My feeling about people arguing over half-empty and half-full glasses is that I’ll take the glass while they’re debating and fill it myself. Too many people are griping, complaining, and agonizing, getting up in the morning as if life is a long, slow crawl through enemy territory.
And the enemy is anyone who doesn’t agree with their particular party line.
Facebook, the contemporary square for public criers, is rife with people who seem to think the rest of us are damaged solely because we don’t believe what they do. One woman today wrote, astoundingly, that she could’t believe the “obesity, incivility, and violence” around her. “And don’t get me started on global warming,” she threatened with the assurance of the morally certain and cemented.
Someone has to comment on this nonsense. More violence is done and more incivility created by being so damned intolerant. Obesity isn’t a crime and sometimes it’s unavoidable. This woman’s own post I found “uncivil” and the tacit belief that we’re all damaged because we can’t see the world through her tainted glasses and insist on following our own beliefs and living our own lives—well, don’t get me started!
I awake in the morning full of hope, opportunistic, and assured I will make a lot of the day, helping others and helping myself. I don’t believe you’re damaged or unenlightened unless you do something to demonstrate that, and even then I’ll try to forgive you if you’re not doing harm to anyone.
Facebook opens up the printed page to the demons that seem to exist within people’s psyches, suggesting that their worldview is sacrosanct and anointed by the people who bless such things. Let me, however, point to three opposing authorities.
Billy Joel sings of “shades of grey,” talking about the fact that the older he gets the less he knows. “I’m just not sure, any more.”
H.L. Mencken observed: Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong.
And I don’t know who said this, but I remember reading it ages ago: No one is as corrupt as the morally certain.
Excuse me, but I’m leaving to go fill up this glass….
© Alan Weiss 2013