Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Intent, Chaos, and Cripdom

Considering I spend a good deal of time in the virtual world, it isn't surprising that I find my conceptions, my ideas, my reality regularly challenged whether it is about politics, social issues, or something so simple as separating time-sucking divas from people who are engaging and interesting.

Let's face it. There are smart people out there, and a dolt like me can occasionally learn something new.

A few days ago a Facebook acquaintance posted a link to this John Hockenberry TED talk. 

It is, like most TED talks, interesting, if a person can spare the time, about 20-minutes as I recall. 

In his talk, Hockenberry links "intent" with "design," and he is much focused on design because his father was a noted industrial designer. Thereafter Hockenberry speaks of "the value of a life of intent." I understand his point, and in fact, I live with a person who has a "life list" and is working hard to fulfill her dreams. 

Me? I'm a fatalist, one prone to think some dreams are unrealistic. But I'm wise enough to believe that Hockenberry and my wife are better people, are going to wring more out of their years on this marvelous planet, because they do live with intent.

On the other hand, and unlike my wife, I appreciate irony, and it is ironic that the one thing Hockenberry didn't approach in his interesting talk was the influence of chaos on intent. 

After all, Hockenberry was paralyzed as a teenager, like me, and whatever intention for his future he might have possessed then certainly didn't encompasses living out his life as a paraplegic.

By that measure, "intent" is malleable, shaped and hammered by constantly changing circumstances. Perhaps the best we can do is to life with the intention of squeezing every last drop of joy, of satisfaction from our lives.

I'll grant Hockenberry this: intent is logical. And he's on board with George Bernard Shaw, who said "Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself."

But I would have liked Hockenberry's thesis better if spoken about the intent and chaos being existential, that intent is mere yang to the the yin of chaos.

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