History has shown us that there are two kinds of people among any citizenry, the rebel and the empathizer. The rebel is easy to spot. This person acts out against the ruler when a certain breaking point has been reached. The empathizer believes the words of the ruler, or is at least, perfectly content with what the ruler allows of them. But we are at a strange moment in history, where those who wish to rebel are looking to a ruler for leadership in their rebellion, making them at the same time, both empathizer and rebel.
Our individual intellect is inert by itself, a priori without proper education. Education is knowledge in a directive form, and the provided knowledge is only as knowable as the curriculum of an education. An so with intellect, but without knowledge, one will only seek to survive. It is the marriage of intellect and knowledge that will allow one to thrive.
It is not freedom that creates the free world, instead we must focus on the concept of free thought. This is not the free thought as it is understood by the American populous, it is not related to freedom of speech. Free thought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, and fear.
Unity is quite an anomaly. It is what binds us together to accomplish great things. The power of unity can be a great asset toward a harmonious society; but harmony does not necessitate conformity, it only asks for acceptance. It is when unity falsely claims a homogenous society is the path to harmony that we find troubles arising. The United States was founded on non-conformity, the very concept was to create a society in which the citizens must only accept a neighbors lifestyle, not conform to it. This is the difference between patriotism and nationalism. With true patriotism, the individual understands that what makes a home land great (any homeland, not just the U.S.), is that we don't concern ourselves with how our fellow citizens choose to live, so long as how they live doesn't negatively affect another. The nationalist believes that a specific way of life is the only way a society can function, that those living within the same borders, under the same flag, should only have one way of life in which everyone follows. Homogenous thought will never lead to harmony.
Too many philosophers, and legislators of man, have looked for the elusive Utopia through various schools of thought. But the reason for Utopia's elusiveness is that it is impossible. There will always be dissenters and revolutionaries, rebels, and the criminally minded. When everything is even, there will be those who feel they should have more, and when there are those who have more, invariably there are those with less, who feel that social distribution should be more even. This is not an issue that can be solved by lowering or raising one's earnings, for our society is too far gone with the lust for greed, with those that don't seek wealth only contributing to the quest for another's greed through indifference. No, our societies, on present course, are doomed to fail. There will certainly be survivors from any societal collapse, there always has been; whether through war, famine, disease (thought the least likely), or climate change.
But I would think most people would like to avoid this preventable fate. So how do our societies survive, if Utopia is impossible and collapse inevitable? We must come to a better understanding of what causes these failures. However, the current structure of law and order dictates that these failures be cured. Take for example, the 50 year war on drugs. It is nothing but a burden on our society, and incarceration of drug users does little to influence others not to use. Societies failures cannot be cured or fixed, or pushed aside; instead, we must come to an understanding that these failures will happen. And the only way to ensure they don't destroy society is to prepare for them.
Wisdom is not solely an extension of scholarly intellect, for the wise man of an indigenous tribe would know nothing of Plato, or mathematics and the sciences, but would out survive most people living among his conditions. It is more simply a mastery of understanding, and accumulation of knowledge gained, not on a particular subject, but on a way of life. So in this we can see how even the biggest buffoon can pull the greatest con. No formal education, nor understanding of reason is needed.
At some point we all hope to be famous, to have our names or ideas on the tongue or in the mind of others. However, there are two ways in which we seek fame. There are those who care only for immediate gratification, the self indulged and self absorbed, their only goal, to shine in the lime light. Or, there are those that hope to do something that can be left behind, inspiration that will touch other lives long after their own has extinguished.
Philosophy is often criticized for its lack of solutions. The phrase 'you can't talk your way out of problems' comes to mind. But if this were the case, then why do so many therapists exist? When one is conflicted internally, the medicine prescribed is open discussion. Well, our world is conflicted internally, and so the best way forward must be open discourse.
When we think about art, the common person's thought will go largely toward painting, though some will consider sculptures and photographs as well. However, anyone art inclined will tell you musicians are artists too, and though it wasn't an initial thought, I doubt anyone would disagree.
So we find one of the most peculiar art forms, especially from a historical perspective. When we gaze upon the Mona Lisa or Last Supper by Da Vinci, or come under the glare of Michelangelo's David, standing as tall as the giant he is famed to have slain, we can almost wholly be sure that these works were their creations as they intended them to be seen. But what of music before recorded sound, how can we ever be sure that what we hear of Mozart or Chopin is the precise sound of which they intended?
Routine is the most dangerous of sedatives I've come across. It expels our most base desire, to explore the world around us. When one is a child, routine is necessary, as structure is paramount to education. Though our current society seems to be putting more emphasis on the structure than the education itself. (To be further discussed another time...)
But this routine for the child serves the purpose of allowing an equal environment for all children to flourish. And though it is routine that directs their daily goings, all days seem to bring forth something new.
Once structured education stops, we build our routine around our jobs, and while there are new projects, or clients, or accounts, only our experience truly grows. There is little else new about our daily lives; sure, life events bring forth change, but in time, these just become part of our routine, until we all succumb to the one certain routine of death.
This is not to say routine should be avoided, but that it should be broken with new endeavors.
My thoughts are not my own, they are a collection of my learned experiences and scholarly endeavors. It is through our collective knowledge that I have gained mine. And with this knowledge learned from the words of others, I attempt to add to the collective thought with words of my own. But still, even these words are not fully mine, they too will be shaped and molded by my knowledge, which is eternally attached to the collective.