To paraphrase early Wilco, we get to be people who find the time to write our minds the way we want them to read, people who want to be true. Should we accept the mission of becoming philosophers, we will be individuals who want to know what is true more than we want to feel successful or right or powerful. We will desire honesty more than we desire winning. Or as Gift of Gab, one half of the hip-hop duo Blackalicious, instructs us, “domination don’t dignify diction.” But veneration does. Let us venerate one another enough to pursue the possibility of out-loud truthfulness together.
I recall for my students Lupe Fiasco’s comments that if he lies in a song and sells a million records, he has told a million lies. Eyes widen. Are we interested in being that conscious of what we are up to? Is finding out what is true and sharing it that much of a commitment? If it is, we will be collectors of lyrics and sounds, stories and jokes, arguments and analogies that enliven our minds instead of deadening them, that illuminate the facts instead of obscuring them. We will be among those who, throughout history, have hungered and thirsted after the righteousness of plain speak. It is a lifelong learning and yearning best undertaken in the company of others.
From David Dark’s “In the Age of Trump, Can Mr. Rogers Help Us Manage Our Anger?”, which feels like the sort of thing I needed to read after the ramblings I just posted.