Saturday, December 13, 2014
I would like to think of myself as evolved. According to psychologist Carl Rogers, a fully functioning person is one who is in touch with their deepest, innermost feelings and desires, one who works toward self-actualization, who is realistic, yet open to new experiences and capable of changing in response to those experiences. I have a sense of ethics, a command of language, an understanding of logical fallacies, and a social perspective; the understanding that I am not an island but part of a larger humanity. I have a sense of responsibility, discipline and compassion.
Combine that with 65 years of social experience, 40 years of career experience, and 44 years of marriage, and I would think that would qualify me as capable of making a variety of value judgements about the world around me.
Maybe the things and people that drive me nuts do so simply by contrast.
Maybe ignorance really is a kind of bliss. I mean, if a person doesn't really understand what constitutes sexism, racism or sexual prejudice, they can't see anything wrong with committing same, and they can't properly identify it when they see it. If a person stereotypes the unemployed and homeless as generally lazy, they have no problem with cutting social programs.
If someone really doesn't understand the difference between intelligent oratory and word salad, they probably don't see much of a problem with people like Palin, Bachmann, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity and other talking heads.
About 30% of Americans think homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.
About 20% think Obama is a Muslim.
Anti-vaxxers believe vaccinations cause autism, in spite of evidence to the contrary. And so, pertussis - a disease vaccination made rare - has made a huge comeback.
And then, of course, there's the Dunning-Kruger effect. As comedian John Cleese put it,"If you're very, very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you're stupid?"
Question: If someone coming up the street is carrying an AR-15, how do you determine if he's a good guy or a bad guy?
Question: What balloon-headed suit and tie signed off on launching a flying device with spinning blades inside a restaurant?
Maybe I'm just too evolved for my own good…for my own sanity.