“Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?”-The Egotistical Nature of Man

Jerry opened his locker. He had thumbtacked a poster to the back wall of the locker on the first day of school. The poster showed a wide expanse of beach, a sweep of sky with a lone star glittering far away. A man walked on the beach, a small solitary figure in all that immensity. At the bottom of the poster, these words appeared- “Do I dare disturb the universe?” By Eliot, who wrote the Waste Land thing they were studying in English. Jerry wasn’t sure of the poster’s meaning. But it had moved him mysteriously. It was traditional at Trinity for everyone to decorate the interior of his locker with a poster. Jerry chose this one.- The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

Today, I have a few choice words from Master Mentor I. Although not exactly his words, they had the effect of this:

“People usually see the world from their own eyes, their own perspective. Whenever we achieve something great in our lives, we often believe that many people would want to be in our position at that time. This is because we often default to the train of thought that people think exactly like we do, and that everyone would want what we want. It’s hard to think otherwise, that what other people think is different and may be right, while our thoughts may be wrong.”

More often than not as human beings, we (myself included) think of ourselves, and how we would be able to benefit over others. Most of the time, what we aspire to isn’t exactly what others aim for as well, yet when we reach our destinations, we get the urge to shout, “Hey, people! Guess what?! I got here first!”, to which we would expect groans and the admissions of defeat from the alleged competitors.

What I’ve really noticed, though, is that, more often than not, the response to these victories that only apply to us goes along the lines of, “Who cares?” Everyone else values your personal victory differently than you because either they hadn’t experienced the same thing you did, or they just don’t value it as highly as you do.

People don’t think completely alike. No one on the entire planet can do that. Identical twins can’t even do that. Because we all have different experiences throughout our lives and hold different secrets, no one can truly think the same, unless if you have a situation like a brainwashing, totalitarian Orwellian nightmare, or you are some kind of clone embedded with the exact same memories as your donor (after which the clone would most likely have different experiences than the donor anyway.)

So how do we compensate for the times when we know that people don’t want to cooperate in the celebration afterward? It’s pretty easy- intimidate or traumatize the “defectors” into loving what you love, appreciating what you appreciate, and thinking what you think.

Those people that are often called “underdogs” or “leaders of a revolt”, those that are considered the masterminds behind an underground revolution, are the true heroes in the end if they liberate their people or improve life without being considered crazy by anyone watching from the sidelines in the end. Those that think differently, have some sense of creativity, are the true champions and leaders to a new free, creative paradise.

And yet, they face opposition by the daily routines and actions stamped into the minds of the majority by the oppressors.

The problem is that the oppressors do not realize that their people have completely different viewpoints than theirs. Thus, they can be considered egotistical, especially if their power drives them off the edge.

If you’ve ever read “All Quiet on the Western Front”, you may remember one scene where the men are talking about someone getting a little taste of power and changing completely.

I disagree slightly, although I am sorry to admit that I am taking a William Hobbes type of view.

We all have something in us that makes us act selfish, out of our own interest, or out of want of degradation of others around us. Whether it be controlling other’s thoughts, not stopping to help someone after their documents have dropped out of their manila folder, or not dropping money into a street musician’s guitar case, their is a line that differs for everyone between what we can do to seem kind and what we obviously will not do.

Even when we do things out of generosity, we take delight in peoples’ thank-you’s and oh-how-kind’s. We have to reeducate ourselves to actually be wholeheartedly kind.

Power is only a catalyst that enhances the selfishness from us towards others.

In order to be truly different from the others in society, one must accept the reality that everyone is different from each other. Everyone has different interests, some conflicting with others. No one would want to be forced to do something.

This is the beginning of the long, harsh journey of the different, the spearheads of the new.

The making of the Universe’s Disturbers.



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