September 9, 2018A few days ago I posted the Paul Simon lyric ""You know life is what you make of it / So beautiful, or so what..."
Recently on kottke I saw this quote from Andy Warhol's autobiography:
Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, "So what." That's one of my favorite things to say. "So what." "My mother didn't love me." So what. "My husband won't ball me." So what. "I'm a success but I'm still alone." So what. I don't know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.Kottke goes on to compare that to Marcus Aurelius' stoicism (on how we have don't power over many outside events but we have power for our interpretation of them) and says
Not having control over some outside events was a source of despair and anxiety for me. These happenings were facts, they had a "truth" that I perceived as immutable; everyone knows you can't change facts! But human brains don't work like that. Your perception of and emotional reaction to events *is* your reality. Sure, those things happened, that person is that way, the system will do its thing, but you don't have to feel a certain way about any of it.I've been toying with using this idea a bit. (While thinking of the Miles Davis' song So What) I guess though, I have reservations that it's incomplete; like it's not a technique you'd want to apply to everything in life, and so misses Kant's idea "Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law". If I used "So What" all the time, or for everything, I would be callous and apathetic - by itself, "So What" does provide a positive motive force. And there's no outside authority or yardstick telling me when I should and shouldn't apply it; I have to grow up and use judgment and take my lumps.
Stores that offer their own credit cards, with a large discount on the current purchase. Doesn't that just set off everyone's spidey sense?