De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Tolerate This...

Someone once said "No one is wholly tolerant. The more tolerant we bcome, the less we tolerate intolerance." OK....

Back when I was in high school, some of us were shooting the breeze and one guy mentioned that he had overheard the principal saying that his philosophy in life was "Take no $4^! from anyone. Anyone.". I thought that was a prety good policy, and resolved to live by that as soon as I was in a position to.

It wasn't too much longer after that that I realized that I already was in such a position. The way I saw it, there were only two kinds of people in this world: those whose position is above mine, and those whose isn't. Regarding the former group, there's no need for any of them to give me any grief, because I always at least try to do what I'm supposed to do. If I screw up, just explain what I did wrong and how to correct it. And the second group has no place giving me any grief.

That philosophy served me quite well for a number of years.

Some years ago, it just started to look like the world was getting stupider. There's an old Internet tagline: Intelligence is a constant and the population is expanding. That's good for a laugh, but it doesn't explain our current predicament. Personally, I blame it on the deliberate dumbing-down of our government schools. Even back in the '60s, it was generally acknowledged that private school students were about a year ahead of their government school contemporaries. Nowadays.... I shudder to think.

Maybe some of it comes from the ridiculous notion that "there's no such thing as a stupid question". Of course, if there are stupid questions, there must be stupid people asking them. QED. And we certainly can't have people feeling stupid. That might hurt their pwecious widdle feewings. So we have to pretend that stupidity is an alternate form of intelligence.

["We have already raised a generation of people who are afraid to think for themselves. Now we're raising a generation of people who are incapable of thinking for themselves." -- Master Doh-San]

So, I decided that the second thing I would not tolerate would be willful stupidity. I have enough thinking of my own to do, I see no reason why I should have to do other people's thinking for them. Oddly enough, this seems to be the reverse of the military mentality. One of the first days I was in Basic Training, I remember our TI telling us "You people do not think. I will do your thinking for you." (No, sir.... I've been doing my own thinking for most of my 23½ years, I think I'll keep right on.) But as long as they didn't abuse their authority, I was willing to let them tell me what to do.

I've gotten in a little trouble by being rough on people who get "stuck on stupid". I'm actually insane enough to expect people to pay attention to what's going on around them and behave accordingly. And if they don't, I'm right there to handle things. Bottom line: if you don't want to feel stupid, don't act stupid.

Pretty much concurrently with that, I decided that I've had enough of people whining about every petty little thing under the sun. Life stinks. Get used to it. You can't always have what you want. When I was a little kid (a million years ago), my brother used to say "People in hell want ice water; that doesn't mean they're going to get it". I used to hate hearing that. Until about high school, I guess.

There are people in this world who have some legitimate complaints. They live in abject poverty. They've been abused. They have serious medical conditions. Oddly enough, you almost never hear these people whining about how bad they have it. It's the ones with the pettiest "problems" who whine the most. The former group, I'm willing to go well out of my way to help. The second group.... well, I'm willing to go well out of my way to give them a reality check. I often think of that song by The Eagles (or, as they call 'em in Texas -- The Iggles) -- "Get Over It". There's a great line in there: "I'd like to find your inner child and kick his little @$$. Get over it!" My kind of guys. :-)

Yeah, I guess I'm just not a very tolerant guy. Get used to it.


At 02:30, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

You and TF have a lot in common.


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