Oh wisdom, where is your sting?

mr midnight 3

Hi readers.    Thanks for the visit.

Let’s be honest for once.     We’ve spent our entire lives believing that at any given moment we were insightful, wise, generally smarter than the people around us of all ages.     We’ve always been able to look backward at the people we were a decade ago, several decades ago, and recognize our younger folly, know we were wrong back then when we believed we were wise.

But we never manage to take the next step of reasoning or realization to recognize what applies to ourselves in the past still applies.    Yes, even as then, when we believed wrongly in our wisdom, our ‘rightness’, probably a decade from now we’ll again view ourselves more realistically.

So why does this matter?    Because today, more than any time in my lifetime, the population of this country is polarized…. politically, economically, socially, even by age, and our certainties about all sorts of issues drive irreconcilable wedges constantly deeper between us.    A huge, vocal piece of the US population has a death grip on one or another set of beliefs so deliberately diametrically opposed to  non-believers, other viewpoints, that there’s no room left for a loyal opposition.

This is comparatively new…….. I personally believe it is a consequence of a lot of phenomena not the least of which is talk radio on the one side, and television on the other.

Does anyone really believe this country can long survive the kind of scorn and hatred the factions of the population riding one ideology or another, spewing accusations and buzzword defamation at one another?

I personally do not.    I believe that that this divisiveness being constantly solidified and enlarged within the population and electorate is conscious and deliberate.   But I suspect those behind it don’t possess any more reliable wisdom than the rest of us.   And the ability of human beings to prognosticate accurately is no better now than it was the day the Germans invaded Poland, or the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  The day LBJ announced the Gulf of Tonkin incident knowing it was false.   The day the Watergate burglars brought down a presidency.   Ad infinitum.

The simple fact is, despite the fact somewhere human beings are capable of designing and manufacturing automobiles, computers, digitized cameras, put men into space, build skyscrapers and drill holes miles deep,  none of us are all that smart.   Almost none of us can do any of those things, nor much of anything else.   Somewhere else, someone else does those things.    Mostly we just shuffle papers, lay carpets, hang sheetrock, sell things to one another, flip hamburgers, do things with money.

But somehow it doesn’t exempt us from believing we, individually [and probably collectively] are smarter than the leaders of Japan when they decided to attack Pearl Harbor.  Or smarter than Lyndon Johnson when he decided to announce to the world that US warships had been attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Know why?   Here’s a hint:    The reason we believe we are smarter than LBJ or the rulers of Japan in 1941 is not the product of our individual wisdom.

Thanks for coming by for a read.

Old Jules

10 responses to “Oh wisdom, where is your sting?

  1. Pingback: Oh wisdom, where is your sting? | By the Mighty Mumford

  2. A lot of the division is between positively directed people versus negatively directed people. Both major US parties have this divide but according to vastly different ratios. I’ll leave it at that.

    • Thanks for the comment swabby. Fact is the dividing line between negative and positive is blurred these days….. a diatribe extolling the virtues of almost any object of interest can be accused by everyone who disagrees as treason, blasphemy, anything negative you’d care to name. Old Jules

  3. And the news is no longer news, it is opinion. Or, as the song says, “give us dirty laundry”.

    • Hi there. I’m not so sure the news was ever consistently news to be honest. But there were always those we tended to trust, anyway. Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow. Maybe even Chet Huntley and Dave Brinkley. Likely as not they each had their moments of complete truth in between episodes of falsehood. Old Jules

  4. Good morning, Jules,
    And thanks for your thoughts here, with which I totally agree. Let me add another thought: if man was really smart, he had never stepped down from the trees in the first place.
    Have a great weekend,

    • Good morning Pit. I’m guessing we left the trees about the way we’ve done most other things throughout human history. Something was chasing us. Thanks for the visit….. good seeing you. Old Jules

      • Good morning, Jules. Something chasing us? Or were we chasing something? Something we have never found until this day ans are still chasing?
        Have a wonderful day,

  5. I think about this a lot. McDonald’s advertises their delicious food served by smiling employees, but when I go there I get cold fries served by a kid who is looking at his phone while handing a bag out the window.

    I am told by my own employer how much my work is valued, but it’s not hard workers who are promoted, but the ass-kissing gang who have taken credit for my work that are.

    And my elected officials tell me they care about this country, but time and time again they prove they only care about getting re-elected, and will compromise their integrity and sacrifice my life in order to do so.

    I have been lied to my entire life by advertisers, employers, and politicians, so is it any wonder that I lie to myself as well?

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