Who inspires you the most? How can you be like them?
People with an independent, unique (even quirky) mind and strong moral compass. There are many that come to mind: Noam Chomsky, Paul Bach-y-Rita, Douglas Adams, JK Rowling, Erich Fromm, Murray Gell-Mann, … What they have in common is that they stood or stand apart from the crowd, and were passionately driven about something unique. And have high integrity.
Who are the most important people in the world to you? Are you giving them the attention you want to give?
That’s easy. My family (mum, dad, brothers and sister, my wife, my son, my in-laws) are THE most important people in the world. And no, I don’t give them the attention I want to give them. I’m pretty self-focused, always feeling like I have stuff to do, or trying to attain a goal that I cannot even describe. Restless. And it keeps me from living in the moment. If I did, I would probably fill those moments with more quality time with my family. There are numerous debates, discussion and experiences I want to have with them. I just let false things take over.
I am acutely aware that I don’t automatically mention friends. I don’t have a big social life. Although I have a few great friends. But I think friendships are in a sense always in flux, in volition. And therefore I don’t like to tie myself into them too deeply. Family, is different.
To what extent does my personal happiness entail a relationship with the community of others?
I genuinely don’t know how to answer this question. I tend to feel really lonely in large groups. I also feel pangs of sadness when I hear/see/read about others engaging socially. Like, my cousin getting married, and 7 of her best female friends doing a skit for her at the wedding. Or people going out on Friday evenings, when I’m staying in, or people holidaying together… I don’t do those things. Not easily. I fear cliques, because they impose their own sort of code or dogma, and that makes me feel VERY uncomfortable. But I crave those things also, in some way. There are few things that make me happier, than to have intense discussions and talks with people, like mental sparring, or exploration. Or than dancing till the sun rises, with good company. But it requires energy investment, and opens the door to disappointment, or confrontation. Whenever I have been heavily involved in social circles (latem, uni, keele, ISMS) it always inevitably confronts me with the fact that I AM very different. It’s easier being alone, than lonely in a group I think. Because it is self-sought rather than imposed upon me. This sounds ridiculously sad. But I don’t experience it that way. I have very good one-on-one friendships with people that are low frequency but intense, and that is enough to make me happy, provided I have my family, my wife and son. Without those, my social network would be too small and I would have embrace social involvement more.