So I was going to write an essay on narcissism today, but I ran out of time and will be transitioning to painting here in a bit. One thing that came to mind while I was writing my essay outline was the Philosopher King from Plato’s Republic.
The world is watching America collapse. It’s heartbreaking, but revealing of many truths. It reminds me of the tarot’s major arcana “The Tower”, where destruction and an inevitable end must be accepted. In the midst of destruction, many ask “why?” and I think many Americans already know why this happened. Quite frankly, we’re scrambling for an answer to “What do we do now?” Rather than turn a blind eye to the destruction, we must apply critical reflection to all that has happened. While I was reflecting, Plato’s Republic came to me. What most Americans are upset about is having irresponsible and incompetent leaders steering our ship of state into oblivion. We could direct all the blame towards Trump who has well earned it, but there are layers upon layers of incompetency that we must address. My essay isn’t necessarily about government blame, but more so about political philosophy and human behavior.
Currently, America runs on narcissism and now the ship is burning. I know Plato’s Philosopher King is just an ideal of a utopian Republic, but it’s worth consideration. The video below was created by Mimir’s Head, who discusses Plato’s Philosopher King and offers his own take on the matter.
I think this is a good video on the stoic perspective on time management and making the most out of our lives, but there are some things that are too generalized I’d like to address in respect to making sure certain assumptions aren’t made. Before I go on, this video is animated by the YouTube channel Philosophies of Life. I really admire their work, so please support them.
Self-awareness is emphasized throughout the video encouraging a more objective view on what your life was and what you can do presently. Point eight discusses how we shouldn’t invest our time in what is “trivial”, but what is “trivial” to one can be fulfilling to another. We all have a variety of habits and interests that may not be considered productive because they seem like they’re not linked to any kind of career path or ambition. The trivialities discussed in this video are subjective. Many use social media as a marketing tool for business and that includes selfies. Pro-gamers are paid to understand and master whatever game is in front of them. The things that should be considered “trivial”, in the most general sense, are the habits that reinforce our self-defeating thoughts.
What is most trivial is endorsing a stimuli that encourages one’s defeat rather than encourage their empowerment. I’m not a big selfie person, but taking a selfie and not caring what the comments say can encourage empowerment and resilience, even in the stoic sense. What would be self-defeating would be someone letting the comments get to them, deleting the selfie, then scrolling through another person’s feed because they appear more attractive than them. This would be a disempowering act and a time waster. Block the haters, keep the selfie up, move on with your day. Another time investment in what is trivial is being around those who praise self-defeat, whether they know it or not. Those type of people not only take away our time, but also our energy. It’s actually a cultural norm to do these things, complain about work, whine about the bills, groan about the kids. Yes, it’s good to have someone to talk to. Making a habit of letting those discussions become self-defeating is not.
What is trivial is what is made trivial. Sometimes we need stimuli that other people would consider “a waste of time”, but it’s YOUR time. You should be deciding how you manage it. The video recognizes living for yourself rather than others and I think it should be pointed out that living for yourself also includes deciding what is worth your time. Management of time isn’t always about banishing what is normally considered a waste, but scheduling time for doing the things that you love. An early point was stating how the “reward” should be immediate after completing a long-term goal, which is also called positive reinforcement. I’d hope that we incorporate that in our lives and not mistake this video deciding what should or shouldn’t be a reward (because it isn’t lol, it was just an example).
The YouTube channel Academy of Ideas presented an incredible argument using quotes from Etienne de la Boite, a French philosopher, writer, and judge, to address how enslavement is voluntary. I’d like to point out that this video is discussing psychological and economic enslavement more than other types of slavery. I don’t want their message to be misinterpreted as an ignorant assumption about history.
This will be the first installment of the philosophy page. Hope you enjoy and comment what you think of the video. Also, if you liked this video, support Academy of Ideas by subscribing to their content.