Many moons ago, when my life outside of school or work revolved around video games, there was this video game that subconsciously taught me about life’s gray morality. Why bring up a video game? Well, Final Fantasy Tactics: War Of The Lions (Which is based on the same historical war that ASOIAF is based on) displays this concept wonderfully.
Questions arise from this game such as, “Are good people truly doing wonderful things if evil people are manipulating them for their own ill gain?” On paper, the answer is simple. No, of course those people aren’t really doing a great, or morally good service. Unfortunately, it isn’t always so easy to see ourselves in that objective of a view.
It’s difficult, especially when growing up, to be able to pick and choose what influences you. Political beliefs, religion, career path(s). Many defining characteristics are inadvertently controlled by those who surround you. Given these factors, though people often aren’t evil (most of the time), isn’t most of what you do suspect then?
To have control of oneself is a difficult task. But you are definitely being controlled if you don’t control yourself. Sure there are worse things to be, but all of your intentions, and ideas, and cozy viewpoints for a long portion of life are simply a reflection of where you come from. Some say we are getting the other viewpoints from around the world through media. But by the time the story gets to the reader, isn’t it tertiary? There are so many hands that touches a news article before the reader gets to see it. How can anyone be sure that news stories are the truth and not their own projected expectations?
Maybe we can never be certain, but isn’t it a noble idea, and one which western society thrives on, that trying and listening to what others have to say (To some extent.) is enough? For a culture that thrives on independence, we sure don’t approve of individual thought.