Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stoke the Fire

     I refuse to believe that people are really as dull and stupid as they represent themselves to be. If I spend most of my time examining the world I live in and my place in it, it should stand to reason that other people are as well. Why is it then, that we discuss the most worthless parts of our experience? Small talk tortures me. I intentionally look angry all the time because I want to dissuade people from talking to me about the weather or how their kid did in his soccer game over the weekend. The sad thing is, as I listen to people around me talking, I think they have convinced themselves that the mindless prattling chit chat that they engage in on a daily basis is somehow meaningful. We have the ability to connect on a scale much greater than ever before yet we keep our true selves hidden away as though someone could snatch it away from us.

     We should get something out of connecting with another person. I want to feel like I have grown, or given someone else the opportunity to grow. Having one good conversation where vulnerabilities are shared and a bond is forged is so much better than having a thousand encounters exchanging pleasantries. Fake smiles and mindless banter leave me feeling dirty. I won't participate in this charade anymore. I don't want to meet your public face, I don't want to play a role to occupy your time. Awkward silence is less uncomfortable for me than awful banter. Too often when you first meet someone the first question exchanged is “what do you do?” Does a person's profession define them? We should be asking more relevant questions.

     There is nothing I enjoy more than the rush of meeting someone who challenges me intellectually or spiritually. Even an argument makes me feel alive like nothing else. Conversations where I can reflect on what was discussed for days afterward fuel me, I feel enriched by them. I love the emotions that plague me when someone challenges my conceptions of what really matters and the true meaning of life. Lately it seems that those days of endless debates and heated arguments are long behind me. Has the fire gone from our hearts or did life just get in the way? I can barely recognize humanity anymore. What have we become?

     When I was younger, wide-eyed and full of wonder, I was enamored with life. I want to be able to feel that way again but now I can't help but feel like we are all doomed. Each day is a reflection of the last and I feel hopeless. That spark, the burning passion I had once felt, is reduced to a smoldering ember gasping to hang on to life. I don't see passion in my contemporaries. The blinding obsession with something or someone that yields great stories, art, and music. The suffering and elation it can bring seems like it has gone from the world and everything is awash in a gray, mundane fog. Is it that people are too jaded to care about anything or are they so anesthetized by meds that they forgot how to feel?

     I thrive on the highs and lows of passion. As much as the lows kill me, I wouldn't trade them for anything because they give value to the soaring exultation the high points bring. Admittedly the lows are usually longer in duration and at points death seems like a better option, but reaching those highs becomes all that matters. Everyone should be passionate about something, be it love or rage, anything to feel some real emotions. When you do, share it with someone. Set passionless hearts ablaze in the fires of inspiration and watch the world burn.


  1. I couldn't agree more. I always prefer to have intellectual meaningful conversations with people. I could care less about the weather or what people have planned for the weekend.

    1. Would you care about the weather if you lived in Moore, Oklahoma and there was a tornado warning?

      What about someone who planned to volunteer at a homeless shelter over the weekend? Is that person's plans to low brow for you?

      Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
      Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. Eric, you have to remember that people have busy lives, children to care for, elderly parents to care for etc...

    I will ask you this....what did Socrates do for a living?


    Yes. He had the time to sit around annoying people. LOL....

    What I am trying to this...people have mundane lives because that is the fate they have either chosen, been led to or thought was the right thing to do and quite often young man...they just don't have the time in their hectic lives to pontificate on the virtues of normative ethics. The kid has to get to school, the car needs gas,, someone needs to go to the grocery store....etc...

    I am sorry to inform you of this...but's gonna happen to you someday when you have responsibilities.'s possible to still have great conversations about life and what the hell dark matter really is and how much it really fucking matters in the greater scheme of our lives...

    Keep writing....and don't open the bell jar....seriously...don't open that thing.


    1. I appreciate your opinion. However, I believe you have misjudged me. I have 7 year old twins that I care for all on my own. I'm not sure how you define "young", but I am in my early thirties and have all the responsibilities applicable to any adult. I chose the fate of having children, and was unfortunately led to the fate of watching their mother die a slow and painful death brought on by an illness that no doctor could diagnose. I am not some wistful twenty-something with a silver spoon looking down my nose. I have been through the trenches of life and I'm still standing my ground.
      The point of this is that we do not have to become slaves to our routines. Having responsibilities and a "mundane" life does not mean you have to abandon a pursuit of greater understanding in all things. When we stop trying to grow, we wither and die.
      Too many people are satisfied with the way they have been told it should be: You work, raise a family, then die. Have you really lived in the end? I don't think so. I am sure may people will disagree with my view, and that's fine.
      To me it seems insane that people spend so much time working to earn money so that they can pay for the right to have a hectic and mundane life. Maybe for some people being a mindless drone is satisfying, but I want more.
      You do not have to set aside time to ponder things. When you are filling your car with gas, waiting to pay for your groceries, or getting your kids from school, take those moments to think about something that matters. Instead of watching tv to wind down after a long day, read a book that might lead to learning something new about the world you live in.
      We only get one shot at this life and when I die I want to feel like I had lived, not served.