Tuesday 21 February 2012

Intellectual Adventurousness

When it comes to relationships, I'm not someone who likes to be in a cosy blanket of "love". I don't want it to make no difference to my friends whether I try to be a good person, or whether I just sit back and enjoy a passive, environmentally destructive lifestyle. No, I like to be challenged by my relationships, allowing my (and their) beliefs to constantly evolve. My best relationships, I feel, are with people with whom I have an ongoing debate on all manner of topics, including "contentious" ones, such as religion and politics. I always try to understand people's views, but if mine differ, and I can justify that difference, I prefer a relationship where I can speak out, and start a dialectic conversation.

So when it comes to Transition, there's a lot to talk about, because there is such a variety of differing views and beliefs. My friend Matt and I often find ourselves fighting for opposing corners when it comes to use of local shops or the effects of computer games on society, but this helps me to understand the complexity of such issues, and I'm grateful for it. I also have a very dynamic relationship with my parents, where my mum has in the past stood up for the conventional view of economics, whilst my dad agrees with me that there are too many people getting paid huge sums of money for just moving other people's money around, and that it's not right. My attitude to friendships is that if you are not affecting each other on both emotional and practical levels by being friends, what is the point of the relationship?

I don't currently have a girlfriend, but when I do, I'd like her to be "Intellectually Adventurous". I'm not too bothered about shared interests, and even her current political or social beliefs are not really an issue to me, but an attitude of adventurous debate, I feel, is important. When it comes to debate, no viewpoint is too radical to be considered, if it can be justified in some way. This, to me, is the best kind of relationship. It may seem strange and unconventional, but some of my happiest moments have been when two differing opinions, when discussed and thought through, converge to a single, enlightened truth.

Image: Plato and Aristotle from The School of Athens or Scuola di Atene by Raphael Sanzio.

1 comment:

  1. Contemporary advertizing is all pervasive and seeks to persuade people that their self image is defined by things as trivial as the type of phone that they carry. I think that there is now much more peer pressure to conform to the norm and less space for the 'Intellectually Adventurous' than when I was Simeon's age. Good luck in your quest Simeon!