Ancient wisdom this one. And one of the truest.
I’ve recently written on considering the other side of a story, the other side of history, the two sides of each coin and all sides of any truth.
Reading a comic on Nikola Tesla today, I felt completely ignorant.
Here it is so you can feel like I did:
I’ve always known that there’s something intriguing about Tesla. I’ve known bits and pieces, but had no idea of the depths of his genius, which apparently came with a great depths of madness as well.
Since I am interested in Sci Fi and have read many books and seen my share of TV shows and movies, I’ve come across him frequently. But I’ve never bothered to check the facts, the history as it is known, his story.
Today, for the very first time, I realized how very worth knowing it appears to be. Also, Thomas Edison was a douche.
Common knowledge teaches us that Edison was a marvellous inventor. The genius, who brought mankind many things that paved the way to modernism and made our lives more interesting, entertaining and above all easier.
Well, it looks more as if he was a very good business man and ruthless at that. Tesla was the true genius, a visionary and, batshit crazy or not, he would’ve given his inventions away for the benefit of all of us.
I didn’t know any of this when I woke up this morning and don’t find my ignorance in this blissful at all. It occurred to me that we can never know enough, we can never learn everything, but it shouldn’t stop us from trying.
I mean, Edison is revered and, outside of those, who knew his story well, Tesla is rather frowned upon, considered an oddity and, I don’t think, acknowledged in the way he should be and deserves to be.
In order to remind myself, I emailed myself the following note: Question everything, be inquisitive, read widely and critically. Cross reference.
I’ve started to email myself thoughts more frequently lately, especially when I’m at work. Ideas for blogs, the first paragraphs of my next blog or just thoughts like the above, so I would have them handy when I get home. Easy transfer from one laptop to the other.
Anyway. None of this is new to me. I’ve always questioned everything, but thinking on that I found that I’ve become lazy. One source of information is never enough. That’s not the scientific method. I went to university for this kind of thing.
I mean, how could I have become so complacent? Most people I know probably wouldn’t think of me like that, but I know that I’ve become lazier in my research. So much so that I feel I should kick myself.
I read widely, but not critically enough.
Never mind that this led to a minor existential crisis this morning, when I was staring at my laptop screen, reading on Tesla, vowing to learn more, needing to know more, realizing that my day job is making my brain sluggish, which is not true, because I have to pay attention constantly and multi-task all the time, but my cognitive energy is channelled in such ways that I feel like I am on a one way track.
I threw up my hands cursing the society I live in for making me work a mundane job in order to be able to pay my rent, feed and clothe myself and put money away to be able to afford my dreams. Pointless! I yell and mean it, because what I do at work is utterly inconsequential and I sick of it and need more meaning.
But there’s never enough time and living in London doesn’t leave you any time anyway. I need to be financially independent to do what I want to do.
So, off my daydreaming mind goes, imagining myself on that longed for houseboat, which is all mine and I can operate top to bottom, the coziest thing you can imagine, my two greyhounds, who I’ll drag out for a walk once or twice a day, and the freedom to read when I want to, write when I need to and make a living on my terms not theirs, whoever they are.
But I can’t be dreaming my life. I have to live it. I have to make this dream come true, so I get to have this incredible luxury of questioning everything, being inquisitive, reading widely and critically and taking the time to cross reference.
I know all this and, believe it or not, it empowers me. This knowledge may not gain me the power commonly spoken of when it is said that knowledge is power, but it empowers me to seek the life for myself that I need. It allows me to recognize my needs and what I must do.
I could quit my job tomorrow and right now I don’t think I would feel regret. It’s not that I hate my job. I hate the fact that I have to do it in the first place. It’s the money, the rent; it’s what’s expected of me as a responsible adult. The only one, who cares that none of this is me, is me!
See? Existential crisis. As I was saying. And just because I read this comic about geeks and Nikola Tesla.
The good thing is this: reading makes me write. Writing makes me read. The more and the more widely and critically I read, the better I write. The more I know, the more empowered I feel.
I don’t want to rule the world; I could give it a shot, if I really wanted to, but then what? I think I’ll much rather be a subversive element and maybe get to a point, where I can get others to read more widely and critically and think for themselves rather than being told what to think.
Creating the life I want is entirely up to me. I’m working on it, hard. Today I’ll start by cleaning out the accumulated titbits around my room. De-cluttering my place, because all this stuff weighs me down. Mind you, I hardly own anything, but even that is too much right now, because the place I’m living in is not my own and I want to be able to travel light once I leave here.
And leave here I will. I’ve been to many places, lived in different countries and felt more at home in some than in others. The English country side sounds incredibly appealing right now. Green, a river, more green, quiet, fresh air, and time at a standstill. That’s what I need and it is where I have always seen myself.
I love to visit the bustling city, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sights. But I can’t live in the city. It’s cluttering my soul, which is what weighs me down so much.
Nope, open spaces for me and thank you very much.
Alright, I need a plan.
I’ll keep you posted, because sharing is caring. I’m sure some of you feel very much the same. It takes guts to take life by the scrape of its neck and give it a good shake, tumble it around a few times and see what shape it can take, but if you know what you’re looking for, I believe you can pummel it into submission and not vice versa.
Wish me luck.