I have a male friend that happens to be very good looking and has a lot of hair, and as great of a guy that he is, one of the things that he takes pride in is the fact that he’s hairy. In fact, it seems that every opportunity he gets, he will talk about how much of a man he is and he proudly points to the fact that he’s hairy, which proves that he is more of a man than those that have less hair, in his opinion. The fact of the matter is is that neanderthals had more hair than any modern man could dream of, but, of course, this does not make neanderthals more of a man than any modern man. So, why does such nonsense still hold sway in our society?
The fact of the matter is that at some point in time, men who did have more hair probably were more of a man than those that did not. But being a man was probably measured by how strong, fast and skilled at hunting a person was versus how educated, intelligent and innovative they are. So, most likely a hairier man was at some point (like 25,000 years ago) a more of a man, but certainly, in today’s world, the amount of hair has nothing to do with whether a male is a better man or not.
So, why do such things persist in jest or otherwise? It seems that once a reality is established, a rule is made or a truth is revealed, people forget the reasons behind why such things were established then just remember the reality, rule or truth. And, once this happens, it doggedly persists, regardless of whether or not the reality, rule or truth has long ceased to be valid. Modern humans should think about this and conclude that it is both true and incredibly stupid. Regardless, some other examples of such intractable “wisdom” would include statements such as: Be humble, god is our creator and savior, prostitution is immoral, homosexuality is a sin, men should be chivalrous, women should be demure, men should be macho/cool, women should be mysterious, you shouldn’t be emotional, follow your heart, among others. As modern, intelligent (supposedly), educated (marginally) and rational (dubious) human beings, we should know better, yet most people don’t. This reflects very poorly on us as a species and indicates that most people only really pretend to think.
The reason why people stop thinking, despite it being an innate trait of all humans, is because it is beaten out of them; sometimes literally, but most of the times figuratively. People stop thinking because thinking only hurt them. It hurt them because what was supposed to be right, “in realty,” was wrong, and what was supposed to be wrong, “in reality,” was right. For example, we are all taught to do the right thing, to be honorable and honest, yet, in reality if we try to do the right thing, be honorable or honest what happens to us? The vast majority of the time, we get smacked down unless we’re in a position of power or independently very wealthy. So, we are told one thing but we see people that have authority over us do something totally different, which gives rise to such stupid sayings as, “do as I say, not as I do.”
Therefore, many people do a lot of pretending: Pretending to think, pretending to be mature, pretending to be rational, and pretending to know what they are doing. In reality, most people have no clue what is truly right or wrong, moral or immoral, just or unjust. They just take “common wisdom” and pretend that it is what they believe in. Many actually believe their own BS, but when confronted with the inconvenient truth that they actually don’t know what they’re doing, they typically get angry, pretend they’re above it all, or just ignore you. Rarely, if ever, have I encountered someone that is willing to explore their own beliefs, especially if they believe that they are my equal or better. It is truly exasperating.
The consequence of all this pretending and faking is that people really don’t have much that they can hold on to as being the absolute truth. And given this mentality, of course, it should not surprise anyone that the natural conclusion that people draw is that the universe is gray. By the way, this is an excellent way to figure out who is the pretender or not. Anyway, given that people have little to believe in and hold on to as being the absolute truth in their minds, they naturally end up focusing on the superficial, which is the only thing that they can determine as being at least somewhat black and white. People also evaluate all of their options based on what’s optimal in the near-term, not just because they’re incapable of really thinking things through, but also because they have no real principles that they can hold up as the beacon to which they should measure all of their decisions. Also, absent these moral principles, people have no choice but to focus and concentrate on the superficial as the superficial things are the only measurable items in people’s lives. So then it should not be surprised that our country is in the state that it is today.
The reality of the matter is is that there is too much stupidity and pretense in this world and not enough real thinking. This comes about because thinking is beaten out of people at a very early age and people aren’t given the chance to recover. Also, our society has been built on moral principles that are shaky at best and have proven to be deficient in many regards. Therefore, until our society can build its moral construct based on justice and long-term thinking, we will continue to encounter superficial thinking, pretense, grandstanding, confusion, and superficiality.
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