“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” — Lao Tzu
Recently, I put on an event that made me very unpopular on my campus. The event defended the moral benefits of using hydrocarbons (fossil fuels), and was based on the book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and featured a lecture by Professor Pierre DesRochers from the University of Toronto. People were quite upset by our advertising -- when passing out flyers, students would give me dirty looks, make snide remarks, and even rip up the flyers I handed to them. There were an onslaught of nasty comments on the event on facebook, on the article I wrote about it, and on anything posted about it, really. I was called stupid and a “PR woman for big oil,” to which I say, I wish I was paid to do this, sir, but alas, I did it for free because I actually love the benefits oil brings my life. As a side note, the internet is full of charming human beings.
“Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.” -- Ricky Fitts, American Beauty
I don’t think I could function in the world without seeing the good in it.
There have been some tragedies on my campus recently that made me think about life, death, and whether it’s possible to see beauty in it all. Too often, those who have a cohesive life philosophy are disappointed by what they see around them. All they see is ugliness. It’s hard not to -- having integrity and values means realizing that most of the people around you don’t. The bad news is, that’s life. Most people don’t have a philosophical view on the world around them, unfortunately for them. The good news is, it’s possible to overcome the pessimism that comes with realizing that the world is not the place you wish it was. The world isn't going to change, you have to change your own world.