Thursday, July 5, 2007

Because some people asked . . .

I'd like to explain the name of the blog (partially because i got a bit of concern and partially because i think that I just finally figured it out, myself). The name works for me for two reasons.

Firstly, think about the way that people imagine butterflies. The little bugs don't act. They have gone through some sort of change and have arrived at and end point. Now all they have to do is look pretty. People see them and they are observed and acted upon, but they don't do a whole heck of a lot. Even when they flap their wings and somehow cause typhoons in the Western Pacific (admit it, you saw that movie!), they didn't mean for that to happen. It's a random outcome from a random action, none of it planned, none of it intended. I think we can do better.

Further (I feel like i'm writing a five paragraph essay), I have encountered many people who are convinced that they, because of their individuality, deserve to be the warm center of attention at all times. Worse, i have met even more people (and I often fall into this category) who lavish their attention on flitting ideas and celebrities. Not because the celebrities have any meat behind them, just because they are what's out there.
Both of these situations are counterproductive. All ideas should be tested and constantly critiqued and revised. No idea (or person with an idea) should be the constant center of attention for too long. And when they are it should be because they present something that actually pushes us forward or changes our direction.
Certainly we are all individuals and that should be a source of pride. However, this individuality should not come with undue recognition or responsibility. We may be beautiful and unique butterflies in our own minds (and among our friends and family) but we shouldn't expect to be to the rest of the world unless we get there with real thought and action. We also shouldn't put that label on others. Let people's actions and the affects of those actions dictate our perception of them, not the perceptions of others.

This is starting to be the real backbone of the way that i look at the world. It's how i try approach my students, and it keeps popping up in my writing and music. This blog is partially a way for me to see common threads in all the disparate ideas that I like, and the title is the first one that I noticed.

Whew, okay, no more stupid philosophising, i swear.

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