Is Humanity Most Aesthetic in Constraints or in Freedom?

What makes humanity most prosperous and aesthetic?

In Middle Ages, by obeying a set of codes a knight can be well regarded and cherished on his behaviors. The spirit of Chivalry.

However, the most jaw-dropping music is also composed by madman like Beethoven, passionate and wild.

Pliable humanity.

Do disciplines, constraints necessarily make one perform better? Or one needs an environment of freedom, liberty to truly achieve his goals?

In the pursue of discipline, people become stoics, dare to take challenges. Some achieved marvelous goals. Stoics endure pain, they know that the temporary burdens will not be the permanent obstacles they need to circumvent. However, what if they try too hard and bust their heads in the encounters of these hindrances?

No one is perfect. But stoics dare to be perfect. Because the more perfect one pursues, the more disciplined and complete one becomes.

Sometimes I wonder, are we chasing the perfect ideal while being disciplined? These constraints that we put on our humanity, do they make us any better? More beautiful? More aesthetic? Discipline makes prosperity?

In war, soldiers obey commands unconditionally, that makes them the impregnable force sweeping the battlefields. Constraints, needless to say, boost one’s integrity.

But, even in the chaotic Enlightenment Era, philosophers like Rousseau propose people to love their innocent nature. Men are nothing but Noble Savages.

Rousseau teaches people to be compassionate, to be as emotional as possible, to have empathy, to pursue back to the original form of humans–the most natural way of expressing feelings.

Even the most rational person can not not be moved by the sweet whispers and chanting of two passionate lovers. As human, the empathetic part of us is always there, no matter how much you hide it.

After WW2, Nazi Germany’s soldiers were forced to watch photos and footage of Jews in concentration camps. Some of them cried during the process, some of them couldn’t bare the pain continuing. This tells us that monstrous humans still can feel the heartbeat of another fellow human.

Sometimes when we define virtuous, we assess one person by whether his behaviors fit to the standards of existing ethics–to be virtuous.

However, we humans don’t necessarily need the codes to be kind, benevolent or sympathetic. To some people, these things are just spontaneous expressions. One does not need the respect or praise to be kind to others. One can simply be kind to others because other people are fellow human beings.

I think in the end all comes to this conclusion: it’s a matter of balance. We need the spontaneous nature of us to be expressive enough, because as human, we are fragile and powerless. Only through the bonds and connections between one another do we cooperate and achieve goals together. We need that emotional connection between man and man.

Nonetheless, to pursue excellency, we need disciplines and constraints for us to create delicate, complex and aesthetic things.

It’s a balance that you need to understand when to loose and when to tighten.

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