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  1. #11
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    An interesting commentary by William Deresiewicz on solitude and leadership:

    Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom. In other people’s reality: for others, not for yourself. You are creating a cacophony in which it is impossible to hear your own voice, whether it’s yourself you’re thinking about or anything else. That’s what Emerson meant when he said that “he who should inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions.” Notice that he uses the word lead. Leadership means finding a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward the cliff.
    < the entire lecture is worth reading >


    He has written about The End of Solitude before.


    see also this thread: Intrusive Empathy/Intuition
    the formless thing which gives things form!
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  2. #12
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    That’s a fantastic read.

    I just read an editorial the other day arguing that our schools need to incorporate some kind of emotional management training into regular curriculum (Emotional Intelligence- The Forgotten Key To Educational Success). I strongly agreed with the writer’s sentiments about our culture having a serious problem with lacking appropriate emotional coping skills, but I’m wary about making this part of public school curriculum- basically for reasons very similar to what was stated in that lecture you posted: public schools take a very one-SJ-size-fits-all approach to teaching and the thought of that same approach being applied to teaching emotional intelligence to kids gives me *a lot* of pause. I can foresee a ‘the minority should be medicated into thinking like the majority’ mentality bleeding into the actual application, since there’s such overwhelming pressure on schools to produce tangible evidence of ‘productivity’. It could be a huge step backwards. But what was stated in that lecture is precisely what I’m concerned would be missing: people actually thinking about the 'emotional intelligence' they'd be teaching.

    Quote Originally Posted by from lecture Vas posted
    “The chance to find yourself.” Now that phrase, “finding yourself,” has acquired a bad reputation. It suggests an aimless liberal-arts college graduate—an English major, no doubt, someone who went to a place like Amherst or Pomona—who’s too spoiled to get a job and spends his time staring off into space.
    I can’t even imagine how different our culture would be if we placed anywhere near as much esteem on critical thinking skills as we do on the jump-through-the-hoop skills.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  3. #13
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    According to Carole Robin, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in organizational behavior, our ability to be in touch with and express our feelings is slowly socialized out of us. She gives the example of a toddler who bumps his head: the mother rushes to him and says "You're okay. You're okay." We're told to be okay even if we're not.
    What do you all think of this statement? I very much agree with it. One of the toughest parts of the grieving process is just realizing "this hurts", being okay with that, and starting there. So much of your mind is telling you "why aren't you over this already?" and, in my experience, society tells you more of the latter.

    emotions don't go away unless addressed
    Yup, yup, so true - so many people wouldn't believe me if I said this!

    I really think this article is called for, and I'd like to explore this topic further.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Solitude is as important part of life as socializing. In solitude one can best seek contemplation about themselves and the world. The key is to maintain balance.
    +1

    And I say that as someone whose Extroversion/Social gravity can be OTT at times.

  5. #15
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    An interesting commentary by William Deresiewicz on solitude and leadership:

    Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom. In other people’s reality: for others, not for yourself. You are creating a cacophony in which it is impossible to hear your own voice, whether it’s yourself you’re thinking about or anything else. That’s what Emerson meant when he said that “he who should inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions.” Notice that he uses the word lead. Leadership means finding a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward the cliff.
    < the entire lecture is worth reading >


    He has written about The End of Solitude before.


    see also this thread: Intrusive Empathy/Intuition
    It is funny how I tell some of my thoughts to just shut up-they are basically other people's thoughts that are intruding on my ability to think for myself.

    Great that I know I am not crazy for doing that, just trying to think for myself and not for people thinking for me.

    But that is how I like to use my alone time. Contemplate, sort out my thoughts, relax a little.

  6. #16
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    What do you all think of this statement? I very much agree with it. One of the toughest parts of the grieving process is just realizing "this hurts", being okay with that, and starting there. So much of your mind is telling you "why aren't you over this already?" and, in my experience, society tells you more of the latter.

    Yup, yup, so true - so many people wouldn't believe me if I said this!
    I really think this article is called for, and I'd like to explore this topic further.
    Yeah, I don’t want to derail Vasilisa’s thread- but I think anti-depressants being the most widely prescribed drug in the nation (as least according to 2007 CDC reports) really ought to be a bigger red flag than it is, indicating that lack of emotional intelligence is a serious problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by more from Solitude and Leadership article
    …And the way to do it is by thinking through these issues for yourself—morality, mortality, honor—so you will have the strength to deal with them when they arise. Waiting until you have to confront them in practice would be like waiting for your first firefight to learn how to shoot your weapon. Once the situation is upon you, it’s too late. You have to be prepared in advance. You need to know, already, who you are and what you believe: not what the Army believes, not what your peers believe (that may be exactly the problem), but what you believe.
    I think that learning to be honest with oneself about ‘what you think’ (in the sense of how ‘thinking’ is defined in the article) and ‘what you feel’ go hand in hand- that building either one of those skills would probably lead to strengthening the other. But in our culture, we’re constantly dissuaded from that sort of introspection: it’s much faster and more ‘productive’ (in an immediately visible/objectively measurable way)- and therefore more esteemed- to just learn to jump through the hoops instead. As long as our livelihood depends on our ability to jump through hoops (instead of stopping to consider how useful the hoops are, if they could be improved, etc)- which is to say that as long as our paycheck and quality of life are directly at the effect of the extent to which we forsake introspection for 'productivity'- then we'll (as a society) kind of blind ourselves to the benefits of stopping to reflect on things. Or something like that.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  7. #17
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    well, someone had to do it.

    thank you for the articles though, vasilisa. they're very interesting. as an extravert sometimes i struggle to abide in alone time where i am not engaged with anything but my own mind. it creates anxiety for me, while being stimulated by the world releases it.

  8. #18
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    Bump!

    Quote Originally Posted by from "The power of lonely"
    Perhaps this explains why seeing a movie alone feels so radically different than seeing it with friends: Sitting there in the theater with nobody next to you, you’re not wondering what anyone else thinks of it; you’re not anticipating the discussion that you’ll be having about it on the way home. All your mental energy can be directed at what’s happening on the screen.
    Yes! YES! I often see movies alone and a couple friends have later asked me "Why didn't you say anything?! I would have gone with you!" As though going to a movie alone is a bad thing. I like going to see movies by myself because I can focus on the movie and not get distracted by the din of chatter.

    Our society, on the whole, doesn't seem to make a distinction between 'alone' and 'lonely'. The word 'loner' is considered somewhat of an epithet. I think most people are incapable of being alone without feeling lonely, thus there is a stigma against being someone who not only is capable of being alone without feeling lonely but particularly against someone who wants to be alone.

    Psychologists and psychiatrists have recognized disorders like "Avoidant Personality Disorder" and "Antisocial Personality Disorder", and people at large use terms like 'hermit' and 'recluse' to describe people who prefer to be alone. There are no such diagnoses for people who are the complete opposite. They are celebrated as 'socialites' and "social butterflies".

    We are conditioned to believe that being alone will make you feel lonely. Being alone is 'bad'. Being alone in thought is 'unproductive', because there's often nothing to show anyone else for all that time spent pondering.

    Perhaps that's why the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and the like exploded over the past five years. Telephones are now "mobile social devices", not only capable of making a telephone call but also texting and accessing the internet through our precious "social apps".

    We spend so much time on things like Facebook, and maybe even internet forums, because we believe that being 'interconnected' with people will make us 'happy' or 'better' people. But these styles of interaction are so brief and impersonal it's not fulfilling (to me). I believe it is possible to say something of great substance in 140 words or less but most people have neither the time nor the inclination to pause and think of something profound to say. They're too busy being inundated with tweets and status updates and text messages and so on.


    Maybe that's why Vasilisa's thread here was quickly done and buried after a handful of responses over the course of only a week. To be able to discuss this means sitting down and reading this, this and this, and then spending a lot of time digesting that information and thinking of a response more profound than "That was interesting, thanks for sharing," or "+1" (not meaning to pick on Coriolis, it was just too good an example to pass up ).


    I think most people glanced over this because it's "tl;dr": a sadly ironic abbreviation.

  9. #19
    morose bourgeoisie
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  10. #20
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    Bump!



    Yes! YES! I often see movies alone and a couple friends have later asked me "Why didn't you say anything?! I would have gone with you!" As though going to a movie alone is a bad thing. I like going to see movies by myself because I can focus on the movie and not get distracted by the din of chatter.

    Our society, on the whole, doesn't seem to make a distinction between 'alone' and 'lonely'. The word 'loner' is considered somewhat of an epithet. I think most people are incapable of being alone without feeling lonely, thus there is a stigma against being someone who not only is capable of being alone without feeling lonely but particularly against someone who wants to be alone.
    I agree. I have never thought anything was strange about seeing a movie alone or eating in a restaurant alone. Especially eating alone. I bring a book, I order what I want, I don't worry about rushing or having to make conversation. I rarely mention my enjoyment of this, people find it truly odd.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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