Jessica Bibbee

Posts Tagged ‘common’


In aphorism, tale on 20140226 at 11:06

《What Is, What Wills》

Once upon the deep, dwelled two pairs of seafaring lovers.

Both lived rather normal lives aboard their ships on the sea, full of ups and downs, as anyone would expect to see upon the sea.

On calm seas, both pairs made love with the illimitable passion of lovers held at bay.

But the sky does what a sky wills, and so oft brewed blackened clouds with the inevitable unknown beyond. It was in these times that the difference between the lovemakers was never more lucid.

For when the storms blew in, as only a fool could deny the inevitability of, the seasoned couple ceased their lovemaking, wisely understanding their lovemaking to be powerless against warding off the mighty storm. To them, worry was a more worthy and more rewarding charm.

The other couple continued to make love like only reckless lovers knew, much to the chagrin of the other lovers. And it was true that the lovers’ lovemaking did nary a thing to make the storm go away, to shorten the waves, or to lessen the impact.

Also true was it, that the cessation of the other lovers’ lovemaking neither did anything to encourage the passing of the storm.

For a truth is a truth as is a sail a sail. Wisdom lies in wielding a truth, not simply holding a truth.

For in the end, to the common eye, it was plain to see that lovemaking -and its lack thereof- had absolutely nary a thing to do with the coming of the storm, the size of the storm, nor the passing of the storm.

With the passing of a storm, what remained for the eye to see was but two sets of lovers at sea and two kinds of love as they so fit to see.

One, a weakened bond of fair weather lovers, who made love only when the sea was calm, losing only the opportunity to love each other through and so weather a storm together.

The other, a strengthened bond between the lovers, who made love without regard to a storm (or was it very much with regard to the storm?), losing only themselves in each other whether or not came the weather.

For a storm is what only a storm wills, and love is only what love wills.



In aphorism, proverb on 20101004 at 17:21

You don’t need to share a common language to lend a helping hand.


In aphorism, proverb, rumination on 20100904 at 12:20

Education is priceless, but pay even more dearly for ignorance.

The human race has more in common with itself than it would like to believe: when it hates another, it rejects more so itself; when it loves another, it accepts moreover itself.


In question, rumination on 20100111 at 17:47

Over the years, I have pondered much the notion of respect –what it does mean and what it does not mean. While it may be foolish to try to define it rigidly or simplistically, I find value in pursuing a truer understanding of it. To disregard the exploration of the abstraction or ambiguity surrounding respect, is to simply default to a superficial definition of respect.

a question

How do the terms ‘survivalism’ and ‘selfishness’ pertain to ‘respect’?

Survivalism may encompass an act or a choice made, cognitively or otherwise, that without being made would lead to the destruction of the self, and by exaggerated extension, the human race. Literally, to survive is to simply to continue [the] existence [of an entity, being.]

Selfishness may describe those actions or choices made, on matters that do not endanger the continuation of one’s existence, and in fact, may create frivolous benefits at the expense of another’s survival. Literally, to be selfish is simply to lack consideration of others.


I believe these two concepts intersect at [or diverge from] a common point, namely respect. I summarize ‘respect’ as “the cognizant compromise of the superfluous desires of the self for the preservation of the basic needs of another.”

When I directly devalue the needs of another at the mere gratification of myself, do I disrespect another. When I value another’s intrinsic rights by relinquishing my desires unessential, do I respect another. Without an intrinsic understanding of this, one is even incapable of respecting the self, and by extension, another.

Disrespect is born via the cognitive acknowledgment, or ignorance of, the sometimes subtle and highly relative distinction of ‘need’ vs. ‘want’.

defining by opposite

Defining what is a ‘need’  or what is ‘essential’ is no abecedarian task. Similarly, defining what is ‘superfluous’ or what is merely a ‘desire’ is better left to the omniscient.

But reality defies the ideality of accurately distinguishing between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, and so demands otherwise; the one left to practice respect is, ultimately, the common person –you and I.

Perhaps a need is but something we have, if even without wanting it; a desire is but something we want, if only without having it. In quantitative terms, a ‘need’ might have a negative value; a ‘want’ might have a positive value, with survival hovering only at a neutral value between, zero.

Looking at the meanings opposite of ‘survival’ and ‘selfless’, only then, may it be possible to gain a better understanding of where or how these concepts truly intersect to better realize respect, as not only a relative abstraction, but as a tangible reality.

That which speaks not of survival speaks not of life. It speaks of peril and all that perishes.

That which speaks not of the selfish speaks of all that is selfless. It speaks not only of generosity and all that is altruistic, but also of applied philanthropic action.

what it is

Respect is a choice; it is not a simple definition carved out of infallible stone. It is a choice made by the fallible, by the common person, which speaks of a regard for life, of a concern for others.

Respect speaks of sought-out understanding –both of the self, as well as a willed understanding of others.

And living mindfully in the balance between.

Note: Access to WordPress is still blocked within China. Without access to a much appreciated VPN (proxy), I would be unable to publish to my blog from within mainland China. Thus, I am blessed and grateful to be sharing. With every post, I hereby protest the oppressive nature of the Chinese government blocking access to any part of the web.


In aphorism, proverb, rumination, tale on 20091111 at 01:28

In a land far away, in a time long ago, there was a man who had enough and had he not just enough, but to excess had he. His hours were long, his toils sincere, and his earnings quite dear. He ate well, he lived well, and he slept well. For this was a man with enough to spare and did he, with others share. For this, he was well regarded by his brethren, kin and neighbor, too. Even his foes kept a fond distance, for they were few and their character untrue, with only the cowardice of envy to spare. And so, the man slept well and he lived well.

It was common in those times, as in times now, for like to live by like. And so it happened that in a dwelling nearby lived a second man, well to do as he was. This man, too, had more than enough, enough even to excess. He ate well and he lived well, but he did not sleep well. Though his hours were likewise long, his toils were not sincere. The wind hums in question, how were his earnings dear? With cunning and not without conniving, this second man pondered and plotted his hours away. He left his toils to others near, that they may have reason not to stray. And stray they did not, their fear keeping them near. His foes were neither few and ever nearer they drew. Respect for this man fell away; in its place, stood only their contempt. And so, the second man, though he lived seemingly well, did not sleep so well.

It was true in those times, as in times now, that where a mountain stands tall, a valley lays nearby. And so it were that a third man lived not so far from the first and second men. But though he ate well enough, he did not live well and he did not sleep well. His toils were many and his hours even more. And whilst he would utter not such words, it was for the second man that he toiled so. Neither foe had he, nor friends with which to be. His hours filled with anger true and one part angst, and toil alone did he. And so, the third man did not sleep well, because he did not live well.

It was inevitable in those days, as in days of now, that where the sun shines upon a tree, never the land below is a golden ray to see. And so there was a fourth man, who served below all the others. Of excess and its meaning he understood not, knowing it to be a thing only that he lacked. His toil was not much, his time of rest neither more. For his hours were long and he never knew when, if, it would end. Foes he had not; for nothing did they fear nor more was there to envy dear. Friends were likewise few, too afraid of filth to stand even near. He ate not well, and by no man’s standard did he live well. But he did sleep well. With little to weigh him down and not a regret to hold him back, only the night was his friend, ever to return and always to keep him until the morn. And so, the fourth man did not live well, but he slept so very well.

With a heavy heart do we toil away what otherwise would we idle, or with light heart shall we rest when the day has met its end and bids farewell the eve.

This story of four men is but a tale of two: two ways to eat, two ways to sleep, and keeping true –there are but two ways to live.