If the human race dies out, I think we are all pretty sure that it will somehow be the result of our own undoing.
Pollution? Global warming? Nuclear war? Perhaps... But so many of these issues come down to one fundamental flaw.
Deep down, we all think we are right.
Its just not true. It can't be. Some of us are wrong, just like we're all not above average, too. Oh, and many of us aren't special either. Your mom lied to you. Sorry.
What's even worse, though, is that our righteousness is killing our connections to other people. Sociologists have seen a prolonged and steady decline in group participation in all forms. We don't truly seek out groups of others because we don't feel like other people can offer us anything we don't already have or tell us anything we don't already know.
Even in the blog world... This isn't about community. We like to say it is, but if it was, egalitarian message boards would have worked just fine. No, we needed a medium whereby our own thoughts were big and monopolized the screen, and anything anyone else had to say got marginalized down at the bottom, requiring a click to view. Why do we think most of the blogging platforms haven't integrated the "publish a comment as a post" thing that elevates our readers on par with ourselves?
Probably because not enough people are asking for it.
Surely if they can find ways to stream 30 MB podcasts into an RSS feed, reblogging a comment can't be a huge technological hurdle.
Its bad enough that this problem of being right prevents us from being good listeners. It causes us to carry around a lot of spite and animosity, too... for people that we should really be better to.
When I was in college, I thought my girlfriend had a crush on this kid out in Ohio that she met on a community service trip. Everyone seemed to like this kid and, man, whenever I heard his name, it drove me up a wall. I just to just hate the sound of his name, let alone the thought of this girlfriend stealing do-good dick.
So when her connection to Ohio wound up becoming a job opportunity, and she took, it, this became an even bigger obsession. I went out there for her birthday once and decided I was going to throw her a surprise party with her coworkers. I decided the best way to "combat" this Ohio kid was to be the better guy and actually invite him to it, since they were actually friends.
Of course, I dreaded meeting him, but you wanna know something?
He was harmless.
In fact, he was so harmless that the two of us actually wound up kind of hanging out that night and I have to say I actually liked the guy. He was a pretty cool guy.
Big bad Colin. Ha!
All those mental and emotional cycles wasted over something that was all perception, not reality.
The point? The point is that we need to stop dropping stuff like this. We need to figure out our visceral reactions, our unwarrented animosities and start trying to figure out why. Chances are, its not even the other person's fault... its your own internal issue. So, you keep trying to duke it out with them, but, in the end, the problem isn't with them, its with you. Go sit in room alone for a while and work it out by yourself. Come back to us when you're done.
"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead ... only try to realize the truth."
"There is no spoon."
"There is no spoon?"
"Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself."