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Pride In Dysfunction -- The Philosophy of (Embracing) Flaws

Updated: Jul 13

A robot.


Pride can sometimes be found in dysfunction, but it is something that many fear, like those who are too cowardly, or those who try to deceive others. When caught scamming, some may deny their wrongdoing instead of being mature enough to apologize. After all, scammers find no pride or achievement in apologizing, or in other words, in openly confessing their flaws. And of course, the same goes in professional settings. Trying to find a good excuse to back up your own underhanded, faulty deeds could save your work from being tainted by your own hand -- and protect your ego.

However, there are indeed cases where dysfunction and pride are not contradictory. Being taller than the average Israeli, I lived most of my lifespan thus far in great pain in the neck, because people were almost always shorter, so bending over my neck became natural. The constant ache began one day at Elementary and resumed. Even in adulthood, it never stopped in my waking life. I drink coffee even when I'm not tired as it helps with the pain.

This pain, which has lasted for the majority of my lifetime, has taught me an important lesson in life: Acceptance. Perhaps if my neck weren't dysfunctional, life would have been harder to endure. If you get the reference to my philosophical symbol, my neck has become a pillar that has taught me endurance.

Implications of Pain

Over time, I became less and less sensitive to things, to the point of apathy, especially things that disturb or trigger many people. Perhaps this is why I write about dark stuff so casually, even when it involves myself.

A person I once was in contact with eventually left me due to her extreme sensitivity to things I don't regard as emotionally significant. The person I consider my "nemesis" abandoned me twice due to my own emotions. Of course, when I had the opportunity to ask her why she was so frightened by a mere emotion, an opportunity I seized, she didn't answer me.

You know, pain isn't that bad once you get used to it. Trying to avoid all pain is likely to fail in the end, because life cannot be lived without experiencing some pain.

Of course, the enjoyment of pain is illogical and dangerous, as it could lead one to make regrettable things, but if you are already in pain, and might fail at stopping it, why not try to find something good in it? You know, to actually better endure it?

A certain medical professional once gave me some advice I find the most practical to this day, regarding my neck pain -- try to bend it backwards, so its positioning would eventually become default. However, despite all the years that passed, I failed at this restoration.

This logically means, that I might experience this pain for the rest of my life. Being used to it, I don't really mind this "hell" anymore.

From Agony to Pride

That's why, I take pride in this dysfunction. Pride, not because it's unusual, but because it taught me things, I might otherwise be unaware of. Pain is a great teacher.

I see people across the internet, trying to mask their vulnerabilities; Old people, pretending to be millennials; Scammers, pretending to be offering genuine help to potential victims; Narcissists, pretending to be perfect; Women, putting extravagant make-up to hide their true faces, and finally, people in general, pretending to be rich.

I no longer view these people with awe, specifically the braggers and the more beautiful. With this pain, it really means very little to me, anymore.

External Example 1

I look up to a certain fictional character whom I mentioned before -- General Skarr, who ran with scissors as a kid and scarred his left eye permanently and ruining its ability to see with it. He never wore an eyepatch, and although he is a cartoon character aimed at children in the early 2000's, the fact that we can see a visible eye that is purely white, is quite impressive.

After all, that eye is dysfunctional, and it's probably very painful for him to have it exposed as if it's a regular eye. People wear eyepatches for a medical reason, to keep the eye healthy as one can.

Lately, I've learned the reason as to why he never covered his scarred eye: "Eye patches are for pirates, and little girls!" It was a quote of his I heard yesterday. Such pride in something that is a liability, is something I find inspirational, and perhaps you, too.

How many of us humans are prepared to expose our flaws? How many of us, are prepared to not only admit that they are imperfect, as we all are, but also take that imperfection, and not sigh with submission?

Mind you, Skarr said that quote of his to someone who also couldn't see with their left eye and used an eyepatch. A weird flex, to be sure, but a thought-provoking one.

External Example 2

In a story called "The Hive Situation: A Memoir", The writer, Johnny, describes a story from his life as a kid where he lived in an abusive family and was forced by his mother to assume the role of a handyman of the household. A natural hermit by nature, Johnny writes (In chapter 2):

"Our living existence often continues to the detriment of others. We must ultimately destroy them, or recruit them to our cause in order to live and often indeed profit finally, though the very thought is abhorrent to me. This is the lot of all human beings".

We can learn from this that sometimes, in order to live, we must be a pain to other's side, otherwise we would either be destroyed ourselves, unless we are to cooperate with them, indefinately or otherwise. Such is the nature of power. The very notion of conflict is natural among human beings and as such it may be necessary to collide with another's interests, simply because we exist.

The fight for survival is not something that's irrelevant to our times, because even in this day and age of comfort and pleasure, we do not live in a vacuum and as such others can easily disturb our peace and vice versa. Therefore, the fact that we still manage to survive and not give up, despite our conflicts with other beings, is something that should not be taken lightly. Because other beings, including people, will not necessarily care if we give up on the struggles of life.

Why, then, not take pride in the natural dysfunction that we sometimes are? Why not take pride in still preservering the hardships our dysfunctional aspect sets in our path?

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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