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Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Frustrated Reflection On An Ayn Rand Interview

*Solo en Inglés
*Pardon if my ideas seem a bit disorganized. My brain reacts too quickly to put it all on paper.

Ayn Rand's Bio

For the past weeks I have been contemplating the idea of applying to an essay contest from the Ayn Rand Institute. I was getting ready to submerge all of my thoughts, ideas, creativity and dedication toward it. I thought that it would be a delight to read her. I confess that I had not even heard of her until I heard about the essay contest. But I felt that all I needed to know to become motivated was that she was a woman and a Philosopher.

Today I saw a full interview on YouTube by Phil Donahue in which Rand speaks about her ideas, views on life, politics, etc. I was apalled. Much of the content of her words I found challenging, which are always good. I beleive that anyone that has a reasonable argument-wether one beleives in it or not-deserves attention, benefit of doubt, or whatever you want to call it. I beleive that anyone reasonable has the right to demand others' minds to be put out of their elements, to view things in a different perspective, to reason in a distinctive manner. I was delighted to hear her speak, but very dissapointed. Rand demonstrated that her ideas are driven by self-exaltation, that she deserves to be listened, understood, beleived, but that no one deserves it from her, or no one is fit enough, smart enough, to make her listen. She battled every argument thrown at her with the most caution possible, but completely failed to be cautious on the very subject that she dislikes the most: action on feelings.

According to Rand -or rather what I perceived from the interview- every valuable contribution to the human being is purely led by reason. Feelings have no part. Nothing that failes to provide evidence is real. And smart people should be praised and should be helped because they are the only important ones. Her ideas -based on this interview. I don't claim to have any more knowledge on the subject- are nothing but an insult. It is the result of a woman that beleives that she is the most important person in the world, and whoever is attracted to that mindset will surely follow.

I beleive that there is a very thin line to anything in life, in our minds, in our spirits. Hence, we must be very careful. I beleive that we should not be afraid to explore, understand, and live whichever scenario is put before our lives. But to beleive that we have arrived, that we have understood it all, that we are above and that other human beings have nothing else to offer us is just purely cynical. Isn't that a contradiction in itself? Because I beleive that if my truth and only my truth is real, then whoever I tell my truth to shouldn't be affected by me. They should accept their own truth and stand there 'till death. This is one of the many things that Atheism does to people (not all people). It creates this sense, this idea, this beleif that the Atheist is a god and that he/she can do anything and everything and no one is above them. Why should we completely disregard other people's feelings, ideas, experiences? Not only nature shouts at us about the diversity of the world, but we ourselves practice it every day. How different aren't we? The world could not function on one brain that views life in one way. We need this diversity to survive. We need this opposition. We even need this competion in business practices because we get to have our way, to have things perfectioned and accomodated to us, the consumers. We need to re-invent, re-think, re-live our lives. We need each other's experiences, we need each other's ideas, and we need each other's feelings. How can I say that the feeling or urge of having to take someone else's life does not exist? Just because I haven't felt it? What a fool would I be to completely disregard the interests and tendencies of the rest of the world!

The most comical thing about this interview is that Rand completely contradicted herself. People that are unsure about something will always take the defensive. People that feel threatened, like their beleif system is about to crumble, like they have a need to be beleived and understood will always take the defensive, and this is exactly what she did. It does not bother me her thinking in the way she does, but to have the audacity to call absolute truth whatever her take on life is, I find disturbing. That is one of the many reasons why I critize many (not all) of the ways of the church. To beleive that the norm, the way people are used to doing things is the way that things should always be done is pure murder. It murders and denies our very own nature.

I beleive that we should be proud of who we are. I beleive that we should take what benefit us. I beleive that we should accept how amazing and incredible each of us are. But our motives, more than our thoughts or feelings, should be re-examined. Just like we have an enormous capacity to be right, we also have an enormous capacity to be wrong. Our own feelings and words should be put to the test. We never cease to live. There's always something new to see, to feel, to learn. I live to be the best me I can be, to benefit my mind and my well-being in every possible way. But who am I to aspire to destroy and disregard someone else's life to make them more like me? I thank God that there's no one else like me. As much as I love myself, there are times in which in all honesty I cannot stand myself. I couldn't bear the idea of having more people like me in the world. I don't know anyone who could.

It is best to exercise the mind and exercise life in every possible way, to better oneself with every bit of information and experience that has been presented to us. And when there comes a time to help someone else better themselves, it should benefit them, not us. It should make them be the best themselves they can be and not a crappy, hopelesss, liveless and creativeless clone.




Interview Part One, Two, Three, Four and Five.

A truly wise person prefers to be a student rather than a teacher.
Yeah. I said that. Not only mean it. But live by it.

2 comments:

Multifaceted said...

After my initial frustration, I realized that Ayn Rand actually serves society well. Her ideas motivate my mind to think and to soar above. She is a voice that reminds us of what NOT to do. If there wouldn't be an Ayn Rand to oppose reasonable thinking, there wouldn't be no real reasonable thinking, would there? She forces us to really think of what really matters. I'm grateful to be put in this situation. It challenges and inspires me in ways that perhaps I thought never could.

I must honestly say that perhaps more than I can really understand, everything over the course of my life that has violently opposed my good thinking, has inspired me more than what has violently agreed with me.

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