I originally bought the first book, Divergent, for Jordan to read because she liked The Hunger Games series and this series was supposedly akin to that--dystopian, featuring a young, tough, competent female protagonist who is the leader in a revolution and who saves the world from its utopia gone awry, and who, in addition to this world saving, is smoking hot (though naturally she is such a tomboy/tough girl that she doesn't "realize" she is hot) and all the guys in the book want her. Of course, she ends up with the hot co-protagonist dude who is also super hot and a revolutionary.
Anyway, in Divergent the dystopian future features a society divided into factions. When one comes of age, she goes through a computerized simulation test to determine to which faction she belongs. There are five factions: the Erudite, the Dauntless, Candor, Abnegation and Amity.
From their titles you can hypothesize what each faction is like. When a person doesn't fit into any one faction she is labeled Divergent, and is considered dangerous but the other factions. She also has what one might consider superpowers. Obviously the reader recognizes that it is best to be Divergent--to be a person who is multi-faceted and complex. And we all our divergent, of course... but I must admit I've spent some time thinking about to which faction I might predominantly belong if I were in this future society. And I've been thinking about where you belong, too, depending on who you are.
My conclusion for me?
Erudite with a side of candor.
In order of preference and personality I think I would be:
5. ... and not at all --totally do not belong --Abnegation.
Why do I even bring this up?
Because I AM PLAGUED BY THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I AM NOT IN THE LEAST BIT SELFLESS (abnegation) or fearless (dauntless). And see, even saying that is a big Catch-22 because in worrying/reflecting upon/lamenting/angrily admitting that I am not selfless, I am showcasing how I am self-absorbed.
Not that I need to prove this fact to you. I know you already know it. But...
Most things I do have to do with .... me!
I blog. (about me).
I work out and race a ton. (all about me.)
I write in my journal. (about me.)
I have a job that is more about what I am interested in than what is practical, and which allows me to train and race. (so right, about me.)
I adore my dogs. (because they give me love without asking a ton from me.)
Sure, I'd jump in front of a bus to save any one of my children, but would I jump in front of a bus to save you?
Probably not. Which isn't to say I don't like you...I'm just not selfless. I LIKE being alive and I would rather not be hit by a bus because you stepped in front of one.
I am not selfless and I am not fearless.
And I'm pretty sure that being selfless and fearless is where it's at--that fully "realized" people have achieved--or actively work on achieving-- selflessness and fearlessness.
Okay, so how does any of this relate to triathlon?
Well, if you are a triathlete, I'm sure you have been referred to as self-centered--or worse, as selfish--and worst of all, as a narcissist. Certainly, unless you have maybe done every triathlon you have ever done more to raise money for charity than for your own personal satisfaction and glory, it has been implied--or even outright stated-- that you are not selfless--at all.
Am I right or am I right?
And you feel bad about that--(or angry--or both).
Am I right or am I right?
And the question is, what do we, or more importantly, I, (see --self-centered), do with this information?
Selflessness is referred to with such reverence. And even narcissistic old me can see that the world would be a peaceful, controlled, civilized one if we could all become selfless. But is that the goal? Should it be? Likewise, being self-centered is referred to with such disdain. Yet we embrace the tenet of our country--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The U.S.'s foundation is all about SELF--self-improvement, self-promotion, freedom of self, freedom to pursue happiness for the self.
It gets confusing. I feel like I have been socialized to be one thing (self-centered) and yet society condemns me for being self-centered--which is not to place blame on society, as opposed to placing blame on me. Or maybe that is exactly my intent. As I said, it gets confusing.
A lot of my blog seems to be about identity--about searching for it, coming to peace with it, defining it, transcending it, embracing its apparent beauty and/or flaws.
What I don't know here is whether I should be seeking to change. Should the goal be to become more selfless? If I cared more about others would I spend that time helping others instead of pursuing my own passion? And is that right? Is that good? Does it matter?
In the end I very much believe in the idea that I have only one spin around in life.
Which is a selfish way to view life.
Which is probably why even pondering all this is moot. (right, not mute, mom. Although I have a feelings most of my readers will be mute in terms of commenting on this post!!)
If you could make sense of this post, you are a better person than I!
I wore my bright yellow/lime sparkly suit to the pool Saturday. Just thought I'd let you know. I got quite a few comments... not all completely endorsing of it. Imagine that!