Thought Archive

Friday, January 04, 2008

Conform but never change...

We all tell lies and hide our true feelings, for complete free exression is a social impossiblity. From an early age we learn to conceal our thoughts, telling insecure people what they want to hear, lest we offend them. For most of us this is natural - there are ideas and values that most people accept, and it is pointless to argue with them. It will make life harder for us.

There are people however, who see such societal restraints as an intolerable restraint on their freedom, and who have a need to prove the superiority of their values and beliefs. In the end, their arguments convince only a few and offend a great many. The reason that arguments do not work is because most people hold their ideas very dear to their heart; they do not want to rework their habits of thinking, and when you challenge them diretly through your arguments or your behaviour they become hostile. Without employing other tactics, only brute force can resolve issues then.

The problem with those who persist in their arguments against such a tide of human inertia, that they rarely succeed and succeed in only hurting themselves. The blame - and they rarely blame themselves - is really on them and their inability to get in any sort of compromise with current situation. Being a rebel is a personality trait and has nothing to do with intellegenence and honesty, yet these types of characters are valued highly for their uncompromising stands on issues.

Wise and clever people learn early on that they can display conventional behaviour and mouth conventional ideas without actually believing in them. This is not a hypocrisy -as rebel may think - the wise people share their originality with those who are sure to appreciate their uniqueness.

9 comments:

Riri said...

Yes, not all people mature and wise-up. Sometimes however, rebellion is the best way to wise up and learn the virtue of careful and calculated pragmatism. That is why the wise and mature will always use the young and rebellious. It happens in all walks of life, work, family, sports.

Riri said...

No fool like an old fool and all that. I guess the lucky ones are those who are either born mature or have an innate ability to wise up pretty quickly.

Hazar Nesimi said...

I am not one of them - I get beat up sometimes.

NoolaBeulah said...

I've never wised up. I would have had a less penurous existence if I had learned the value of not expressing myself. In particular with one very important publisher, involved with English teaching and therefore very PC, very soft-Left. I couldn't be with them for more than 15 minutes without feeling an irresistible urge to be outrageously offensive. (It would have been OK to be outrageously offensive about the English or especially the Americans, but that is not to my taste.) When I got this new job, my wife forbade me to talk about anything except the weather (and only the weather; she explicitly excluded climate change from my permitted topics).

And this is not even rebellion. I am anything but rebellious, and despise revolutionaries of whatever stamp. It's the modern pieties that get me going: the tree-hugging, primitive-admiring, everyone's-OK-but-us flatulence that stirs me into cold-blooded, murderous rage.

[Don't know where that came from. Please continue with your civilised discussion, and pretend I'm not here.]

NoolaBeulah said...

In a completely different spirit (and quite hypocritically), I think it's a damn good thing that we do hide our true feelings. Social hypocrisy, or good manners, is a most under-rated virtue/vice.

Riri said...

So to sum up, everyone has different things that brush them up the wrong way or different thresholds of irritation. That is why the best way is to avoid getting involved in any argument which would risk mounting us quickly towards our irritation thresholds, run off to a back-street or the loo and hit our head repeatedly on the wall. Alternatively, you can run off and grab a coffee or a breath of fresh air whatever floats your boat.

God made the world in such a way that whoever is watching will get the most fun.

Riri said...

Your wife is right NoolaBeulah, my Mum has similar views. She tells me don't bother with arguments, they're the least effective way to initiate change. I think she is right. Arguments are only good as a way of having fun and a good time between friends who like to debate things openly and without prejudice. In more serious situations, they are to be discouraged.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Unfortunately you can rarely convince through arguments - otherwise there would have been no need in talk shows and round table discussion. You can sway people to you side by actions, and actions only! Even if you convince, it is never through cold facts, but through an impressive presentaiton of thereof, presentation that lives an indelible mark in peoples' minds. And this is me telling, me who likes arguing! Arguments should be for fun only!

7:58 AM

NoolaBeulah said...

The ineffectiveness of argument and the huge impact of action is why the Catholic church has so many saints. They do the job where words don't.