Lindsay Perigo: Carpe Diem!
Recently a young man posted the following on my SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists) Forum:
"Throughout most of my childhood, I was in a constant state of confusion and my overriding emotion was fear. I wanted to understand the world, but none of the people in it made sense to me. I wanted to be free and happy, but I was taught that life consists in fulfilling obligations. Hence, I was afraid to be myself.
"By the time I was a teenager, I became angry and cynical, and for a brief time, almost nihilistic. I suppose this was the low-point in my life, but in rejecting everything, I began looking for a new purpose in life.
"Now that I am conscious of the kind of life I want to lead, the challenge of putting ideals into practice consistently still remains. A sense of life has to be integrated subconsciously, not just proclaimed consciously.
"I've come a long way in the past few years. It hasn't been easy, especially since I've had no one in this world to really look to for guidance. But there is great satisfaction in knowing I am who I am because of who I chose to be.
"Now my question is, is it possible to maintain a joyous sense of life while existing in a society that constantly repudiates it?"
I don't know this young man but I would say he has done as well with his life as he could reasonably expect of himself, & is a hero for that. Is it possible to maintain a joyous sense of life in a society that constantly repudiates it? Yes. But one must accept, without feeling guilty or untrue to oneself about the fact, that one's sense of life in such a society will inevitably falter occasionally - an "emotional, subconsciously integrated appraisal" of what man could & should be like is always going to be tempered - possibly even derailed at times - by the spectacle of what so many men are ACTUALLY like right now. The world IS rife with evil, & will remain so while its prevailing beliefs are irrational. But that's not the whole picture.
There are countless heroes of body, mind & spirit, past & present, whom one can embrace in one's life - sometimes literally - while shutting out, or minimising one's exposure to, the evil & irrational. Seeking & finding kindred spirits - in the flesh, in literature, in movies, in music, in science, in industry, in any area of rational endeavour - while living up to one's own standards in pursuit of one's own goals, brings in its wake a joy that will remain standing even if it takes a pounding from the "drooling beast" & goes wobbly at the knees occasionally. It may not deliver a knock-out punch in our lifetimes, but it will see us through all the rounds, & bring us out ahead on points.
For Lindsay Perigo's daily "Politically Incorrect Show" editorials, visit: www.freeradical.co.nz or listen to Radio Pacific from noon to 2pm weekdays. To visit SOLO, for Sense of Life Objectivists, go to http://www.freeradical.co.nz/solo