Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thank You For Your Self-Sufficiency

This is my weekly Thursday drop

Exactly a year ago, on this date, I posted this excerpt from on facebook. A year later, while my views on happiness have slightly changed, the passage still pretty much resonates with my views on friendship.

"Look around at the people we've met, and how we've been taught to seek ourselves in others. Yet, no man can achieve the kind of absolute humility that would need no self-esteem in any form. He wouldn't survive. So after centuries of being pounded with the doctrine that altruism is the ultimate ideal, men have accepted it in the only way it could be accepted: by seeking self-esteem through others; by living second-hand. And it has opened way for ever kind of horror - and now, to cure a world perishing from 'selfishness', we're asked to destroy the self. Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You've wondered why we suffer, why we seek happiness and why we never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he's ever held a truly personal desire, he'd find the answer. He'd see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by others. He's not really struggling even for material wealth, he's struggling for the second-hander's delusion - prestige: A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can't say about a single thing: 'This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbours gape at me.' Then he wonders why he's unhappy. Every form of happiness is private. Most of our greatest moments are personal and self-motivated. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing, to seek joy in collectivity[without the realization that happiness is an individual endeavour]. It's difficult to call it selfishness or egotism, because the words have been perverted. [A] cardinal 'evil' is that of placing your prime concern within other people.

I've always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I've always recognized it at once - and it's [one of the few] qualities I [truly] respect in someone. I choose my friends by it, and now I know what it is: A self-sufficient ego."

The reason it works so well is because self-sufficient friends shy away from direct help, and ask for advice. With the realization of self-sufficiency comes the consciousness of a different reality - a reality that insists on independence and helping the self, first and foremost. Friends are there for wisdom, guidance, discussion, and companionship...but at the end of the day, they've realized that everyone's ultimately responsible for solving their OWN problems. Everyone deals with their own crap, or finds a way to deal with their own crap. It works well is because people deal with their own "baggage", so other people aren't forced to.

Grade 12 onwards was a pretty big year in my life...I lost quite a number of current friends, but gained some new ones. Yet, I've never been happier. Upon realizing this, I spent a long time thinking about why that might be...and I realize that everyone had one thing in common - they were all relatively self-sufficient.

Ever since then, I've only had two criterion for picking friends: Intelligence and self-sufficiency. All it takes for an acquaintance to become a friend is intelligence, but all of my best friends are self-sufficient. As long as people have those two qualities, I frankly couldn't give a shit if they looked like Snooki with a giant cock attached to their forehead.

Self-sufficiency establishes a solid personal self. A self that truly doesn't care what people think of them. And it's a hard thing to do, so I've got nothing but respect for the people who have been able to make them happen, or are as close as they can get to making it happen.

Thanks to the bunch that always give me something to think about, challenge my perceptions, prove me wrong, and are constant influences in my life. I can only hope to be as close to as intelligent as some of you are, at some point in my life. I'll admit that I've been slippin' lately, and I do apologize for having small bouts of stupidity - the lack of reading (outside of university textbooks) has really taken away from my sharpness (or so I rationalize...)

So I guess this is the point where I raise my glass or tip my hat to the people that have been able to kick sessions with me and are responsible for the countless "mindfuck"s that I've received within the past 2 years. Sometimes, I do regret being so damn busy...but I don't think that I'd rather have it any other way.

Thanks, and keep doin' you.


- knowledge

p.s. good luck to anyone dealing with mid-terms right now!


  1. Automaticity is seriously one of the rarest things you can find nowadays.. this is slightly relevant/irrelevant but, do you have the confidence to watch a movie/eat out by yourself?

  2. You mean autonomy?

    And it's completely on-topic because that's a part of self-sufficiency, too. I remember when I was younger, I'd have to always listen to music or be on the phone when alone in public...

    I've never watched a movie by myself but I have eaten out by myself (usually if I miss a meal before going to work or during work on my break - but I guess that doesn't really count). That would be a good test though

    - knowledge

  3. Autonomy works too.. they both deal with self-governance and independence.
    It was just a random thought. But if you're able to go out all by yourself, with confidence and with no shame, then that's truly admirable.
    Not a lot of people our age can do that nowadays.



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