A classmate at Annapolis told me that they’d taken out the definition of ‘gullible’ in the dictionary and replaced it with my photo one day. I was furious, because shipmates aren’t supposed to bilge each other, and that to me was bilging.
But I want to believe that a better world is possible, a kinder world:
Perhaps the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be a good ‘summation’ of what I want to see in the world?
[An aside: what I personally want may be quite different from what others want, of course. I would personally like to see a world where every person is free to travel anywhere, and where every person has a key to a very small flat -consisting of one room, well insulated, with a small kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, and a bed. For free, with absolute lifelong rights. Also free would be brown rice (or similar equivalent grain), green leafy vegetables, and dried beans. That is the bare minimum that a person needs to live, and that (along with free Public Library borrowing rights and Health Care) should be totally free without question to every person at all times. Whether they work or not, deserving or not. No paperwork, no hassles. But for anything else a person may want, above this (deliberately quite Spartan and barebones) minimum, a person must contribute to society -i.e. work. That is what I would like to see eventually, not going into political views…]
I look back 20 years on, now I see that I’ve always been accused of being gullible and naive, yet to be gullible, I think, is not from foolishness or stupidity, but from a stubborn refusal to believe that anyone could be dishonest.
(update Edit from 2008 LJ entry: Yet every time I’m taken in by those who talk of dedication to ideals, and every time, I have wanted to believe. I went to Cambridge, as I came back to Bath, expecting nothing, yet finding other dedicated souls in places I had not looked before. Perhaps it is the expectations, desire to believe, desperation for drive, which brings the disappointment. Perhaps it is not only drive, not even a little rest, but mostly detachment that helps one fulfill full potential, live up to that long grey line. To be able to report with pride to those who have gone before us that we lived up to our calling.
No, work and determination must play the largest part, along with reflection.
(maybe this is why my fellow JROTC cadet Mahlon called me “overmotivated” all those years ago… I wonder if that’s why Monica and the other kids assumed I was dating my Tanzanian running partner at the DC Army National Guard youth camp, and Dawn thought I was dating my friend Shedrick from the NAI flight camp; wonder if their perceptions have changed over the years, despite little contact;)
Yes, hearing what you want to hear and believing it…
(But it’s hard to say ‘No, you are not being entirely truthful’…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !