One of the necessities (and joys) of being a grad student is that you read. A lot. You become a human consumer of philosophy, theory and academic articles like you've never been before.
I think I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was struggling with the theoretical framework for my thesis. This is fairly major because you can't write a thesis without one. And not only do you have to believe in it, you need to have read as much as possible about it. You need to know "the big names" inside and out; when they lived, who influenced them, who they influenced, what they wrote, when they wrote and so on.
This becomes not only about the reading, but about who you are as a person. Your thesis becomes a public document. Though it will most likely collect dust in a library, it might not. And you need to be darned sure that you believe in what you're writing about.
Telling you about the academic reading I'm doing would bore you. But I'm going to throw some questions out there that have come to the foreground of my mind and see what you make of them. (It's OK if you decide I'm looney bin.)
The big question is this:
What if we were able to focus on and appreciate each others' strengths as humans and truly look beyond faults?
I'm not talking about ignoring faults or pretending they don't exist. I think it's what some people might call forgiveness, but I'm not particularly relgious, so I'll use different language to describe the same idea.
I mean, what would happen to the world, to humanity, if we could do that? If we CHOSE to do that? All of us. En masse.
What would happen?
I've thought about this. I've even been experimenting with doing it. And I'll tell ya. It's hard. People love to gripe and complain about others - whether they love them, like them or don't even know them. (I'm also speaking as someone who lives in a place where a provincial election just happened a few days ago. Trust me, you heard lots of nasty griping - about every political flavour out there.)
Makes me wonder if we are even capable of not grumbling about what we don't like or how others tick us off, or are somehow less than we think they could or should be - or are somehow less than we think we are. In my deepest core, I think we are capable, but... but...
Here is where I get a bit lost... One question leads to another and I get all caught up in the headiness of it all.
On a practical level, I've been experimenting with this as a way of thinking and living - without being so Polly Anna that I lose all my friends! Most days I fail at least once. But I figure that there's value in the trying, anyway.
By the way, for all you runners who've been itching for an update, you'll be relieved and delighted to know that I have been pondering these questions on my recent runs - short (5 km) and glorious runs. I am taking it easy, and it feels good.