The sad thing is that a lot of people think they are being radical today, and nothing could be further from the truth. They turn towards this all encompassing relativism, push for equity, and fight against the perceived power dynamics of the world. There is a lot going on in our culture. A lot of ideologies gripping our culture in ways that choke any chance of life with meaning, responsibility, and individual mission. We want to deny all evidence pointing to complimentary differences between genders. We want to socially construct our own lives and not be accountable to anything or anyone outside of ourselves. We want to live in our own world and not have to change our ways. So, we decide that there exists no truth with a capital “T”, just each person’s individual truths. His interpretation is as good as her interpretation. Everyone’s right, and everyone feels good. Everyone’s happy and no one’s toes get stepped on. Everyone gets to construct their world because they obviously know what is best for themselves. If for any reason there are roadblocks throughout life or a sense of unfairness, then we can just play the ‘victim’ card and point a finger at an institution or hierarchy that causes us discomfort or challenges our ways of living. We can use the word ‘power’ as a scapegoat, when a more appropriate word would be ‘authority’ or ‘competency’.
We try our hardest to cut all ties to reality. We cut everything that attaches us to a particular way of life. Anything that restricts us to one way of life, instead of a fluid, free-floating existence, must be bad so let’s get rid of it. The more ties we cut, the more we construct ourselves, the happier we will be because the freer we will be. Nothing to hold us down, or tell us which way to live, just complete self-interpretation. Unrestrained and unguided.
We think we are ‘radical’ because we are going against social norms? Because we choose to disregard all of humanity’s history and their methods of living life in a fruitful and meaningful way? Because we disregard our own bodies, minds, and souls?
However, living radically is the opposite. Living radically takes a strong person, not a weak one. A person that chooses to embrace reality, not free themselves from it. They are also probably smart enough to realize that any attempt to remove oneself from the reality they are place in is hopeless. If you truly lived in your self constructed reality, then you would live by yourself. “Reality” literally means “to relate to things”. But, if there is no sense of Truth, or foundational, universal sense of meaning that allows each being to relate to the other, then there is no reality. There must exist a way to relate to one another, to communicate and live with each other. The radical person knows this. The radical person lives this. “Radical” comes from the Latin word “radic” meaning “root”. To live radically is to live rooted in something. Rooted in real life. The Spanish word “radicar” means “to lie in, or be embedded in”. We must be embedded in reality, allow ourselves to be consumed by it. Not run from it because it’s scary and uncomfortable.