Ask Vinni

Longer, well researched posts primarily focused on philosophy, psychology and self improvement. Topics I've mulled over for weeks. Irregularly updated.

 

Essays and other writings

Shorter, weekly articles on principles and thoughts that have been in my mind for a couple of days. Contradictory and rough, evolving as I do.

Democracy, Sweet Democracy

Trial

Around 380 BC, Plato created his ideal city state. In The Republic, he imagined a state that would uphold the just, the right, and the fair. In the book, he idealized everything; from the way kids are raised, to the city quarters, to the form of government.

In The Republic, Plato claimed that a government should consist of sages, of philosophers. He called those people guardians. They were people who would dedicate their entire lives to the state, who would have little to no material possessions, educated in all subjects, the most important being philosophy. He considered those people “men of gold” and they would be discovered during the rigorous educational system in place.

On Moving

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Since 2012, I’ve moved no less than six times. In those four years, I’ve lived in three different countries and five different cities. For the first time since then, I know that my next move will be definite. That I’ll be spending at least three years (bar a probable exchange semester) in the same room of the same building of the same neighborhood of the same city.

I think by now I could be considered a “pro” when it comes to moving and adapting to new places very quickly, but without failure, I always feel a little lost in the weeks leading up to the move. I’m not able to work as well as I did, I’m not able to dedicate myself to my mindfulness, sports and books as well as I did.

What I Do Here

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It’s been a little over six months since I started this website and I’m proud of how far I’ve come since then. However, recently I’ve been feeling like it’s fallen off track a little and it’s time to review the purpose of the website, making it clear both to me and to my readers why this exists in the first place.
In my relatively short life thus far, I’ve seen too much potential go to waste. I believe every single person has the same “amount of potential,” although it might be allocated in a different way for each individual. My purpose with this website is to, selfishly enough, use mine as fully as I can. If I can inspire others to do the same in the process, all the better.
So the articles, from the opinion pieces with seemingly little practical value to more in depth “how-to” style posts, all have the same purpose of helping me and the readers want more, do more, and live more fully.
Information is easy to come by, in just a few clicks we can open wikipedia and start browsing anything we could think of. Transforming that information into knowledge isn’t very hard, we’ll read it once or twice, dig into the sources a little bit, make a few connections and we’ll understand what it’s all about.
But my goal has always been wisdom, and while knowledge is processing information, “Wisdom is doing.”1
Yes, we’ll learn. Yes, we’ll get theoretical and philosophical, but it’s all with the explicit purpose of applying it to our lives later. We’ll talk about creativity only as long as we set out to base our lives on that. We’ll debate what philosophy means only as long as we apply the philosophical principles to our own lives. We’ll argue about the good and bad in a warrior culture only as long as we’re determined to live based on the good. We’ll discuss education only as long as we set out to change something about it.
I’m sick of seeing wasted potential, I’m sick of seeing misinformation, I’m sick of seeing lives based upon unclear principles, I’m sick of seeing people overworking themselves to death, I’m sick of looking around and seeing people not listen to themselves when their bodies are begging for mercy, I’m sick of a philosophy of life that tells us we should do more and more without sitting down to listen to our thoughts once in a while.
Yes, in this website we’ll strive for more. Yes, in this website we’ll face ourselves at every corner, but behind everything else we must have the knowledge that we won’t be able to reach anything if we don’t respect ourselves. I believe the only way to expect more and strive for more without burning ourselves out is through respect, through self knowledge, through mindfulness. Only by actively listening to ourselves and respecting our bodies, minds and feelings can we grow. And grow we shall.
If there is one thing I’m deathly scared of, that is stagnation, either within me or others around me. There’s nothing that scares more than the thought of waking up a year from now as the same person I’m going to sleep as today. I believe the way not to stagnate is through fairness with ourselves and others. I believe the way not to stagnate is by letting ourselves get uncomfortable. I believe the way not to stagnate is by stopping once in a while and asking ourselves how we’re really feeling.
Those are the principles I base my life on, those are the principles I base the website on.
Let’s use all of our potential, be it physical, mental, or emotional.
Let’s run and jump, let’s move faster and farther. Let’s read and think, let’s discuss and learn. Let’s smile and laugh, let’s live and love our lives.
I hope to see you again soon.

Essays in Love by Alain de Botton

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I definitely did not expect this book to be what it was. When you come across a title saying “essays in love,” you don’t expect to find the biography of a romance, which is what it was.

I read on and on, knowing that Alain de Botton is against romanticism and believes that love should be seen as a skill rather than something that “just happens” and we should “leave to chance.” He supports a more pragmatic view that sets the individual on the spotlight, being the sole responsible for his love life. Love won’t simply strike us sooner or later.

The book had none of that, though. I read page after page of his story with Chloe, a girl he met on a flight and loved for an entire year. He tells us about their relationship from the very start until the very end.

And yet, I didn’t hate the book. It’s written in a way that manages to throw in a few insights and talks about love with a certain disconnectedness we can learn from. He analyzes his romance objectively and fairly, but still fails to make any convincing points.

I should reread The Symposium…

I meditate, and so should you

e836b1072cf3093ecd0b470de7444e90fe76e6d31cb4144090f6c2_1280_zenFor a few years now I’ve been in a road of self improvement. One that started long ago and won’t stop as long as I’m breathing. In this road, I’ve met several obstacles, had to face myself at almost every corner and was forced to changed by circumstances; external as well as internal.

In every step of the way, one thing helped me more than anything else: meditation.

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