Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No One Puts Baby In The Center

"If triangles had a god, he would have three sides" - Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu

The quote is something I've known for years but never knew who to attribute it to. I had to look it up, really. But something about it says a lot about who we are as a people. If you think about it, people throughout time have been worshiping entities which, generally, look like us. Even in the cases where there were animal spirits we somehow managed to anthropomorphize them in ways that make little sense. In fact, in some form or another, we've always believed ourselves to somehow be the center of the universe, even now. Sure, we don't believe in a geocentric universe anymore (most of us), but we still have little quirks about us that we (at least, the majority of us) haven't really considered in the same light. To each of us, we are the center of our own universe and everyone else is, if not completely, mostly wrong in their own views. Example: perspective.

When I started to write this post I was fueled to do so by a number of motivations. One being that I was looking to use some of these thoughts as the basis of a story. Another being an uncomfortable and unhappy conversation I had on my birthday a few days ago. But in the course of starting this post I looked at the date and realized something important, today was an anniversary that was worth mentioning.

For as long as I've been alive I've been given a good grasp of what exactly defines "moral" and "right" behavior. Thanks in part to the fact that I've been raised mostly without organized religion I have a set of morals and ethics that are pretty lacking in judgment and centered more around a measured understanding of other people. But did I really have an understanding of other people or was I just assuming I did? It's a question that's bothered me for the better part of a year.

You see, one year ago today, a friend of my family died of cancer. Two days later, my grandmother died of the same form of cancer, an event that left me in a bit of a tizzy for a few months. And, as earth-shattering as that might have been to have two close deaths in a single week, the thing that truly left me traumatized was the forced interaction with people who possessed a different sense of morality than myself. The deaths were bad enough, but what those people said and did left me so confused and so angry that I had a hard time coping with the most important factor: my grief.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's in a name?

After some poking, prodding and a little helpful advice from someone identified to me as a "published author" I have come to start a blog. Something about the idea of doing one of these has always chafed me slightly. Maybe it's because in this day and age it seems that everyone has one of these in some form or another. Though if I try to be a non-conformist and buck the trend it would mean I'm trying to be an individual... just like everyone else. We're all precious and unique snowflakes until we get added to the pile, after all. Still, it can't hurt much to have a space to air my observations, display some of my work and share the curiosities I've seen around me.

So I broke down, signed up for an account and got to work on setting up a blog for myself. Most of it was an easy enough endeavor: sign up an account with an e-mail, put in your personal information, choose a template. But there was one detail that escaped me for some time and required a small focus group to try to tackle: the title.