Reflection for Refined Action

I honestly never thought I’d write a blog. I still don’t know if I will. Not sure I can keep it up. It doesn’t make much sense to me. The real world is absurd enough as it is, and the thought of spending time online commenting on this crazy world has always seemed to me just like adding another layer of absurdity atop the rest.

But here I am, writing my first blog post. The main reason I say I might not keep it up is because the only real reason I thought to create this was due to the incentive provided by my professor at UCLA teaching a class on the history of Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Holy City). However, I’m starting to realize this could be something more than just an assignment. It could be more than that. I am becoming more keen to the idea of bringing some of my ideas online to see how they fit with what everyone else is saying. I have a lot of them, it’s time to put them to a public test. I think the root reason I was never on here before was due to the truism along the lines of: “There is always so much to do, but so little time to do it”. I‘ve always felt my time spent more valuable out in the field, playing the game.

But whose to say what playing the game really is? Why is enjoying the outdoors or researching cures for heart disease in the lab or actively pursuing some other goal any more valuable than typing up your thoughts online? Well, I guess when I phrase it that way it sounds like a terrible choice to be on here no matter what. I think what needs to change here is my viewpoint on what this is, this blog, and what it means to me to be here writing away. More than just improving my writing skills, I think this can be my place to vent, to let my thoughts drain out, to give them some substance and let others possibly appreciate them or learn from them. Most of all, I think it’s time to build upon my philosophy concerning this absurd situation we’re all in (life on earth) and how I can really make my mark in moving it towards betterment. In short, perhaps it really is time for some reflection, keeping with me the hope that this reflection will help to refine my action in the field.

I actually don’t think I have ever stopped truly thinking. From a certain age where I felt the urge to process and truly grasp meaning from the world, I have no been able to stop. Maybe it’s a neurological problem. Maybe it’s just due to the too many things to do and remember (I say this because I’m studying Neuroscience and Philosophy here at UCLA, which to some would seem a large load and a possible reason for my inability to stop thinking). However, I personally would reject this last potential cause of my “insanity”, as I truly think I just have an inherent urge to continue finding meaning in all that I do. I can’t stop wanting to know more and to make more changes in the world that I see. It might sound like I’m tootin’ my own horn here or something, but I really mean it when I say I literally “can’t stop thinking”. I envy those who can stop, let me tell you. It’s like a great OCD detective out of SF once said, “It’s a gift, and a curse”. I think it must be a restful thing, to have a mind that is able to be at peace. Although, now that I’ve thought about it some more, maybe my mind is, in a sense, at peace. At peace with the fact that its constant active state is its own equilibrium at which it flourishes. In other words, I think my mind at rest would give me less “peace of mind” than a resting mind would itself, as it likes to be awake and thinking. Have I confused you yet? Haha. So yeah, I think I really wouldn’t want to stop thinking, in fact, I have realized over and over that I must not stop thinking. As Julius Nyerere, first president of the independent Tanganyika (Tanzania now, a country in southeastern Africa), said: “Thinking is hard work and introduces into life uncertainties which only the strong can face.” I have to stay strong. I have accepted my constant fight for meaning a part of me, and will continue to use my mind to propel me forward through life and in keeping sight of my dreams. I will fight in this manner until the day I stop breathing.

Back to reality (sorry for the long tangent)…Back to my inability to previously write my thoughts down…I guess I never did this before because I never felt the urge to buy a notebook and write a journal or anything “girly” like that. This is better than that anyways, right? No wasted paper. And anyone can read it. This keeps me honest (as my UCLA professor, Dr. Cargill, said about webcasting his class to the world). Just putting my words out and amongst the infinite amount of other potentially just as valid opinions out there. Maybe someone will read them, maybe not. Maybe someone will find them valuable, maybe not. Maybe someone will criticize them – I hope so. I have always found dialogue to bring about important discussions. It seems talking to others always brings truth closer. Anyways, no matter what happens with what is on here, I hope my thoughts provide some inspiration, a smile, or perhaps at least a little insight to someone who reads them.  That’s all we can ask for, right? Changing someone’s view on the day is the best gift one can hope to bestow.

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~ by Andru on January 7, 2011.

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