The Walking Dead is a bad and problematic show, if taken as a whole, but there's one scene I think of a lot, and wish I had a better parable to relay it with.

After three years of terror, Rick and his friends have finally found a stable place to stay, with tall walls and fields to be tilled and planted.

For a year, Rick farms, but then the threat comes back and he is unprepared. And he is told by a mentor,

"Rick, you can be a farmer. But you can't /just/ be a farmer."

1/n

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And I think that's a lesson a lot more people need to internalize.

You can do whatever you want (as long as it doesn't hurt others.) But you can't /just/ do whatever you want. You can't just be an artist, or a poet, or a plumber. You must also pick up trash, help people across the street, and do the work that needs to be done to make this a society.

You can be a farmer. But you can't /just/ be a farmer.

2/2

This message brought to you by "even though my day is really full, I still found time to pick up the litter that wind and people brought to my area."

Sure, I had to eat cereal for breakfast instead of making up oatmeal, but... so what? I won't remember that in a week, but the trash is now gone forever.

And - okay.

I don't truly believe this like, I don't /feel/ it.

But the ground and trash? It's as important as me. Or... I'm not more important than it. Or... separate from it?

Like I am... the environment, just with a spark of perceived consciousness. So is the trash.

If I exist as a physical being, let me exist, being physical, and a part of all the physical and material around me.

Er the trash is not with a spark of consciousness, I don't think that.

But like, we're both just a part of the environment, and the only difference is I can "think for myself."

So is taking care of my wants really higher up than taking care of my environment's needs?

There's interplay of like, if I don't give myself enough of what I want my brain will make it hard for me to take care of my whole environment, me included, but, Iunno.

The other day I said I welcomed how plural people challenge my concept of self and its association with individuality and this sort of thinking is a big part of why.

Intellectually I'm slowly coming to believe that I'm not apart from the world, and maybe I'll feel it too.

just to be clear, when I say "a lot more people need to internalize" this I mean to incline myself: I /think/ it and believe it but I sure haven't internalized it, i.e. made it consistent across my beliefs and actions

@emsenn I greatly enjoy writing centered around the concept that we are all a part of a whole, not apart of it

@david I don't even know if "a part of a whole" covers it because that implies that I am a part that could be separated like a gear from a clock and that is not, I think, true.

(p.s. Ilove that this is a website that I feel comfortable like, publicly stating my prejudices against a group and how that is helping me grow as a person and most people are understanding of that)

It's a lot easier to tell how you affect the world than how the world effects you but both are constantly happening.

@david @emsenn wanna recommend "A Closed and Common Orbit" as reading if either of y'all haven't. The culture is very in line with this thread

@emsenn It was very challenging for me when I got to know a plural system, too, and I kinda had to rethink a lot of things I took for granted--as well as a ton of ableist prejudice--to get to a place where I was comfortable with them, horrible as it is to say I had to work myself into being okay with someone else's existence. I see it as an example of how systems of violence are perpetuated through people and how it takes active unlearning to avoid being a vector of violence.

@emsenn *babbles excitedly about the social contract (in agreement)*

Seriously, though. 100% this.

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