Jake Herringbone

Why do I love so many things? I'm set on a plan to discover why. It's my favorite kind of philosophy, because I believe the pursuit of understanding such a positive feeling engenders more of the same.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A diverse group

I hang out with such diverse groups of people. Well, it's hard to argue that they're not all white and upper-middle class. But I do know a conservative crowd, some hipsters, and some intellectual liberal elites. It's such a good way to keep my mind open.

It's hard to fit into a number of groups at once. One group is easy, after a while you pick things up from all of them and becoming more conformant to their norm. Some parts of you that aren't compatible with this group get lost altogether. And the other parts are exercised frequently. I bet this works the same as memories in the brain: the more you exercise a behaviour, the stronger it gets.

The more different kinds of people you hang out with, the more you exercise all these places in the brain. For some people, exercising your brain actually feels about as good as exercising your body, so there's nothing wrong with wanting to do so. I suspect this was the case for the most successful people, since the writings of historical figures tend to suggest that they value many mental pursuits and learning, and of course the people lost in history are all the less successful normal people.

This part of life is an especially good time to notice this aspect of "real life." In school, your mind gets a lot of exercise, especially at a good school with hard classes and lots of work. And right after school, many people are tired of all that work and enjoy not having to work so hard in real life. I mean, they work a lot of hours and perhaps diligently, but it's not intellectually challenging. Even decent office work is still pretty repetitive and only covers things we already know.

Those people who get out of school and miss that brain work are in for some trouble. Because we don't have classes, and importantly, brilliant professors to push us and present the raw material to pore over. What to do with this problem, where is the important problem to solve and face?

Many of us in this group are looking so hard for that big problem to solve, you never get to spend time solving problems every day. Why push yourself through to success with such zeal, when in fact the fabulously wealthy people of our days are about as hard to join as the NBA right out of high school.

That's why I like my plan of hanging out with widely varying groups. No person in one of them really likes to hang out with another group. I have to say, Gabe is the one person who does, but that makes sense since I've talked to him about the challenge of a really hard class in school and how we liked it. And we are getting that challenge by the need to keep the mind active, and practice many behaviours and beliefs. And we're not trying to find that big problem to solve anymore, because there are so many more little challenges in each person or group you meet.


  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Meredith said…

    Friends reading this wonder: "Am I the one he likes because I'm 'diverse'?"


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