Wednesday, 7 June 2017

this is water

Opening with a parable similar to the one of the puddle, Big Think contributor Philip Perry revisits the 2005 commencement speech (EN/DE) by author David Foster Wallace (*1962 †2008) that may contain a bit of needed antidote for the toxic-levels of polarisation that the world is currently experiencing.
This atmosphere of hyper-nationalism and equally rabid opposition means more than stalemates and pyrrhic victories and disdain for one’s antagonists means that all institutions and experts become subjective, fraud becomes easier to overlook and bigots and bullies few validated. It is an incredibly, almost super-human task to step outside of one’s self and all the trappings of acculturation and personal pride that reinforce the belief in our infallibility, but choosing to ease out of a narrow-minded, doctrinaire attitude can cultivate a critical awareness of our own limiting biases. Sympathetic that empathy and an outward outlook is a challenge even when all other needs are secured, relations, health, and security, Wallace’s delivery acknowledges that so many things that make people feel insecure and precarious in their lives have multiplied whilst the remedies have become staid and perhaps less potent, but no matter how poor, frustrated or bleak things seem we can still afford ourselves the luxury of realising that other ways of seeing are possible and knowing that choices are important and have consequence.