This will hopefully be the last time I ever write using the first person intuition of “I.” it gives me an acerbic taste I want to avoid, this article is about why.
I cannot avoid it this time; I must make specific reference to myself, since it is about my own introspection. So let’s just pretend I am writing a column, rather than an article.
The 2nd of April marked the beginning of the all too brief spring vacation, which in Israel is more accurately called, “Pessagh” which I obviously misspelled. As the school emptied with unprecedented speed, I myself vacated, going north to meet people and generally go on a culinary tour of the holiday.
My return to the school was a most lonely event and within it I made the following intuition:
The school, I can best compare to the old Budapest Hotel, as seen through the eyes of the author depicted in the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The stark, ancient walls, only inhabited by a few guests, these who preferred to be solitary.
I might give this too much credit. It was me who wanted to be alone, and I was, forcefully. Aside from how creepy my dorm can be when I alone reside within however; I began to compare two forms of thought, on April 5th, following what I can only call, “An ironic puzzle of artistry.”
I’ll explain both too compare. This is only fair, regardless of my own, personal opinion, which you shouldn’t care about.
The Ancient City of Alexandria, in the 4th century after Christ was probably the largest city in the world, and its intellectual capital. However, during this time, something happened which had never occurred before, in its history.
The people of the ancient city, began to leave. They simply stood, and wandered into the desert.
The city was corrupt, broken. Stagnated. Crime was prolific and the city stunk of sewage and blood. These people, their lives were purposeless under the old system they were born into. What they saw, it was all horrid, rotten, they did not know what to live for.
And so they wandered into the desert, and became mystics, followers of strange rituals and gods.
In, Into the Wild, Chris McCandless, escapes his life, leaving behind his family, job, apartment and all belongings.
He took a backpack and a bag of rice and walked away, he wandered off onto the road.
He walked and walked till 2 years later he would die, quite contently in Alaska. He wandered off into the wild, to find a way of life, a way to satisfy what the old one could not.
The movie Watchmen, Dr Manhattan, discontent and separated from mankind, escapes from society. He deports himself far from the human world, and wanders to Mars. He, discontent with the people surrounding him, their problems, their needs, their petty problems, could take no more.
This is how a personality ultimately deals with the world, he denies it, wanders away. We are all our own person, our own opinion, our own selves. How can we deny ourselves, if all we have is us. We value our own spirit above a world, which has only ousted us, which has only denied us.This is the individualistic conclusion. We deal with ourselves, unsatisfied with the world that surrounds us. We feel ultimately different, ousted. We must found our own world, for this one does not fit us.This is the draw to escape. The will to be away, to decline, to secede, to defy it all and run away. To find an answer to one’s own dissatisfaction with the world and to abandon it.
Maybe we wandered to Israel.
And yet, on the other side.
We are egotistical. What humane thoughts brought us to so solely believe we are different, to think we are the exception of society.
Why is conformity an evil? When did our own intentions outweigh the entire world?
The individuals, egotistical intentions, cannot abide by what prejudices ME, what does not concern ME, what does not matter to ME.
That is the ultimate concern: ME. I wander away, because my own consideration is my own, my own wellbeing. I have denied a world, because I can consider nothing out of my own person.
How we have aggrandized the individual, the personality. The artist, who no longer is famed for his work, his singing, his painting, his writing. It is fame because of a personality, because of a human being. That is what we worship, a human being. A human being. Our human being.
We work and toil and think and act all in accord, because we know and want to be seen above others. We are convinced to be the center, the special exception. Our acts belong simply to distinguish ourselves, because that is what we think we deserve, to be lionized. To be seen.
Or in History, how we look back at the people, a character who died in a battle, or fell for a revolution, or fought for a king, or a nation or an ideal. How we pity such action, we do not understand how someone could possibly live in such a way, could throw away one’s own life.
We belief he should have lived for his own reasons, we convince ourselves he was forced, that he was ignorant, that he was unlike us.
God forbid anyone should work, think, hope, fight, give outside of his own needs, of his own image. This is why we lionize the generals, the kings and the writers, who stood miles away from the act, from the actually event.
We forget that while history is written by one, it is forged by thousands.
And nowadays, the citizen journalists, who see an event, who whiteness history in the making and what selfish intentions, what self-preserving bile. They cannot disconnect themselves, they cannot simply see, cannot simply be a witness for the world. Instead, what egocentricity they show as they take a selfie in front of a fire, a war, a riot, and for what?
To make it theirs. To show they were there. Because no story truly matters if it does not meet you. Because no story is of any consequence if you cannot use it, belong to it, play a part it in. The world is ours.
Maybe we are all simply too fascinated with ourselves. All we do is worship ourselves. We worship our own style. We pray to our own personalities. We glorify our own arts and we kneel to our own opinions.
Maybe this is why there is no agreement. Because we are all just opinions. There is no longer cooperation, while everyone wants to lead, no one is willing to follow.
No one willing to seem less, to secede.
There is a certain schism between these two perspectives, which I seem to examine narrowly. I seek here to simply express a brief thought. There is no doubt, here at EMIS, I have heard the constant repetition that people are valuable, that each and every opinion is different. That every human is a universe.
The beauty of the individual, that is what I could believe in. The truth is, individuals, and I include myself, are always encumbered by their own intentions. There is no acceptance of unanimity, but instead always a crushing need to surpass a world.
It is a solitary conclusion. The individuals of the world, they ostracize themselves, willingly.
This is all simply an answer to the constant banter I hear. That we are special, non-conformists. I dismiss that. I find that the goal to be different is all too lonesome, all too personal.
For the school of peace and sustainability we need more, I think. Not exclusion, as we preach.
Instead, cooperation… something we might lack, here at EMIS.
Written by Carlos Sevilla
Edited by Peter Mangi
Copy-edited by Maria Tirnovanu