I sat in on an Econ class last semester and sat next to someone who passed away in December
Today I woke up to my friend texting me that school was cancelled because it was a snow day
I was ecstastic because I hadn’t studied for my micro theory test and woke up early to do so. Instead I got that text from my friend
And then I checked my email and saw that a senior from the CLAS had passed away. A senior. She was just a few months from graduation.
I don’t know these people.
I don’t know most people.
I don’t know what it feels like to be close to someone.
I don’t know what it feels like to have someone you love leave.
There are over 10,000 people that walk on this Villanova campus.
There are over 7 billion on this planet.
We are all connected by the same fate. Just the thought that we will all die one day should be enough to let us love one another.
This post is quite sappy and melodramatic (but let’s be honest, if you’ve read any of my writing, you know I do this a lot).
It’s Valentines Day today and another reminder from society that I am single.
Granted, every year, I’ve felt this feeling.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve never been in a relationship. And although I thought I was ready to be in one last year, I think the more time I’ve spent understanding myself and life, the more I realize how important it is to learn to love myself before I can expect anyone else to.
I’ve been contemplating a lot. Not just about love, but about life in general.
The global economy. I could go on for hours about Sino-US trade relations, or the global political-economic trends, or why some countries are poor while others are thriving.
Religion. Because I’ve been taking a course called “God” for my humanities minor. And now I have the omniscience objection against God, the religious orthodox faith proof, the argument of design, the argument of evil and 4 miseries, and the cosmological argument. I’ve read Descartes, Plato, Aristotle, Hume, and German Philosopher’s works.
I can talk to you about finance. Money is just a construct. Credit and debt are fallacies. And compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.
And finally, I can talk to you about love.
Why love can be poisonous. Why love is often an external projection of our internal selves. How love can be corrupted.
But also why love is the greatest power we can possess–but also dangerous when we allow love to possess us instead.
I’m single for another Valentine’s Day but I’m also happy that it’s a day for a celebration of people in love.
I believe deeply in love. I believe that having a good partner is integral to a happy life. And I’m happy to see other people live through relationships.
How do we know anything is real…?
Descartes brings up the question of dreams and reality: how do we know what is truly real?
Do we even know anything?
What if what we perceive as “reality” is simply a dream–and when we supposedly “wake up” from our dreams, we simply wake up into another dream? Inception???
Elon Musk believes we live in a simulation. But I find it ironic that humanity also developed Sims 3. Is that video game just some sort of sick way of the universe designer mocking us?
What about universal power. Who is the designer of this world? Is it the religious orthodox approach of an omni-God? Or is God amoral? Or is he multiple designers? Or was the world simply constructed out of a mix of convenience, chance, and miracle?
I believe reality is real, insofar as we are able to interact with one another. While in a dream, we are unable to conceive the thoughts of other people, nevertheless interact with them. In reality, we are. The fact that I am able to question my own reality, while also conveying that to other people who may have that exact same question, refutes the concept that I am living a dream. Or else we are all somehow living the same dream?
Life could be a simulation. But insofar as we are able to have free will, we are thus not in a simulation. To accept that life is a simulation would have to refute humanity’s ability to have freedom and free will. You can only choose one, and I choose the fact that I have free will.
And what about religion and deities?
I believe that the universe does not have an omnipotent-omniscient-omnibenevolent God in the traditional sense. I believe the designer of our universe is either amoral OR is benevolent but NOT omnipotent. If he were, however, omnipotent & omnibenevolent, then there are too many contradictions. Evil exists in our world, insofar as humanity knows. Thus, God is either not omnibenevolent, because he created evil, OR he is not omnipotent because he does not have the power to remove the evil in this world. And God cannot be comprehended as omniscient because only another omniscient being can say another is all-knowing–knowledge proceeds. I suppose the real question here is how does religion play into all of this, and whether or not this amoral God is worth worshipping?
The only way I know how to live life is as an agnostic in every sense of the word. I must remain skeptical about all of life’s questions, thus, I can remain curious and continue to seek knowledge in this finitely infinite universe.
The greatest skill you must possess when wishing to better influence other people is the skill to see in another individual’s perspective
Only then can we truly understand what is at stake
We must empathize, we must walk in another person’s shoes, and we must not come to immediate conclusions based on our own inherently flawed and biased perspectives
All of humanity is driven by incentives
What motivates one person is different from what motivates me
How we understand the incentives of other people can direct us to better understand our relationship with another person
How we can better appreciate the people around us
Perspective is power
Isn’t being forgetful one of the worst feelings in the world?
Forgetting that word…It’s on the tip of my tongue, we say
Forgetting to do homework, that you told yourself you’d remember to do…
Forgetting that one small fact for that important test…
Forgetting how it feels to hug your dog
Forgetting a phone number
Forgetting the feeling of love from a friend, or partner that you used to feel daily
We fear forgetting things because it means that time has passed. Change is the only thing that is certain, and that certainty is beautifully frightening.
Time scares us. Time is changing. Time moves forward, while we live in the past, forgetting how much better life used to be.
But if we look forward, instead, we can realize how much more potential we can have in this life, not in forgetting things, but in remembering to take care of ourselves, remembering to love one another, remembering to be the best version you can be.
Because just as we can forget the important things in life, we can also forget the pain.
And move on. And move forward. And live.
People inherently like talking
Talking about ourselves is one of the greatest pleasures in life, especially when someone else is genuinely and attentively listening
Here’s the thing: we constantly think about ourselves.
Just no one ever hours our thoughts, because, well, we are “talking” to ourselves.
Thus, inherently, we all enjoy venting out those bottled thoughts
about our hobbies
about what we did last Friday night
about why that new Netflix Series “Sex Education” is so good both as a comedy and as a politically “woke” series
So in a world where everyone wants to talk, it’s important to learn how to listen
We all have something to say
P.S. if you ever want to hear what I have to say about love, economics, or the concept of beauty, be sure to follow my blog or you can ask me in person. Yes, I do love talking.