can't ultimately lead to opposite results.

Eric- You can only let yourself down if you judge yourself.
But why are you judging yourself and by what standard?

Don't get me wrong, it's sometimes good to have a standard to judge yourself by.
But make sure its YOUR standard. Not one that you think others judge you by.

I think sometimes, when we acknowledge WE are not perfect, its easir to cut others some slack. The harshest judges of others are thise who cannot accept their own flaws.

What Jesus said was true- 'Worry not about the chip in your brothers eye, worry about the log in your own'.

And it's not about being hard on yourself, I don't think. What I THINK he meant was 'If you can get to love that log in your own eye, then you'll love the chip in your brother's eye'.

I think.

Gledwood- Much as I despise Nazis, I've never come acrooss a dafter concept.

Can I ask for a law that anyone denying that the Romans sent Christians to the Lions be sent to gaol?

Or a law that anyone questioning the Irish Potato Famine stats be sent down?

Anyway, the poll showed, I think, that most reasonable people ( I like to think my readers are fairly solid, thoughtful people) can see the flaw in the thinking behind such laws.

Anonymous said...

Crashie- You know Crashie, you really do deserve a special place amonst my readers. Really.

I think you're amazing, I really do. I just love your worldview.

Your outlook is so bang on the right way to see things.
Never let anyone criticise the way you see things. They're the fool, not you.

You're one of the good people, Crashie.

Cat- They will be, I hope.

I think sometimes, you just got to believe.

And your own blog is a testimony to that.

You're strong Cat. Strong in spirit, but more importantly, strong in love.

And that's what counts.

Aunt Reeny- Trust people, you will get screwed. But don't trust, you'll never know. Never know the ones that DIDN't screw you. And trusting them more than makes up for the ones who let you down.

I have difficulty trusting people. Think we all do, none of us are life virgins. I guess we're all finding a way in a world used to distrust, a world used to exalting the individual, and that makes usinstinctively untrusting. But someone has to break that cycle.

It's not easy, I guess, but my feeling is that the world is as it is, because collectively we think glass half empty.

So that's what's at stake. A world where we can only have peace by pointing missiles at eachother or a world where we can grow out of that.

Hagelrat- Hmmm.

Suggests a certain mutability to the level of fluid contained therein.

I guess this post was about uncertainty.
To use a Quantum Mechanics parallel, Shrodinger's cat.

I suppose it boils down to, which bit of human nature do you think will win?

Do you think we'll blow ourselves up, or go on forever?

I believe the second. I do. And I suppose i write this blog, because I want to fight for the second. Because I don't think it's guarenteed. I think we have to believe it and make it happen. We CAN lose, we CAN blow ourselves up. But only because we let it happen.

FWG- Humans are miraculous, I agree.

What we are doing now is miraculous.

Go back in time, tell a medieval peasant what we're doing.
Life forms, discussing philosophy, over thousands of miles, intellectual communication of minds unbound by flesh.

And this is only the start. Only the start of Mankind's journey.

We still live on a speck. Look at the sky.

Reach for the stars, you'll sieze the sky.

I think we've already reached for the stars and we already have the sky.

So- what's next?

Anonymous said...

What's next - I ardently hope - is the fruition of mental/emotional/spiritual evolution that has been stunted for thousands of years. We have the capacity to become the gods we've pondered. What can your god do that mankind is not perhaps capable of - in the perceivable future if not now?

Anonymous said...

"special"... it just makes me think abt the "cpeshul" owl brotha ;)

(i never get tired of this pic)