Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. I’m kind of aware that I haven’t been spending as much time on WordPress the last week or so, although I have managed to keep up with comments so hopefully, nobody noticed (except for me). But this was the first prompt I ever wrote a response to on here, so I did want to make a point of answering this one.
Time to address this week’s FPQ, which is:
Is the concept of “you” continuous or does the past “you” continually fade into the present and future “you”? Considering that your body, your mind, and your memories are changing over time, what part of “you” sticks around?
Okay, this is an interesting one, because I have thought this question, but never before tried to articulate an answer. So let’s have a try. The short answer is that it depends. Doesn’t everything?
If you take my (political) beliefs. for example. I had quite definite views from an early age – maybe fourteen or so. That bit has not changed – I still have quite definite views – although I did have a volt face during my university years, just as I got to see more life outside the parental home, I guess. As an aside, this means that I can generally accept when somebody apologises for something dumb they did when they were young, and they have matured into a better person. Because it happened to me.
But from the age of maybe 21 to now, my views have been the same. Okay, they have tweaked over the years, but no major changes. I would use the word refined, or maybe even evolved.
There is a similar pattern with religious views, come to think of it, although that happened sooner and was less in-your-face. I started off religious. My mum and auntie were both Sunday School teachers, and I went on to sing in a church choir. In my early teens, again, a volt face. (Okay, that was very in-your-face 😆). But, you know, children do this. I became staunchly anti-religion.
I suppose I still have that core view, but that’s not quite it. In my mid twenties, I guess, it became clear to me that even if I was not, there were some good people who were religious. And so I mellowed out a lot. While my own belief is anti, there is also a whatever floats your boat side to it. I see that too as evolution, because I think I have evolved tolerance.
I’m aware that this post is getting quite long so I just want to give one quick (possibly) counter example:
In 2000, I was doing well for myself. If you asked me how much I earned, I haven’t a clue. Enough to have an accountant take care of that shit for me. Enough to help myself to a pile of money whenever I wanted something. Enough to drive a Porsche 911. 3.4 litres of hungry, wild stallion under the bonnet. And why not? I worked for it, I earned it, I deserved it.
By 2010, I still had the Porsche, but I was concerned about my footprint, and bought an eco car to replace it. I was left with this far more practical, tiny, inexpensive runaround to take me from A to B.
It is no coincidence that a subject like the environment (a vast subject and I am drastically over-simplifying by lumping everything under the same umbrella) was on our lips a lot more in 2010 than ten years earlier.
I suppose in real terms, that was another volt face, but even this was just an evolution, based on the evolving issues we pick up from the media. I think we were all a lot more aware of the environment in 2010 than we were in 2000.