I will not compromise.
A very beautiful motto, but i never believed in it’s wisdom. In fact, i have always admired more Galileo for recanting than any kind of martyrdom. I believe that being able to negotiate even your principles is much more important than the purity of them, if for no other reason that there are no guarantees of perfectibility of any principle whatsoever.
But in the last six months i have been for the most part refusing to compromise. Everyone says me i should get a job, and i could get a job, it would be easy and to tell the truth i have more than once been offered one. People tell me i should get a home, and likewise i have done it time and again and do it now would not be a problem. People tell me i should get a life, and i simply do not do it.
And, when asked why, i have no answer but “it wouldn’t be the right job/home/life”. In other words, it seems like i am refusing to compromise. But i do not think so.
I think i just have, now, a clearer view of myself than i had at any other time in life. I think i am now able to think of my own life in terms that were not available to me before. Not that i didn’t know the words, see, but i had not the correct experiences to measure those words with.
To say it another way, i am getting older. I truly am, despite my looks becoming younger. And it is an freeing experience.
I actually can negotiate my own ideals, i can negotiate my dreams. And i do not find good bargains around. I feel like the ideas of life and being i am being offered right now are too constricted by fear, too obscured by dogma, are victims of a fake practicality, an emphasis on “what works” that does not work.
Let me try to explain that!
If you come to me and say that the Market™ or Real Life™ or something like it requires me to get a job, i will simply keep throwing at you desconstrutivist jargon (or if i am on a bad mood, i will just agree with you). But if you come down to material terms, if you discuss with me things like how much do i have at my bank account, how much energy i am willing to spend into my goals and whims, how much do i want this or that, then i can talk to you.
If we are going to discuss the Ethics of my way of life, i simply will think that you do not have the required vocabulary to do that — and not because you are dumb, but because you are not me and have not lived through what i have, and neither have i lived through what you have, so our lives are not directly comparable.
But that does not mean that i refuse to accept the values that guide your life. On the contrary. I will try to understand those values into my own terms, with my own experiences. If you say to me “you need money to live”, i will not take this as a motto, but i will chew this with my ideas and capabilities. That means that i will compromise my ideas in the attempt. I will put myself on the line. In this, i am being more open. Much, much more open than if i said: “yes, you are right” and then proceeded to act in my own way.
So much so that, if i was not open, i would surely be on the verge of a promising career. I would be imposing my own fears and prejudices on the world, exerting violence blindly (which i am subtly good at), and being so-called successful. I would not be the bum i am right now if i wasn’t accepting everyone’s ideas of what a correct™ life is. And let me tell you the great reason:
People do not know what they want. People do not know what makes them want what they want. People do not realize that the majority of the things they think they want contradict each other. People do not realize that the criticism they tirelessly throw at the [government/ culture/ TV/ opposite gender/ money/ everything] is actually reinforced by their behavior and also by their criticism.
Realizing this is an old-man’s thing. It is an old eye that sees those things.
And it is also a freeing experience to see those things. It feels like a kid’s mischiefs to be able to compromise your ideals so much that you can see the intricate inadequacies of other people’s ideals. It is a trick. The secret of this trick is to first of all realize your ideals are as perfect as crap. That what you believe is right is just a hack, an improvisation.
I don’t know if those words can be of any value to anyone out there. For maybe you are reading those words without experiences against which to measure them. If this is so, the only way to build something out of this circumstance is for us to talk, to share words and more words until we can somehow synchronize our experiences.
[I do know that this is a very bad-mouthed reply to many who have tirelessly preached to me about how i should be more serious and accept my responsibilities and think of the others and bla-bla-bla. I sincerely doubt they will read my blog. I think they are not as interested in me as i am in them. If i am proved mistaken and some of you actually come to read this, please forgive my sarcasm and take the time to read a bit more of what i have been writing here for the last year, so you can understand me a little better, so that we share more experiences, so that our conversation can be more fruitful.]