Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Everything you think is true

This simple phrase succinctly summarizes what I think about this life. Although probably coined by someone else, I first heard Prince drop the line prior to his musical performance at the 10th annual Webby Awards, the Internet Oscars, in 2005. I randomly caught his performance on Youtube a few months after the show. When those words came out of his mouth on my computer screen, I froze. It immediately became the centerpiece to a philosophy I can’t let go of, yet still can’t quite coherently explain. It goes something like this:

Everyone lives in two worlds: a physical world and a mental world. We enter both worlds the moment we are born. Our physical world consists of our family, our friends, our homes, our buildings, our cars – essentially everything we can see and touch. And our mental world consists of everything we think, everything that goes through our mind. It is a collection of our experiences and thoughts we continue to build upon as we live our lives.

The quote is a reminder that what we think is equally as important and real as what we see. Surely, people have solidified a solid foundation of knowledge based on many assumptions about our physical world, but there’s a lot we haven’t yet uncovered. There is still a lot we don’t know about this life, we still have war, we still pollute… we haven’t yet smoothly adapted to the forces of Mother Nature.

In a day where our highly structured Western society forces us to conform to an often well-justified degree, we’re still a bickering, polluting, destructive species. Until we do (adapt to the forces of Mother Nature), it is important we continue to question, debate and consider alternative lifestyles that see fit so that both our physical and mental worlds may reside in harmony.

If there is anything I’ve learned in the last year and a half as a junior/senior high school teacher, it’s that young people still believe they can preserve their idealism. An optimism shines in their faces. It sucks though when people lose this luster when our physical world is too difficult. Often times the people without the luster control the optimists and squeeze them out. That’s frustrating. These people make everything all that much harder for young people to keep the faith.

And I’m trying to make that statement here – keep the faith. Everything you think is true. What you think is as important as what you see. And if you think that what you see could be better, it is your God-given responsibility to humanity to let us know. You must let the world hear the voice of opposition. If you do choose to fight the status quo, you must use reason to make your point. Reason is the single most influential tool any man can use.

Youth must have patience though. Youth must wait for reason to break into the commonalities of an unreasonable world. At this time, reason will once again return as the centerpiece of good conversation and the central point of reference to deciding the course of human development.

The world must focus on an agenda, possibly an agenda that works to lessen our dependence on each other and lessen the impact we have on our planet. This would lessen the destruction of inevitable human error.

This revolution is about independence, it’s about learning how to fend for yourself and use your available resources to increase your independency. It’s about growing food and raising livestock locally. It’s about producing your own energy with the wind or the sun or both. It’s about walking more, biking more, constructing and using public transportation more and driving less. It’s about rethinking our lifestyle and retooling the machines that are supposed to make our lives easier, machines whos impact are in sync with nature.

Of course, this is what I think. The lobbyists, the communists, even the drug dealers – they all have their point of view and they are all equally right to some degree. Because of the impenetrable presence of our mental world, we are granted the freedom to believe what we like. In the end though, the point of view that matters most is the voice that influences the greatest body of people – be it through political will, military personnel or a drug that makes you feel damn good. Be it as it may, in 2009 most people don’t have the social pull it takes to influence a large body of people. This, however, is where we sit back, stretch out our legs and wait for the Internet to mature.

So while we patiently wait for our antiquated system of public affairs to become more efficient, youth must believe that everything they think is true, use reason to make those thoughts a reality, and try to make the physical world a better, more pleasant place to live.

So thank you Prince. You are truly an individual – as a musician and as a person. In an effort to influence your mood for the next few minutes as my cousin Mark often submits in emails to friends and family, I will leave you with the music of a man whose originality won’t likely be matched in this lifetime or the next. I give you Prince.


mark said...

ha ha. you're blog truly took the place of my breakfast this morning. quite meaty, young man. keep it up.

Bunny said...

I am so thrilled that you are truly a thinker and a doer. Our world will be a better place because of people like you.