Before I embark on a journey using this blog, I need to be clear about my existing ideas, beliefs, and social situation first; formulated by my past experiences. Because if there’s no definition to a reference point, progress would be near impossible to track. However, I will not cover everything as the post would be too damn long. It’s still going to be long but heck, let’s just get started:
Since the fundamentals of humanity boil down to philosophy, it would make sense to start with my philosophical beliefs. My viewpoint of life as a whole is underpinned by the concept of existentialism.
In short, I believe that we are all born as a white piece of paper. We are not destined to be something from the moment that we are born – our births have no meaning.
But instead, what we do after our births gives our lives meaning – therefore the tagline of existentialism: Existence precedes essence, we exist first before we make our own essence. I chose this belief because it gives me strength. It made me reject the notion that there is a higher authority who dictates who we are going to be right from our birth. My desire to control my destiny drove me to embrace this philosophical belief.
I’ve always found objective morality a hard pill to swallow. Objective morality is the belief that there is an absolute right and wrong in all things. I couldn’t take this because substantial understanding of human history helped me understand that moralities are not static. Killing for heresy was ok until the end of the Middle Ages when the Catholic’s church power waned, now similar ISIS crusading shenanigans are widely condemned. Slavery was ok before abolitionist movement gained traction in the western world, now it is an unthinkable moral transgression. Based on these observation alone, I argue that morality is objectively subjective (I love oxymorons)
Moral codes of conduct are determined by our culture and changed by the wave of history.
It is therefore this belief that might have made me morally ambiguous. I do have a set of moral values, you can rest assure as they are as generic as yours- integrity, compassion, humility etc. But I do not follow them religiously. My only reason to follow them is because I think that these values makes sense in most circumstances.
This is pretty hard to explain because political viewpoints are different across different issues. To give you a feel of my perspective, however, I’ll provide an example:
This example pertains to my skepticism of representative democracy at the moment. I’ll touch on this topic fully in another post so here’s the “summary”:
There is a phenomenal rise in populism across the globe at the moment – Donald Trump in America, Norbert Hofer in Austria and Marine Le Pen in France. Populism is not an inherently bad thing, in fact, it can be a safeguard against despotism.
But populism can only operate on a beneficial ground if the populace is more altruistic and educated; because then the general populace would know “what’s best for everyone as a whole”. In philosopher’s term, we would then ideally be philosopher kings.
However, our world has yet to reach that level of enlightenment, and that is the reality that we must face. Democracy at the moment is, as Aristotle put it, mob rule. And the manifestation of mob rule would be the America that Donald Trump envisions: a patriarchal and xenophobic country with hawkish foreign policies.
It is therefore in my belief that just as Communism is an ideal to socialists, Democracy is an ideal to us that we are not ready for. After all that’s said, however, I do not have a feasible alternative / solution so I apologize if you think you’ve wasted your time. But if anything, I hope this knowledge can help you be aware of our political conundrum. By extension, you will know that what’s popular isn’t always what’s right and you will therefore vote more wisely in your own country. It matters and you are obliged to take this seriously because it’s not only going to affect you, but also your family and friends’ lives.
I had a terrible but insightful experience with leadership. This might sound like I’m a great leader but that cannot be further from the truth.
I once thought that I’m a great leader, being both in student council and taking charge of a squad in National Police Cadet Corp (NPCC) in secondary school. It wasn’t difficult at all to do both. But that is until I painfully realize it when I’m in Junior College (JC) / High School.
I made it to the top and got an executive position in Student Council. But this was probably the greatest mistake because I don’t actually know shit about either leadership or executive planning. I realized what I did in secondary school was at worst menial labour and at best, execution. Those are only leadership positions in name and to realize it the hard way was deeply regrettable. I apologize to those who I’ve let down in Student Council, especially those in my committee.
The silver lining, of course, is the revelation of my inability. One of the biggest reasons I started this blog is to document my journey towards being a better leader, and I intend take the lessons documented to heart.
I think the best way to describe my social life would be to begin with my personality type. I am an INTJ, and that ‘I’ means that I’m an introvert. In general, I find socializing exhausting because my neurology makes me more sensitive to my environment. Higher sensitivity means the need to be less exposed in order to compensate because “it’s just too much” This is unlike the extroverts who have lower sensitivity in term of their neurology. As a result they need more exposure in order compensate because, yup you guessed it, “it’s too damn little”. I’m not a psychology student so I’m just talking about this from my general understanding which I got from the book “The Power of Personality”.
Moving on, as you might have already guessed, I don’t have many friends. I’m not a social butterfly but neither am I a loner. I can at least interact and make friends. However, friendships in my case usually ends up in 2 outcomes: it either remains on a surface level or if we go deep, we are probably not going to last. If I were to use a metaphor, the friendships that I forged are like stars.
Stars continue to live for a long time while burning constantly but eventually they can reach a stage where they burst into bright supernovas before dying, turning into black holes.
Surface relationship are like normal stars and if we go deep, we become bright supernovas and die into a blackhole soon after. That’s generally what happened to most of the people that I’ve become friends with so far. Sad? No. I find it natural and I would like to accept it as such. Sometimes things are precious because they are transient and self-pity is just not my style.
Of course, there are exceptions which I am grateful for. I would like to specially mention an old friend, Deweender, here because he’s like the longest living supernova I’ve ever met. Although we don’t see each other as often after secondary education, the fact the we lived 3 stories apart has allowed us to meet up at least once a month, usually to go to gym together. The most precious part is probably the fact that when we meet up, we could talk for hours and I like that.
I left the best for the last, so here’s the big revelation to those who don’t know me in real life: I’ve been in a relationship with the most beautiful human being I’ve ever met for 2 years. And nope, she’s not a nerd but she’s, oh god, SHE is the best damn thing that ever happened to me. Her name is Cleo, aptly named after the Egyptian empress, Cleopatra, cuz then my heart is Egypt and she is the empress of it 😍. Ok guys, I give you 10 seconds to cringe, go right ahead……
Done? Here’s round 2: To say that she’s a supernova would be an understatement. Because I don’t believe she is ever going away and she means too much to me to just be a star in a galaxy. She is the universe with the brightness of all the stars that it encompasses combined that will never die. Ok 10 seconds break, no round 3; I promise🙃
My view on love
The unusual thing about my view on love is that it is very inconsistent with the rest of my beliefs. Being an INTJ, ‘T’ meaning that I am a thinking and logical person, it would be odd that I’m following my heart so blindly. Or you might think that it’s not weird because you are as naive as me to think that love blinds. That’s ok, I encourage that.
Naivety makes the most sustainable relationship.
Here’s the thing: I’ve once met a fellow INT – he’s an INTP. His name is Wilson and I met him recently because we are both serving national service (military conscription) and were doing surveillance duty together. We exchanged several views and I noticed this stark contrast between us with regard to relationship. By the way, my girlfriend and I have already made plans on when to marry and how many kids we should have (crazy? I think we are just being serious about it). So I told him that and it came as a surprise to him. He thought that logically, we should keep our options open since statistically speaking, relationships are unlikely to carry over to marriages, especially at our age of 19 right now. I agreed. Yea I actually agreed which seriously paralyzed me for while. Then after much introspection, I understood my naivety:
To be in a relationship and assume that it will not last is to propagate a self-fulfilling prophecy. Therefore, the only way to sustain a relationship is to live in an ideal, the assumption that there will be a happily ever after.
Doesn’t make sense? Let me explain: a good friend of mine, Bryan (who is currently in a 5 years streak relationship) told me that love is only a feeling for the first few months, the rest of the years are commitment. The keyword here is “commitment”. Then ask yourself this next question: how do you bring yourself to commit if you think that your commitment is going to end up in a failure? That’s why it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you think that it’s going to fail, you are probably right.
It’s been a long post and I can actually still go on (this is a perfect example of why my Instagram username is endless_introspection 😅), but that should suffice for now. It feels good to write my thoughts down because it helps me to project them more clearly in my head. This better understanding will surely serves as a solid foundation in which I shall build this blog on.