Friday, January 21, 2011

In Praise of Redefining Oneself

I was reading this article in The Independent when I suddenly realized what's bothering me so much about America. Yes, America, not Quebec where I currently live in.

What's bothering me is that America is already so defined that everything in it is, was, will be: "Europe is a far more exciting place to live than America at this point in history. That's because while America has largely defined what it is and what it stands for, Europe is in the process of self-definition."

Meanwhile, Iran has changed so tremendously over the past decades that you never know what will become of it tomorrow. You can wake up one day and see that the whole street is in turmoil, or is turned upside down. This change is not necessarily good, but it makes living there more exciting. You open your eyes to a daily struggle every morning.

This is true about Europe too. The article makes a very good comparison:
"Now imagine I'm holding before you an American map. It's looked just that way for some time and is likely to do so for some time into the future. Imagine a European map from pre-1990, with the Soviet bloc in red. Now look forward to what this same map will look like in 2010 with the new entrants to the EU. Europe, in short, hasn't even decided yet where its borders begin and end."

The mentioned argument can be applied to Quebec too. This province has long wanted to be separated from Canada, and has been witness to Quiet Revolutions in the previous century. Its changes are not as massive as Iran's or Europe's, but it certainly has more excitement to it than the rest of Canada or America.

This can be true of human beings too, and is not limited to geographic formations. In life, I find those people more interesting that are constantly in a state of redefining themselves (this must be a concept touched upon by philosophers previously). People with strictly held beliefs, people with ideas that are so sacred that are unlikely to ever change.. they repel me.


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