The rebel

A clenched power fist, Tom? On the holidays?? Are we at a Rage Against the Machine show,  ready to start an Occupy San Diego protest? Didn’t your mom ever tell you ‘no politics at the dinner table?’ Ok, guilty as charged — but if you’ll indulge me off the bat, I promise that somewhere here lies the makings of what more learned men might call ‘a point’.

Shoot, I’m losing my audience already…(why did I have that red bull and vodka and shot of espresso before I started typing??). Ok, I need a quote….ahh, a rabbit out of a hat; this one ought to do just fine:

But he who dedicates himself to the duration of his life, to the house he builds, to the dignity of mankind, dedicates himself to the earth and reaps from it the harvest that sows its seed and sustains the world again and again.

(Boom — now I’ve got my game face on). The beautiful and quite apt words above are from Albert Camus’ appropriately titled essay, ‘The Rebel’. In that work, and in much of his life’s thinking, Camus dedicated himself to the overarching proposition that, despite man’s sometimes befuddling existence, and the often cumbersome predicaments put in his place, there is only one option at the end of the day: to rebel. You might rightly ask: Rebel against what, and for what purpose? Camus had his own litany of responses, both political and metaphysical in nature, but the takeaway of it is that in spite of much of the pain, frustration, and loss that living provides for us, this life simultaneously provides us the ability to rebel against those bumps in the road in order that all that is beautiful, sublime, and ineffable around us might again be revealed. It is a constant process, politically, socially, and personally, but by rebelling against those conditions that bring us tribulation, we can nonetheless reassert our humanity — and as an extension — know love. Continue reading