Equality of thought

we as individuals tend to carry the baggage of context–of our past with us wherever we go, whoever we meet. we often make summary judgments about people based on our impressions of them. i.e. our opinion of a person may be true for us at certain times in certain situations with certain contributing factors, for any “neutral” observer. but while the idea of a metanarrative is long dead in itself; existing only in religion (though there’s changes there as well) and in the base form of pop culture, there are certain universals that must exist for all.

the society exists implies that man chooses to live in the company of mankind–and at an existential level, implies that man is not just formed by the context of society he is in, and the choices he makes, but also remembered by the sum of those–the illusion of his reality–the external narrative of his life–which means that the only choices that really matter in the realm of time, are those that “affect” others.

which brings me to an interesting question of choice. the incredulity towards the concept of the meta-narrative in the post-War, post-Imperial era has brought up many important issues–one of which is, the extent to which we limit, can limit, should limit, can not limit, should not limit; the scope of the choices we make, and who they can / can not, should / should not effect.
as Sartre once said; to choose for oneself is to, in a way, choose for all of humanity. even in democracy; the choices we make individually–and therefore by extension collectively–choose certain values over others, certain trends over others, validating a tyrannical collective choice based upon the majority rather than a consensus.

a consensus is in itself like perfection or infinity–it rarely be quantified in the absolute–you can rarely carry everyone with a decision you make.

the question then becomes of choice–who do you choose to carry? what do you, as the God of your choice, choose to exalt above all else?

do you find the idea that an choice you make is an exaltation repulsive?–well, it should be, and obscenely so. to accept that your choice chooses for humanity carries with it certain weights of responsibility that you must accept.

we often talk about helping those less fortunate than us–in education, about appealing to the lowest common multiple to ensure no one is left behind. but then we talk about preserving their culture and traditions, and a respect for their values. this is where this argument moves from the theoretical rant to an applicable hypothesis.

if indeed we, in “education” aim to “uplift” or to “inform” or to “educate”; what is the purpose of that education? to lower the pace or lessen the scope of education implies a curbing of one’s own values, in order to cater to a lesser system (lesser, since educating should quite possibly imply a necessity of education among those being educated, who are therefore not “educated”)

is working to get everyone on  “the same page” the true idea of education,  or is it about working towards the impossible dream, the unreachable star–setting a Gold Standard for humanity to achieve?

a critic would argue that a teacher must merely inform, letting the student “choose” to draw his or her own extrapolations from the options given. the flaw in that idea, however, have been exposed over and over again. people often don’t make choices, because they don’t consider them relevant or important.

some reach for the sky and some walk that broad, well-traveled road. and maybe that’s OK; it is perhaps the balance of society, that even if all men were born equal, it is the choices they make that defines their lot in life, their place in history; and maybe not being a part of history doesn’t rankle those who choose otherwise–but i feel it is tragic.

you get one life to live, one work of art to paint; it feels terrible to think that you might not be thinking more about the choice you make; and about what you add or take from Society with those choices.

there is no God for those who forsake themselves by forsaking their responsibility to choose. it is an odd debacle–balancing tolerance and freedom with establishing archetypal values and standards; but one we have not yet solved; and maybe we aren’t meant to. but with the World changing rapidly, and societies drifting apart in the name of protectionism and nationalism, the time when one generation needs to draw the line, and make a choice comes ever closer. what will your choice be?


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