Sunday, March 13, 2005


Will Wilkinson recently wrote on the ramifications of doing something for someone because "she's my sister." It is a decent read, and raised for me a related question.

A huge part of life is reclaiming our own lives. We begin our awareness of the world with giant statues, like Nietzsche tells us, hovering around our existence. It is our duty to smash these statues in order to reclaim our own lives. These impositions on our lives, these things on our back telling us what to do, can range from religious rules to cultural mores to perceived responsibilities.

Familial constructs are one of these statues, but as Wilkinson posits, simply destroying it is an action we must weigh carefully. Society is itself a sort of construct, one that we must live with (or attempt to change). The bigger question raised by Wilkinson's post is not so much "how do I deconstruct these synthetic structures" so much as it is "how can I recognize these structures and live with them without compromising myself?"

I'm a veritable Sigmund Freud, I know. Still, take stock of the world around you. Who do you have on your back? What are the statues that are sitting in your back yard? Furthermore, who are you, and how can you be you with these things around?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, these constructs play a large part of who we are, rather than limiting us, they tend to enable us to live with peace. We desire a certain level of identity, and the irony is that most simply lose their individuality to gain an identity within a group; every person living is formed within these structures, and to imagine that one might compromise themselves within these structures is rather odd, being that there are widely varied structures, and one is bound to, by a desire for belonging, to ally themselves with the structure that is closest to them, if only for a certain degree of security. Still, these structures are hardly etched in stone, hardly such statues; their boundaries are rather broad and vague. Moreover, these "statues" are hardly limiting when one takes into account human behavior, as most people, on an individual basis, are hardly willing reprimand others for disobeying these constructs unless they are in groups or their construct suggest they do as such. Either way, one needn't imagine that such constructs compromise; structure of a sort can rather breed creativity, the poet who prefers a closed form does so because the challenge of a meter and rime scheme leads to creativity and a greater amount of concentration. This is not to say that those without boundaries are less creative, but to each should be their own, and one should not imagine that all should seek to rid themselves of such constructs, as most are not capable of functioning without them; such freedom from constructs is reserved to the few because of the danger it creates to all involved.

5:43 PM  

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