The Problem Knowing
How much do you think you know, I mean when it comes to right and wrong, or good and bad?
Do you really know the difference?
Most of us think we do, unfortunately it’s not always accurate.
The problem knowing stuff is, even though we’re sure of our position, peremptory even, something else can always show us that we were a little short sighted, even foolish.
Here’s a mild example;
Lady Gaga was singing on the Oscars this week, not that I watch the Oscars but when it’s Oscar time it’s difficult to avoid it.
So I caught wind of the performance. The headline read; “Lady Gaga gives the Academy Awards a performance for the ages“
The article reported, quote; “her performance at tonight’s Academy Awards will be remembered for years to come.”
Fair enough says I, this must be great, I’ll get a load of that.
Although I wouldn’t be a massive fan of her music I am a fan of her and I recognise her creative genius. She fits right in with the hardcorejunkie model citizen of the world.
So I listened with the expectation of being blown away.
It was ok at best.
Am I Missing Something?
The audience were all standing, some were wiping their eyes obviously moved by this Gaga tune. I thought “I’m definitely missing something here”.
The performance was good, don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
Then towards the end of the performance a crew of people came out onto the stage holding hands.
“What’s this all about” I thought.
I read on and realised it was a song written in support of the victims of sexual abuse and the people on the stage were victims.
Ok, now I get it. Now the song took on a whole other meaning.
This example is a trivial one and affected no one except me, but when it comes to subjects that affect other people, a narrow perspective can create problems.
(BTW I still think the performance was only ok).
Language & Symbols Cause Problems
Language & symbolism can be tricky, especially if we have a particular notion of what a word or a symbol means. For example, no one has a problem with the word “Jam”.
You know what jam is and so do I, except of course if you’re from the US. Then you don’t know what jam is, you call it jelly.
And jelly in this part of the world is certainly not jam, it’s jelly. Otherwise know to my US friends as jello.
(All due respect to my US friends, you need to sort out the jam-jelly-jello situation!)
Your perspective might be narrow in relation to jam or jelly but it’s unlikely to cause conflict.
Interactions won’t become heated over the meaning of the words “jam” or “jelly” unless of course you’re a fruit preserve fundamentalist headcase.
But what about this one; Swastika
I would hazard a guess that the majority of you just pictured Adolf Hitler or the Jewish death camps of WW2. But here’s the interesting thing;
The swastika has an extensive history. It was used at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being.” The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Courtesy of ushmm.org
Here’s another one;
If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know what this means. For those unfamiliar with this symbolism in the context of the hardcorejunkie message, offence will likely be taken.
Or, you may believe it’s gratuitous and unnecessary use of offensive material.
Taking offence is a personal choice albeit involuntary in most cases, and if you are offended, then maybe your perspective needs to broaden.
I chose this symbolism deliberately to challenge commonly held conceptions.
It says; “I do not comply. I choose to follow what’s in my heart despite what you think”.
Enter The hardcorejunkie Tee
Here’s another way to challenge the status quo – bang this bad boy on your back! Some might consider it a bit juvenile, and that’s fine, I really don’t give a fuck. You see, we need a revolution of thought, and if having the neck to wear The hardcorejunkie t-shirt makes you think differently about who you are, even in the slightest, then you’ve gotta do it. I will be…
When I launched hardcorejunkie I decided I was going to be genuine, whether that was enough to attract readers to my material or not didn’t matter.
My primary objective was to say what I wanted to say regardless of the consequences, whether readers liked it or not.
This was important to me because like most people, up to that point I was heavily influenced by what I believed others thought about me.
Did you catch that?
My moves were dictated to by what I “believed” others thought.
They weren’t based on fact but rather they were based on an idea I had created in my mind about how I should behave and what I should say.
Liberate Your Fucking Self.
Very few of us are truly free. Some might say they are and play the game very well but the truth for most of us is that we are afraid.
Afraid of making a move, afraid of failure, afraid of being rejected, afraid of sticking their neck out and taking a chance. All in the misled belief that we won’t be accepted and loved.
Most of us fear isolation and exclusion from the herd. We fear a future that doesn’t exist.
Are We Seeing Only Half The Picture?
We have developed polarised opinions about right & wrong and good & bad that prevent us from seeing the full picture.
See the “fucking junkie” or “fucking alco” in a doorway?
Are those the labels that come to mind when you see them?
Some people choose a difficult path, and it may seem to onlookers that they’ve fallen by the wayside. When we take the moral high ground and stand in judgement we fail to see the full picture.
Those who are in a difficult place present us with an opportunity to become more. They need our compassion and assistance not our criticism and abuse, regardless of their actions.
Words and symbolism that cause us offence are there to challenge us to clearer thinking, to broaden our perspective and allow us the opportunity to see that our ideas are perhaps flawed.
These things exist to help us realise what we call reality is merely a reflection of an inner psychic structure. A picture of our often inherited lines of thought and belief.
So What’s The Moral Of The Story?
If you think you know something, chances are you only know half of it.
If you don’t have an appreciation and understanding for what someone else thinks and realise that their perspective is valid, then you’ve only half the story.
You’ve got to know both sides of a thing to truly know it. The truth is there is no right and wrong, only misaligned ideas and screwed up perspectives.
Personally speaking I’m constantly working on it…. how about you?
Also published on Medium.