Home // Discussion // Philosophical post #4: reality is unknowable which is why you have an inferiority complex

Philosophical post #4: reality is unknowable which is why you have an inferiority complex


Where is that road leading?

If I described myself, I would say I’m intelligent, strong and OK at sports.  To me that sums up a pretty successful kinda man.

Other people might well describe me as an unmarried, unemployed, mentally ill train wreck.

The important thing is the reality.  Both descriptions are correct, but my actual level of success and happiness is something that me and those other people don’t agree on.

Now, people from the countryside tend to be different than people from the city.  Drugs are common in countryside teenagers’ lives. Young adults in the countryside love drugs partly to allieve boredom, but partly because their self-image can be one of enduring inferiority to the cool kids from the city, with their cinemas, bowling alleys, and poverty (poverty is cool to a middle class teenager, it indicates that you’re hard).

Inner city grown ups relentlessly move out to the country for a better life, have babies, and what could be less cool than your parents’ choices?  Surely your parents moved to the country to punish you?

But now the countryside kids have a weapon to impress the city kids- they’re druggies! How cool is that?

Just be careful because you might just get what you wished for: a life story of struggle – along with some other slightly unpleasant things like brain damage and a decimated ability to enjoy the world.

But that’s just my view. The reality is something that you might have a different opinion about. But there is nobody to say if I’m right or wrong. It’s reality versus opinion. The unknowable. Like all knowledge perhaps. There is a reality there, we just don’t know how close we are to it.


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  • I agree with your perspective of the country kids! I go to school in the mountains. All the students in the mountains do is drink and take drugs. My school has a high retention rate. I know you may be thinking well that’s all college kids but I think the students who belong to my school are super addicts.

  • This was an interesting point of view. I’m more of the city kids and I don’t think moving to the country side is a punishment, but I agree with you that people opinion differ. However, I think there is a really fine line between opinion and reality. Reason being, I feel that reality is how we perceive our world and like you said we all perceive it differently. Doesn’t count somewhat like an opinion? I think reality definition is too restring and that its should be another category for opinion.

  • Oh? Is that really how country kids are? Scares me because I’ve dreamed of moving me and my daughter out to the country to get her away from the things you are describing. That scares me tremendously.
    I view city kids the exact way that you have described country kids. I guess that’s the joys of having diffrent perspectives.

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      September 10, 2015 at 2:23 am

      My opinion was a little bit extreme, I don’t think it’s all that bad. I do think it’s a much bigger issue for teenagers in the countryside compared to city teenagers. I’m sure the majority of teenagers are relatively well behaved and good kids no matter where they’re from.

      I’m sorry I scared you, I didn’t mean to. I’m not a parent myself, but I think parents nowadays should relax a bit and not over-parent or coddle their kids. I think giving children independence and letting them take moderate risks is very important. But I cannot imagine what it’s like to be a parent. Thank you for your comment 🙂

  • It is great to grasp on a certain point of view, but I do like your skepticism. However, isn’t this a form of absolute? In saying that there is no absolutes, it creates an absolute statement in and of itself, therefore creating paradox. I agree with the sentiment of not knowing, and I am very open to all sides.

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      September 10, 2015 at 2:16 am

      Good point…I’m not very good at philosophy but I enjoy it very much, especially having discussions with friends over a coffee. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Interesting philosophy to be sure. I guess a large part of reality for most people is their perception of reality. Perception changes with each person so it is hard to get a single take on anything that is always correct from any stance.

  • I absolutely agree that reality is subjective and influenced by one’s own perception of life. Speaking specifically about drug use in country teens as opposed to city teens – I think it’s fair to say you would find a fair amount of users in both places, however from personal experience I can add to your side about country teens. Drug and alcohol use were very high in my small town, and many agreed it was because there was very little to keep teens entertained. The scary thing was that harder drugs were easier to find than something relatively benign, like marijuana. Heroin, Oxycontin, and other prescription drugs were unfortunately quite easily attained.

    I do think there is a lot to be said for what a teen is interested in doing and how much peer pressure they are under – no matter where they grow up, if they want to do something, they will find a way.

  • Life is a beautiful and strange thing it’s comparable to none yet it’s also universal. Our collective consciousness boils down to the practice of experiencing the human condition yet our above level egos still busy themselves with judging others. Sometimes I think people should just be open about different perspectives and realize that happiness is subjective.

  • Solipsism (solo meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”) is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.

    • I find myself in my darkest hours when I’m so wrapped up in my own head and personal issues with “reality”. Stepping out and realizing how small I am really does have an enlightening effect. Whether you’re in the country or in the city, if you have internet access, you have millions of ideas at your disposal. Get curious! Drugs and drinking are fun sometimes but mostly wear off into moods and voids of emptiness that we look to fill with more cheap “entertainment”. I am projecting a bit here. I personally forget that we’re just little pieces that come in and out in this big reality that no one will ever be able to define in such absolute terms but isn’t that what makes it so beautiful?

  • The College Student

    October 1, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I find myself kind of like the country kids that you’ve described. As a broke college sophomore who is swamped with debt already, it’s not easy to be surrounded by close friends who come from well-to-do families, who think spending $150 in one shopping trip is nothing at all. Reality states that as a part-time worker, I can spend that much if I wanted to, but common sense states that if I did, I wouldn’t have groceries to last me the week, so it’s not always easy for me to go shopping with them.

    Your view of “reality” is rather intriguing to me. I do agree with you – who is to say that your view of reality or mine is right? Those who find happiness in reality might have the same life situation as those who find nothing but darkness in their reality, and both might be right; both might be wrong.

    Thank you for the wonderful, thought-inducing post!

  • I agree with you ordinaryenglishman. I think that yes reality is relative. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Our views on things are basically made up of the experiences that have molded us into the people we’ve become. I think depending on the type of person you are you will see things in either white, black or gray.

  • I totally agree with you here. Reality is relative, and ever-changing. There is never really going to be a right answer to many things, to many dilemmas, because there are just way too many angles to look at them from. Especially looking at the universe as a whole, there’s only one thing we can be sure of: the fact that we will never be sure of anything. Thanks for the Philosophy!

  • After reading this article, it made me think a lot of things for my kids. I am basically a more of a city kid and I never experienced schooling in a countryside. The competition in the city is very tight and many are competitive.

    I live in a third world country, the Philippines, and I noticed that most kids from the countryside are more hardworking and tend to avoid drugs or liquor because they want to prove something to themselves.They are very eager to succeed in life since living in a countryside is a punishment for them. Everything is limited unlike living in the city.

    This maybe depends in which country we live in hence the perspective changes.

  • Maria Christine Due

    July 26, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Country side teenagers resorting to drugs to prove theirselves based on your observation can be attributed to their inferiority complex. It is common because they can’t be at par with the cool city kids. At this stage in their lives, self image is a big deal. That’s why they explore and experiment.The same thing that the city kids do.

    People’s perception of reality differs hence there’s no absolute. Not to mention we often stereotype. We have our own conscious and unconscious reasons. I like the last thing you mentioned that there is a reality there, we just don’t know how close we are to it. To me that says how elusive reality is.

  • A very thought provoking piece. Everyone’s reality is different, and that’s how it should be. Where we all go wrong is that we try to make our realities uniform. This will never ever be the case, because we were created to follow our own paths. All we have to do is look at nature. Look at all the different trees, flowers, mountains e.t.c. They are all different shapes, sizes and colors. Walk your own path I say!

  • I am totally confused by your conclusion. I am totally befuddled by this post. I think it’s humor. (O.o) But if it’s not … there is a reality when it comes to substance addiction. IT’S REALLY BAD!! God help you if you get hooked when you’re young. Your youth is a time in your life that should not be wasted. You will never get it back. The regrets you will have from burning up and destroying those little gray cells in your brain? Words can not describe them.

  • From a philosophical viewpoint, it is difficult for an individual to be fully comfortable with themselves. Every social engagement that an individual gets into, they get to experience a different set of standards. To enable one not to tweak their personality every time they meet new standards is where the issue lies. There should be a balance between filtering the good influences in life and not changing too much in every instance. The strength of the mind and the ability to discern what is good for self is key in such.

  • I can agree with your point of view. In existential phylosophy drugs can be seen as just another way to escape the reality. They (amongst other things) serve purpose to alleviate the anxiety derived from the four “givens” of human condition (as Yalom puts them: isolation, meaninglessness, mortality and freedom).

    The countryside areas are a good example of fighting with this anxiety. Generally, people tend to pay less attention to their kids and there are less sources of (effective) external control.

    Therefore, when the teens from cities get in the rural areas, their need to socialise can push them to some paths they might regret later.

  • calliopedoesnotexist

    August 17, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    It’s true that young people in countryside areas are more likely to fall victims to drug abuse because they have “nothing better to do”, meaning to keep them entertained, however in such a small scale of living things get more competitive as well. Meaning that you are very few people, you know each other very well personally perhaps, so in order to create some interest you start competing with each other in intense – and sometimes hurtful – ways. Maybe the boys of the village want to show who’s the strongest, or the girls who’s the most attractive, who knows. As long as they don’t know the extent of a city, and how things run there, they’re not going to change.

  • Hannah Rueras Guinaowa

    August 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I think both country and city kids are brilliant and have the potential to be great and to do great things only if given the privilege or opportunity to step out into the horizon. This is the first time I’ve heard of country kids having that reputation of being a druggie or a train wreck since I’ve met friends from the countryside who are doing perfectly well in life, however, this article made me realize that there’s another side to the coin.

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