Recently I’ve stopped fighting things that affect me directly. This may seem backwards but when a thing happens that is by its nature insulting or hurtful to me personally, what is that but my own judgement? It’s all hot hair against my skin, ones and zeroes on a screen eliciting chemical reactions in my brain. That’s all it is. It’s a meta cognition of melancholy to be aware of the feeling and stand in front of it to get on with things in a way that’s not destructive to the self. Self harming is probably a better word, emotional self harm that I’ve spoken about before.
Yet when it concerns others and the rights of others, my own integrity demands a response. Is that in line with what being a stoic is, or a hero complex? Or surely it is the recognition of ones own kin and to support our community to be better and a calmer, more accepting place, is the duty of care I have as a human being. It’s a discourse not a fight for the holistic heart of humanity not a demonization of who is wrong and uplifting of who is right.
“I still can’t believe people are happy to put poison into themselves for ‘Convid’.” – X
“Okay.” – Z
What was said was directed at me and my choice to take the vaccine when it is offered to me. What does it matter the opinion of someone else who can’t and won’t empathise? Who can’t and won’t try to understand that the carefully curated Facebook echo chamber is not the pinnacle of truth – even then, what truth is not perspective?
Marcus Aurelius talks a lot about teaching or tolerating and for a while I thought that in my actions I was, yet was I? Are passive aggressive put downs really tolerance or just another way of fighting? Honestly, I’m guilty of hubris when it comes to this journey but what’s the point of learning if mistakes are not made? What’s the point of having a blog about philosophy if it’s not packed full of prepositions?
Today another event caused me to think. I am an avid role player and twice has mine and another player’s characters grown close and incensed me to either write stories for these characters or more recently buy art. Then for both, this is, in my eyes, relegated, cast aside for ease putting my character in the awkward position and me as a role-player in conflict with others. What right do I have to be upset about the actions of puppetry? Literal puppetry? It’s all fictional and the actions are literally judgements imposed on blank slates, a literal metaphor in motion. Yet I felt this pang of rejection, of sadness, like the company of my character for this other player, my company was not worth their time. Why did I feel this way? I suppose it’s like actors becoming upset when they feel that their character is side-lined in a show like Grey’s Anatomy or Game of Thrones. I suppose I could stand up for the integrity of this fiction, take a moral stance and fight. No. Why fight that? Why fight for something so chemical? I think I’ve got a real friendship with the other role-player, I care about them, what purpose would it be to allow the insignificant to cloud the judgement – a judgement to be removed?
Stop fighting the actions of the others thinking they will change or make a difference because fighting gets us no where.
“The Doctor: Ah. And when this war is over, when — when you have the homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? What’ll be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who will make the violins? Well? Oh, You don’t actually know, do you? Because, just like every other tantruming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?
Bonnie: We’ll win.
Doctor: Oh, will you? Well maybe — maybe you will win. But nobody wins for long. The wheel just keepts turning. So, come on. Break the cycle.
Bonnie: Then why are you still talking?
The Doctor: Because I’m trying to get you to see. And I’m almost there.
Bonnie: Do you know what I see, Doctor? A box. A box with everything I need. A 50% chance.
Kate: For us, too.
[The Doctor sighs.]
The Doctor: And we’re off! Fingers on buzzers! Are you feeling lucky? Are you ready to play the game? Who’s going to be quickest? Who’s going to be the luckiest?
Kate: This is not a game!
The Doctor: No, it’s not a game, sweetheart, and I mean that most sincerely.
Bonnie: Why are you doing this?
Kate: Yes, I’d like to know that too. You set this up — why?
The Doctor: Because it’s not a game, Kate. This is a scale model of war. Every war ever fought right there in front of you. Because it’s always the same. When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who’s going to die. You don’t know who’s children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they’re always going to have to do from the very beginning — sit down and talk!” – Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 7 “The Zygon Invasion”
He’s my favourite Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Always will be. Even in the most unexpected places, in the places considered unphilosophical, we find wisdom. From the Jedi to The Doctor. Where does fighting get us? Where does it end other than where we should have started?