"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Saturday, 15 April 2023

Exceeding Our Programming

Mother nature provides us all with what we need to survive, so how or why should we exceed that exquisite programming?

Yesterday we took our dogs to the groomers. As soon as we got home, one of them went out to our backyard and proceeded to roll all over the ground, and in some poop, as well. She might have had an itchy back, but I suspect her behaviour was related to something a lot more primitive. Nature's way of protecting dogs, and us, too, is to help us to fit in with our surroundings. By rolling in that poo and the grass, she was disguising those odours that stopped her from fitting in. 

Humans have survived with similar instincts. We fit in. Standing out from the crowd makes you vulnerable. Yet, we are humans, not dogs or cattle. Because we can think, we can exceed our basic programming and rise above primitive fears. Or can we?

For hundreds of years appealing to that instinct to fit in has played into the desires of those who would control us. They point at someone who would defy them and declare that those people are evil and must be purged. Kings and Popes have used this technique to declare wars, pogroms, inquisitions, and systematic genocides. Millions have died because good humans who just wanted to protect themselves and their families were convinced that those different people were a dire threat. No monarch, president, chancellor, or church leader could have killed so many on their own. They used their voices and lies to do that for them. 

Not so terribly long ago the boogeyman of polite society was the homosexual. A huge part of humanity lived in fear of discovery. They died rather than be castrated by the state. These were good people who would never have harmed anyone else. Quite the opposite, they desired only to be allowed to do what they would want for others; live as they were made and as they desired and leave others to do the same. 

Today, for the most part, we live in societies where being 'gay' is acceptable. The boogeyman now is the transgender threat. 

Oh, I know, I'm preaching to the choir here. Nobody who reads this will hate me because I defied the judgement made when I was born. Everyone looked at my body and declared that I should live as a man until death. Changing that was an action I never should have had to do. But nobody should have to live hating themselves for what goes on inside their head, unless that thing harms the rest of the world. So there is the crux of the matter. Someone who wants to control others will do what they can to convince your sisters and brothers that doing what is right for you is evil. Think about that. It is what they truly believe. If they believe it for me then they believe it for you as well. Anyone who choses to do what is right for themselves is the enemy of those who wish to control everyone else. 

Fear that leader who points at someone different and says, "Hate them!"

Rise above your programming, encourage others to do the same, and love one another. 

Pity those who act mindlessly because they are unwilling to think. 

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; 
it is easy in solitude to live after our own; 
but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd
keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." ~ George Orwell

    So it seems that the current climate is to divide us by fear and exploit that fear to enable mistreatment of those who are not liked. The poor, the infirm, the old, the immigrant, the queer; all are targets seemingly only to give the powerful someone to point at and excuse their hateful laws.

    That and to distract people from the economy, the climate, and the corruption.

  2. Oh, that quote and your comment sum things up well Lynn.

    We need to find a way to encourage thinking people to resist being influenced by empty promises from those who already have too much power and do what we can to take care of those who are powerless. Far too many live without dignity in our world right now. I would follow a leader who acted to give more dignity to those who you listed.

    Thanks for your insightful comment.

    1. Thanks, Halle. It wasn't quite the one I was looking for, but it did the trick. There's one about how if you can reduce a people down to stereotype, almost not human, you can justify doing just about anything to them. Clearly, that's completely unethical, but you get the idea behind the quote. ­čÖé

      A friend one said that the Five Whys technique can be used to dig into the agenda behind the PR. Not always easy though.

  3. Fear that leader who points at someone different and says, "Hate them!"
    Pity those who act mindlessly because they are unwilling to think.
    Quite ironic given your premise, as it is precisely the progressive, Trans activists who proclaim, "Hate them" and who act mindlessly when they shout down and attack anyone who disagrees with them.

    1. What part of Fear that leader who points at someone different and says, "Hate them!" or Pity those who act mindlessly do you disagree with?
      You aren't likely to start an argument here unless you are suggesting that all liberals or all conservatives want to incite hatred. Surely you don't believe that every, or even most, progressive or trans activist is inciting others to hate. Those who are won't be counted among those who I will follow.

    2. It would be difficult to find fault with either of the sentiments quoted from the article, but why must any suggestion be "all" or "every." One is merely pointing out that the most vocal and egregious examples of the author's condemned behaviors have come from the very populations held out as victims. Look to the treatment of J. K. Rowling and the attack on Riley Gaines at San Francisco State University.

    3. I'm not sure that "the author" that's me, by the way, intended us to get all fussed about the sadness of well-off authors, or a swimmer upset by the competition's (supposed) unfair advantage.
      Perhaps you missed the part about wars, pogroms, inquisitions, and systematic genocides. These things are still going on, by the way. See "Darfur genocide" for more information. Let's get upset by state-sponsored hatred, shall we? We can always work our way down to 'hurt feelings by individuals' when we have dealt with that.

  4. Rowling is an unapologetic TERF who supports people who want to erase trans people from existence like Posie Parker. If you want nice treatment don't go around badmouthing minorities.