Saturday, February 7, 2015

To Speak or Not to Speak

Today I received some interesting comments regarding my personal character. It started with insinuations that I am vain and all about money and continued into calling me judgmental and even hateful. It is not the first time I have received such comments, but that does not make it any more enjoyable to hear. Such retorts indeed make me take pause and contemplate my motives and methods of communicating.

These accusations come from my position regarding vaccinations. There is nothing like a hot topic to get someone fired up into accusatory mode of another person's character. I try hard to remain civil and even for those who say we need to start shaming others I tend to disagree with them publicly. I understand from my own past that it is easy to be misled and fired-up for the wrong position and so I am cautious both with my own position and with firing off verbal darts at others. I could be passionately wrong and they could simply be misled with all the right intentions. Despite this, a simple disagreement with someone tends to incite anger and hatred that often manifests in the form of calling me the angry and hateful one even with every cautious word I write. It is a very strange thing to be sure, but I have seen it multiple times in my conversations. Is it me, or is it a fact of humanity?

It does get me thinking though. Like The Doctor, I sit and question, "Am I a good man?" All my life I have wished for nothing more than to impact the world in a positive way and to help humanity along toward the path of Utopian bliss. This is why I once focused heavily on converting heathens to Christianity followed by redefining Christianity, then switching to humanism coupled with science, logic, and reasoning. I have been wrong in many ways in the past, but I take delight in the fact that I have changed my mind about the many things I have found myself to be wrong in. Many people are not privileged enough to see these transformations of my mind, however, and tend to think that my stubbornness is a hard-fast position of argumentation that no one can penetrate. The fact is, however, that most of my positions are the result of such penetrations and extreme amounts of studying. I am not stubborn by opinion, but by logic, reasoning, science, facts, and research. Is this not admirable? I will hold my views and share them emphatically until I am proven wrong with proper logic and reason. I do not take feelings and opinions as an adequate position. If a person wishes to do so, that is fine, but they should not expect me to be fine with the decision itself especially if it harms more than just themselves.

But is it worth even speaking up? I am a nobody. My words hold no great power or sway over anyone. If they did, perhaps it would be more worthwhile to speak. As it is, I hold the power to upset those close to me and perhaps that is all. I am of the belief that culture is made up of the individuals within it speaking their mind on what they find acceptable and what they do not find acceptable. When one is told that their behavior is not appropriate, one can expect that in such an environment one will be slow to repeat the same offense. With that in mind, I attempt to act as a social guide of sorts by questioning abhorrent behavior and uplifting wisdom and science. The effectiveness, however, is unknown to me. Perhaps all I am managing to accomplish is to distance myself from everyone around me. If people continually perceive me as calling others out, they will not wish to associate with me. Then again, do I really want to associate with such people to begin with? Perhaps not, but if I associate with no one, then I have zero influence on the progression of society.

It is possible that the world will progress even without my input. There is enough input from celebrities and media that I could never hope to compete. I could encourage questioning it, but only for the few around me that hear me question it myself. The hope would be that they will likewise do the same and then reach those around them and thus spread through the masses. Yet maybe, just maybe, there are those in high places already working on such things that are better off doing it than I. Perhaps the best I can do is speak silently to myself in blogs while financially supporting others to do all the grunt-work of changing the world for me. Yet is this very admirable? Then again, why do I need to be admired?

The desire to be admirable brings up questions of my true motives. Should I care about being admirable? Is it vain to consider whether or not people will praise my life when I am gone? Then again, what should I care if I am vain? Why choose one over the other? A truly good person might wish to be noble for the benefit of others, yet is that truly my goal? Or do I simply wish to be noble so that others might praise my life? People might like me more if I am noble. Should I care? And what of the word "should" as if there is some universal rule or guideline? It is a fairly disturbing thought to me. Why do I wish to do great things for the world? I feel as if it is because I hate suffering. I hate it enough that if I could pull the plug on all life all together, I probably would. Without life, no one would suffer. No one would love or enjoy life either, but obviously nobody would be alive to care. I believe I fight against pain and that is a fight I wish to pursue no matter what the best course or most admirable course is. If it is an effective course, it is the one I want.

It is then unfortunate that I do not know the best course. To speak or not to speak... that is indeed the question.

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