Saturday, April 08, 2006

And Voltaire said...

Listening to: 'My Stupid Mouth' by John Mayer [Inside Wants Out] (ironic, eh? :D)

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

It's been a tumultuous week on this blog. I've been virtually hugged, accused of spending too much time feeling sorry for myself, and advised on the meaning of friendship. I have to say, all this has left me feeling a tad disillusioned - about my lofty ideals of friendship, about how many true friends I really have, and about the freedom of expression. I also have to say, I love it. I love learning new things that cause me to question what I have already assumed to be true. At first it would seem distressing, but the realisation that follows is like the clear blue sky that appears after the storm.

I feel there are two points which I haven't addressed as yet (most were addressed in my last post), so I shall attempt to address them now.

It has been suggested that I diminish (or even expel) my expectations of friendship, to minimise my disappointment. While initially this sounds like a good idea, the idealist in me screams out nooooo! - maybe finally I've realised what's truly important to me. While I like to have 'friends' around me, I'm not willing to compromise my ideals just so I have more friends, or so that I never get disappointed. This may sound selfish, but like I's what is important to me. My convictions are the most important thing to me...everything else in the world is fickle. While alleviation of suffering is a Buddhist concept, in order to alleviate that suffering, one must first identify suffering, and accept that it is a part of everything...especially that which makes us happy (the first stage of the Caturarya Satya)...only once this has been accepted, can one go about ridding oneself of the craving that brings on suffering (the second, third and fourth stages of the Caturarya Satya). The way I see it, it is up to me to accept that not everyone will be able to surmount the bar, and to be OK with that. I will not lower the bar (for that would be giving in to the desire to have more friends), but I won't look down upon those who can't reach it. Maybe my fault is believing that the bar can be reached by everyone who approaches it. In that, maybe I have found a compromise within myself: I haven't lowered my expectation of friendship, but I have accepted that not everyone can satisfy my expectations...and that is not a fault of anyone. A resolution to be less harsh on those who let me down, perhaps? We shall see.

The other issue that has been raised is my right to comment on others in a public domain. In this respect, I refer you to the quote at the beginning of this post, by our dear friend Voltaire. I maintain that I am not criticising people just because I feel like it. I use this blog as a means of expressing myself in times of joy and turmoil alike, and I think (judging by the comments I've received) I receive advice on how to deal with these situations. While I might not always agree with the advice given, I always listen to it...and it helps me form my own, revised opinion on the subject (see above). I like to think that the advice I receive on this blog is far more objective than that which I'd receive from a confidante, as his or her advice would probably be biased (and watered-down, for the sake of showing support). I also stress that no real names are used in this blog, apart from my own (and that's only in comments by people I know). So only people involved would know whom I'm referring to...and they already know how I feel, so it shouldn't make a difference. In my eyes, presenting my opinions for all to see is far more honest than grumbling to someone (over and over again) in hushed tones in a darkened room, and pretending everything is OK to the outside world. It's not a popular concept, and I accept that. But it's the concept I believe in, and I hope you can accept that. No, it isn't pleasant...but then nothing truly is.

So please...when you read this blog, remember Voltaire...he was one cool dude.


  1. Voltaire IS one cool dude.

    I don't know whether I have said it to you yet, or whether someone else has said it, but (as i'm in a cynical mood these days) people/friends/humans ARE fallible...they WILL let you down. it's nice of you to have high expectations of them, but on a personal level i've since learned to lower the bar...but i think that's just me trying to avoid being hurt. but i think you also realise, better than me, that it's nobody's fault, we're only human, i am certainly not selfless enough to judge and have let friends down as they would me.

    grrr. maybe i haven't had enough sleep...i'm so growly today!!

  2. Here, it's your blog okay.
    You can express, vent and put across whatever you believe.
    The idiots can go die =)

    You might not feel the same way anymore, since its 4 years down the line...but just saying =)


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