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Links 1 through 4 of 4 by Just Mohit tagged solitude

That’s really the great mystery about bureaucracies. Why is it so often that the best people are stuck in the middle and the people who are running things—the leaders—are the mediocrities? Because excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole. What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering...
what makes him a thinker—and a leader—is...that he is able to think things through for himself. And because he can, he has the confidence, the courage, to argue for his ideas even when they aren’t popular...
It seems to me that Facebook and Twitter and YouTube—and ...TV and radio and magazines and even newspapers, too—are all ultimately just an elaborate excuse to run away from yourself. To avoid the difficult and troubling questions that being human throws in your way. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Do I believe the things I was taught as a child? What do the words I live by—words like duty, honor, and country—really mean? Am I happy?

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why do these discussions often get so heated and personal? It is not because there's anything at stake -- most of us can't affect policy or shape public opinion, and much of what we argue about doesn't even affect us directly. Instead, we take it so personally because our worldviews are part of our identity. They are how we make sense of the world and ourselves. So if someone attacks a part of our worldview, we react as if we ourselves have been attacked. In public. So we respond accordingly, unwilling, for the most part, to accept that we might be wrong, or that the truth might be too complex for any of us to fathom -- or that this shit doesn't really matter.

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Solitude isn't easy, and isn't for everyone. It has undoubtedly never been the province of more than a few. "I believe," Thoreau said, "that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark." Teresa and Tiresias will always be the exceptions, or to speak in more relevant terms, the young people — and they still exist — who prefer to loaf and invite their soul, who step to the beat of a different drummer. But if solitude disappears as a social value and social idea, will even the exceptions remain possible? Still, one is powerless to reverse the drift of the culture. One can only save oneself — and whatever else happens, one can still always do that. But it takes a willingness to be unpopular.

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It's only been in the quiet of my isolated state that I could even hear these questions echo around the inside my head. The summer, fraught with pleasant distractions, kept me from worrying too much about them.
In a past life, I would have been kind of mad about being distracted from tackling those big life questions. Being somewhat mellower now, I recognize that these "distractions" are actually the aspect of living that I value most. I've been so serious, speculatively concerned, and too darn anxious about not getting things right. It's easy to develop this kind of tunnel vision, I think, when one allows external expectations (social, cultural, or otherwise) to out-weigh the importance of letting life happen around you.

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