Mental Meanderings—A Look-Back at Yesterday (Wednesday–022223)

It has been very windy the past several days, especially yesterday. This has made my daily biking more difficult. I’ve had to concentrate—to avoid being swept sideways into the other lane and oncoming traffic—and use more energy and strength to pedal and oppose the persistent force. In sum, I’ve been in a battle having to use my mind and body to resist the unrelenting power of the wind.

Resistance is a common word, easily understood. It is a noun, because it is a person, place, or thing. I’ll provide the relevant definition anyway: “the action of opposing something that you disapprove or disagree with.”

I think I could say that resistance is a two-way street. I resisted the wind. The wind resisted me. The two forces, me and the wind, were in a battle. I wanted to safely complete my route. The wind wanted to stop me. Please don’t think I’m giving agency to the wind. I resist that!

The wind isn’t the only thing I resist. In fact, most everywhere I go, everywhere I look, I encounter “something that [I] disapprove or disagree with.” It might be the many and sundry excuses that slither inside my head every time I sit down to work on my novel in progress. These are forces that I try to resist, but I don’t always win.

To some degree, I find something that opposes every thing I want to do. Thankfully, most of these are relatively powerless and can be easily overcome. I just noticed these forces are also present when I need to do something. I was thinking of washing the dishes. I really don’t want to do this. But, I need to. Yet, resistance is present either way. I have to oppose the force (the thing, the thought, the excuse, whatever you call it) that’s trying to stop me from washing the dishes.

Question. Would life be easier if we never encountered “something that [we] disapprove or disagree with”? In a way, it might. Let’s say, you approve of every thing you read, hear, or see. You simply believe the person who wrote what you’re reading, spoke what you’re hearing, or otherwise created what you are seeing.

If I were this person, I suspect I would be a rare and strange person. I suspect I would be a person naked of curiosity. I would be a person who didn’t read very broadly, wasn’t the least bit skeptical. I would be a person who doesn’t care much about reality, how the world really works. I would be something akin to a zombie.

I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am. And, yes, I just looked up zombie in the dictionary. Here’s what I consider the relevant definition: “a dead body that has been brought back to life by a supernatural force.”

Okay, I admit, I misspoke. If I never disapproved or disagreed with anything, I wouldn’t be a zombie because I don’t believe in anything supernatural. Bingo. I oppose belief in that. Why? I’ve never been presented with sufficient, credible evidence such a thing exists (but, I’m still open if presented with such evidence).

My conclusion here is that neither you or I would want to be a non-resisting person. Life would be far less interesting, would have little meaning, and would likely provide a water-slide environment for bad ideas—they’d rapidly flow downward and ultimately make a big splash, maybe one destructive to civilization itself.

I suspect that without resistance our society wouldn’t be as well off as it is. We might still believe epilepsy was caused by demons. But, I digress, which, come to think of it, is fit for Mental Meanderings.

Oh well, maybe the wind will be calm today.

Author: Richard L. Fricks

Former CPA, attorney, and lifelong wanderer. I'm now a full-time skeptic and part-time novelist. The rest of my time I spend biking, gardening, meditating, photographing, reading, writing, and encouraging others to adopt The Pencil Driven Life.

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