Not a game-related post: this one’s more of a credo. A friend pointed me toward this link, from which I’ve gathered a few quotes that reflect what I believe.
- Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it (La Rochefoucauld). It’s easy to take the word of others for what’s important, but ultimately you’re the one who has to live with those choices. The same people who want me to put child-rearing and religion first, just for example, aren’t happy with that choice themselves. I believe in being critical, ethical and thoughtful about the goals I choose to set for myself - and that happiness is a worthwhile thing to strive for.
- Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread: remade all the time, made new (Og Mandino). Choosing to work at love is a hard thing to do, but necessary - as necessary as bread and salt, fruit and wine. Among the many works that I am here to do is the work of loving the people around me, and not only with a romantic love. Building communities of trust, friendship, and partnership is not easy, but it enriches my creative and emotional life immensely and brings me great joy. I believe in taking the work of love seriously, and that whether the recipient is family, friend or lover, the difference that this can make is profound.
- There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge (Bertrand Russell). I despise instrumentality - the notion that things are only good for what one can gain from them. I believe in the pleasure of learning for its own sake, the pleasure of aesthetic experiences, the pleasure of the journey, the pleasure of not, necessarily, always getting ahead.
- Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you (Harold Bloom). Those who know me know that I’m a passionate and committed reader - but more than that, I believe in the virtues of solitude, of slow thought, of time spent carving out ones own intellectual path. I love my friends, my collaborators and my community - but I believe that reading well, thinking well, and living well require a healthy does of solitude and independence, too.
- Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way… you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions (Aristotle). I don’t consider myself to be a virtuous person, but I do my best to perform kind, generous, just, temperate and brave actions. I’m not always as good at it as I’d like, but I believe that if I keep trying, I will someday become the person I imagine. I believe that virtue exists only in actions, and that being well-intentioned is never enough, and I believe that I must keep challenging myself to become better and better, in action, every day.
As beliefs go, I suppose these aren’t bad ones. Considering the sources of the quotes, at least I seem to be in good company.