Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here is Some Really Wise Sounding Advice...

 from an all Canadian hero type.
By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic

But is it really wise?
Now I am not trying to put this guy down but let's look a little more closely at this beyond the level of the platitude.

He says, “Remember to always appreciate all of your family and to support all of the people around you.

Doesn't that sound like great advice? So positive right? Well, I am here to point out that abstractions may sound nice but they really don't work well in the real world. In the real world life is not an abstraction which can be defined in absolute terms, so this kind of talk is pretty much meaningless and more of a sound bite than anything else. It's kind of like elevator chat. “This is quite a fast but that elevator music is soothing don't you agree?” “Oh yes I sure do..” Well listen you take care now..” “and you too, you take”

Pleasant sounding and so uplifting just like in the movie “Pleasantville.”

As I once said to someone, it is a quantum leap from the abstract in absolute terms to the specific.

Don't see it?  OK well then how about this?
“What if 'your family' which you are being instructed to 'appreciate' is the Manson Family and they are the people the wise man is telling you to 'support' who are all around you. What does supporting them mean in this specific case? Should you support participating in murder? The head of the family says you should.
Are you going to tell me most of those people weren't really related so that makes it different? OK then, how about this?
The James gang was real family. How about supporting them?
Or Ma Barker and her boys.
The Donnellys from Lucan?
The Mafia?
Where, exactly, do you draw the line when it comes to 'appreciating and supporting family'? You either have to draw a line beyond which you will not go in  appreciating and support family, or else you have to appreciate and support everything they do, without discernment. So what is it going to be?  This is where it stops being a mental exercise or debate and gets real.

This is also where the idea of principles over personalities comes into play. It is not just something you say. It is something you do and you may become very unpopular for doing it.
In functional groups it is principles over personalities. ('what' is being said or done comes ahead of WHO is saying it or doing it ) But in dysfunctional groups it is personalities over principles. (who is saying or doing something comes ahead of what is being is said or done)

So do you draw a line when it comes to 'supporting family and the people around you' or do you not?

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