July 31, 2011

The Ethics of Evasion

Evasion. Otherwise put, the telling of half-truths. Many may argue that evasion itself is a form of lying. This argument seems based on the predication that a lie can consist of not telling the entire truth. Certainly, lying consists of some form of deceit. But it omission of certain truths enough to ground to define evasion as a lie?

Evasion is commonly practiced by a multitude of people. The most common cases are white lies based on truth that shelter an individual from receiving the brunt of a negative emotion. This seems innocent enough without getting into the discussion of the morality of a lie. Another example of evasion is when people do not tell others everything about themselves but omit certain details for privacy's sake or some other reason. Most people probably do this every day without even realizing it. Others are aware of the deception and this does indeed bring their morality into question which is a major issue when discussing lies and morality. Nevertheless, evasion and some form of deceit seem to go hand-in-hand.

On the other side of the coin, lies are always deliberate and involve blatant intent to deceive. Regardless of the morality for the reason one lies, anyone who did lie overtly would at least know so after the fact. Lying obviously also involves some sort of deception. The factors that seperate it from evasion are the extent of the deception and the intent in purpose. Therefore, in order to perpetuate a lie, one must intend the lie and blatantly deceive the other person. In this sense, there is a clear difference between lying and evasion.

Evasion and lying are very different from one another. Both involve similar components but to varying degrees. The intent behind the deception is the main means of differentiating between a lie and evasion. Although evasion and lying are not the same, one should use caution in employing evasion. Afterall, evasion is only one step away from a lie.

July 28, 2011

The Strange Progression of Things

Let’s flip back a few pages. Roughly one year ago I was about to come home from Korea. The decision was difficult. The reward was seemingly little at the time. I had spent a good deal of my time there trying to figure out what I might like to do when I decided to come back. I got no closer to reaching a specific decision but knew I wouldn’t find it there. So that was the essence of it: the prospect of greater self-discovery in the face of a vacation passed outweighed the amount of fun I was having and the rewards from my work.

I had some time off before I took my trip. Time off mostly because it took so long to get all the documentation and arrangements in play. I finished school, took it easy for a time. All the while, the clock was slowly ticking away to Korea and leaving many loved ones behind. Ticking while I remained subconsciously and blissfully unaware.

Next, we’ll look at my arrival after the end of my trip. The plan was to find a position within the Chemistry field and actually use my degree. The search was long and disappointing. I knew after going away that I loved Eastern Canada for many reasons and wanted to start my career there, trying to grow it and myself in the process. It turns out that finding an elusive good science position in a repression-soaked climate is harder than expected. Especially if you’re like me and think it will all magically work out because you believe it to be so. Doesn’t help that I usually get what I want out of things too.

Eventually I settled. I had to find something. So I took a job at a call center. Now, I’ve heard all the horror stories from different people about working at a call center and I’ll admit that I had no illusions to the contrary. However, I must admit that this one I worked at was probably one of the best ones out there. Inbound. Reservations. Not nearly as many unhappy people calling than as if I would have been a cable rep or some such. Still, I hated it. It simply wasn’t for me. So I did my time, made enough cash to keep myself afloat and made another important decision: I was going to go back to school.

That brings us to this point in this tangential two year story I’ve been telling. I am currently working at Fredericton Tourism, biding time and hoarding cash until the school year begins and I enter debt for the first time. It’s been an interesting summer. The first two months of it, I had to do a lot of prerequisite work with a makeable timeline that didn’t leave much room for error. I got that out of the way and I’ll admit that I haven’t exactly known what to do with myself until the school year starts. I figure I might as well enjoy the feeling since this year will involve a lot of work. Probably more than I realize.

This kind of brings me to the point of all of this: In everything I’ve done, I’ve either felt important or have had some sort of important thing going on in my life. After the MBA program is finished I will likely end up with a pretty high paying job, living the good life. But I’ll need some sort of goal for myself and, although work goals will be lofty and challenging, I’m speaking of goals in a much broader sense. I’ll need some sort of thing I can devote myself to in addition to being successful and rich. Some sort of raison d’ĂȘtre if you follow me. Maybe my feelings in this matter stem from ego. In fact, it’s quite likely. I do have an ego. I do think that I’m better than some people. I am better than some people. If I’m not I’ll admit (although I may be reluctant to do so). Thank god this is no Greek tragedy where hubris will prove to be my undoing.

So I’ve been carrying on and I’ve been in a lot of different positions and one far away place. While these were all very proactive moves, they do point to one question that I seem to consistently want to avoid dealing with: What’s next? Perhaps in realizing that, I’ve answered my own question. Maybe my recognition of this is enough to set aside that next-step type of feeling. Or maybe my thirst for knowledge and ultimately some form of wisdom will drive me ever towards it. Only time will tell.

On a side note, I realize that I know very few people who would bother to think about this thing on such a level of detail. If we’re to consider that as “ignorance is bliss” then it’s a state of mind that I’m very envious of them for having. More knowledge means more power to recognize what’s going on around you but it complicates things a lot more than the simplistic, more physical view of things. I wouldn’t mind having more people to bounce around ideas with. Sometimes I have a nagging voice in the back of my head saying that I wish I would’ve studied a little bit of philosophy. In all honesty, what’s stopping me? I don’t need a degree in it to know things. I just need the resources and the desire to learn it. Maybe I will dabble into it a little bit. Only time will tell.

July 24, 2011

Semantics of a Hangover

A hangover can be a difficult thing to describe. It can be viewed as terrible, with neutrality, or even as a rewarding experience.

Hangovers differ for all people but generally include some feeling of dread that manifests itself physically. Common symptoms are headaches and nausea, each experienced to varying degrees. Symptoms experienced can even change over time. My own experience will serve as an example. When I first began drinking I used to get massive headaches and nausea the morning after. Over the past five years, this has evolved to merely encompass the nausea. Hangovers also depend on what you drank and how much of it. However, the general rule still applies to the individual.

Some meet hangovers with alarming neutrality. This is the type of person who epic-drinks all night long and wakes up in the morning capable (although not necessarily willing) to do it all again. The iron-clad rules above seemingly don't apply to this legend among men.

One may wonder how a terrible thing such as a hangover could be rewarding. The answer lies not in the state itself but in its aftermath. There is something to be said for waking up feeling so bad and negative, and then later on in the day, pulling through it and feeling great again. As long as your hangover is not too epic, this feeling could apply. And when it does you feel like you're walking on clouds with a pez dispenser, shooting pez at little kids and making them happy. You will suddenly love everyone and everything just because you no longer feel that your body is eating itself from the inside. On somewhat of a different note, there is a clarity gained from remembering the experience. It has the power to change your perception, knowing how fickle one's view of life can be.

Hangovers are complex and there are many factors to consider when describing them. They can be bad, neutal, or good depending on your perception and constitution. Hangovers should be respected and we would be unwise to draw conclusions about an individual one without considering these myriad factors.

July 23, 2011

The Fluidity of Identity

I've come to notice that I'm floating down a river.

Identity is a fluid thing. That is what I've noticed over the past five years or so. I am not the same person I was back then nor will I be the same person in another five years.

One can think of the concept akin to floating down a river in a one-man vessel. You only have control over your own immediate area and are able to dictate where you end up in life's flow to a certain degree. There are of course limitations and it is by these limitations that we can guage who we are and where we are along life's path.

Life, like many sports, is a game of injustice. The exact thing we want seldom happens and even less often happens to those who deserve it the most. Take the recent bombing and shootings in Norway as an example. Do people not associated (or innocents) with anything to do with it deserve to die? To have someone take away from them the only life they have? Hell no. But it happens. It seems to happen all of the time. Bad things have happened to me. Bad things have happened to others. What I've found is that you need to take what good you can find and immerse yourself in it. To enjoy your life to the fullest despite any injustice you might perceive around you.

Identity is the thing that links us all and seperates us at the same time. Everyone's got a different story. Everyone has a different subset of human experiences; thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. My own subset of the three and countless millions others. The one thing we all have in common is the one thing that makes us all inherently different. But that's the beauty of it too. No one of us is the same. When you meet someone new, it's always new. There can be no repeats, no outdated or old life experiences.

Some may feel disarmed at thinking of identity as a fluid concept. I'm not one of them. I want continuous opportunities to grow and evolve; to improve myself in countless ways I cannnot even begin to think of. There's an excitement to it all too: No one knows what's around the next corner or a little further on down the stream around that bend. Ultimately, we will go where the current takes us. However, we can decide how we will get there and what other ships we will run into.

On that note, I'll reiterate my original realization: I've come to realize that I'm floating down a river.