The Danger of A Single Story

In Topoi Virtus on May 1, 2014 at 11:30

Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke several years ago about the danger of living life through the lens of a single story.  Her basic premise is that most of us live life through the lens of a single story;  we meet people and situations, and we label them–or tell ourselves a story about them–according to what we know.  What happens, she suggests, when that story we tell is limited and or closed?  Does this render ourselves a danger to life and culture?  I believe it does.

word-cloud1Our conversations, the stories we tell, the stories we read, the television shows we listen to, the music we dance to, the art we view all contribute to a concept called social reality.  This social reality is often called a world view.  Our world view, our social reality, is often responsible for many of the actions, thoughts, and attitudes we adopt and enact.  Sadly, the majority of any society appears to hold to only one story.  You can see this in Korea, for example, when a person is amazed at a foreign person’s ability to speak a tiny amount of Korean.  “Ohhhh”, comes the sound of jovial surprise.  This action can be said to indicate a one story world view; one that believes all people cannot speak Korean, or some derivative of this idea.  (Since I’m not Korean, I certainly cannot be said to speak for the normative social reality).  The point is, the majority of people in any culture have a vision of the way the world is, and the way people are in that world.  Often, the mainstream media at work in that society offers extra examples that oftentimes serve to support the one story world view.  Consider, for example, how you envision “an addict”, a “homosexual”, a “Christian” or a “Doctor”.

The danger of hosting a single story world-view is simple:  The ruinous nature of prejudice.  Such prejudice kills relationships.  It kills creativity.  It kills a variety of things.  The bottom line: it leads to death.

Chimamanda Adichie suggests a solution to this.  She suggests becoming aware of more and more stories.  She suggests reading new tales about a variety of people and occurrences.  She suggests pushing ourselves beyond normalism, and becoming story finders.  When we do, we can begin to see newness, possibility, and difference not as oddity, but as perfectly includable within the vast variability of life.  When we do this, we can reverse the death curse that is one-story living.  When we do this, we move toward a life of real freedom.  Praxis.

Here’s How You Can Shave Yourself Richer

In Topoi Economicus on May 7, 2012 at 20:12

The average man uses one of Gillette’s techno-razors every four weeks.  Four weeks being the average time it takes for a razor to go dull.

If he follows the standard, he’ll spend roughly $40.00 on shaving razors per year.  That is the case if he buys a standard Gillette four pack at $13.00.

Now, at first glance $40.00 seems rather low impact.  It’s less than .10 cents per day.

Yet, why does it feel like such a terrible rip-off every time we buy a pack of Gillette super-techno micro beardbusting shaving blades?  The answer is simple.

Paying that much IS a rip-off.  You Do Not Have To Pay So Much!  There is a way to save your hard earned cash from going toward these products and helping pay stupid sports star salaries.

Here are several videos that show proven true methods that will keep the cost of your yearly razor purchases low.  Enjoy!


Two Kinds of People in the World

In Topoi Virtus on March 19, 2012 at 11:57

I’m convinced there are two kinds of people in the world.  There are media watchers and media makers.  What’s messed up, is many of us spend most of our time being media watchers when we really want to be media makers.  But…Who can blame us.  It is easier to consume than it is to produce.

So what?

Good question.

Why are we so f’ing lazy?  Better yet, why am I so f’ing lazy?

Read a book a few months ago.  In it, the author argued western culture has grown lazy and purposeless because of the looming threat of nuclear annihilation.  He wrote that this threat ultimately renders us completely and totally powerless; and as a result, in our impotence, we have given up on life.  We have given up on a sense of direction toward some form of mastery.  We have stopped the drive to produce.  Instead, in our fear, we consume.  We seek instant gratification.

This makes sense to me.  Think about it….I’m afraid I’ll die.  Production takes time and effort.  There’s a chance that the intense feeling of gratification will never come, simply because the death of everything is looming.  Taking on a large project, working toward it’s completion, sweating it out, and ultimately completing it is such a huge risk.  It takes serious time.  Serious faith.  What if the end never comes?  What if I never finish?  What if I die before the end, and in that lose the opportunity to feel the sense of completion, the inner orgasm that is gratification from a job completed?

Some people have the balls to take that risk.  These are the media makers.  They are the ones who still go out and build companies.  They are the ones who sit down and write books.  They are the ones who finish what they begin, knowing during the process that there’s a chance things might not be completed.  Yet, despite such knowing, they continue on in the faith that all will find a way. that all will come to some form of fruition.

Others have raisin-sized testes.  These are the ones who consume consume consume.  These are the ones that eat and gratify now, rather than wait and gratify later.  These are the ones that have no “guarantee” tomorrow will arrive, and so seekingly grasp for all they can feel accomplished for today.  With no guarantees, there’s no other point! For in consuming, there is a feeling of accomplishment.  There is a feeling of process.  There is the arc of life.  And always, the end is something that feels complete.

But the sad thing is this “end” is but a chimera.  It’s a lie.  It’s a lie with two faces.  The first face is a lie that hides the reality that nothing truly worthwhile has been accomplished.  Watching a movie, reading a book, does not actually accomplish anything.  The second lie is the lie that predictability is possible and necessarily a good thing.

In the process of true creation, there really is no predictability.  Such safety is never guaranteed.  Yet, to run from that into the lie that there is some such safety somewhere is an act of idiocy and timidity.

As well, in the process of true creation, something truly worthwhile is always accomplished.  That accomplishment may or may not include the development of something tangible and useful.  Primarily, though, it contains a change in the self.  It contains a development of character.  The accomplishment is in the process.

So to answer the question, why am I so fucking lazy?  I must say that I’m afraid.  I’m afraid, yet I choose not to do anything about it.  I believe I am alone in that fear, that no one else feels the same.  And so, I gratify myself through those ways that seem safest.  In doing that, I ignore an option available to me.  I ignore one of the greatest options available to mankind.  I ignore that choice of acting with courage.

The truth is, everyone is afraid.  Some are more acutely aware of their fear.  But all are afraid.  The difference between the media makers and the media watchers, is that the makers choose courage.  They walk despite the fear.  They do despite impending death.  They march toward completion of a project that matters for reasons hidden in the core of life.  And in so doing, they live while the rest of us merely pretend while wishing for a security we can never ever have.