Friday, August 13, 2010

Of Blanket Weaponry

The newest cutting-edge, mind-blowing weaponry. The atomic bomb? disease warfare? The fastest jet known to mankind? How about a warm, comforting blanket? Suprisingly, this blanket could be one of the most dangerous weapons to the heart of humanity--the individual spirit. Put into the hands of our most crafty enemy and this metaphorical enemy could be the downfall of our society. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but let me explain.

Alright, this is a hard thing to explain but let me try with an inadequate example. Say you have a pile of different materials: logs, bricks, gold, steel, plywood, even cloth. A community has access to all of these materials. Instead of separating each one into a safe location, the townspeople take a large blanket and throw it over the top to protect the materials from the rain. Even though the villagers can't see the pile, they know it is a pile of materials and refer to it as such. Unfortunately, in their society, the word "material" is almost synonomous with the word "log" because logs are the most commonly used material (oh the difference jargon can make!). Pretty soon the people only believe that there are logs underneath the blanket (afterall, it is dark down there and when its dark, everything starts looking the same). So over the years, the people ignore the pile or reach in and always come out with logs. The result is that the town is only building cabins because when they think of materials, they only think of logs. They are living below their opportunities. They could build mansions of brick or gold. They could have airplanes and great steel ships. But at least the blanket is comforting.

Blanket statements and generalizations are dangerous. Attributes that make a person remarkable like honesty, integrity, compassion, humor, and creativity are lumped together as "good things." Suddenly you are a great person if you halfway exhibit these traits of even if you believe that you do. Pretty soon "good" becomes "good enough" and you are content with yourself if you refrain from some bad things. You can't improve without specific goals if all of your ideas about life are blanketed under adjectives like "good", "bad", "cool", and "boring". Get to the deeper aspects. Walk outside in the cold for a bit. Thats the only way you can find hidden treasure. That wet blanket may seem warm now, but eventually it will give you pnemonia.

No comments:

Post a Comment