I want to write more on the subject of “self love” (following what I wrote in “About ‘Emma’ (XIV)”), as I think “self love” is the start of everything (because love is the start of everything, and without “self love”, one cannot properly love at all).
I commented a few times (including in my last post) that I think the problems in the world are not really caused by people being “selfish”, but not “selfish” enough, or at least not in the right way. I want to elaborate more on this point, and please be prepared for my “shaking up” of a few common concepts!
The center theme of my comments is, if all people are “selfish” enough in the right way, the world will not be like what it is right now. The problem with the world is, most people are manipulated to “believe” somethings that are not true, and following “moral values” that make no sense.
The first concept I want to target is “sacrifice”. This is a very bad concept. Why on earth would anyone want to “sacrifice” themselves for others? It makes no sense whatsoever. Here, I want to clarify something first. The word “sacrifice” has been used in various occasions, for various meanings. The word “sacrifice” that I am talking about is to give up something that is essential for oneself, for example, one’s life, and wellbeing (more about it later).
By this meaning, I want to emphasize a society that is built on principles of Love and Reason should not require people to “sacrifice” anything. And, this kind of society should make sure that no one would need to “sacrifice” anything for others and themselves. Without this, a society is not a “civilized society”. Needless to say, there is no society like this on earth right now.
Obviously, there should not be wars occurring at all in civilized society, because wars would often require people willing to sacrifice their lives. Even if “machines” can replace humans to do all the “dirty works”, people would still need to sacrifice their well beings, because wars create some urgencies, so people have to give up a lot of things for this priority. [Needless to say, there will not be wars without killing people. Why would a civilized society think it is ok to kill people? But here, I just want to emphasize that even just based on “selfishness”, there should not be wars, if everyone’s wish counts. The problem is, people are too easily fooled by the word “sacrifice”, not thinking for themselves enough.]So, if all people are “selfish” enough, there would not be wars.
I just said earlier there are some ambiguities with the word “sacrifice”. My definition is, it means to give up something essential for oneself, such as life or well-being. But then, there will be a question about what “essential”, and “well-being” means. It is inevitable that people will often need to give up something for the purpose for doing something else. But if the things people giving up are not “essential”, it would not (or at least should not) be called “sacrifice”, but “trade off”. This distinction is important because it highlights the difference between “essential” and not “essential”, and the difference between “sacrifice” and “trade off”. These distinctions are important because people in their right mind would not want to give up anything “essential” to them, so they would not make any “sacrifices”. But people can give up things that are not “essential” to them, so they would often be willing to make decisions on “trade offs”.
At this point, I actually suspect that the ambiguity (like many other ambiguities I mentioned in my posts) with the word “sacrifice” is another evidence that there is a “grand conspiracy” in this world. As I just said, nobody in their right minds would want to “sacrifice” themselves. But people have been “sacrificing” themselves all the times. Are they really doing so willingly? Or, are they being forced or fooled to do so? By blurring the line between “sacrifice” and “trade off”, this question does not really get asked (or at least not being asked often enough).
Now, I want to talk about “well-being”. I think the most obvious misuse of the word “sacrifice” is the talk about how parents often “sacrifice” for their children. I think in most circumstances, parents don’t really sacrifice for their children, but they might have chosen to give up things for their children. The question is, whether the things they gave up are “essential” for their “well-being”.
I say in most circumstances, parents don’t really sacrifice for their children, because they usually don’t need to give up things that are “essential” for their “well-being”. People usually don’t need to give up things that are “essential” for their lives or their health, in order to raise children. And, often people feel the emotional impacts on them are far more positive than the money and time spent raising children.
But I have thought about another thing, which is dignity. I have read somewhere a story related to “MeToo” movement, some women talked about how they had to endure sexual harassment in order to provide for their children. I always want to look at things with the “big picture” in mind. It is no difference with the “MeToo” Movement. I think all these kinds of movements would be a positive things if we don’t look at them as anything like certain people vs. other people, but “soul searching” moments for everyone, because this would be the only way to bring everyone on board, and truly change the world for the better.
Here, the key word is “dignity”. I think “dignity” is something essential for all humans. Without assurance of “dignity” for everyone, there will not be true “Humanism”. Needless to say, there is not the case everywhere in the world. I want to reemphasize this fact, to make it clear that I think there is no place on earth that “dignity” of everyone is protected by the society. The most obvious case is that there is no assurance of basic welfare for everyone (I have written a little of my suggestions for solving this problem. So, I would not repeat here.) But it is not just this. There are more about this problem.
In my last post, I said I am the type of person who only wants to please myself. I think this is one of the essential elements for the well-being of a person. And, I think this is the essential element of a civilized society. We cannot expect anyone to know oneself better [In fact, to truly know oneself is a daunting task. To expect anyone to know oneself better than oneself is expecting too much. But if everyone can actually know oneself, there will be very good outcomes.] So, as far as judgment goes, only one’s own judgment should count. Of course I don’t mean that no one else’s opinions matters. One should always listen to everyone, but the conclusion should be one’s own.
I am talking about this because it is far too often people are intentionally or unintentionally trying to insult other people’s dignity. Sexual harassments or even sexual assaults are the most obvious cases, but there are more and far common cases of insulting people’s dignity in the society, in any society. It seems that people who cannot love themselves properly need to “fill the void in their heart” by insulting others, to humiliate others, to undermine their dignity. We can say this is a form of aggressions that underlines all forms of aggressions. And as long as a society tolerates systematic aggressions, it is not a civilized society.
I want to say “self love” is quite different from being a “narcissist”. In fact, it is the opposite of being a “narcissist”. To understand this point, one needs to remember what I said about “love”, that “love” is conditional, and “love” is with judgment. I want to point out the most important things about “self love” is to make sure that one is “worthy” of the “love”, and the “worthiness” is determined only by oneself, not depending on others. In other words, one should have the confidence about one’s own judgment, and this judgment is built on one’s own efforts.
But here, I want to point another complication in this process. One cannot make judgment without some predetermined values. As I have said in my posts, the values system in the society is quite twisted. It is my intention to try to clear up some of the confusions. For example, one of the “moral values” that often confuse the process of self judgment is “modesty”. Although “modesty” (vs “extreme”) is often the most important things in doing things, “modesty” in self judgment (at least in my opinion) is a barrier for reaching the truth, and true should be the only thing matters when one is making judgment.
Why people always insist others should be “modest”? If one is exceptional on something, then one has to deny this truth (I have talk about this in my earlier post)? The reason “modesty” (in this context) is “useful” would only be because people cannot handle the truth. But what kind of people we have if they cannot handle this simple truth? [If one cannot face the truth, one cannot make true judgment about self. So, one cannot make improvement about oneself, which means one cannot really be exceptional in true sense.]
This leads to another problem in the society, which is, people are too busy judging other people (actually, in the context, it means finding out the flaws of other people). I have spent sometimes in my earlier post talking about we should focusing more on judging things, not people. This is because there is always a right way (or right ways) under the circumstance to do something, but it is very difficult to make a judgement on who is “good” and who is “bad”. Even though I did admit that we can call people who follow the basic principles of Love and Reason as “good people”, and people who don’t as “bad people”. But people are often very complicated, making this kind of judgment often is difficult. And, even “good people” often make mistakes, just as “Emma” had shown. So, people should really be focusing on things, and only truth should count.
I think I need to point out that these problems occurred with good reason. It is because the societies we live in (in basically every society) are all “winner” takes all society. As I think about it, the more this is the case, the less people are comfortable with truth. If everything is on the line (including one’s life and one’s dignity), would people be so willingly admit “defeat” (as admitting of any kind of inferior would inevitably leads to many undesirable consequences)?
People don’t respect the truth can only lead to one consequence, aggression. It is quite obvious it does not matter how advance science and technology are, the societies can easily slip to “barbarian states” very quickly. The most fundamental corruption is the disrespect of the truth, and it goes downhill very fast.
As I think about it, the entire human history is an evidence that the world is controlled by people who don’t know what is “self love”, and they manipulated and fooled people not to know about “self love”. And, as the world is developed as consequence, it is quite difficult to individuals to actually being able to practice “self love”. But if we are to truly make progress, “self love” is necessary.
January 22, 2018