Monday, May 30, 2011

Candor!

Y'all remember the Divergent Faction-of-the-week challenge, right? I know I missed talking about Amity last week, but I was really busy!

This week's faction was: Candor. The definition from the Divergent fansite is:

1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness.
2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality.




I think Tris (the main character) was completely right when she surmised that being in Candor requires quite a bit of bravery itself. It's just a bravery you exercise verbally, instead of through actions like the Dauntless do. While I've never been one to provide false compliments or empty flattery, I don't believe that honesty is always the best policy.


The truth hurts people, often needlessly.


But sometimes it's needed, even if it does hurt.


Most of y'all know that my boyfriend and I broke up last week. I told him the truth: that I didn't see how it was going to work. And he agreed. I'm not looking for sympathy; we're both better off this way - but it did teach me how tough it would be to live in the Candor faction at times.


And for those of you wondering how my Amity week went... I did ok. I think I would be fine living in the Amity faction, but trying to live it in my actual life is tough - especially that week. I did watch this awesome TED talk about learning to put yourselves in your enemy's shoes.




And when I really felt like my sense of peace was failing? I went to a book store :-)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Abnegation? Amity?

Some of you may have heard about this new book called Divergent by Veronica Roth? Well Houndrat is hosting a blog fest of sorts and I signed up for it so, for the next few weeks, I'll blog about my attempt to embody each faction featured in the book. You should really just go read her post about it because she sums it up so much better than I.



Except here's the thing: despite waiting FOREVER for this book to come out AND buying it the very day it came out, I only started reading it last night. I know, I know... but so much of my reading and time has been dominated by Sift Book Reviews (seriously, if you haven't checked it out yet, you really should. Like now. It's called "open in a new tab," people.) That little fact didn't exactly stop me from doing Abnegation last week, but I wasn't as excited about it as I could have been.

But now I'm all in. So I'll tell you about my weak attempt at Abnegation last week and then I'll start strong this week with Amity.

According to the Divergent fansite, Abnegation means:

  1. To refuse or deny oneself (some rights, conveniences, etc.); reject, renounce.

  2. To relinquish, give up


I have three roommates. Our apartment was a disaster. I think you know where this is going. So my one act of Abnegation last week was to do a thorough cleaning of the apartment. It took two days - long enough for me to realize that this was as selfish as it was selfless. Sure, I was doing all the work even though everybody had shared in creating the situation ... but I REALLY like a clean house. And even though it took all of one hour for it to become messed up again, I enjoyed it while it lasted. I do think I would have made more of an attempt at Abnegation last week if I had already read the book and been able to fully understand what it means to be in a faction, but this is what I did.

I would like to say, however, that our modern society (especially in the area of the country I live in) makes it very difficult to be selfless. For one, doing good deeds has become incentivized by the true Abnegation members to the point where you can't do much without getting something in return.  Also, and probably more locally, people really doubt your motives when you try to do something nice. I'm about halfway through Divergent now and I'm realizing this second point is something the Abnegation faction faces as well.

This week, I'm trying to embody Amity. I'm looking forward to it.

 

Quick semi-related note: I'm putting Year of Months activities on pause. Don't worry, it will come back, but right now I have a lot of other things I need to focus on. Like finding a job. And writing a book. And querying a book. <3