Sunday, September 16, 2018

One Foot In, One Foot Out

Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
 - Ronald Reagan

People will survive, and they will find happiness.
 - Hugh Laurie

I believe humans are inherently conflicted. Cognitive dissonance is the term, and I don't think it can be avoided.

I'm a techie geek working in a technical, computer-driven job and for fun I go camping in areas that have no cell reception. I'm a writer who regularly practices the art of taking others' words out of context and twisting them to suit my own means. I'm a builder and designer who would rather mold his creations with weak and imperfect tools than hone my ability to a finer skill and build with greater permanence.

I am a minimalist in the physical realm and a hoarder in the digital.

And I worship a deity that I believe neither feels my service nor delivers anything in return.

I wrote about Stoicism a few weeks ago, and while I haven't come to any final judgment yet regarding adapting it into my moral library, I find it reflects this state of conflict well. I quoted "Show me one who is sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy..." from Epictetus as an example of the nature of a Stoic, who in their own right, appear conflicted in their self-satisfaction in self-destruction situations.

But this post isn't about Stoicism, and I have enough trouble getting off track as it is. This post is about cognitive dissonance.

If you were to follow the links to third party websites on my message on Stoicism, you'd  find what brought me to its discovery.

As of late, I've been drawn into GYOW.

I keep wanting to call it the GYOW movement, but it isn't really a movement. It's a perspective, a disparate, amorphous community of people (men, in terms of the MGYOW, as it relates to me), who are committed, not to each other, but to defining for themselves what it means to be... well, men.

Sure, there's some degree of community insofar as educating those who are either unaware of the perspective or newcomers to it. But it's not a resistance. They aren't fighting so much as they're deserting, and they aren't deserters so much as they're conscientious objectors. They disagree with the way society is trending, but instead of trying to fight it, they're wandering off to do their own thing. Going your own way, so to speak.

And, yes, like all ideas, there are dissenters, there are those who oppose the idea, who seek to imprison them despite their rational dissent. The problem with these people is that it's difficult to tell the difference between those who believe that GYOW is poisonous or traitorous versus those who are suffering from a society-wide version of Stockholm Syndrome (and yes, I know what that means and I am using the term correctly).

I see where they're coming from, the GYOWers. I empathize. I even see first- and second-hand the "corruption" (for lack of a better word) that drove them out. I even find myself wanting to join them, to disavow committed, codependent relationships with others...

...but I also want to find someone or somefew to have and to hold.

I was never someone who was at ease with happiness.
 - Hugh Laurie

I've always been one foot in, one foot out of this game...
 - Paul Walker