Saving Us From Ourselves

There is a modern day sociological movement of sorts making the rounds for the past decade or so. We see it on popular television shows, on bookstore shelves prominently displayed in the “Self Help” sections. The general theme of this thinking is that we as humans are letting our tell tale personality flaws take away from our better selves.  These pop psychologists and purveyors of the quick and relatively painless fix-up are seated in front of us each day supposedly telling it like it is. In their eyes we’re not nearly as useless at life as we think we are. All we really have to do is buy one of their books, or DVD’s or if possible come on down to one of their live presentations in a city near you and channel some of their positive energy over top of all that stale old bad energy that is our current life. I sure like the sound of it. Sign me up.

There is only one small problem. What if the flaws, the questions, the lapses in unbounded positive energy, are really just another piece of the human puzzle? Not necessarily a bad piece at all, just a small bit of what ultimately makes us human. They’re not character flaws at all, just the opposite side of the same human coin. Maybe some of us are supposed to be pudgy, or moody or selfish?

Are we trying to become post-human? Some of the greatest art and thought and human actions have been born in those darker moments within our souls. The imbalance is what makes us unique among living creatures. (We’ll leave the Jeffrey Daumers and Willy Picktons out of this scenario. Some of us are quite crazy and need all the mind altering potions and therapies available.) I’m talking about the average garden variety person here.

All of the other animals tend to act predictably. From the lowly scorpion to the majestic lion, we can pretty much depend on them to react a certain way to any given situation. Now try and guess what a group of ten randomly selected individuals will do when confronted with the same stimulus. Let’s say handing them a note stating that you’re a robber and to fork over their money. Chances are five will do it, two will feint, two will call for help and one will pull a gun and shoot you. (I might have the order wrong so if the first guy shoots you don’t worry about what the others would have done.)

So maybe there is no common flaw running through humanity?  Maybe it’s just part and parcel of the whole crazy package? Maybe a little bit crazy can still be loveable too?






Posted in Self-Reflection

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