There are some things about people I will grant:
We are social beings that value recognition by our fellow social beings.
Inconsistent as to personality makeup. We are not “cookie-cutter” people, we are individuals, special only to those who know and love us.
Prone, in many cases, to make mistakes, some more frequently than others, some less often.
Prone, in many cases, to be easily offended when their personal moral and ethical beliefs are challenged because it indicates some sort of error in our thinking, or discernment of spiritual truths.
I just read a great piece about how a student was infuriated at his teacher for not giving him an A+ (I assume. but if it’s a college class the student is shit outta luck because a 4.0 is an A and you can’t get a 4.01 or anything above just a plain old A. It means it was an outstanding job! Enjoy the fact that you accomplished something more than a C student (2.0 = Average, not better or worse) can claim. But apparently, he had some deeper, uglier motive that needed action. It is the only frustrating motive both that writer and I could clearly identify.
And, from where I’m standing, there seems to be a trend towards this kind of thinking by everyone. WTF is going on? Is a calm perspective so out of favor? What motivated these mass murderers to pick up a weapon, or climb behind a wheel of a pickup, or spend the long and arduous task of learning how to pilot a large aircraft and think to themselves “Surely this will get their attention, force them to see to the injustices that I’ve observed. Surely then they’ll take notice.”
No, not at all. All it shows me is a lack of critical thinking skills. It demonstrates the same lack of empathy that they are accusing others of. It clarifies their own tremendously self-centered point of view while saying “my way is right and there is no other view that is correct.” WTF do they think they are? The anointed of GOD?
People don’t seem to want to see the progress society is making. I guess they fear for where their place in it will be. I don’t think they’ll mind the change as much as they mind the uncertainty of their own future. Sure, I may be just a curmudgeonly, old, white man, bitching, moaning, and complaining but I can live with that judgment by my fellow social beings, mostly because it is true… well at least today it is.
In fact, I take a certain comfort in it, it is an opinion that has placed me on the outs with many of my acquaintances. Too secular for my religious brethren, too religious for my secular colleagues. I’ve been called many things in my time here (on this planet). And for the majority of my life, I thought “they must be right.” Too emotional to be rational, too rational to be considered “driven by emotion.” Too average to be superlative, too superlative to be average.
What a waste of energy it has been! What “fear and trembling” it has wrought in my life, in the very core of my being. I’ve always felt “born in the wrong time.” which is akin to being on the outs with all “the cool kids.” But so what. Those cool kids have proven to be just as malformed as the rest of us. I have many acquaintances, fewer friends, and I’ve married my best friend.
I am in the curious place of being closer to the end of my life than to the beginning and 60 is the new 40. But I’m in that place again. The great in-between. Neither here nor there. I keep seeing the same patterns over and over, although, sometimes, society and civilization seem to creep forward a millimeter at a time.
So forget the doomsayers and the fearmongers who want you to be as frightened by the times as they are. Forget them because they want followers, naive, unquestioning, proselytes, waiting with bated breath for their next prophetic word… not brothers (and sisters) in arms. No rational, critical thinkers, but followers of their words, unquestioning, mute, alone.