Common wisdom suggests certain emotional response as appropriate of a clear minded individual of firm moral foundation. Take for instance the acts of physical abuse, slander, theft, homicide, or extortion. I will generally suppose these to trigger negative feedback.
There’s merit in feeling ill-disposed towards action that violates others' life and liberty. But what about the myriads of occurrences of no clear moral framework, stemming from heavily varied principle; of little necessarily direct consequence?
The consequence often comprises of nothing but the pure emotional strain we let loose within. It is here that we observe the ugly side of human nature and differentiate ourselves from other animal life: self-inflicted emotional abuse. Not necessarily out of reason for injustice rendered upon man, but in and of itself, out of pure aesthetic caprice.
The predicament has challenged minds over ages. If we are at liberty to grant whatever meaning we please to the otherwise meaningless external input, why do we opt for frustration over contentment? Would it not compel us to override destructive feedback with something of a more, let’s say, productive nature?
As for me, over time I let myself become possessed by a strain of triggers that sometimes give manifest, needlessly, to the ugliest of emotions. I list here but a handful out of the frighteningly many I could continue to contrive.
Excess of easily avoidable waste. Examples: paper towels, plastic bags, disposable kitchenware, unnecessarily packaged products.
Central air conditioning.
Argumentative fallacies. The few predominant ill tactics I encounter all the bloody time:
- Arguments directed at the speaker’s authority rather than the underlying issue.
- Assuming two diametrically opposite options, when there are, in fact, many.
- Appeal to ‘everyone’, ‘no one’, or the presupposed ‘general common knowledge’ as means to strengthen or repute a claim, rather than first principles.
False benefit bestowal: rendering a benefit to another based on the giver’s conviction, not the receiver’s.
Non-constructive complaints. Of greatest annoyance are mine, not others'.
These are complaints used merely to vent and raise apprehension; no hint of actual problem resolution, innovation, nor humor.
Much human dialogue comprises of this category of complaints, disguised, naturally, under ‘information’. I still voice one frequently enough. Immediately follows self-reproach and inner spite.
I wish I was never praised for anything but that which involved authentic challenge and fierce perseverance. And even then it’s questionable.
Per the cinematic feature Whiplash, I still recall the agreeable remark, paraphrased:
‘Good job’ is indeed one of the worst expressions of the English language.
Ethnic prejudice hypocrisy.
Prejudice against other skin colors is commonly referred to as racism. Against Jews it’s anti-Semitism. And so on. I don’t really care for the category. Nearly everyone exhibits it to some degree against some ethnic group. That’s not the issue.
It’s the hypocrisy that stirs me: amplifying that against your own representative group, the downplay (if not total denial) of that which you, often subconsciously, incur towards others.
Prejudice can range from nearly harmless to the most visceral. On one end is the prejudice applied strictly in language, if not mere subconscious thought. At the other end we see the visceral kind, often desiring the extermination of the target group.
An overwhelming majority of this planet leans only to the first extreme.
Mobile device escapism.
A severe populace doesn’t maintain full presence in a physical interaction, attention scattered between the physical and the digital. I abhor and try to avoid these interactions.
Once the epidemic reaches an overwhelming population majority, if I haven’t yet become lobotomized, I must surely have withdrawn into the wild.
Make no wrong. Many of these triggers represent severe malice. And yet what wouldn’t I give to be liberated of futile emotion that ensues.
Questions, comments? Connect.