Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

Majority Rules

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Back in my college days, there was a guy called Jimmy in my class who seemed to be trapped in his own little world. I often heard frustrations from my classmates that he has major problems in communication with his team members during group meetings and he was practically isolated and has no friends in the class. All along, I suspected he has autism and it explained well his inclination to be really introverted – an introvert of the introverts. And he knows nothing about being politically correct and offended many people all time with his straight-forwardness in his comments.

One day during lunch, one of my friends initiated the conversation on Jimmy and promptly said , “I don’t understand how can he sits in the class alone all the day long without talking to anyone. He is so strange!”

As a person who is mildly introverted myself, I didn’t felt right with the comments on Jimmy although it is pretty obvious that he isolates the world all the time.

Certainly, it looked like my friend had made a valid statement by calling Jimmy strange especially when all her friends agreed, thus reinforcing her point of view. To her and most of the people in my class, it is a rock-solid-hard-fact that Jimmy is Strange with a capital S. It is sort of like an universal rule that if you isolate yourself from the world or do not talk to the people around you, then you are strange.

However, the little truth of realization arrived when I too came across another‘strange’ behaviour among common people which I find mysterious and that was the beginning of my understanding towards the Law of Perception. And this strangeness was – Boredom.

I have many friends who vented all the time that staying at home is boring and going out for activities would be more fun. But I always wonder, what can be more blissful than staying at home and doing nothing? That to me, is the ultimate ‘Nirvana’. I find it strange that people likes to go out finding entertainment by socializing and doing activities together. People seemed to easily get agitated by the emotion of boredom and isolation. For instance, I have no problem celebrating my birthday alone, but to most people, it’s like a major taboo. And that to me is … strange.

But who is right and who is wrong? The girls who called Jimmy strange or myself who called most people strange? Both insights are directly contradicting, so what makes her more right than me, and what make myself more right than her? I realized when it comes to cultural values, it is not what both of us think that matters –  it is how the collective individuals think that matter, the bigger the better. Basically, it‘s what the majority say, not you and me.

When a big group of individuals has decided that this is the way how things should be done, then it will be a societal standard. It is a human nature that we human being group ourselves by affinities and certain shared value. Just look at the organizations and associations around us, we have religions, feminist movements, animal rights, labour union and millions of other small one.

Being sociable and extrovert is not a Truth, nor an Universal Rule – It is only something which the majority of people are used to and comfortable with. This is an artificially-construct cultural-value by the society, just like race, nationalism and religion. If we were to go deeper into this, we will come back to the square-one fundamental question – What Is Morality?

Hence, my point here is, instead of treating what we Subjectively think as the Truth and decide what is strange and what is not, we should open up our mind and embrace the diversity of personality. A kind of acceptance on Objective Truth.

The world we are living at today is consist of 80% extroverts and 20% introverts. But think about it, what if the world has a reversed personality where 20% are extroverts and 80% are introverts instead? Then socializing will be something  really really strange and weird to people because society would have set a culture that living in isolation is the way to go, just like leopard and turtle always do. But human and the world is the way it is as already determined by Evolution.

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Written by elan85

November 19, 2008 at 9:48 am

Posted in Philosophy

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