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I’m on the record ranting about the amazing ability of people to say one thing, mean another and then do a third thing. I’m again left wondering what the hell this means, and why people have the time and energy for such pointless perfidy.

My generation, certainly in my religious community, is the first that is free from the pervading nosiness that used to define us, and still does in the older generation. The busyness of modern life, the independent paths that people can take now with the variety of choice, the ability to find and choose our own friends and more importantly the exposure to the modern world has made a tremendous impact in freeing us from the chains that bind our elders and turned them to what I consider incredibly disgusting behaviour.

There is no need to know everything about everyone, and play careful games in protecting your own information. In fact it’s this whole notion of needing to play games that annoy me. In such games the true virtues of honesty friendliness compassion and an open mind are the first things to be sacrificed. It’s a trite saying but none the less true: even if one wins the rat race, you’re still a rat.

The stupidity of this paradox becomes clear when one puts it succinctly. A whole generation that guards their privacy jealously, but strives to undermine that of everyone else. Wouldn’t it make sense to just equally respect that they have the same desires as you? To hold away from them, and let them live their own lives, share what they wish to share and conceal what they wish to conceal? I’m only beggining to accept that common sense has nothing to do with the world.

At the same time I realize, I can hardly avoid, the fact that this appears to be an essential part of the human psyche. People somehow derive great satisfaction from knowing and saying nasty things about other people. I just can’t understand this. It seems that this vindictive spirit of humanity is coupled to some notion of power, that if we know everything, then we can manipulate events to our favour. It is the only rationalization that I can find, but that does not hide that it is a mere rationalization and utterly immoral.

I appreciate a distinction between wanting to know what a person has been up to, and where they’ve been if you’ve lost contact with them and someone else has retained it, but I think that such behaviour ought rightly be confined to the positives, and not dwell on the negatives as people tend to do.

I understand that I must accept these games, but I always try to make myself aware that they are games, and that the first rule of any game is that one must want to play to be involved. I have no desire to play, and will not do so as far as it is in my power to ensure. The right way out of this mess is to take the moral high ground, to accept the sacrifices it requires in the name of the higher virtues. It’s not an easy path to take, and it’s very easy to lapse back into the lower state, which appear to be meaningful, but are designed to rob one of ultimate meaning. I think if one can remain conciously aware of that, you can’t fail in eventually defeating these silly games.



    • B
    • Posted August 7, 2005 at 10:33 pm
    • Permalink

    I agree with what is written here because it is closely related to something I’ve been thinking about alot lately, namely that you should have to give people distyance no matter how close your relationship.

    Anyway won’t go into details on that but will say I thought this piece made good reading.

    • behappy
    • Posted August 12, 2005 at 11:58 pm
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    Our thirst for gossips is apparent from the plethora of magazines that delivers not useful news, but that expose every move made by celebrities, and exaggerate the consequences of their little mistakes. It seems irrational for people to spend time and energy to gather and/or digest these information, but who says we are rational?

    The only reasons I can come up with are money and power. Finding out what the other person tries to hide from you gives you tremendous power (opportunity for blackmailing?), and once the demand is established, there is profit to be gained from providing the information.

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