Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Solution Is BORING!

Making things better is difficult and boring work. Breaking things is easier. The natural tendency to pick the easier path can be called "entropy". Our most important job - assuming we want to live in a safe, beneficial civilization - is to fight that entropy, and that means working on improving ourselves and keeping to the moral codes that society is built on.

We all need to apply this advice to ourselves, and to how we relate to others - whether they are people we know and talk to, or people we watch via the various media.

Assume good intent. It's always easy to find "evidence" to "prove" that someone else wants to take that easy entropic path - and it's impossible to deny that we all feel the urge to break everything down and start from scratch. But it is vital that we not act on that "proof". Act as though everyone really is working toward the same goal - never give them the excuse they need to decide that cooperation is pointless.

Don't settle for shortcuts or shorthand. What do phrases like "special interests" mean? How often are "some people" or "many people" accused of some action? How often are "most people" attributed with certain thoughts or beliefs? We all use these shortcuts because "everyone knows" what we're talking about - but it's too easy to fool ourselves into making assumptions that aren't true.

Don't confuse attitude with substance. The other side will ALWAYS seem smug to you, especially when they are right about something. The attitude of either party about their "correctness" does not affect that "correctness" in any way.

Don't act out of destructive frustration. Calling it "revolution" just jazzes it up. We all need to act out of a sense of constructive cooperation. We all want the same things - freedom, prosperity, happiness - and those are not limited commodities. NOBODY has the whole solution - that's why we form groups and argue. Argument itself, like cultivation or home maintenance, is necessary, difficult, and often messy work.

I hope that I'm helping. I trust that is your intention, too.

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