Midnight Manifesto Mishmash

What do I believe in?

I’m past the disillusion and apathy of mid-college nihilism. Agnosticism isn’t a belief so much as a lack of one. Self destruction was years ago. Unfocused rebellion only goes so far. Anyone can bitch and moan and feel terrible about their lives and the world around them. But it takes a degree of maturity to grit your teeth, grin, and live with it. Perhaps work to change it.

I’m sure there are more ideals floating around in my head, but I think these are the seeds. Five virtues that are positive, and equally important as far as I’m concerned.

Integrity –
Standards and ideals aren’t set in stone, but if I believe in something, I’ll live it. Given my college kid liberal nature, there aren’t too many principles in my book. But I’m not a manipulator, a backstabber. I strive to not be a hypocrite, and to give everyone I meet equal respect. Formality, courteousness and firm handshakes still hold water in my book.

Industry –
Hard work is an American tradition, but I think a malaise of laziness has infected far too many people. High school is a breeze, and working cozy retail jobs either results in snooze fests at the cash register, or mind-draining manual labor. I didn’t learn hard work till I came to Tech. Spending an all-nighter on a project is only part of it. Spending a large part of my waking hours churning over math problems, programming assignments or literary essays in my head was another part. Industry is about devotion to a task, whether I like it or not. Its about a drive to achieve more, get more done in the day, and smile at my to-do list. Keeping busy is key.

Openness –
Writing, thinking and discussing important issues, no matter the subject matter, is vital for a healthy mind. Many people ignore their problems, or cover them with mindless time-wasting activities. Openness also requires acceptance and understanding of controversial viewpoints. I find it interesting to read or listen to opposing political viewpoints, and watch how my own views shift. Being slow to pass judgment, or voice my opinion. Searching inside to find fears, failures and misunderstandings is a constant process, but cannot be neglected.

Moderation –
The brunt of the day is filled with little things and minor decisions. Time management and organization must become second nature to make a difference. Priorities must be made, and changed as circumstances shift. Of course, I have to fit in mindless fun or relaxation in with studying or working. Taking a deep breath in the middle of it all is important for me. After a test or a presentation, I’ll definitely buy myself a beer. And after a weekend of crazy fun, I’m satisfied to face a hard workweek. It all balances out.

Passion –
The final rule trumps them all. There is always choice and free will, and I’ll always give impulsiveness consideration. One’s personality, the glowing core at the center, should always shine through. These rules are just guidelines – I’ve broken every one of them. And if its because of a passionate idea or hobby, its worth it for me. Staying up all night playing a new game, tramping all around tech campus drunk, writing furiously for hours on end – these are the keystones of a well-lived life.

Because that’s what its about – living amazing stories. It’s not about being happy all the time, or being the most successful. I think happiness and success are nice, but temporary side effects of a well lived life.

That’ll do for now =D

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