Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Well-Toiled Machine

What do we, as Humans of New York, have in common with our brethren Machines of New Torque?  It would seem nothing but a forced rhyme on the surface.  Nonetheless, recent events have led me to liken certain human mindsets to the dispassionate vibe of the robot.

Contrary to popular belief, there's a reason we don't go "bee-boop" and prance around in titanium stockings.  It's because we advantage creativity and nuance in a world we could so easily charge with banality and blind compliance.  Most of us have the soundness of mind to regard the Earth as neither the pinnacle of immutable social deviance nor as a self-serving bastion catered to our individual desires.  Instead, we operate under a belief of shared burden of our human wrongs, and therefore, shared gratification of our human rights.

And most importantly, we take necessary time to breathe and relax, two verbs that robots can never truly effectuate no matter how comprehensive their programming.  The problem arises when we start to treat ourselves (whether consciously or not) as less than worthy of simple human rewards--of simple human healing, for that matter.  We severely limit our unique capabilities as unpredictable, beautifully fallible, downright revolutionary beings when we downgrade our refueling methods to those of a robot, which basically consist of powering off for indefinite periods, until a superior being recharges us.  Despite what our sixth grade math teachers told us, my friends, we are the superior beings.

This week has been a particularly tumultuous one for me, what with three oral presentations and a Teach for America application deadline to boot.  (And, yes, I realize it's only Wednesday.)  My procrastination reached a point of seemingly no return, as I traded in sleep and mental stability for good grades and an unholy alliance with red Gatorade.

Now, I would be remiss if I said this decision wasn't at least partially worth it.  In light of the high priority I place on full satisfaction with my work, I am positive a disregard for my academic duties in favor of behavioral normativity would have left me in a far worse position.  That doesn't mean, however, that the stigma we place on all nighters is completely unfounded either.  Some routine and scheduling is good for the soul in that it offsets our sporadic thoughts and wavering emotions.  I more than anyone I know value the peace and elevated functioning that can spring from pure organization.  But I also know how much of my uniquely erratic, passionate, whole-hearted aspirations result from exactly the type of imperfection that my humanity allows me, and I wouldn't sacrifice that for all the x-ray vision and flashy buttons in the world.

Live long and finish strong,
Amanda :)

Jacket: Mango (old).  Jeans: Gap (old).  Shoes: Banana Republic.

All photos by Alex Zhu.

1 comment:

  1. Your careful observation and evaluation is rich and profound. As a reader, I thank you! But the forever argument of do we need the bad to realize the good has a dimension of excuse and cop out........ ;)

    We can do better and be better!