What would you die for?
For many people this is an ambiguous question. Out of curiosity, I have been asking this question a lot from people in my life. Only some have been able to give any type of definitive answer. It may be an ideal or as simple as defending one’s own family. The majority of people I talk to have no answer at all. Especially, the younger generation. I find this problematic. For those who don’t have an answer, I have asked follow up questions, such as:
– What are your passions?
– What are your ideals?
– What would you defend to your fullest extent?
I have found there is a lack of answers for these questions also. Perhaps this is the crux of the problem. I want to quickly say that it’s not necessarily about putting ones own life in danger or sacrifice, but it’s more about having convictions and integrity of those convictions. We could debate on and on about what those convictions should be, but that’s not the point of this post. The fact that there is a dearth of conviction at all is bothersome.
People are constantly trying to find meaning and purpose in their life. They look to all sorts of outlets: gurus, self-help books, religion, mysticism, etc. They find their convictions through these outlets. That’s fine and dandy, but finding convictions this way doesn’t lead to independence and free thought. You are still trapped within a paradigm that was not arrived at from any dialectic internal conversation. Convictions found this way are typically built on shaky foundation. Arriving at true conviction takes great strength of will and conscious awareness. These deeper universal convictions I have found somewhat lacking in recent times.
There is a great deal of false conviction being thrown around that passes for meaning and purpose. I have found that if it’s conviction thrown around by the corporate media machine, then it tends not to be true conviction. Even false conviction thrown around social media aka clicktivism is suspect. I don’t know if its due to recent events in the past decade with the war on ‘terror’ and events of 9/11. People seem to be wary of saying what they would die for or don’t even want to think about it lest they be lumped in the same category as terrorists. This is a tragic mistake. We need to be free of the fear of judgement in order to form true convictions.
Answering the three questions I put forward earlier can help a person arrive at their convictions. For myself, I have answered those questions and found the following (in no particular order):
– To try and walk to my fullest extent a non-judgmental, selfless, and compassionate path and strive to be the greatest human being that I can be.
– To do whatever I can to end human trafficking.
– To advocate for the homeless and those living in poverty.
– To continue the struggle of fixing our education system.
– To fight for and defend those that I love should they come under harm.
– To be a voice for the disenfranchised and voiceless.
– To fight for social/political/economic equality where it’s needed.
– To be a catalyst for social change and inspiration where I can be.
I ask again: What would you die for?
I want to end this post with a video of what happened in Keratea in 2010. I have mentioned it before here: Keratea Case. Watch and learn what true conviction can be and what true democratic activism can be.
– A Rabbit’s Conviction