And one asks oneself, is it in the pursuit of the intellectual, of the wealthy, or of the religious that is the most fulfilling? Exactly in accordance with what variations -both in description and in delusion- of passion, materialism, and idealism does one find said happiness? She elaborated that it is all a matter of pleasing those in ones respective social group, of fawning over the fact that “he got me this” or “he got me bigger this.” But is it true? Are we to be reduced to such primacy-such lunacy? In what essence do we find satisfaction?
And some say that silence is the measure of the threshold of comfort between two individuals representing an acknowledgement of the beauty of the moment, a moment marked by acquiescence: I may be anywhere in the world, I may be with anyone in the world, but I am here with you. I must respectfully disagree. I rather believe silence to be a signal of stagnancy, complacency, and forfeit. The world we live in is one of poverty, of despair, of inequality of opportunity, of moral inequity. Our lives are not measured by an accumulation of wealth, an accountment of alms, nor a wide array of peer-reviewed publications. Our lives are not measured. We merely subordinate ourselves to the wills of others, to them-to society, to the community, to that sorority, to that fraternity, to my boss, to my dad. For what? By what standard have you succeeded? Here is a pat on the back. You have obtained my approval. Now be happy. We waste our time, we waste it seeking these titles,these degrees acknowledging our worth to a society, these material possessions that represent the level of success we have achieved along the duration of our lives. And we continue to run through this maze. Inside us burns this fear, that we are conditioned to fall in lieu with what others deem as societally acceptable. These preoccupations, these delusions, existing amidst this dissonent symphony of mallady resounding upon the world. And we feel no shame.
“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! “‘Have courage to use your own understanding!”‘-that is the motto of enlightenment.
Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance, noetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and whiy it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me.
The guardians who have so benevolently taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them regarding taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult. Having first made their domestic livestock dumb, and having carefully made sure that these docile creatures will not take a single step without the go-cart to which they are harnessed, these guardians then show them the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone. Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk; but an example of this kind makes men timid and usually frightens them out of all further attempts.”
And in the spirit of youth veiled by the bliss of ignorance-of this fear wrought with confusion and endless opportunity for failure, let us not take for granted the merits of optimism the intellectual mind affords. Let us delight in the array of technological innovations upon us that have granted us the luxury of freeing ourselves from these self imposed societal chains.
To gloss over that which we have the capacity to change but left unchanged as a matter of dignified ignorance is merely taking for granted the conglomeration of human triumph that has enabled us to privilege this standard of living. Kant believes that man needs to take part in a society as a means by which to measure his self worth, whether it be by juxtaposition of his title or relative socioeconomic status. Indeed, this pessimism has benefited societies over the ages, advancing the symbiotic growth of technological innovation and capitalism. However, I have come to believe that man exists in society because it is a means by which he can accomplish what he cannot do on his own. I would like to believe that social networks come together to form a superorganism, if you will, existing with force and influence not capable of the individual. And in this era of social connectivity-of wikipedia and trans-national communication, there is always something to be learned. It is a waste of existence to defer to the ignorance that proliferates hatred in this world. Friends should exist to constantly better their friends-through enlightenment. The barriers obstructing one from achieving a wealth of knowledge have deliberately been broken down by his era of information transmission. There is always something to talk about, whether it be an idea discussed, a model improved, or a solution to that which has triumphed over the capability of man. We simply have no excuse for silence.