Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ode to My Mother

I think Abraham Lincoln said it best: “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Eloquent in its brevity. I too have been blessed beyond recognition with a mother that could be described as nothing less than an angel. All mothers are truly queens among peasants, but I am going to take literary and sonly license to praise my mother above all others. This is in no way a contest, for most people contend that they have the best mother in the world. Statistically that is impossible. The term best implies that there is only one that stands above the rest. Well assuming there is one such mother, she is probably heavenly and beyond our sphere of comprehension. So all clich├ęs aside I think we can agree that everyone who loves their mother and thinks she is the greatest is correct. She is the world’s greatest mother for you. With that being said I would like publicly declare how special my mother is.

            My family, like most families has been through a lot. We moved around like happy wanderlusts growing up; new houses, new neighborhoods, new wards, new faces, and new schools. Through the pleasant and the untoward my mom has been there with her contagious smile and warm embrace. My childhood was filled with hugs and giggles. My mom has a certain ineffable way about her. She seems to have no ability to become angry, and though we are all subject to human emotions and frustrations, her attitude has always been amazing and exemplary. Her feminacy was always coupled with a healthy dose of competitive nature. Our scrabble games are legendary, and the memories I have of playing games with her are beautiful and priceless, just like her. My mom taught me to enjoy the small things in life. She gets excited when the new Reader’s Digest arrives; she is thrilled when she dominates a cross word puzzle like a true cruciverbalist, and is overcome with joy when an outing to a Mexican restaurant is about to transpire. I will not even get into how felicity streams through her soul when she enters a movie theatre. The point is, she taught me to not wait around for grandiose adventures and miraculous happenings to find happiness, but to enjoy the gorgeous ride that life is.

            My mom is so beautiful, loving, patient, imperturbable and caring. She is truly a beacon of maternity love. Perhaps this is why I am still single (along with a litany of other things), I saw how blessed my father is to have found such a girl; I don’t want to settle for less. As Godfrey Winn in all his sagacity stated, “No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.”

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Subjectivity and Our Unavoidable Biases

Per request of one of my faithful and prolix followers I have decided to write on a complex topic. I am however, unsure that I will be able to successfully encapsulate my thoughts on it. As always I will opine and posit freely with a literary caveat that I am not speaking in absolutes and that the dogma of Taylor is a porous if not spurious one. I would redundantly like to write on the subject of subjectivity.
Our whole lives are a series of tiny events that not only mold us into the types of people we become but the thoughts that enter and remain in our heads. The way we view religion, politics, friendship, love, comedy, athletics, the arts et. al is very much determined by the way we were raised. The thoughts that enter our minds that we consider to be truth are formed by our environment, and by the things that occur and have occurred in our lives. And everyone seems to think they are right about most things. I have met few people that would say they are rarely wrong. The majority of us tend to believe in ourselves and consider our paradigm to be the correct one.
Despite our built in biases and our notions of truth, are we able to see things as they really are? Are we capable of stripping down our brains to their unadulterated and unbiased state? When new and contradictory information is brought to our attention are we open to analyze it and search for veracity, or is our potential to progress intellectually at times retarded by our own subjectivity of things? These are questions that teem through my brain. The answers I will provide are only my opinions: I am of the belief that it is very difficult to rid our thought processes of biases. Most of us look at certain dark chapters of the past with scorn and disapproval. How could people be so calloused and evil to enslave people and mistreat people because of the color of their skin? Yet, we really have no idea what we would have done in their shoes. Everyone likes to think they would have risen above bigotry and hate, but are we not all products of our time? That does not mean we are destined to follow in the ugly and untoward footsteps of our own generations. All I am positing is that people are inherently good, but the biases and culture around them molds them voraciously.
We do have a way out though. We have a way of releasing ourselves from subjectivity and forgetting what we think to be common knowledge. This is not an easy endeavor however. To do so we must have one objective; we must strive to fine truth. We must find that splendid balance between open-mindedness and skepticism. We cannot be so open to things that we believe everything we hear, but we cannot be so skeptical that we believe virtually nothing we hear. We must be able upon hearing new information to reject the immediate warning signs and welcome uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty.
My own personal beliefs in deity trump any philosophical standpoint I can take on ultimate truth or overcoming subjectivity. I am of the belief that inquiring of God, and searching out things on our own will elicit veracity. But even with a firm even zealous belief in the Almighty, it is imperative to eliminate pride if truth is to be found. We cannot seek truth if we are unwilling to let go of certain beliefs that have become barnacles in our weathered brains.
I am not sure if I tackled this topic very well. My thoughts were tangential at best. But I do believe it is possible to overcome our pervasive and ubiquitous biases if we can humble ourselves, and truly search for what is ultimately correct.