Saturday, March 7, 2009

Society and Brunhilde's Seriousness

take [10]
Originally uploaded by KarensJilly

Lately I've been noticing a lot that people take themselves very seriously. Either that, or they realize that taking yourself seriously is kind of pointless (because people tend to judge you more on the external result: how you interact with others, than your own internal self-concept, which they obviously can't see) and resort to outwardly belittling the mere idea of taking themselves seriously.

Example, because I clearly cannot express myself properly:

Person X: let's call her Brunhilde because I love that name and it is the only one that doesn't really connote anyone I know who might be offended by this. Brunhilde thinks very seriously about life, which is awesome and definitely ideal. Thumbs up for Brunhilde. But Brunhilde knows that in Society Y (let's just call it Society for the sake of simplicity and truth), most people don't convey her ease for critical thought and heavy reflection.

It is certainly true that in Society, other people have Brunhilde's internal seriousness, but for whatever reason, in Society it is not so acceptable to just come out and say your honest thoughts about your serious views, at least in casual conversation. So, Brunhilde is considering the two routes most people in Society tend to take at this junction.

1. Accept that all is lost and that no one will ever appreciate your unique serious thoughts, so you turn to the totally un-serious side of life and get by on humor, drunkenness and superficiality. It works for some people, and they still have these serious, thoughtful thoughts, but they keep them to themselves or maybe one good friend.
2. Realize that Society will never change its narrow-minded ways but say "fuck them all" and just express every single serious thought without any regard for the ridiculous conventions of Society's non-serious ways.

However, both of these routes have their flaws. In 1 it's obvious: you keep yourself bottled up. In 2 you seem to be more liberated by expressing your serious thoughts, but then Brunhilde wonders: don't people just end up taking their own serious thoughts too seriously? And get boring? Just being serious all the time and having no fun with it?

What's a good compromise? Is there a way to balance Society's intolerance for uninhibited expression of critical thought without becoming serious to the extreme? I'm sure there is - countless renowned authors/artists/etc. have found it.

Am I making a huge, gross generalization? Probably. Prove me right or wrong. Bring me stories and advice, I know you have them. Then again, you may not want to share, because you take yourself too seriously. ?

Edit 7:53 p.m.: When I first wrote this, it was generally just a thoughtful, curious glob of snot dripping down my metaphoric nose. But actually there is serious mucous there and I'm realizing that people who take themselves too seriously actually really block up my sinuses.

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