1 EAGLETON NOTES: Such Cynicism in One So Young

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Sunday, 10 October 2010

Such Cynicism in One So Young

I was asked yesterday how old a friend's daughter was.  As I wasn't absolutely sure I thought I'd just check her Facebook page.  What I also noticed whilst there was one of her interests cited as Bob Marley's statement that "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."  It made me think.  Now this young (20) lady was a ferociously intelligent child and is, I assume, still ferociously intelligent and I know that Facebook can be a pretty superficial medium of communication.  On the other hand I know of at least one lady who announced her engagement to most of her (small) family using that medium.  But I shall forget about Facebook and the young lady and concentrate of the quote.  If one accepts that the statement is true - and I certainly don't - then it follows that she herself hurts everyone with whom she has social connections.  It follows logically that if all people hurt you and you are a person then you must hurt all people.  It's a simple syllogism.  Please tell me that it's not true.

13 comments:

  1. I can't as unfortunately I'm a cynic and therefore wholeheartedly..perhaps no heartedly....agree with the sentiment. Sad thought for a sunny Sunday!

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  2. I wonder what the context of Marley's statement was? What did he have in mind when he wrote the lyric? Taken in isolation, Marley's statement just sounds callow - meaningless. It begs for qualification. Yes, people have the potential to hurt you - they also have the potential to help you; to give you joy; to love; to make you happy. That Marley chooses to emphasise 'hurt' - and elevates a 'could' proposition to the status of definitive or categorical - says more about him and his experience of life. This type of categorical statement is always seductive to 'the young' - and especially seductive when uttered by the great and good. I'd prefer to emphasise innate goodness - good intention as opposed to malign... don't know if that helps?

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  3. Adrian, surely you're not really an old cynic. You've got far to good a sense of humour.

    lmj: It takes a lawyer with a social conscience to marshal the arguments so well. And, yes, it puts my view much more persuasively.

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  4. Doesn't help my ability to string three simple letters together though.

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  5. I don't live in that world. I create my own little happy place, where every once in a while a hurt might slip through, but mostly I choose to see the good.
    I like it here. :)

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  6. May seem cynical at first, but also one of those statements that can be twisted and turned... Even love can hurt, and involve sacrifice, but feel worth it. From that perspective, I can see the truth in it. I think I might have at 20 as well. No internet in those days, but I could have written it down in my quotation notebook as well worth "pondering on". (I still could...)

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  7. PS. Got curious and googled some other Bob Marley quotes. Seems he said some pretty deep things... The more I read, the less I think that this one was meant as pure cynisism.

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  8. I'm afraid I don't follow your logic, GB. I don't see how the acceptance of the possibility of being hurt means one is willing to hurt others. Just can't see it!

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  9. Pauline: You are thinking with your heart and not your head. I believe that what you say is correct but my argument was with the words themselves which are an absolute syllogism. That's why I don't agree with it.

    But as Monica says what he said and what he meant may have been different.

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  10. I wonder, GB, if it's not you who are thinking with your heart here, syllogism or not...

    What you really need to know is how that 20-year-old girl interprets the quote, isn't it.

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  11. A hornets nest you have poked your stick into...............Well Done! Comics are always sad at heart, Bob Marley never wrote that though he may have had he lived long enough. There's cynicism.
    You could post a picture from paradise and the following day a dead rat...which would get the most response?

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  12. I saved this post when I read on my phone, so I could respond when I got to a real computer!

    I thought it was so interesting that you read this quote as negative. I actually read it as more of a positive: "don't waste time being disappointed by how people 'fail' (ie: hurt) you; instead, graciously allow for some human error in every interaction and spend your times focusing on those people who are positive."

    A lot of the "feel good" education I got as a kid set me up poorly for dealing with the "real world." Quotes like this reflect some useful realism for a young'n like me: although everyone has potential, not everyone behaves well. It encourages my generation to focus on good people, not on bad moments. (Something earlier generations didn't need prompting to learn, maybe?)

    PS: I think, yes. If I know anyone long enough I probably will hurt them somehow. Maybe I was just rude, or ignorant, or forgot something. "Hurt" doesn't have to be big. People make mistakes! Mistakes hurt sometimes!

    PPS: Interesting post!

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  13. Monica: You are correct of course and I have no idea what the young lady was thinking - but I can guess. She sounds like a person who's been hurt.

    Adrian: I think we know!

    Rae: A very considered and insightful comment - thanks. I can understand where you are coming from because I, too, was brought up to see the best in people. I still do look for that. I know people who would never intentionally hurt anyone. I know people who find it hard not to. But the majority of us, I would suggest, just muddle through being, well, being human.

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