Neil deGrasse Tyson is a famous astrophysicist that has really come to fame in my mind because of his absolutely true contention that our society inhibits the ability of children to dream. The progression of science has been hindered in the modern day by a decrease in the number of children dreaming about a better world, dreaming about what can be or what we can do, dreaming about the possibilities offered by science, and dreaming about space. Children used to dream about space and possibilities. I completely agree with Mr. Tyson. Our children aren’t dreaming in the way that they used to and this has hindered our progression and what I believe is most certainly our manifest destiny, which is to colonize space. What does this have to do with Irrational Health?
We live in a culture that is focused on reality and what people need to do in order to live in the world. We’re not allowing children the opportunity, which they deserve, and we ultimately need; that opportunity being the opportunity to dream. It’s the innocence of a child that sometimes yields the greatest lessons because a child can only see things at a base level. It’s the dreams of children that can push us forward, that can change the world into something better than it is. Why are we suppressing that then? That’s the irrationality. It’s the irrationality of desiring a better world and yet, at the same time suppressing the ability to dream for something more, which is required for advancement. It is true that on some level everything I’ve written here has to be discarded because life is difficult and sometimes the only way to live is to fall in with everyone else, but this carries consequences. The extremity of this situation carries consequences. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer. There’s nothing wrong with a little boy looking up at the stars and wondering what lies beyond them. There’s nothing wrong with a little girl thinking about a happy life devoid of the lust that permeates modern relationships. Whether they’re realistic thoughts or not, they’re dreams and they mean a great deal to the children who have them and to our world at large. We should believe that nothing is impossible even if our better judgement tells us otherwise because when we suppress something enough, it has no opportunity to become a reality. I remember the first time I had a full glimpse at the night sky, unhindered by man-made lights and it’s something that I wouldn’t have wanted lessened at the time. I remember when I believed that anything was possible and likewise I would never have wanted that challenged. Not at the time. It’s okay to dream. Dreaming is essential. If you want a better world, then dream. One dream tonight can make all the difference tomorrow.
Getting back into our usual routine, I’d like to present the 7th major theme of Irrational Health, misplaced value. The concept of independence and the self was one of the first concepts I brought up when I started this book. It is key to understanding the problem of bringing to light, the problem that is the sickness of Irrational Health in our modern culture, particularly in the west. I’ve brought that differentiation between western and eastern cultures up before. I’d like to clarify that Irrational Health is not an argument for why we should be more the east. It’s simply a distinction. The focus that we have on the self has lead to massive obfuscation of what’s of value. Further, it’s my belief that this misplaced value throughout one’s early years, leads to a great deal of difficulty in the future and like many other things I’ve discussed it is quite possibly one of the main causes of mid-life crisis.
If we were to take a survey of random sampling of people, we could very well predict before hand what the answers of most people would be when asked the question, “What is of the highest value to you?” What would those answers be? Well, people would say their family, their friends, their health, and their happiness. This is just to name of few of the usual suspects. You could very well argue differently. Here’s the catch. I don’t see anything wrong with these answers. So what’s the problem? Well, people say that these things are of value to them and yet, they don’t act in a way that actually values these things. Success is one thing that people value more than these other things as based by their actions. This is where the irrationality lies. Jobs are one of the things that people will in action value more than their family, their friends, and the many things that are of value to them, including their values. So the question if you value so many other things over a prospective job, then why would you sacrifice all of those things for that very job? We live in a society that is composed of individuals who are at the ready to hold their independent pursuits over the things that they say the value. Now you can make the argument that technology has eliminated in large part a lot of the constraints of distance, but as always a screen is never as good as the real thing. You might further say that when you’re young, it’s okay to pursue your life’s dreams even given a great deal of sacrifices, but like so many other irrationalities discussed here, there is always a limit, a line at which something has crossed over from truth into fiction.
Modern life often makes people feel like they’re a cog in a system, but I think that this feeling is also connected with what your actions say about what you value. If you embrace enough irrationalities, then it is easy to become someone who is fulfilling a function and living a life that lacks the kind of value that can give your life meaning… and further true happiness. Irrational Health does promote happiness whether that has come out or not. It just doesn’t support fabricated happiness. It doesn’t support the kind of happiness that comes easy or the course of action that bares the least resistance. If you truly value something or someone, then you should demonstrate that through your actions and if you don’t then you’re embracing the irrational. The value of money, commodities, and stocks are all numbers that change, but something a person truly values, never depreciates in value. Things that are fleeting shouldn’t be valued. Things that last should be. Misplaced value leads to fabricated happiness. Value placed and kept in the right places yields true happiness. From an investment standpoint, I would rather invest in the a sure thing then something of chance.