Authors Musings ~ Terminology, and Good for whom?
By Syl Dinada
Positive-negative, even good-bad. It’s just terminology really. Those in-between spaces like when painting, aren’t really negative spaces are they? They’re just different spaces. Like silence is essential to music. But silence is not negative. In both cases they are extremely positive and necessary. They are just different is all. And both good, yes? I mean if you both feel both components are essential and necessary, how are they not both good? The problem lies in the terminology.
It’s important. We can’t always be assuming that if something is different, then it is the opposite of what we are familiar with. That way anyone that is not the same as Good-Us, is automatically bad. This is the root of unreasonable bias and prejudice.
We have to break away from this Mentality-of-Opposites. What are the opposites of fruit, music, art, trees, people…? And what does it matter? Why do we want to insist on forcing everything into opposites? Imagine how boring it would be. Like if we only had black or white?
So changing our perspective, changing our Way-of-Being, and then changing our Way-of-Living and our society and everything starts with changing our vocabulary and word usage. Words matter, they matter a lot. Because they massively affects not only how we think, but what we think. And this affects how we perceive, and this literally changes how we see the world. Ultimately, this leads to a different world.
“But I have to ask, “Good for whom?”” – That is a most awesome question. Again terminology is problematic. As much as I love goodness and the word Good, I actually prefer to use Useful and Valuable.
Then it becomes for whom and to what end and what purpose. And that of course varies from situation to situation. To skip over many many in-between steps, in the end it boils down to how we use energy. Even time-usage can be reduced to energy usage. So Good and Useful and Valuable in the end comes down to how we use our energy.
When we look at it like this, the Good for whom starts to make a lot more sense. If it is only good for me and not for everyone else, it may seem a good use of my energy, but of course in the longer term that will work against me. So it’s how well we use our energy in the totality of our lives. And in that context it’s good for the individual without being not-good for others.
We don’t have to have the same good for all. But what makes good use of our energy is when our collective energy usage give us more, much much more than we could do by ourselves. Some are much much more effective and efficient at using their energy in certain ways. Like painting or writing or making music or building stuff, or doing accountancy, or whatever one’s predilection is. Some people are awesome at simply being Appreciators and enjoyers. There is much variety needed in the world.
I truly don’t mean to write such long essays, but it is what earnest questions do to me. Everything is so interconnected for me. It’s hard to just isolate one aspect of it.
Syldinada is a Philosopher-Writer focusing on the Application of a comprehensive Practical-Personal-Philosophy. Creator of: The Philosophy of Appropriateness and: An A+ Philosophy.