Most People Are Not Idiots

I made the mistake of reading blogs this morning before getting to work.  Worse than that, I made the mistake of reading comments on blogs.

It took exactly two minutes before I stumbled on the first Everyone But Us Is An Idiot sentiment of the day.

And just like that, I’m ticked off and feeling the urge to defend 95% of humanity.  Or perhaps it’s less about defending humanity and more about protecting my sphere of influence from the unexpected negativity.  Unexpected, because I do tend to be an idiot when it comes to what to expect from the Internet, clearly.

Of course, there is no better place to defend 95% of humanity and bitch about your infected sphere of influence than Twitter.

Let us ignore the hypocrisy for just a moment, because I want to go on record as saying:

Most people are not idiots.

Neither are most people less sensitive than you, more intolerant than you, or less willing to work than you.

Are there idiots in this world?  Probably, yes.  Absolutely, even.

Are there mean people in this world?  Sadly, yes.

But the vast majority of the people on this planet are more similar to you than they are different.

They love someone.  They are afraid of something.  They laugh and have made someone else in this world laugh.  They want something that they do not currently have, whether that’s a new car or another child or a garden that yields just a few more tomatoes before the end of the growing season.

They have made someone else cry.  They have made someone angry.  They have done something at some point that they are not proud of having done.  They have lost someone they love, either through death or disagreement or something as simple as distance.

Whether man, woman, or child, we have all loved, lost, tried, failed and succeeded.  We all know pain and joy.

Why do we forget that?

Why, when we sit down to write a comment on a blog or have a chat with our neighbors, are we so quick to say things like “sadly, most people <insert behavior that we are above here>…”?  Perhaps it’s because I struggle to keep my own self esteem at barely healthy levels, but I cannot wrap my head around the mathematical logistics that would be required to make these comments even remotely true.

If most people are idiots/bigots/lazy/uneducated/insensitive/ignorant/insert current complaint here, and you are clearly not – hence your authority to offer this commentary – than you… what?  Won the genetic fucking lottery?  You – and presumably the person you are commiserating with – managed to find yourself in the tiny percentage of people who are not idiots/bigots/lazy/uneducated/insensitive/ignorant/insert current complaint here.  How is it possible that you got that lucky?  And you managed to find someone else who belonged to that tiny percentage as well!

Just…. no.

Most people are no more or less of an idiot than you are.  Than I am.

Again, I’m not sure why it bothers me so much when I stumble upon this arrogance.  After all, if the ideas I’ve presented here are true, I have more in common with these judgmental pricks than I would like to admit.  Perhaps I just forget that.  Or maybe it’s being reminded of that arrogance and our tendencies for similarity that causes my knee to jerk.  If you announce that most people are not as blah blah blah as you and I believe that most people are basically the same, than I am also not as blah blah blah as you or part of an elite and superior group – and I’m not comfortable with either of those options.

I am either a judgmental prick, as this post would indicate, or I am less than, as I assume judgmental statements cast towards the ambiguous most other people insinuate.

Hmmm.

Maybe someone just needs to remind judgmental pricks once in a while that most people are pretty much the same as everyone else.  They laugh, they cry, they love, they hate.  They yearn and mourn and doubt.

And sometimes, they act like judgmental pricks.

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