Monday, February 22, 2010

Reason to Believe

One of my favourites. I picked this version to embed because of Springsteen's opening words. This is the problem that all of us face day to day. What to we believe? What are our reasons for getting up in the morning? Often we don't actually think about it. We are still humans and we still need to live within relationships. How we do that is a measure of who we are. Our world is changing. Religious systems still give many people the answers to these questions. Too often, people leave one religious sytem to go to another - and sometimes those are secular belief systems. They function in the same manner as the "old time religions"; however, they can be just as damaging to the world, as the belief systems left behind.

True believers are the bane of the world - and there are all sorts of ways to be a true believer. It is not easy to keep one's self open to new ideas, particularly when they can be disconcerting. Years ago, someone told me that I shouldn't be asking so many questions and reading so much stuff - it would destroy my faith. My response was, "If it destroys my faith, it wasn't much of a faith to begin with." Thus, begins the life long journey that all us travel, whether we want to or not - unless, of course, we opt out.

For the rest of us, the answers are not simple. The world is one of chance - we do not choose where and to whom we are born.  Sometimes we are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are socialized into different views of the world - and it is hard to break the stranglehold that early socialization has over us. There is a great tendancy to "go with the flow". Hats off to those who don't want to accept the status quo - it too often sucks. My final tagline for anyone trying to hold those in power to account:

If you want change, prepare for the backlash.

and, as always Power to the People


  1. True believers.

    Spoken like a true Eric Hoffer reader.

    Nice post.

  2. Eric Hoffer? I actually googled him. Did I feel stupid! In my defense, it has been years since I read The True Believer. But you're right, the seeds from Hoffer are clear.

    I don't even know where my copy is - so I took it out of the library an hour or so ago - will reread over the next little while. Will be interesting to see how much I still connect with it. If you're right, it will be like visiting an old friend.

    My dislike of the "true believer" has many roots; a lot of them personal - the world is far too complex for easy answers - but the easy answers sell!

  3. I actually really love Eric Hoffer -- not primarily for the content of his books, although that's certainly part of it, but for the way he lived his life: autodidactic blue-collar man, polyphiloprogenative.

    His masterpiece is definitely True Believer. I just recently learned that later in her life, this book become one of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand's favorite books -- a fact I mention only in passing, for no particular reason, other than the fact that I just learned it.