"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Penguin's World is Black and White

“Do penguins see the world in black and white?” Richard wondered.

He reflected now, about how he viewed the world, and although he hated to admit it, he had to confess --to himself , at least--that he saw the world pretty much in “black and white,” in “either/or,” categories. Maybe that’s why he had encountered such a difficult time with his college major, philosophy? In philosophy, everything seemed to be plagued with “slippery slopes” and colored in “gray,” ambiguous, hues—even the easy questions were hard.

He had graduated with only a ‘C+’ average in his major, an undistinguished record that made him feel envious of the others who seemed to instinctively understand that the world was more complex and that it was not just “black and white” --- not even for penguins.

Driving home from work, Richard recalled that Lola had graduated at the top of her class, summa cum laude—straight ‘A’s in philosophy. The gray areas, the “slippery slopes,” Richard, now realized, apparently hadn’t posed an obstacle for Lola, at all, although Richard wondered if it didn't make Lola just a little bit chilly.

No comments:

Post a Comment