September 16, 2008
"The perks go to the guys who play the game... The ones who politic". I heard this line in a movie I was watching this evening and thought about the truth of this statement.
The statement falls into a category I file away in the back of mind that includes such gems as "assholes and elbows", "got time to lean, got time to clean" etc... The old stand by, "I heard that" is tucked away in there somewhere as well. I thought at one point that it was these sound bites that I had a loathing for, but I have come to understand that it is the people who use these sayings that I feel an unexplainable contempt for.
Placement of a reason for these feelings isn't very complicated, no deep meaningful thought process is involved at all. It's like listening to a talk show featuring an actor or musician that you've always enjoyed and they start waxing political then you discover that the person you've been a fan of is a complete moron. A little let down is how I feel when that happens, same as when somebody makes one of those statements... A "here we go again" feeling...
I find it difficult to fathom that a human being's understanding can be so shallow and competitive. I have watched people spend an entire afternoon together with friends and discuss topics such as the height of their children. Why? Has the competitive nature of the human soul grown so weak? Or is the question really that the competitive nature has grown stronger while the intellect or understanding has grown weaker? Competition keeps us in tune and focused, I agree, but to compete for everything is tiring. Be competitive where it counts, in business and sports, not in personal relationships.
In doing research of many different topics for either writing articles or personal interest, I generally find a grain of truth is present in most people, it's just skewed by ignorance. "Common sense" is a great skewer of truth... "Common sense dictates that..." is one of the biggest statements I have filed away, so big in fact it has a special room all to itself. It's common sense that tells us if we wish to lose weight then we should eat less fat in our diets, since as we all know, fat is what we are trying to get rid of so eating less of it makes more sense, right? Common sense also tells us that if we had fewer guns in our society there wouldn't be as much violence as there is, after all cops and other government officials are the only ones who really need them. Common sense is also the harbinger of the thoughts that tell most of us what is morally right or wrong. Defining morals is a discussion best left to those that are alone... outside... far from everyone else.
To advance as a civilization means what? How do we do it? Are we indeed slowing our own progress by staving off the law of the jungle? Should people that cling to the lowest common denominator be as protected as they are? If not, who is to be the judge of who it is that does indeed comprise this group of individuals that should be cast off by the survival of the fittest? Should it be based on intellect, physical prowess, beauty... which should it be? Most of the religious tomes I've read teach that helping the weak is part of the pathway to whatever salvation you believe in, personally I believe in helping the truly weak, not the lazy.
This is where the human factor comes into play. Once we involve humans, the plan becomes a moot point indeed, because of the general weakness of human character. If one sees a clear path to advance ones self, they will take it, even to the detriment of others. Personal gain trumps everything else, a game well played by the weak minded, or more accurately, the weak willed. The "golden rule" or which ever moniker you choose to apply to it from what ever philosophical or theological school of thought you follow, is fairly non existent. Keeping the first rule of all rules in mind of course, which is: There are exceptions to each and every rule.
My fourteen year old was asking me about fighting, a discussion we have had several times. He knows my feelings, so this conversation is usually the segue into the real topic. He falls into the same category I do, whiny to a point, but just morally ambiguous enough to crack a ball bat across the knee of said offender when physically attacked and not lose any sleep over it... We went through "the rules". Tell the present authority figure, ask for them to put forth effort to engage the individual in discussions to set up and call for and end to the aggressions, making sure you are not at fault before this step is put into play. When this fails to work, go to the non present authority figure. When that doesn't work, appeal directly to the finer points of the personality of said offender in discussion. When all of the above fails, you have no choice but to ignore it, taking them out only if they attack you physically. Getting rid of them is no small action, it must be done with extreme violence and lack of hesitation, he has been taught these methods well and knows how to apply them. He knows the cost of violence and is usually not willing to let it go that far, same as me. But he must know the methodology in case he is met with violence. When this point has been reached, all of the rules are tossed out by the aggressor. He will be leaving in a box. There is no such thing as a fair fight. The moment a hand is put upon you in anger, meaning harm to your person, the individual who places that hand there will be stopped by any and all means available. (see conceal and carry permit) There is no excuse for violence, and the violent among us understand only one thing.
These intellectually amorphic people are no different than the ones who play the game of politicking. They will seek to advance themselves beyond those who are more capable by manipulation of opinion. This practice is counted against you by the experienced among society. When forming a specific anti-terrorism unit, a former navy seal said of the selection process, "The first thing I did was to ask the commander of each team I was picking from who the best in that group was. Then I promptly ignored those individuals." When seeking out the effective people you go to the ones who get things done, not the ones who tell them what to do.
Recognition of the human drool can be difficult at times, but most times you get bitten by not paying attention to the sucker punch that's flying your way. During times like that it becomes a slim comfort, but you just gotta hope that karma is watching.