The Great Human Flaw
Call it what you will. A crutch. A flaw. Our “Achilles’s Heel”, if you will. Nonetheless it is a problem, and with our very unhealthy habit of acting reactively to emotionally charged decisions that we later regret rather than analyzing and being preventative of the issue altogether — we only dig a deeper grave for ourselves. I can’t knock it because I’m guilty of it as well, but that doesn’t make this fact any less true.
The fact of the matter is, the greatest of human flaws is our inability to see beyond the surface of what befalls us and what we see in others. We cannot differentiate between what is human, and what is simply made by humans when it is most important to have that distinction.
What do I mean by this…?
It’s quite simple when used in direct reference to our experience.
It’s a numbers game…
We as human beings are far from linear, but convinced ourselves of the opposite at some point far back into the beginning of recorded history. With this inherent need for order and linear thought also came the need to relegate everything to a category or a group for our convenience. It is true that we do operate on a linear frequency to a fairly large extent, but it is never as black and white or as logically driven as we want to believe. The linear portion of our thought processes tend to rule our minds as a whole in modern society, and that is a tremendous flaw in a world where we are each unique but are reduces to numbers and symbols on a daily basis.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the purpose of such rigorous categorization. The true problem comes when we don’t understand how to put a cap on that system of thought, and allow it to bleed into all aspects of our existence.
I watched a movie call The Big Short recently, and it wasn’t my first time watching it so I analyzed it for subliminal messaging and symbolism.
It is a film that followed the true stories of three separate groups that each had relationships with Wall Street who all predicted, and profited greatly off of the housing market collapse of 2007/2008 due to betting against a system that apparently could not fail. It revealed a lot of the twisted dealings and exposed the extremely f*cked bailout based system that these big banks operate on, but even more importantly it highlighted the dangers of being consumed with what humans are on paper versus who they are as living beings. It was watching this film that both sparked and inspired the realization that we do this in almost every aspect of our lives.
The thing is, we allow anything with a level of surface value to trump the value of another human being’s life. I wouldn’t even say that it is malicious, because it’s not like we’re all out here looking to commit genocide, but it is still paramount that we become more aware of the fact that we all tend to subconsciously judge and relegate one another to some displaced preconceived notion based on a past experience, a number on a chart, or the fact that we simply don’t know them personally.
If you think I’m bullsh*tting, thing about the last time you ever looked at a car over from you at a stoplight and thought about the fact that his/her life is just as complex and filled with endless twists and turns as yours. On the surface, it’s just another car that’s riding between you and your destination. think about the last time that you ever looked at what a person is wearing and didn’t consider the fact that their attire doesn’t define them. On the surface, they are their clothes; not the human beneath them. Think about the true purpose or meaning of war. We see the ugliest actions of another country, but perceive the entire people or culture as such. And for what? For “freedom”? For democracy?
The truth of the matter is we merely see them as a mass of faceless bodies standing between us and the goals of our country, without even truly understanding our reason for choosing to hate them by default. Why would a big bank treat us differently? Why would any corporation treat us differently? In the eyes of any organization, we are ID numbers and passwords. Faceless. It has been engrained in us, and it is a subconscious urge that exists in all people to one degree or another. We aren’t to be condemned for judgement or marginalized thought. That part is natural. We are to be criticized and halted once we impose those thoughts onto others, and cause damage as a result.
If we cannot step back and see the tired mother on the way home from work with her kids in the car, or the low income family that will be heavily impacted by our greediness for the sake of more profits, or even the child who now becomes an orphan because we’ve decided that owning an overabundance of oil is THAT important; we can never even begin to approach the idea of peace among humans. And these are very vague examples, but this level of speculation and judgement is present everywhere. And this creates a dissonance and an us versus them idea that only ever segregates that much more. We must become more self aware in that regard.
A human being will never be more than collateral to one who cannot see past what can be recorded about them on paper. And that is what we need to begin to make the effort to do. It is easy to generalize and allow one surface level characteristic to define people for us. That’s why it also is so easy for us to say that we “hate” people. And what do we hate them for? Cutting us off in traffic? Taking too long to bring us our food? Making a mistake at the cash register? Voicing an opinion that is different from ours? Come on. That’s childish. Dive a little deeper, and use the mind that we each have been blessed with to look beyond what can easily be seen or judged. We don’t like being put in boxes, yet so easily will do the same unto others. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it until the day the I die; we can’t make a change without first looking into a mirror. This my call to action, and the action is a fairly small one. Focus on keeping your mind in check, and step outside of your mental comfort zone. It is easier to sit back and to see everyone outside of your immediate social circle as a waste of space, but that is very narrow minded and rudimentary. Venture beyond. Make the effort to alter your perception.