Friday, October 26, 2007

late advice

Of course I'm not alone in saying that there are ups and downs to everything. I think that this is the main reason that our parents always tried to remind us that we should "never put all of our eggs in one basket." Being up on one thing usually means being down on another and it's only through our liberal use of narrowed focus (or ignorance, depending on how you look at it) that we are uniformly one or the other.

Some of the things that you were saying about Burning Man mirror my thoughts about graduate school. Like anything we're feeling up about, there isn't perfection, there are always bureaucracy and controversies, and nothing is always 100% memorable.

I would also not be the first to say that utopia and perfection are never instantiated fully and cannot really exist per se, since doing so would ruin them as ideals to strive for, goals to move toward.

Certainly our thoughts change, as do our bodies, as both age. This is, truly, the way of things, and these changes can often be in our ideals, as our values can change over time. It's not the same world from generation to generation, and it's not the same world from decade to decade. The experience of the changes of the world over time can and ought to influence our ideals, therefore, we should expect and even hope that our ideals will change.

This is difficult because it means that I cannot know now what it is that I will want to be chasing in ten years. It is difficult. But the experience of change should yield an understanding of the nature of change and, therefore, more foresight (we hope). Many in our parents' generation are quite well aware of their mistakes. We should hope to be so well aware of ours when we reach their age.

I sense in a lot of people in our generation a hesitancy to choose a path because of a hyper-awareness of options and power in changing one's own life. We must, however, choose something because the alternative is paralysis. Change is terrifying, however, the specter of stasis is more so. Unfortunately, it is only noticeable how scary stasis is when change provides a stark juxtaposition.

I miss you too. Midterms are over now, so I will have more time to talk when you call.