Education

I’m Morpheus

morpheusI know I keep saying this, but I really have so much going on in life that I don’t ever get to write about. I was sitting in a talk last week called: “The Future of Our Pasts” on digital memory and life-logging (by Steve Whittaker). I asked him about the possibility of isolating several points of activity to create dramatically compelling stories out of our lives. I then told him that I’m a blogger who often finds that I have to much to say about my weekends. Often, one experience yields more than one story. He then says that usually blogging gives people the sad realization that their lives really aren’t that interesting.

He asks me whether I continue blogging because I have an exceptionally exciting life or that I’m just a sufficient storyteller (constructing the dramatic from the mundane). To which I respond, “well, a little of both, but probably more of the former.” I meet a lot of people, therefore have a lot of stories to tell. People are just bundles of dramatic building blocks.

In any case, I don’t have time to write the things I want to write, so I wanted to share a recent email that was sent to a student titled, “I pulled you out of the matrix…” I pulled him aside after class and told him that I saw him standing before two paths. Down one path, I saw him bitter about life and alone. Down the other path, I saw him changing the world. This email further elaborates upon that vision:

—————————————————

Dear Student,

You’re Neo and I’m Morpheus…

Here’s the epiphany: Life isn’t about you… haha…

—————————————————

When I was really young, I realized that none of the adults around me were happy, and I realized that it’s b/c people are stuck playing some senseless game that they have no way of ever winning (or feeling satisfied), nor do they even have the proficiency to reach the next level.

YOU know how to beat the game and get the high score. You’ve proven that to me. What you eventually realize is that getting a high score in a game that makes no sense is pointless. Its like if I made up a game called “who can type the most letters in MS Word” (seriously, who cares).

—————————————————

It’s hard to know what the REAL game is, and, perhaps, it’s different for each person. What I can say for sure is that people need help, b/c 90% of the people you will meet, don’t have a clue.

You are starting to realize that now.

  • At first, you wonder why people aren’t like you (get used to it).
  • Then you feel like you are the victim of people’s incompetency (you are justified to feel that way).
  • If you play the victim, then the others will make you out to be the villain (don’t expect justice from people who don’t have a clue).
  • Then the others become the victim, and you’re left either doing all the work, or burning bridges.

The fact of the matter is that, you are all the victim. The problem is: that’s not the whole truth. A neglected part of the truth is that you don’t yet realize that you have the opportunity to be the hero.

So, don’t be the victim, be the hero.

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I wish I could tell you that it’s all straightforward and easy, but it’s not; its hard and frustrating, b/c the world is just THAT messed up. Haha… but don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about the world yet. Just worry about this class.

And don’t worry about messing up. Messing up only matters if life is about your performance, but like i said earlier, “life isn’t about you.”

People are incompetent b/c of low self-esteem. They don’t know or believe they can do it. Your version of that is becoming jaded and bitter about people– that’s the (game) level where people like you will get stuck.

You see, you have the ability to turn victims into heros, and you just have to start with yourself.

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for references see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiderman

here’s what i see…

you can:
a) get the high score for a game that makes no sense
b) become bitter and jaded
c) define the game for yourself, and anyone else who needs a change….

… haha, hope this all made sense!

Take care,

Sherol

—————————————————

The response:

—————————————————

Haha, blue pill it is!

Seriously, thanks for the advice… spot on too — the last time I worked with a group it was while I was researching over the summer…… and lets just say it ended with option b.

But you’re right, this is the best opportunity to learn to work with people and aim for c.

I feel way better about the situation already 🙂

anyway, much appreciated. seriously. thanks for taking the time to pull me out and talk.

—————————————————

Wow, I’ve really grown to love teaching ^_^

…one of my favorite xkcds.

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4 thoughts on “I’m Morpheus

  1. The Audacious comment reminds me of something I read in The Road Less Travelled… it’s by a Dr. Peck, he talks about trying to help people in counseling.

    He talks about a certain feel that any conscientious person will feel when they seek to help someone make a change- when you challenge someone, do something that could be seen as calling them out on something. “You are basically saying- ‘I am right, and you are wrong in regards to this thing'”.

    That’s a little extreme, I think it’s possible to soften that down a few degrees to something more generalized like “You see it this way, but have you considered this alternate viewpoint? Comparing the two, are there any advantages for you in the alternate viewpoint?”

    But without watering down that far, his point still stands. On some level, you were taking a guess. You were saying “I am right that you can be the hero, and you are wrong if you are doomed to bitterness.” That’s pretty audacious! I mean, any sentient knows that they don’t completely know the mind of the other. We risk projecting our own wants and desires onto others, painting them with what WE want them to be, not what they want or need to be. But, you’re still just as entitled to your opinion as well. You reached and thought “I could be projecting or meddling, but that’s a risk I’m willing to bet on. I think I’m making a genuine effort to help someone, some damn the torpedoes I’m going for it.”

    It sounds like you were right, because his reply makes it seem like you reached him on some level.

    Card-acious makes me think of Magic or Yu-gi-oh somehow….

    • I believe that what I did, or do, is like a muscle i’ve been training. It’s a collaboration between intuition and charm. Much like this kind-of-disgusting book about picking up women…

      http://jezebel.com/5820520/an-academic-approach-to-creepy-pickup-artists

      If i recall, i think this guy was a computer programmer. That makes sense, because I find his interpretation of women, social situations, and common beliefs or common sense to be well constructed. On the other hand, I find his motivations and the rhetoric he uses to be pretty disgusting.

      Yes, it offends most women, but I think he’s right in regards to most women. I do also believe that it wouldn’t work on “logical” women, whatever that means, nor women who have solid boundaries.

      In one lens what I did was taking a big risk. On another lens, I was using my authoritative position to manipulate another individual. Overall, i find myself resting comfortably in the middle.

      With no explicit correlation, it appears that my influence grows a few steps behind my heart. Such that, I do feel unworthy of the amount of trust people give me, but I find only my best intentions in what I do with their trust.

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