Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Greatest Good for Somebody

The other night I was having a discussion with someone who I used to spend every free moment talking to. In the last two years our attempts at friendship have been shaky and our correspondence has consistently varied, going from daily to monthly depending on the season. Last night we were discussing some research I am in the process of doing and I said how I enjoyed learning about anything new as long as it was presented in an interesting way [The research I am currently pursuing is on the 1913 Armory Show]. The person I was talking to challenged me asking me if I would be interested (believing I wouldn't be) in researching JS Mill, the inventor of utilitarianism [although some would claim he didn't invent it:]. While my knowledge of this system of ethics is incredibly small, I find it an incredibly intriguing theory and this is something that is very up my alley. After all, the search for fulfillment and happiness for humanity in general is something I struggle with often. Utilitarianism is a "doctrine that the useful is the good; especially as elaborated by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill; the aim was said to be the greatest happiness for the greatest number"
You can, of course, easily go ten thousand times more in-depth by google research alone, but for people not caring, that's the basis of it.
The point of this babbling is not to teach you about Utilitarianism, although you should probably know a little something about it, but that it is shocking when someone who used to know you so well, seems to hardly know you at all. This, inevitably causes you to wonder if anyone knows you at all. Since things are constantly happening and we have enough trouble keeping up with ourselves, it is impossible to completely know someone else, but often that is the intrigue: learning about someone and being challenged and encouraged by their experiences and accumulation of beliefs. It was disappointing to know that someone who used to be towards the top of my "knows me best" list does not know me best at all, but perhaps the reality shock wasn't a bad thing. During our last couple of phone calls I have also realized he isn't as intellectually stimulating as I once thought he was, but that is what happens as priorities change and we all grow. I think there is a chance for our friendship, but we will never be on that same level again. Of course, I have great family members and friends who invest their time in me and I invest my time in them so one can expect that everyone's knowledge of me combined would be almost everything, but--

MD calls the time before he met his wife is "BC"... before [her name... which begins with a C]. Everything BC is different. I love this idea and I hope when I find someone whom I can share great love with, I will be able to clearly see the B[his name]. And I hope I never have to separate my time into a 3rd section. Losing someone who seems to know you so well is, for lack of a better word... scary.

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