individualistic

correct translation, absolutely without personal insertions or interpretations

Viner: “Mr President, this is the team, please notice that the individualists are the most beautiful. Please observe also that most of them are taller than you. (ha ha ha) This is Anastasija, she made a few mistakes so this is the last time you see her. But those were only averange gymnasts, I’d like to introduce you Yana, our crystal statue. Maybe now she’ll have time to learn something more than how to read and write, because she left school in third grade to do gymnastics. I appreciate that." 

HE: "wow, amazing. The mother of my last 2 or 3 sons is getting old, are some of you thinking on having kids? You’re like twenty or twenty one years old, and time passes…” smiley face

Viner: “I already found some hockey players for them, but if you like someone, you can pick her”

HE: “i’m undecided.. ha ha”

Viner: “Let’s make a photo with all che group, so you can choose later”

6

Illustrations by Patrick Seymour

From his studio in Montreal, Quebec, digital artist Patrick Seymour (Behance) creates a stunning collection of individualistic art. The line work in his prints is mighty impressive, with streaks of electric blue and hot pink used to form familiar shapes in unfamiliar ways.

Are we creating an era of ever larger and more intrusive government?

For more: http://bit.ly/1TUVqks

It’s all about self-empowerment
these days,
and it’s great to be a self-reliant
individual.

It is. I do agree, but there’s more.

Before you make your ode
to the individual,
may I ask
you,

Have you ever been hugged before?

Have you ever been kissed before?

You don’t have to climb
Mount Everest
alone –
                                  to feel on top
                                    of the world.

Summit - M.A. Tempels © 2016

How We See The World

This is not a post about the glass being half empty or half full. What this post is about is where your eyes look out from, metaphorically. What I mean is that some people view the world only from their perspective, some from only certain people’s perspective, some from a global perspective, and many others. Our perspective is largely defined by our culture, though it can be refined or radically altered by our experiences. Western culture rather favors the individualistic view, while Eastern culture favors the communal view. This isn’t to say that Westerners don’t ever think communally and Easterners don’t ever think individualistically, it just means that it isn’t the initial thought process. (I’m also going to say at this point that I think the human species is rather individual-oriented as far as an individual can benefit before losing out to what established communal resources would require non-directly returned benefits. As that isn’t easy to make sense of, think of a community of two individuals: a hunter-defender and a gatherer-builder. Together they can sustain themselves in relative comfort by sharing, while apart they can keep all for themselves and live a harsher life. My thought is that they only share as much as is required to reap the benefits of what the other provides. It’s oversimplified, but I hope it illustrates the point).

(One tangent aside, I’ll get back on track by discussing how I view the world.)

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Unconscionable

As in: ““Judge Fuller has maligned the reputation of South Dakota’s judiciary,” the opinion says. He “has insulted individual lawyers, has uttered insensitive racial and sexist jokes, has conducted himself on the bench with unconscionable arrogance, has used abusive language, has rudely mistreated employees.” (American Bar Association Journal, May 20, 2011)

Comes from: That little voice inside your head.  But in whose head?  Evidently, the illustrious Judge Fuller’s conscience (assuming it objected to the above actions) was not an obstacle in those actions ultimately being taken.  If it had been the speaker, or anyone sharing the speaker’s sense of right and wrong, their conscience would have stepped in, certainly, and none of this would have happened.  The conscience in unconscionable is at once a marker of collective disapproval, but also disbelief.  (How could anyone do such a thing?)  The conclusion may be to assume a brokenness, a fundamental disconnect from reality and from conscience leading to an act thus labeled.

Guest starring: Unconscionability, apparently a legal term used in contract law to nullify contracts that no one in his/her right mind would have signed had s/he understood the content of the contract or been otherwise un-coerced.

Severity - 6/10: Oddly enough, the whole legal thing dilutes this one a little bit for me.  I’d have preferred if we reserved another, less cognitively potent word for an unfair Blockbuster contract.  And I’m caught up by the contrast between the deep personal relationship between oneself and one’s own complex and nuanced belief system that ‘conscience’ means to me and the collective condemnation that the term assumes.  The word feels misused–even damaged–in modern usage.

Haughtiness - 2/10: Everyone has a conscience and few people would claim to have a more refined little voice (perchance one musn’t consider such a course of action, no?) than anyone else.  Perhaps more properly used, unconscionable would be a self-referential judgment on a certain potentiality, not generalizable outside oneself.  But even used as a broader brush, it doesn’t serve the interests of the intelligentsia to appeal to a common human psychic characteristic in disparaging a lesser group (except if they’re sub-humans?).

Usage guide - Let’s bring this one back into the fold.  Few people would argue with making a decision in accordance with a fully-formed conscience, so using this phrase might well be the last word in a discussion where someone seeks to convince you of something and your mind is made up.

The Three Options in Life

I’ve never been one to spend most of my time dreaming; I try not to dwell on the often confusing and mixed signals our brain can send our subconscious while in a state of slumber.  I count it up to our brain doing the mere unexplainable; maybe it’s exercising, maybe it’s realizing our deepest fears, wants or desires, or maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all, and in a very human way we try to put words around something that is too big for all of the words in the human language.

Dreaming usually means one is escaping reality, and thus is avoiding the very thing we must all live through.  People dream to imagine a better life for themselves, to imagine rather than going through the arduous ordeal of changing who they are to change their situation…

Tangent - Being true to yourself/Staying the same -

I often ask myself how realistic is it to expect someone to be the same person when making $25,000 a year as opposed to five years later and making $100,000 a year.  I never can understand why people expect others not to change when their surroundings have changed around them.  At the beginning of the turn of the century it was a very big deal for people who had money, who had made it, to remind us that they were still the same person they were when we all supposedly “knew” them before.  It is impossible to do so given the lifestyle change one undergoes when they start to make money.  

Besides…Who wants to be the same person they were when they were 17 when they are 24?  We all change, we all adjust, we all decide to grow up and mature or simply take up an interest in something we never thought we would before.  So why are people who “make it,” those who realize their dreams supposed to be the same person, while those who never do realize their dreams, are allowed to act the same way they did when they were younger?  To make a bigger point, isn’t that one of the biggest reasons why people who make it do so, because they were willing to change while the rest of the population is too worried about what others would think to change for the better? 

End of a Tangent

…I’ve never given much thought about my dreams, ambitions and aspirations in life until last year, right around the time I started putting my thoughts into this blog for no one in particular to read.  I started to ask myself what I wanted in life since I was stuck in limbo, only to now realize my life was stuck in limbo more because of my own ambivalence toward life in general.  It’s hard to get anywhere in life when you don’t really care where you are headed, when you’ll get there, or how much of your sanity is still intact by the time you reach your destination.

I started to realize my life wasn’t being controlled by anyone or anything, and that if I wanted to make things happen I couldn’t wait around to be “lucky” or “to be in the right place at the right time.”  Leave it to those who have never done anything with their life to ask successful people how they have fallen into their pot of gold, as if most people who are successful one day step off of a bus and into a pile of money with their name on it.

The reason why my life was stuck in the mud was because I was driving in circles myself.  I had no idea what I wanted and neither did life either, so it instead of dealing me a bad hand it reshuffled the deck and waited on me to decide if I wanted to play this game of life or not.  Nevertheless I thought about it, got up from the table and took a walk, chilled, partied a little to only come back and notice the cards still had not been dealt, and only my dumb behind was the one asking why hadn’t anything happened in my life.

I for some odd reason thought life worked like this: You work hard, you catch a break or two and maybe you make it big.  I’ve decided to forget about all of the cruel percentages there are in this world which only seem to remind the average American how much their think their life suck; how this has and always will be a life with ebbs and flows with severe lows and limited highs.  I thought that’s how everyone in life feels about the world they live in except for the “exceptional few” who somehow make it big doing only God knows what for an ungodly amount of hours spent in order to realize their dream.  

This world will scare you into believing your life will end up just like your brother, your mother, your father or whomever it may be, and offers little in the way of actually taking ownership of the situation and changing things for the better.  Never-mind the success stories because they are too hard to duplicate and the people who have the money are only a bunch of Scrooges with Grinch sized hearts to boot.  Who needs them and their money anyway?  Especially since their lives end up having as many problems if not more?  Haven’t you watched a movie ?

Well, for one, I don’t watch movies and two, anytime I see one of those regretfully rich millionaires on the street they definitely don’t come off as weary, upset, or incredibly arrogant people.  Most of all they honestly don’t seem to be weighed by being “too wealthy” and for the most part they seem to have a caring heart as well.

When my manager asked me what I wanted out of life, where I see myself in this industry five years from now, I told him maybe a couple of Saturdays off, maybe a couple of vacations each year, and maybe even a condo in the suburbs.  He was sort of taken aback by my dream.  He started to mention things that are attainable for me to grasp only if I can believe I can get there, only if I were to truly dream what my life would be like.  None of the things I said had anything to do with being the best at my profession, and it shows how limited my thought process was that I neglected to think of such an obvious goal.

I paused, and for the rest of the training session I was sort of in shock by my limited response.  Ever since last year I have tried to dream, tried to actually use my imagination to ask myself what I want in life.  I actually wrote a bunch of items on a sheet of paper yet I have not looked at it again, for reasons I can’t explain.  What’s the purpose of dreaming, if you don’t dream big enough?  What’s the purpose of dreaming if all of your goals are easily attainable and realistic?

In my attempts to humble myself against the inevitable pits and valleys of life I had neglected to actually convince myself that what I was dreaming could one day become a reality.  What his question meant to me was why are you afraid to achieve and why are you afraid of success, to the point where you don’t even believe, as you are in the process of one day building the very thing you have been working so hard to achieve?

I still don’t have an answer for that question, and maybe it’s not the fact that I don’t have an exact answer that bothers me but that he would need to ask me that follow up question in the first place.  Fear puts limitations on our bodies that are too easily breakable if we weren’t mired in self doubt.  I realize this to be the case now, for if I were to fail I will wake up the next morning regardless; life will go on, I will find another job, and things will generally be the same.  But if I were to pass up this opportunity and take this for less than what it is, then I will forever look back on my life and ask what if.  One option leaves me stricken with pain for a few months or so, but the other one leaves me asking myself the same unanswerable questions for the rest of my life.  The first option doesn’t look so bad when matching it up with the second one but when I think about it even more, success dictates those options aren’t the only two.

Self interest above all.

I loved both Crime and Punishment and The Awakening. There is so much to write about, and I am almost certain I will be writing about one of these books for the Question 3 prompt.

The thing is, I absolutely despise the protagonists in these two books. Raskolnikov and Edna represent the two kinds of people I cannot stand. One is poor, confused, crazy, and on top of that, narcissistic, and the other takes liberation to a whole new level. Both of these characters lack a sense of responsibility, and both don’t try to take control of their respective lives. If Raskolnikov isn’t so narcissistic, he probably would have committed suicide too. In the end, it is their self interest that comes first.

I understand that the United States is a predominantly individualistic society, so I can see why Americans would applaud Raskolnikov’s cunning attitude and intelligence, and Edna’s unshackling from society’s limitations to search for her true desires. However, what I don’t see is how people don’t realize how extreme this individualism is. Both Raskolnikov and Edna have no concern for others, and it’s all about their “internal conflicts” and their “individual quest.”

Is this what society has come to? Completely accepting the idea that it’s okay not to think of others, not to sympathize with others, not to think about the consequences of their actions that not only affect themselves, but others around them as well. As long as you’re fine on your own, nothing else matters.

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The feeling of being watched enhances cooperation, and so does the ability to watch others. To try to know what others are doing is a fundamental part of being human. So is fitting in. The more collectivist the human society, the more important it is to conform and the more prominent the role of shame.4 Shame serves as a warning to adhere to group standards or be prepared for peer punishment. Many individualistic societies, however, have migrated away from peer punishment toward a third-party penal system, such as a hired police force, formal contracts, or trial by jury. Shame has become less relevant in societies where taking the law into one’s own hands is viewed as a breach of civility.
—  Jennifer Jacquet, ’Is Shame Necessary?’ via Edge