Thursday, January 7, 2010

There Is Beauty In the Breakdown.

It’s not a cliché; rather, it’s a concept that I find so few people capable of truly understanding.

Don’t you realize that it’s the imperfection that makes our world such a beautiful place? It's the imperfection that causes us to realize why we fight to survive. It's grief and pain that create some of the most affecting art. It’s hardship and adversity of our flawed world that instills within us the indestructible, violent passions that we have.

What kind of life would a perfect life be? It would be one devoid of depth, of excitement, of novelty and discovery and ingenuity and direction and everything that humans were put on this sad planet to experience.

I think everyone, at some point in their life, needs to read Brave New World, by Aldous Huxeley. The following passage depicts my sentiments perfectly:

“ ‘But I like the inconveniences.’
‘We don’t,’ said the Controller. ‘We prefer to do things comfortably.’
‘But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.’
‘In fact,’ said Mustapha Mond, ‘You’re claiming the right to be unhappy.’
‘All right then,’ said the Savage defiantly, ‘I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.’
‘Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what ay happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.’ There was a long silence.
‘I claim them all,’ said the Savage at last.”

And Huxeley is absolutely right.
Isn’t there something beautiful about fighting a tough battle against misfortune? Isn’t the struggle often worth more than the end result? Does sitting in a constant, stagnant state of complacency even compare to the beauty of a life filled with dynamic emotions?

So don’t deny your hardships, no matter how painful or angering or frustrating they may be. Don’t ignore them, don’t fear them, and don’t shirk from them, but embrace them instead. Embrace them with full force and remember that what you’re feeling is just another reason why the world is as beautiful as it is, even in its darkest moments.

3 comments:

  1. and yet, who wants to actually have too little to eat? who wants their family and friends to be tortured by unspeakable pains?

    more to the point, i think that realistically no one will lose their right to be hungry(like in Huxeley's book), but in an ideal world, should everyone have the right to have enough to eat? would that world be less beautiful?

    and would a person choose hardship over comfort if both were within reach? clearly a life devoid of excitement would not be good, but excitement can be a form of comfort. god, poetry, and sin can be forms of comfort

    should we try to make the world less imperfect? is there a possibility of achieving life devoid of hardship?

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  2. 1) 2nd sentence- You ought to read Brave New World, because that passage can't well be taken out of context without losing a lot of the meaning.

    2) 3rd sentence- I completely agree.

    3) 4th sentence- Of course we should.. it's human nature to do so anyways. Why do you think charity exists?
    But no, there is no possibility of achieving life devoid of hardship. Or if there is, we'd end up with a world like the one in Brave New World, which, again, I would recommend you read.

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  3. i have read the book (and the wikipedia synopsis just now, hahah), but it was a while ago and i'll admit to not understanding it very deeply at the time.. are there specific things about the context that i seem to be missing?

    to clarify what i mean: you bring up the passage from the book to illustrate a point about the real world, but to what extent is it relelvant?

    is there a chance that the world will be made less beautiful by those who wish to reduce its imperfections? (human rights advocates, political leaders, technology providers, medical innovators...)
    or is it just something personal?

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