I don’t know what I am talking about. Identifying my false beliefs has been more of a challenge than I thought it would be. This is my eighth attempt at this kind of intellectual circular reasoning, of which the previous ones seem to start off okay but have faded off into a mild glow of self-defense. I never really get to why I quit doing things when I can see that they will work. Why didn’t I pursue any of a dozen things that probably would have succeeded?
For example, take the World Heritage Links site I made, which with a smaller amount of effort than has already been put into creating it could be made into a super useful aid to the millions of people who travel the world. As it stands it is a wonderful way to waste a lot of time exploring the fascinating places of the world for free while sitting at one’s screen.
I am just finishing up a book that explores a culture that has a multitude of similar problems that I possess. Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild dives deep into the backstory of a community in Louisiana devastated by the pollution of the local industrial community. When the elders of this community were children, this area was a natural paradise but after decades of uncontrolled abuse of oil industries and their derivative sidekicks, the pollution is actually killing these people. And yet, they choose to stay until their lives are truncated by toxins, because of a commitment to their ideals.
Honesty, integrity, and enthusiasm are at the core of their belief system. They are team players committed to their community. They are loyal to the death to their way of life and their religious traditions. They endure the oppression from government and corporations without challenging those institutions’ horrible behavior towards them. They accommodate their overlords’ horrid demands rather than organize and fight back. They refuse to admit that they are victims of abuse because that would be dishonorable and so they adapt and endure. They try very hard to be good people, and because they are so good they are taken advantage of by the people in positions of power who consider the bottom line on their investments as the only good. The people with the worst cases of greed are the ones who benefit in this situation and the people with the greatest kindness in their hearts are the ones who are exploited – even unto their deaths.
I pursue but don’t claim those humane virtues. However, I do feel a kinship with those who value them and live them.