An excerpt from Be Whatever You Want ©2010 Significant Interests By: Erum Azeez Popular interests in societal development simply lay on the surface of the modern majority. They see beauty, fame, and fortune as the ultimate means to an end. But this is certainly not the case, as you may have guessed I would say since you have read this far. If you are only reading this passage, then my job here is done. What I would like to discuss here is the interest of humans: where it was and because, where it is now and how, and where it will be as you will see. Back in the day, (way back) in the time of my man Socrates, the Ancient Greeks were living it up! They believed physical beauty and strength were of the highest order of existence and that those that possessed these qualities retained a sense of entitlement above the mere commoners. It was said that Olympians had their own dining halls that served the best foods by the everadmiring slaves. Socrates was looked down upon in his early years since he was not the cream of the crop when it came to physical aesthetics, so it was a good thing that he had the spectacular philosophic mind. His orations proliferated profound discussions and tantalized the collective consciousness among his audience. However, this was only feasible to those educated elite that could afford to the money and time to learn. Socrates advanced contemplations were spread by the successful sophisticates and left those penniless peons for superficial and survival schools of thought. Fast forward to today, and we can all agree that we have come a long way. Yet (and an important yet), we still have this problem of a stationary society. Even though people have access to education of the highest accord, they still choose not to focus on anything in particular except for what is put before them. We can see examples of this reactionary lifestyle by billions of dollars being generated by companies that advertise on every new technological medium. It is up to the individual to sift through the media’s overwhelming economic control and find what fancies them about what else is going on in the world. Living in the Information Age that is fueled by globalization, anyone can gain access to a World Wide Web of information at their finger tips. Universities and other organizations offer online courses and some of them are free. Heck, you can even go to your local tavern that sponsors celebrated scientists to discuss advancements in their discipline while sipping on a Belgian Triple. Happens all the time, right? Well my story goes a little like this: There is a monthly program entitled Science on Tap that is held at the tavern, National Mechanics in Philadelphia, PA. Here, a combination of drink specials, scientific experts and local nerds cause a wallowing good time to unfold. Now, to me, this is the best of both worlds not only because I am a woman of the sciences, but the fact that there are other people out there that can hold such intriguing conversations and have a great freakin' time doing so. I went to one of these events recently and I was happy to discover a full house of beings that are also easily seduced by science. This particular hour of happiness showcased the topic of “The Search of the Other Earth” being led by Derek Pitts. This fascinating fellow is an award-winning astronomer at The Franklin Institute and has been welcomed in various media outlets from radio shows to The Colbert Report. The galactic-inspired gentleman entertained the crowd with base knowledge of the history, great achievements, and probing problems of astronomy today, leaving the audience with a question driven toward a large scale discussion. “It is theorized that there are
An excerpt from Be Whatever You Want ©2010 hundreds of millions of planets yet to be discovered, do you think there could there be other types of life out there?” Dr. Pitts asked. Now, what is great about Science on Tap is that it encourages the assembly of people who have a general interest in significant subject matter, and with the added inhibition of alcohol, they feel free to say whatever it is that is stored in their minds. [Note, these intellectuals are smart enough not to get inebriated at such an event so as to be able to hold decent dialogues; well at least most of time]. Conversations were popping off everywhere as this party permits people to use their brains in productive ways. I had the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Dr. Pitts about the limits of human perception in respect to discovering other “life” forms. And I then continued a separate discussion on the advancement of technology ( i.e. the World Wide Web’s roll out of generations from 3G to 4G networks) and our ability as a global population to really see substantial dynamics in future space exploration. Well, what his reply to all of this pretty much solidified my reason for writing this scientific and philosophical treatise on the self. He said something along the lines of, “Dear, you pose a great discussion on what is capable of human discovery, but as far as it getting done, I'm afraid more people are far more interested in Jessica Simpson's hair extensions than the extensions of the Universe.” Wow. This said by a man who has devoted the majority of his life looking outside this world made this conclusion when looking in. At this point, I am paralyzed with this very idea of the individual's shallow interests and its debilitating diversion towards advancement. What we are capable of as humans has forever been unfathomable at first, but then finally realized by few who had the motivation, dream, realization of making it possible. What are you interested in that is not yet but could be? You could be the next Aristotle, Einstein or Steve Jobs, just by simply carrying your thoughts through. There is far too much to be discovered for one person to simply live a superficial or worse, routine life. How much greater would you feel leaving a legacy and actually doing something significant that impacts the future of this planet? And let it be known, it is not that you have to be an astrophysicist to do so (although that is not out of your realm to be if you so choose), but do what interests you and to do it to the best of your ability. The channeling of your energy into your interest will truly be fulfilling. And when they sync up with the interest of Earth, you set in motion the promise of a brighter tomorrow.