Journal Entry: Thu Mar 6, 2014, 4:43 PM
When I was in high school I figured I understood everything cause I regarded myself as such an open minded individual. I figured as long as I never made any conclusive retort I could never be wrong. Naturally I felt compelled to tell everyone about my incredible insight. I decided that nothing was impossible, which is a wonderfully contrary statement if ever you break it down. And best of all I had discovered my independence. Which naturally included a lot standing around trying to look cool and bored and very artsy. Well, I got my butt kicked by life not too long after finishing up high school.
I realized my so-called open mindedness was nothing but an excuse to never directly face a problem. After all, as long as I was right there was no need to be involved. If I failed a test it was simply because I was disinterested in the subject. If I hurt someone's feelings it wasn't my fault that they had delicate emotions. I wasn't intentionally being cruel. I simply had never faced the fact that I might be such. Suddenly my open mindedness seemed very selfish.
My belief of "Nothing is impossible" came crashing down with the simplest of geometric proofs; you can't evenly trisect an angle using only a straight-edge and a compass. Clever me, I figured I could do what Euclid and every subsequent mathematician could not. If you have not tried this for yourself I and have a few hours to kill actually try it. I'll admit while it frustrated me I learned a great deal about math. Further impossibilities are quantifying the infinite, solving the exact ratio of pi, and dividing by zero. So that notion was shattered with science.
As for my independence? That was cured with becoming a dad and realizing the ego shattering truth that no man is an island. Not that this is the only way to realize this fact, mind you. Everyone has a different path they're going to take in life, and while it is true every path leads to the same end we all depend on each other to go that path. Paths intersect, overlap, some are broad and cozy, while most are difficult and painful. I think most people inherently realize this.
Am I the wiser man because of this change? I don't think anyone can answer that of themselves. I did grow wiser from where I was, that's for certain. I'm happy to know that some naive ideals I held turned out to have some truth to them after all. My self indulgent open mindedness allowed me to listen to other people and come to really understand them. My determination to disprove 3000 years of mathematics wrong actually jolted a real interest in the subject. And my realization that people do rely on each other has given me real comfort and peace.
Thank you, naivety, after all.