Sunday Firesides: Self

“Self” is a new show on Netflix that follows the lives of four people who are trying to survive in an apocalyptic world. The show has received mixed reviews, but it’s worth watching for its interesting take on what life would be like without technology. Read more in detail here: never ask these questions.

A fireside is a public talk or conversation, normally given by an individual in front of an audience. Most often the word refers to religious meetings held at regular intervals on Sunday evenings during which people gather to hear sermons and lectures about spiritual matters.

Boys of the Amazonian Sateré-Mawé tribe must put their hand inside a glove interwoven with bullet ants — which have one of the world’s most excruciating stings — and keep it on for 10 minutes without making a sound.

The trait evaluated – self-control — was formerly considered a necessity to become a man, therefore such rites of passage were practically ubiquitous in ancient societies. Inner poise, on the other hand, was desired not for its own sake, but for the way it enabled more effective action. Self-control was created not to avoid conflict, but to preserve one’s cool in the face of it; not to avoid confrontation, but to pick the best conditions in which to fight.

As societies became more atomized, anonymized, and bureaucratic, economic and governmental institutions arose that demanded a more docile citizenry, and individuals lost their sense of personal power, the link between self-control and action weakened, and the quality began to be developed as an end in itself; not as a facilitator of outward action, but as a coping mechanism for remaining inw. With a grin, for being pushed upon.

Self-control has evolved into a character trait, but it has lost its proactive component.

Rather of dealing with the cultural and personal issues that are creating our stress, we learn to breathe and meditation to help us cope.

We’re taught to accept what we can’t control and focus on what we can, oblivious to the fact that the former category is expanding while the latter is dwindling.

Acceptance is a healthy act, but it is not one that is productive. What happens next?

If self-control isn’t a technique to concentrate one’s action’s beam into a flaming light…

It’s just surrender to becoming a more malleable instrument.



The “is being shy unattractive” is a question that I have been asked many times. The answer is yes, it is unattractive to be shy and not talk to people.

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