Saturday, December 29, 2007

Autonomy


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I used to believe there were three main temptations in life. They all come from a good need, and they can all destroy your life if you succumb to them. A fourth desire was recently pointed out to me at a Christmas eve soiree...
The first big temptation is sex. Very necessary for the continuation of species. People are willing to lie, steal, cheat, excel, overcome shyness, all in the pursuit of physical attention. Properly applied it can lead to family. If you don't recognize it for what it is, it can destroy family. Alos at some point you realize you'll never have enough, and your focus turns more to--
Money. You gotta earn some to support the results of the first temptation. (Or for some to satisfy the first temptation) Also earning money is a good way to participate in society. Too much focus though will detract from family instead of supporting it. With money, too, some ealize no amount is ever enough. You tire if travel, the food tastes the same, your assets become liabilities, but it can help you attain--
Power. The old man's temptation. It stems from the need for leadership, but can get bastardized into the desire to control everyone and everything around you. Once again, no amount is enough.
Here's the new one---autonomy. In the pursuit of the other three, you give up your ability to do what you want when you want. Difficulties in marriage are in part a struggle to maintain some autonomy. You spend the early part of a relationship building trust and giving up parts of yourself to form a bond, then have to submit to the loss of autonomy. I really have my dream job, love going to it, get paid pretty well---but I have lots of bosses. I get to actually deliver the service of the department but there's an entire chain of beaurocracy telling me how to do it. My autonomy is reduced to the small amount of time I'm actually doing my job, then I have to document, review, and publicly scrutinize every little decision made. Power? Any power you have as parent, board member, elected official, tyrant, or boss cost you your ability to move freely. You have to be consistent, present, vigilant.
Autonomy applied---Art. Creativity. Annamarie gets up at 03:30 every day just to have the house to herself. I worked overtime at Hazmat and we played volleyball (We are required to do an hour of cardiovascular training so no complaining! Don't take away my autonomy!) we took a picture for the sake of the probationary fireman in the front.... Blogging is a good outlet as well

6 comments:

Lee said...

I would actually put money and sex as a subset of power.

Be that as it may its a bit grey of you to put it in the context you do.

For example sex in and of itself is a physical act designed for procreation. Emotions attached to this act is what is called into question, leveraged with commitments and decisions made for good or ill. So to split hairs a bit, the selfish persuit of sex at the expense of others is the real nexus of the temtation.

It boils down to the reason behind the decision. For two identicial acts can be either "evil" or "good" depending upon the reason behind the action.

You can get so bogged down in minutia you can see why a moral compass can be such a valuable tool.

flyingvan said...

I dunno....It's pretty easy to see why sex is there, and how it can be used to start a family and maintain the bond between husband and wife after procreation isn't the goal, vs. a shallow disease ridden promiscuous lifestyle.

Tina said...

For the record, the temptations you're listing are more male-based than female.

All females really want are shoes.

And are you barefoot a lot at your job? You don't even need shoes!!

princess slea said...

wellll...it seems to me there are seven temptations. already thought of by someone else. plus, i think there is a movie about them....

flyingvan said...

I can understand the seven deadlies...Pride was the only one I didn't understand until I met Annamarie's mom. She was kind enough to show me through example and has made it her life's work. Shoes?? That explains a lot. If only I had known the importance of shoes in a woman's life earlier.

Lee said...

Actually there are Five Temptations.

Otis Williams,
Elbridge "Al" Bryant
Melvin Franklin
Eddie Kendricks
and Paul Williams