My junior year of high school, we had a writing assignment. It could be about almost anything. Instead of talking about my summer, or some vacation I went on, I decided to share some of my deepest thoughts. After discovering HE, I knew that this was an online community that would accept my deep thoughts, and give some positive feedback.
How do we know what we know? How do we see what we see? How do we know that everyone else sees the world the same way we do? I ask myself this question each and every day. When I look at you, how do I know you are looking back? Say I make eye contact with you. I know that I see you, with my own eyes, but how do I know that you see out of your eyes? Sure, you could “walk a mile in my shoes”, but you could never see what I see, hear what I hear, or feel what I feel, and as far as I’m aware, you don’t hear, you don’t see, and you don’t feel at all. The scientific problem faced by people everyday is that no matter what we do, no matter how much technology we create, this question cannot be answered. This has become known as the egocentric predicament.
The egocentric predicament is much more common than you may realize. As many of you are aware, the “is your red my red” dilemma is an unanswerable question with a seemingly ungraspable concept. The problem is stated that I recognize red as a certain color. I call it red because that is what it has always been to me. You would recognize the color as red, too for the very same reason. But what if the color looked different to me, than it did to you? What if the color I see is what you recognize as blue? This may be an inconceivable idea, with no possible test. I believe this is the reason we have favorite colors. However the fact that I recognize it as red is known to me and only me. The egocentric predicament prevents me from seeing out of your eyes.
Trust is an important factor in life. When you can trust someone, it is a connection you make, with hope of a favorable outcome. It is sometimes a normal occurrence, but in many ways it is a leap of faith. There is no way for us to know what the other person is thinking, and there is no way to truly know their intentions. Trust is something that you fall back on when there are no other options, but sometimes we blindly accept truth. To accept anything as fact without tangible proof is one of the greatest acts of trust, which we encounter on a daily basis. Did you know George Washington personally? Me neither. So why do we accept what history tells us? For all I know, the world may have begun with my birth. There is no way for me to truly know anything before then. True knowledge is gained only by what you can prove to yourself. Blind trust can lead you astray, for there is no way to know someone else’s intentions, for they may not feel as you feel. So when you live your life, don’t be a yes-man. Be critical, be a skeptic, and doubt everything.
Many people may be thinking that this sounds crazy. And you would be right, but is it crazy to search for real truth, for real knowledge? Many people come to terms with the idea of being the only one with real emotions or real life pumping through their veins. Some drive themselves insane with the idea, and think that the world is conspiring against them. They drive themselves into paranoia. I challenge you to do the opposite. Let this idea free your mind, let it guide you through life with a pronoid outlook. Maybe you are not a pawn in the game of life. Maybe you’re a king or a queen that has yet to find their place. Maybe instead of shying from the world, I should embrace life at its fullest, and use the tools that destiny leaves for me to make my time on earth useful and prosperous. It may seem cocky, overzealous, or conceited to feel like a king amongst average people, but you can call me self-righteous, you can call me a moron , call me what you please, but I will no longer stand living for someone else. I’m not saying you should be selfish, and only care about yourself, but you should make your own decisions. If you want to be charitable, do it because you want to. I will live for me, because all I know, and all I will ever know is my own life.
We were all born with a name. My name is a label; a label that someone else put on me, without my consent. I was born into a world that wanted me to stay quiet, a world where I would be a pawn, carrying out someone else’s plans for me. And when you take a stand, and fight for yourself, you are put down, shunned, outcast, and excommunicated. I will no longer stand for the tyranny brought about by society. This does not mean I will become an anarchist, a bigot, or an antichrist. This just means that I’m done accepting everyone else’s opinions when there is a world out there for me to discover on my own. I will make my own judgment calls, and I will stick with my own opinion, because this is my life. This is all I have. If I don’t have a voice, then I just wander through time like a nomad, with no destination and no goals. Recently a good friend of mine was talking about her fears with me. She asked me if I feared death. I had to answer “no”. Death is a part of life that I will experience. It may be the beginning to a new journey. I explained that I do not fear death, I fear not living. And when I am on my deathbed, I don’t want to look back at all the people that have taken advantage of my talents or skills, I want to look back with a smile on my face knowing that I have completed by quest, and I have lived for me. I might be selfish, but I am all I know.
My thirst for knowledge grows exponentially, and my search for truth will continue. I am young now, and I have a long life to live. But I will make it fulfilling, I will make it fruitful, and I will make it worth my short time on earth. The egocentric predicament lives within all of us, and for me, it is a regulator of my life, and a motivator for my dreams. Your life is short, and your tribulations seem endless, but they are yours to conquer, so next time someone says that the world doesn’t revolve on you, think again.”