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I was thinking about a lot of the propaganda that goes on today in social media. Everyone follows these people who have concrete ideas about "how things should be". This often causes a lot of argument, obviously, because people are entitled to disagree about how things should be.

I have a lot of responsibility these days and I have to think about how I will manage my life in a way that works well with others. Not to mention being a good parent who will apply a little bit of force in certain directions from time to time. Eventually we all have to put our foot down somewhere and draw the line, lest our children run amok among the world's greatest dangers.

The paradox which I found interesting is that you also have to give way to things you don't like sometimes. It is like a compromise. You get a little of what you want, and I get a little of what I want, and we all get along well enough to live happy lives. So what is the problem here? The only problem I've ever experienced in this vein is when someone comes along who thinks they have it all figured out, and that EVERYTHING has to go their way. This is the militant type of mind and it can be very dangerous.

You can't create a perfect world. And you can't make everyone around you fit your own ideals. But you can, perhaps, think of it as such "I will cooperate with the people in my life as much as I can, while occasionally applying some pressure towards the directions which I prefer." Because in reality, the people around you come first. You should listen to them and make sure they are happy, and they should likewise listen to you and make sure you are happy. When the time comes that you feel like you are being bowled over by other people's demands, you will promptly know how horrible it is to live at the whim of someone else. This comes up most often in matters of work, but work might be the one exception where it is ok to let yourself be bowled over a bit, for the sake of supporting the team, or making your customers happy, or whatever it may be that brings the bacon home.

Then I suddenly thought that this applies on the larger social scale. We have large groups of people in society who see things in a certain way, and they often want to get their own way and disregard other people's ways. THAT is where the politics start. And THAT can also be where a lot of fighting starts. Thus it is a very important thing to think about.

It suddenly dawned on me: "Why is it that some groups of people just can't seem to get their way when they seem to have perfectly normal demands?" The answer might be that some groups are bigger than other groups. It is similar to having a big ape vs a smaller ape in the wild. The bigger ape often wins. But even when we are not fighting against each other, we do often tend to "push" a little to try to get our own way sometimes.

So "The Soft Push of the Giant" can often have a greater impact on society. So when a larger group wants to get their way, they will tend to succeed more often it seems. What is there to stop them?

My personal take on this is that I will continue as I stated above. "To cooperate with people as much as I can, while pushing a little towards my preferred direction". But the directions I like might be a minority choice. How many people see the world as I see it? Not so many. And what is the reason for that?

I can't help thinking that too many people just look for the bigger group to join. They choose to put their own preferences to the side for the sake of the security of the big group. This actually causes chaos because no one is really thinking about their own direction anymore. They are only letting themselves get bowled over by "the big machine". When the day comes that they have to make a decision for themselves, they will suddenly find that they have all but lost the ability to even think for themselves.

Well. Unfortunately this story doesn't have a happy ending. I'm afraid that's just the state of the world today. But I often find that people are surprisingly intelligent, and often a lot smarter than we originally thought via observation. So perhaps the guiding light here is that: "We can continue to promote independence to all of the individuals who we meet in our lives, in hopes that we will become a stronger community of people who engage in compromise with each other."

And a thousand years later, if we can get that far... THEN we can slowly discuss about "what is fair and what is not fair". But that is a long... long.... long... way off. Let's finish step 1 before we get to step 2.

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Submitted on
September 11, 2018
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