The Misconception

There are certain people who possess an aura that everybody gravitates to. This is an aura that tends to capture the hearts and minds of both their allies and foes. This is an aura that does not elicit fear in the minds of others. Instead, it has a tendency to heighten the degree to which allies are endeared by it. This is an aura that has the capacity to command respect in the minds of individuals who have the conviction to relegate the existence of the person who they may loathe, detest, abhor or reject to that of being a permanent enemy. This aura has the capacity to expose the humanity that hides in the hearts of all the people who may be steadfast enough to believe that the HATE they have for the person in possession of this aura is undeniable, unquestionable, unquenchable and destined to last a lifetime. The extent to which the people who the world tends to gravitate towards serves as evidence of their authenticity and unwavering pursuit to never compromise themselves for the sake of others. These are people who do not conform to the pressures that cast individuals into that tell-tale abyss where everybody is found when they try to please everyone. These are people who respect themselves, and the world respects them in return. This aura that such individuals possess is a virtue that denies them the misfortune of falling victim to the misconception of assuming that love, decency and humility will be shown to them by all of those who they come across. These are people who live their lives in complete awareness of the Aesopian adage “PLEASE ALL, AND YOU WILL PLEASE NONE.”

Beauty is subjective by nature. As such, beauty is a concept that possesses different connotations for different people. The concept of beauty has the capacity to create opinions that can polarize society. It is a concept that depends on the senses, the manner in which someone has been socialized and the manner in which a person defines and interprets reality. As such, the classic idea of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder carries a great and infinite truth. This classic idea holds true for another classic – the Alfa-Romeo GTV6 – a car that continues to polarize opinions among petrolheads, classic car enthusiasts and Alfa-Romeo fanatics alike. The polarizing nature of this car causes certain individuals to love it for its positive attributes, whilst the opinions of others are driven purely by the known faults of the car, for which there can be no denying. One positive aspect of the GTV6 involves the concept of weight distribution – a term that defines how the mass of the mechanical components of a vehicle is spread throughout the length of the body of a car. In terms of the Alfa-Romeo GTV6, weight distribution represents one such concept for which the configuration of the car has been touted. As a matter of fact, the GTV6 had a 50:50 weight distribution, thanks to an engine mounted in the front of the car, coupled to a gearbox mounted in its rear. The result of all the engineering that comes from such a configuration created a vehicle that has been praised for its traction, balance and handling. Conversely, the known faults of the GTV6 penetrate the mind like heroin from a syringe pulsating through the veins of an addict – there can be no denying of its effects on the perception of reality. One such fault involved rust – a consequence of the financial difficulties that plagued Alfa-Romeo during the production era of the GTV6. Such financial difficulties eroded at the integrity of Alfa-Romeo to the extent where it was purchased by Fiat, ultimately creating a chapter in the history of the Alfa-Romeo Bible, during which the term “quality control” was completely eradicated from Alfa-Romeo vocabulary. In addition, during the proverbial “glory days” of the GTV6, the original owners of these cars were frustrated by such faults which were met with warranty claims that Alfa-Romeo simply reneged on. It is a shame to consider that the beauty underlying the sloping roofline of this car has been fraught with the sort of maladies that really do run skin-deep. This is not dissimilar to meeting an individual whose aesthetic appeal cannot be denied, only to discover that whilst their beauty may be enchanting, they are not immune from the issues that affect people on a psychological level. This is almost as if meeting someone as mesmerising as Halle Berry, only to discover that she has spent the past twenty years of her life suffering from depression. In this regard, the GTV6 brings the misconception of assuming that beauty and perfection are one and the same to the fore.

Considering the fact that a large number of GTV6 Alfa-Romeos were built in South Africa, it would be assumed that as a member of the South African population, my experience with this car would be adequate. However, never before has the contrary been more true. I have only ever seen an Alfa-Romeo GTV6 once in my life, covered in dust and cobwebs in a junkyard just outside the Johannesburg Central Business District. This is a sight that has lived with me ever since, making me realize a horrible truth about human behaviour. Often, people find themselves in the midst of greatness, genius, panache, glamour, personality and exuberance whilst being completely oblivious to its existence. This leaves me in mind of the sort of people who spend the majority of their lives disguised in the back of crowds – disappearing right in front of the very eyes of the people who they are surrounded by – whilst being present to the needs, wants, opinions and suggestions made by society at a specific moment in time. These are people whose contribution to society is akin to the gears responsible for the functioning of an analogue watch. Each gear in that watch serves its role with diligence and discipline, and when all the parts come together, they create something that is much greater than what the individual parts could have ever been. The watch becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and it has an even greater meaning by virtue of the fact that it can tell time, which gives meaning to all of existence. This is meaning that may not be consciously acknowledged, but it is unconsciously felt and depended upon. However, the horrible truth about human behaviour is made apparent by the inability for human beings to recognize value when it is within sight. It is only when such value disappears from our line of sight that we begin to recognize the gaping hole left inside our souls from its departure. The experience of seeing that GTV6 in such an unholy and dilapidated state made me confront another misconception that I had about human life. This car made me realize that excellence does not necessarily meet its equivalent in the form of accolades, acknowledgement or recognition. Sure, the GTV6 may be a car plagued with flaws, however these flaws are not dissimilar to the imperfections that result in the crafting of a human being. These are imperfections that make it possible to pose the following philosophical questions: how perfect can the creation of a human being be, when everything human beings create is nothing more than an extension of themselves – an extension of human nature that is characterized by imperfection? How can flair and passion be judged through a combination of empirical and statistical analyses when it is a concept so abstract and subjective that it has different meanings to different people? How can the Alfa-Romeo GTV6 be maligned for problems that are not of its own doing but rather those of its creators? This car is nothing more than a product of its era, but its essence possesses much more substance than what people are consciously willing to acknowledge. This is a car that has a value that has barely even been recognized, a value that exists in the geniuses among us, quietly going about the business of immortalizing themselves in history, whilst everyone remains blissfully unaware of their contributions to society.

There is sound reason to justify the existence of rational and logical human beings in positions of power. Their accolades and reputations warrant them a certain degree of veneration, which leaves them in a stratosphere dominated by the rich and famous. However, the inability to attain the recognition that has the capacity to relegate a person into this stratospheric social hierarchy is no reason to merely neglect and reject their existence. If this were true, then punishing people for their flaws would be a true and orthodox convention. However, more sane and moral minds have prevailed. Similarly, if the Alfa-Romeo GTV6 was to be punished for its mechanical and structural imperfections, then it would have never graced the highways, driveways and backroads that the world has to offer. This may be a car that the uninitiated motorist, who does not form part of the world of the petrolhead, would be too scared to consider purchasing. However, the beauty, appeal, presence and charisma of this car grants it the aura of an individual who the world gravitates to. Its faults are identical to the stubbornness that leaves people to their own devices in the pursuit of authenticity. This is a vehicle which proves that cars are far more than the sum of their parts.

52 thoughts on “The Misconception

    1. Nice to meet you too. Cars definitely tend to make me lose my mind a bit. I believe the relationship between cars and my upbringing has resulted in me using them as a coping mechanism. As a result, when I discuss a car and incorporate it into my analysis of human life, the car does become the dominant aspect of the article from there onwards. I do not believe that there is anything particularly wrong with being passionate about something, but hopefully my future articles will be a demonstration of my ability not to lose myself when intermingling the topics of motoring with the human condition.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Using the comfort of cars to get where you’re going seems to serve you well. Even more than Robert Frost, you have chosen a “road … less traveled … ” and that can be a difference maker for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed. I believe Robert Frost might have had a point – and it fills me with great pleasure to know that you could associate a quote so profound with my body of writing. It is a road that I look forward to traveling. Thank you.

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  1. -The people with aura are the special creations. They have their magnetism to attract others, veer towards them to gain something from such a rare specie. Thanks a lot for sharing wonderful thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is my pleasure. I look forward to more of your comments – I believe that your perspective of the world is not so different from mine – although motoring plays a dominant role in the way I look at the world as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You perspective on life is obviously broad-based and linking it with ‘motoring’ makes the topics very life-like.I shall be visiting your site for enlightenment. Regards.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This message is brilliantly penned and true.
    It’s uniquely authenticity paints a vivid picture of how easily misconception shortens one’s view of another.
    You stated it so beautifully, “judging a book by its cover.
    Your post is enlightening, enriching, inspiring and heartfelt.
    Leaving the reader in deep thought, pondering within. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It is an absolute pleasure for me to serve the readers of my work with my writing. Being able to share my perceptions of the world through cars is an extremely healing and therapeutic process of self expression that makes it possible for me to better understand who I am. I hope future articles continue to beguile and enlighten.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate the compliment, and I believe that the relationship between cars and life is inextricably linked. Cars are borne of human hands and become part of our daily lives – weaving themselves into our existence to become one of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Looking forward to future articles. May they bring continued enlightenment and clarity. Your words are as a parables to bring about understanding.
        Blessings 😊

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    1. The connotations that the word charisma carries are far too broad to outline the uniqueness of this sort of human being, which is part of the character embodied by the Alfa-Romeo GTV6, as outlined by the article. Some people generally have a tendency of trying to avoid people who possess the aura that the article aims to explore through the use of this car. However, these are people who endear those who respect them, and expose the humanity that exists in the people who hate them. I believe we all encounter these people, and our attempts to avoid them are generally met with defeat because their presence cannot be denied.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that what you believe you missed in the article is something that you can find. I appreciate you engaging with my work at such an incredible degree of depth. This level of critique and analysis is the reason why this website exists.

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  3. On a second reading, I realise you are talking about people like me. Authentic, altruistic, standing up for what is right and for the mistreated. But there is no aura, there is only admiration and dislike, I am both admired for speaking up for others and disliked. People look at me and realise they are flakey.

    Name one person who fits your description!!

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    1. The sort of person that my article outlines is an individual who is, as you put it, altruistic. Nelson Mandela is one such individual who has been an outstanding example of the connotations that this article aims to explore. This article draws a certain level of inspiration from his existence. His degree of altruism saw him spend a large portion of his life in prison because of his belief in justice. This is a belief that relates to the aura that the article explores. This aura is what would be defined as a state of being. This state of being is a mindset that goes about defining the manner in which someone sees the world and how the world responds to them by virtue of their perception of the world, as is outlined by the use of the term “authenticity” throughout this article. As such, the article manages to encapsulate the essence of what it means to have an aura, be admired and be disliked all at once. I implore you to please acknowledge that just like you and me, these are people who possess characteristics that exist in all of us, as you have correctly pointed out. Some of these characteristics continue to be embodied by other everyday people who pass us by while we remain blissfully unaware of their existences. I rarely ever receive the pleasure of having this much engagement with the people who read my work. It fills me with great pleasure to know that there is someone who is critical of what I create and how I perceive the world using cars as a medium. Thank you for viewing my website.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not critical, I just see things differently to you. Nelson Mandela is the person I thought you would say. But before he went to prison, he was a freedom fighter. Or a criminal. He sat with himself and examined himself. He forgave those who had perpetuated apartheid and had persecuted him. But he turned a blind eye to a lot of his wife’s wrongdoing and was known to be short tempered. In the culture he was from, it is normal to revere elders . No one has an aura.

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  4. I’m not huge into cars, but read this just to see, and I love your thoughts and insights. So creative, and you make some good points. And my husband would love the car talk 😂. We are in the U.S., but we watch Top Gear, so I recognize the Alfa Romeo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well Donga Tshabalala, good morning to you. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Let me assure you that I read every word, including all the comments. Your views have piqued my interest and I admire your use of words here.
    Your statement …”This car made me realize that excellence does not necessarily meet its equivalent in the form of accolades, acknowledgement or recognition.”…I believe is so true and your perspective is extremely well said. I am a car novice but even I can appreciate the analogies used her. Loved it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your creativity and passions are so clear in the work you share. The connections you make between your apparent passion for cars and depth of reflection you have for life is your unique offering of creativity for the rest of us to enjoy. Truly inspiring for creative spirits and good humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I thank you for recognizing the connections that I create between cars and life. I write the way I do precisely for individuals much like yourself, and the fact that this writing has reached people like you fills me with more joy than I believe you could imagine. I appreciate your engagement.

      Liked by 1 person

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