Black-and-white positions often betray an extreme position.
I read a few dozen philosophy posts on WordPress each day, and come across many who only include a quote or inspirational image as their blog like this one:
“Who you are is what makes you special. Do not change for anyone.”
The internet is swamped with inspirational quotes and images, so anyone can take them and publish to their blog. I wonder though if the blogger thought about what the quote meant to them, if they understood what they published. There are talking parrots, but though they say the words they seem to have no understanding of what they are saying; could this be the same for the bloggers who fill their blogs with quotes? Are they parrot-bloggers?
It is a shame really that such bloggers don’t go the extra mile, and give their take on what they quote.
I am going to give my take on the above quote.
I have found in the study of philosophy nothing is black and white, and there can be many answers to a question. Subjected to the Socratic Method a realisation dawns on the “target” of why Socrates was called the gadfly and killed. Philosophers can be irritating people.
We are not an island
The above quote is okay for the recluse living on a desert isle, but in a world shared with other people, that is kind of hard. Try being stubborn and unchanging with a customer, and lose the business; or in a personal relationship and watch them terminate it; or with the employer and lose the job.
Heraclitus observed that the universe is always in motion and changing; this desire to resist change works against the nature of the universe.
Observation of nature
Organisms unable to change and adapt to their environment go extinct. A tree unbending in the wind breaks.
Aristotle says the best way forward is the middle way between two extremes. The above quote seems to be one extreme. The other extreme is to totally sacrifice self for others. Perhaps it is better to find a middle ground between the demands of others and self-hood?