The Good people of the New Age
For such a colorful world, we sure see plenty of black and white. How many times have you heard “It’s us or them,” or “Neither here nor there,” or “Good and Evil,” or “There are two types of people?” Practically every second of every day of every year of your life so far, you say? Why am I not surprised…
Fact is, people love to simplify things. I’m guilty of this, too. I love being able to have a simple answer to things, and I must admit, it does feel awesome when you come up with a simple answer to something not-so-simple right on the spot. But is it really useful? It can be, sure.
But people being people, they tend to overuse something until it becomes counter-intuitive to the point of extreme frustration. But when used properly it can be a powerful tool, and can offer some amazing solutions to problems that previously seemed unsolvable. Like human stupidity, human brilliance knows no bounds.
But that is not what I’m talking about. Brilliance is all well and good, but it does get hindered by things such as conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom might offer an interesting point but it often is bullshit.
See, if I was playing in Sports Team A which is the Archrival of Sports Team B, I always have to cheer for Team A and against team B. Why? Do I really hate the people playing in the other team? Of course I don’t, I just feel that the victory of my team is paramount to other things, and Archrival Sports Team B’s defeat is the last stop to making me and my team happy. All aboard the happiness train. Choo choo.
Humans have a huge palette of defensive mechanism. One of them is this one, the ‘Us vs Them’ mechanism — when you are part of a tribe which tells you how the world is. If you’re part of Team A and feel strongly against Team B, then you’re probably part of a Tribe. And that’s a-okay, up until the moment the Tribe becomes your vehicle for all sorts of decisions. That means letting the Tribe choose what is right and what is wrong for you.
And sports is not the only example where this happens. You don’t even have to be part of a big tribe, you can simply partake in small-time events with a small, tightly knit group of people, which will shun you if you don’t do what they say.
And why? Why would we do this? We just want to be loved. It’s simple as that. But what are the real consequences? Do our morals in other fields stagnate, or do they move at a similar pace as the ones in the field that’s related to the Tribe? They sure as hell move.
After a certain period of time of dictating what’s right and what’s wrong, the Tribe lets you make your own decisions, but shame on you if you make the wrong one! What you’re left with in the end, is an impaired sense of morality and fear of consequences because of your terrible choices.
How many times have you prayed that your boss wouldn’t scold you because you did poorly on the review? If somehow you do break the tribe’s hold on you, all you’re left with is an emptier life. You either grind your teeth and keep on rolling, or you tuck your tail between your legs and wait until the ridicule and shaming pass until you’re accepted back.
What makes us accept this? Not everyone is part of such Tribes, mind you, but I’ve always found it quite interesting how people live according to rules that are made by others and not themselves. And I’m not talking about the law, because as flawed as the law is, it can be useful for the right things.
People simply want to live a comfortable, secure life. They’re mostly used to thinking about a small spectrum of things, and want to be accepted by the majority. In short, they’re living inside the box, never even thinking of leaving it. To them, that’s safety, but to me that’s boredom.
So, when you have the tribe mentality where the tribe is always right, that means you only have one right choice and plenty of wrong ones. That translates to Right and Wrong, or Black and White. When you’ve spent your entire life thinking in those colors, you’re pretty much skipping on all those other fascinating colors out there.
But I know it’s easy to get lost in those two colors. Morality is not an easy thing, especially when you can choose to be spoon fed instead of taking huge chunks and spitting out the rotten parts yourself. But first, we have to see what morality can be, because morality is always changing.
It’s so easy to say what is right and what is wrong. Even if you have strong principles and debate about things thoroughly, it’s so easy to get consumed by rightfulness. Morality can be a guiding beacon or can be a hindrance. It can be your defining feature or it can be your downfall. Even though by definition morality is the principle by which you discern right from wrong, it doesn’t mean you’ll see the right right or the wrong wrong. But the choice can overwhelm you. And at best it will, and at worst will downright destroy you. I consider myself a moralist, and boy oh boy, I know how hard a choice can be.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, or at least partially, I feel the need to ask. Why the hell in this day and age are we still struggling with only two colors? You’d think that people would learn from history’s mistakes and would think twice before repeating them.
Nope. Sorry to burst your bubble, but people are just as stupid as they were thousands of years ago. You can’t just say you’re civilized and expect miracles to happen. You’d think ignorance and stupidity would be a thing of the past, since now we have the infinite brain that is the internet. If only.
Since history repeats, that means that its mistakes repeat, too. According to history, the biggest mistake humanity does, is continuing being arrogant. When was the last time you walked instead of drove because that way you won’t pollute? And why won’t you switch to electric cars? Because they’re not as fast? Why is this relevant to the topic you ask? Because look at it this way. Black and white. White is what matters and black is what doesn’t.
And what matters is to go to work and fulfill the dreams of others, and what doesn’t matter is how you do that. What matters is you save time and that’s why you take the car. Then you sit at your workplace, and while you wait for the time to pass, your boss yells at you and you feel frustrated because someone less intelligent than you gets to scream to your face. And after years of similar psychological torture you just don’t care anymore. You say ‘yes’ every time he tells you to work faster, and instead of wanting to punch his face you simply nod.
Of course you’re going to be tired of life and not care about others, since they’re not you. They’re not #1, they’re not who are supposed to get yelled at, they’re not the ones paying your bills and bringing your food.
What happens then? Everyone becomes a backdrop, just a prop in your life that exists to simply reinforce the idea that your life is your own, that they can do nothing to change your situation. So you start thinking about ‘survival of the fittest.’ You just don’t care about them anymore. You don’t think of ‘them’ as beings that have a life just as complex as yours, and maybe even more so. They’re actors that are paid to do their job, and are seemingly paid well. You stop pondering the meaning of life and accept that the situation is ‘kill or be killed.’ Black or white.
Not everyone is like this. On the contrary, a lot of people break from these bonds and start operating outside of the proverbial box. What that means is that anyone can start seeing the world as it truly is. Colorful and vibrant and filled with plenty of shades in-between. So, what do you need to transcend the black-and-white stage? First, understand what seeing the world in full color means. It means to not take a problem at face value, it means to dig deep to find the answer why you have that problem in the first place, to solve that problem in your mind and then apply the solution.
It means to have a model of your life and everything around it in your freaking head. And finally, accept that nothing is what it seems, that black and white are just a lie and are pointless. There is no good and evil, there is no heaven and no hell. There is only you and the world around you in all its blazing glory.
Morality is a strange concept. It’s so intertwined with the development as a person and basically defines you. And how do you measure how much a person is developed? Easy, you put ’em on a developemeter. Then you chuckle about the idea and you start reading psychology and stuff. It says fascinating things, really.
It all begins when you’re born (duh!) up until you’re about two. You’re just a mindless little creature with a tea-spoon amount of instincts which more-or-less mean you like sucking your own thumb. Then you become a spoiled little shit that can’t see further than his own nose. You’re kind of like an idiot then. Then you reach the wonderful age of seven, and you’re all kinds of curious and start thinking in more concrete terms, but you’re still far off. You can understand and apply logic, but you can’t mentally break down a problem and solve it from different angles.
This is the interesting bit. Even though this stage is supposed to end at about eleven, not everyone leaves it. That’s not to say they’re stupid or unintelligent. It might mean their surroundings weren’t stimulating enough, they hadn’t met a problem that required a different method, it might mean a lot of things. Simply put, they didn’t meet their limits so they could push them. That’s why the next stage is abstract thinking and finding different solutions for the same problem. This means being able to bring down a problem to bits strictly in your head and solve it by seeing it in different angles. It’s not the same thing for everybody, but it’s more-or-less the same principle. While there is an even higher stage, it’s rarely reached. That stage is accepting the full gradient of morality, understanding that some problems can’t be solved by you, perceiving every human being as its own entity with morals, thoughts, ideas, life. Seems like a lot of work, doesn’t it?
Morals are important. We’re no longer living in a world where we have to hunt animals to survive. We no longer die alone if we’re unwanted by a potential mate. The list of binary choices is drastically shortened. Humans today have it easy, we experience fear because of evolution, like the fear of rejection. You’re not going to die if a girl says no to you, of course not. But your whole body shakes and trembles and it tells you that winning that girl’s affection is the most important thing in the world, because it’s used to dealing with absolutes. If you don’t procreate you die. Black and white.
But overcome your stupid body which still lives in 200.000 BC. Barring some life-threatening situations, nothing is truly scary, nothing should make you afraid. So what if your boss screams at you? Do they have it better than you? Aren’t they flesh and blood too? Don’t be a child that thinks only of itself. Think outside of the box. That boss screams at you because his boss is screaming at him, or because his wife isn’t putting out, or because he didn’t get enough sleep from taking care of their kid. It can be a whole range of things. It’s not all about you, it never has and never will be.
Abandon the cave dweller ways, forget about that hottie that thinks they’re the center of the universe, and settle in the New Age, an Age of wondrous discovery, an Age of True Human Brilliance, where the sun can truly shine. Forget about following rules that never made sense. See the world as it is, dip in the never-ending palette of colors and start painting your canvas with life. It’s idiotic to obsess over black and white when the alternative is the beauty of the world.
This guy is just obsessed with life. In that life writing is a huge part of it. You may consider following him. If this guy is right up your alley, consider clicking that Follow button somewhere on this site. You know you want to. You know you want to. Brainwash. Whoosh.