読者です 読者をやめる 読者になる 読者になる

2017/03/21 Self-depreciation

Lately, I have been looking down on myself. Everything I do is of little value, of little significance. I would like to tell you that this feeling is not so bad as you might think, as long as you feel comfortable about being valueless.

I was originally a psychology major, as I have written several times. I major in philosophy now. Though I passed the entrance examination, it doesn't mean I am as experienced as other students who have been interested in it since their undergraduate days. Rather, an only three-month study of philosophy has let me succeed in the examination. I know next to nothing about it. You may be wondering, "What did you do after the result of the examination was announced? Surely you had some time before the entrance." I was hilarious and didn't know how ignorant I was. All I cared at that time was how much money I would be able to save before the entrance because I knew I would be in abject poverty once I entered the graduate school.

I said I know next to nothing about philosophy. Certainly, it is said, one of the philosophical giants famously said, "I know that I know nothing." But when he said this, he meant that he knew nothing about Truth. On the other hand, when I say I know next to nothing, I mean I don't know historical philosophical debates about Truth, which a philosophy major must know. A student with that knowledge may say the same thing as I, that is, "I know nothing," but the connotation is different beyond description. She could elaborate on why she doesn' think she knows anything, saying things like "Philosopher A argues such and such and in response another philosopher says blah-blah-blah and this debate contiunes to this day. I know nothing about it, for I couldn't draw a conclusion from what is now being discussed." Me? All I can say is that I know nothing about it. Thank you very much.

But this I could say I knew: what I know is what every other student knows and what I come to think is what every other student has pondered on at least once. This is what I mean by self-depreciation. Accordingly, people around me don't make much of me, or my work. My supervisor doesn't reply to my e-mails or never does what he said he would do for me, one student declares to me that he is as incompetent as me (when did he find me incompetent in the first place?), and the staff of the cram school that I work for regards me as a man who has plenty of time for doing classes when necessary, while the fact is, it comes never for the asking. I am trying everything on my part to spare enough time for living up both to the academic demand and to the demand for the work. Try as I might, however, I have never been that capable.

This realization leads me to the inertia that is haunting me now. I think I need a rest, but the world won't let me. Valueless or valuable, incompetent or competent, I have a lot of things to do which I have said I will do, and unforunately, I have decided to do what I said I would do. Here we go. Another day of disappointment is going to present itself and I am living this day.