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I am a writer and dreamer, currently working on blogs and a book series.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Right Versus Wrong and Our Feelings

Hello, all!  I've recently found this channel on Youtube called "Beckie0".  Beckie makes video diaries of her opinions and relates events in her life.  I believe she's been doing these vlogs since she was 15 (and is now 21).  She lives in England and suffers from Trichotillomania which is a compulsion to pull out one's own hair and she has, in fact, gone bald many times.  I found her channel when I was looking at that of the author John Green since she had a vlog on why she didn't like one of his books.  I like her personality and the way in which she just acts like herself and we see her ups and downs like any average girl.
In some of her videos, she brings up some philosophic issues, for instance, in her video "What Were You Wearing!?", (see below), she describes a situation where she was walking in the street during the day with many people around and as she walked between three guys, one pushed/rubbed himself against her purposefully, ending the encounter by barking at her and she did not know what to make of the situation.  When she inquired online, someone asked her what she was wearing that may have provoked the incident.  This question made her think "...that puts the blame on the victim, doesn't it?  The fact that this dress reveals a little bit more of my cleavage means that those men were within their liberty to come up to me and make me feel uncomfortable..."  Beckie had a choice of what to wear out in public, but those men also had a choice where they could either continue about their business or do what they did to Beckie or do something else.  
This way of thinking, by pointing at the victim and saying that they started the ball rolling crossed my mind as I was reading the book The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton where, in the beginning, the author talks about Socrates and his way of thinking.  Socrates questioned people's notions of what  "common sense" was, whether the person was an important, respectable figure or an average Athenian, it did not matter.  He would put their ideas to the test to see if they could actually be deemed "common sense".  "Common sense" is reasoned judgement and Socrates was able to reason that statements such as the one Laches, a general, states is not "common sense": "If a man is prepared to stand in the ranks, face up to the enemy and not run away, you can be sure that he's courageous".  Socrates points out that in the battle of Plataea in 479 BC, the Greek side had to retreat in order to victoriously defeat the Persians.  Socrates has thus proved that retreating is not necessarily a display of cowardice, but also a strategy for victory.
In following what the majority thinks or approves often dictates our lives, including myself.  I always seek to think outside the box, but when my ideas, especially when I believe them to be exceptional, are rejected by anyone, it makes me feel embarrassed and as though I was wrong which is exactly what Socrates was trying to demonstrate.  Though we are a community and we should be able to depend upon each other, quantity does not mean quality.  In today's society, we depend too much upon whether we are liked and sadly, jobs are also decided by this factor, not to mention how the Western society places physical beauty, especially that of the female side, on a pedestal.  It is difficult to convince ourselves on a subconscious level to not care as much about our likeability and physical appearance, to stop myself from heating up when I make a mistake or to doubt my abilities when a reputable institution rejects my application.  
I will pass on to you what a friend of mine once told me, "Follow your heart regardless of what others think and say.  It is an arduous path because only the bravest choose [it].  But it is yours and it is where your heart belongs."

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