I have got a really big STJ shadow thing going on with rules as of late. It has come up several times. The first one was at the last cor meeting and it has just come up again in talking (arguing actually) with D.
The statement is “Some of the people would not be able to handle this freedom, so we will not let anyone have it.”
That just pisses me off. It is in my opinion one of the stupider things that I have ever heard. Has anyone ever read a short scifi story about the world where they make all of the people equal by handicapping those who go above the norm. I cannot understand how anyone can do this and it not be a load of manipulative bull-shit.
James was talking about it at the last meeting with drinking and said that because some people would not be able to drink responsibly we made the rule that no-one could drink. The rule there bothered me some, but I don’t like alcohol so it didn’t hit too hard.
Then D and A have both used the same argument when talking about keeping the computer games off of the lounge computers. Some people might use the games as an escape from reality so we won’t have them on there at all.
Dammit, how are people supposed to learn anything if there is always this nice governing body of some sort protecting me from all the ways that I might be tempted. It’s like Mark Twain’s story The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg; we don’t ever have any trials to strengthen us, so we never get strong.
Big Brother is my friend. He protects me from the temptations.
By what right do you decide that I don’t have the right to fail at my undertaking. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow path, I would hate it if I had to do any work for myself.
What about the statement “If something is worth doing, then it is worth doing wrong?” How do I have the chance to succeed if I never have the chance to fail?
Oh, but these are little things like computer games that don’t matter. Thanks for making that decision for me. I am glad that I don’t have to discern that and make that decision for myself. Here, get me an iron lung and a dialysis machine and you can have the rest of my brain as well.
These are little things, but at the same time they are not. Will I die if I don’t get to play Quake? No, in fact with my schedule I probably wouldn’t have time to play at all. But why restrict that option? If I am going to play all the time and escape from reality into the game, that is my right. This is my life; get the hell out of it. There are rules in place to protect the interests of other people who have work to do on the computers that is more related to school. The only person that I have the potential to hurt is myself, and you have no right whatsoever to stop me.
Is it right for us to make our rules based on the least set? Will we cut everyone down to the same size so that we protect those who are small?
Will we cut the wings off of the eagles? And in doing so we cut the wings off of those who might have risen to the challenge and become something better. But they will never get the chance to find out will they?
Ah well, they couldn’t have handled it anyway. It’s all for the best.
Because we have those who cannot handle the task no-one undertakes it. Idiocy.
Why not leave the power to decide what is right for the people in the hands of the people? If the governing body is at a loss for things to do with its time, perhaps it could work at offering the people more freedoms and possibilities rather than fewer. Is that not a nobler task? How much work does it take to deprive someone of something. I would be far prouder to be a part of the group that works at providing people with opportunities rather than the one that deprives them.
Perhaps they will fail. I cannot know that, and it is not my place to be the God of their life and make that decision for them. So long as the opportunity that I present has the definite potential for a positive outcome, then I have no qualms about presenting it. Especially if I am there to help the other person to deal with the challenges.
If there is the danger of people getting depressed and escaping into the games, is it not better to be able to see that this is happening? If we don’t put the games in the lounge are the people who would be getting depressed suddenly not going to be? No. The games are simply a symptom, and if we decide to take on the role of doctor is it not better to have the symptoms evidencing themselves right under our noses.
Thus, if people play responsibly we have no problem, and if they play irresponsibly it is an opportunity for us to see that there is a problem and cut it off.
The problem is not the games. And by not having the games all that we are saying is “go have your problem somewhere else, we don’t care enough to have to deal with it.”
Can I see the other side of the argument? Some. At least I can see another aspect of the argument, and I have a big problem with it as well.
Drinking and computer games are things that most people don’t think that honors people should be doing. “We have to present a good image.”
The hell you say! We have a responsibility to reinforce other people’s delusions? I don’t want to hear ever again that the honors program is about shaking other people’s stereotypes. We shake those that it is safe to shake. When it comes down to the line and we are at risk of paying some price for honesty, how quickly do we forget.
Someone remind me of what a great service we are doing to everyone by lying to them.
Do some honors students like to play computer games? Yes.
Do some honors students like to drink? Yes.
What are we doing when we go out and change our behavior so that other people don’t see this? Let me give you a hint: WE LIE TO THEM. We show them the parts of ourselves that we think that they will like to see. We are untrue to them and also untrue to ourselves. We do not even give them the opportunity to see and enjoy all of who we are. And they in return do the same to us.
We all get to waste our lives being lies and interacting with other lies. Is the truth such a frightening thing that we are willing to sacrifices our very lives not to see it? As for me I am sick of playing this game.
There is the possibility that we will suffer for being true. The world will keep playing the game, and it probably won’t like it that we are taking a stand. In the light of our truth, its own emaciated body becomes painfully obvious. There is a call to other people leave the shell of a lie behind that is so frightening that most people react with anger and hatred.
Someone said “the best things in life are free.” There couldn’t be anything farther from the truth, at least right now. Until the world is born again, the price of following the Truth is persecution by the world and the loss everything that you are, but is it worth it? Oh yes. A thousand times yes.
I am willing to venture that there is nothing else that is worth anything. When you live a lie, all of the things that you enjoy are lies and the merest shadows or reality. How can you explain to a blind man a sunset? How can you explain to a deaf man a symphony? How then can I explain to you the Truth? I do not know. All that I know is that it is the one thing in this life that I have found that is worth having.
What rights do our governing bodies have? Any that they chose to. If the council decides not to allow computer games on the computers, then I will abide by that decision or I will resign from the ASG. If the rule stands that there will be no drinking at conferences, then I will abide by that rule; I will accept it as one of the costs of going to conference. These things are small ones and they are related to groups that I do not have to be a part of. So long as I am making the decision to stay in the group I will abide by the rules. I will fight them until the breaking of the day, but I will abide by them.
Is this always true? No. If I was backed into a corner more, then I would fight to protect myself, but that is not the case here.