P. Edronkin

Take bad manners out of your inventory.




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When you travel to the mountains, you can stay at an expensive hotel and live the life of a small king or queen thorough your holidays; alternatively, you can take a backpack and camp in the wilderness.

You can reach a summit with the help of a helicopter, or you can climb all your way up to it, by your own means.

You can enjoy gourmet meals every night, sitting in front of a beautiful fireplace, looking at the mountains and glaciers, or you can put a few stones in a circle, grab some wood, and cook your own dinner, by your own means.

There is nothing wrong with comfort and luxury, and there is nothing wrong with adventure. Both ways of doing and enjoying things are fine, as long as you put them on their right, fitting places among your own soul.

I think that only by doing both things you will learn the true value of life. We both need adventure and security, effort and leisure. Without any of them, we would be incomplete beings.

Those who never try both are incomplete, unfulfilled persons.

I tell you this because I have seen mountains from both perspectives. I have dinned in places like Grindelwald, Mt. Kilauea and Llao-Llao, and I have prepared meals for myself in uncharted valleys as well.

We still are hunters and gatherers. The memories of thousands upon thousands of years of surviving among predators, killing our preys and taking care of precious little fires cannot be erased by progress like an old newspaper. A couple of thousands of years of civilised life will never out-weight those many dozens of centuries of atavism.

On the other hand, we survived during those hard times based on our ingenuity and our intelligence. Take our ability to think out, and we would be completely defenceless against other animals; our intelligence exists to give us an edge, and it would we equally wrong to pretend that it isn't so. Progress is our advantage, and denying it is as wrong as denying our true nature.

All coins have two sides, instead of one, and their worth is based on them. Without those two sides, a coin becomes a fake, and not half its original worth.

Progress has many advantages, but like any other human creation, it also has shortcomings. Some are very nasty, like nuclear bombs, ecological disasters and so on, but at least we can find ways to remedy them.

I believe it was Mahatma ghandi who said that if you want the world to change, you must become the change.

If we who love nature want others to enjoy it as much as we do, and if we who have the inclination to perceive or criticise the shortcomings of modern societies, want others to embrace at least some of our standards, we must become the change as well.

There are some people who believe that taking a "green" on naturists stance equals to becoming recalcitrant activists. This recalcitrance is what took the world to wars and destruction.

Eagerness is allright. Believing that our recipe is inherently the best one, is not.

Instead of acting with belligerence or stupidly; instead of despising the social person of today as a stereotype, with his or her cellular phone, "dynamic" stances on business, career and other aspects of modern citadine standards, we should use the only thing that gave us the edge over other competitors for centuries: that is, be smart, and stay smart.

Instead of believing that all women should stay in the kitchen, or believing that all men are to be held in contempt, we should use our brains and quickly calculate that by doing so we are pretending that in either case, we would be pretending that we know more than 50% of the world's population.

Quite presumptuous, isn't it?

If we believe that we have something to add to the human experience, we should show it to others instead of trying to throw it to their faces. Let us be smart and stay smart, and explain with patience what we mean.

Power tactics may give us some time on the news, but will not achieve a change of conscience among television watchers.

Couch potatoes will remain so.

Pretending that women are inherently less intelligent than men is to say that 50% of the population has some sort of genetic disadvantage, but as far as I know, genetic traits are transmitted by both parents to their children, so, the 50% "smarter" half should be receiving those shortcomings from the factory as well.

Well, see the picture? Simple, ghastly arithmetic, wouldn't you say so?

Saying that all men are potential rapists -like a feminist once told me- is a fallacy. In purely logical terms, it is a non-formal fallacy of generalisation. It is impossible to assign a moral value to a biological fact. Rape is a moral issue, while being born a male pertains to the jurisdiction of biology and God. If rape was part of the natural traits of men, then it would not be considered a crime, as much as eating or sleeping are not.

Hmm...Adolf Hitler said that the Jews were guilty of everything just because they like to say "Shalom."

Power tactics, assertiveness and other things that somehow are being seen as virtues among different minority groups such as ecologists, feminists, etc. may give others an impression, but it will never be a lasting one.

Even within the business world, power tactics are widely recognised as a way to get and edge, momentarily, because in the end, those who use them are left with no friends and no allies.

Those tactics are used by some people not to obtain lasting advantages, but to satisfy their egos. For example, the so-called "Assertiveness", an alleged value mainly appreciated by feminists seems to me just like the justification of bad manners and the inability to coexist with others. It is just a way to express the bad side of you in a somewhat justifiable and socially acceptable way.

It will not cease being the bad side of yourself, no matter what.

Fighting for your values is right, as long as you respect your other values, as well as the values of others. Manners are a necessity within any society, and just treating the world and other human beings in an "assertive" way only calls for assertiveness to be pressed upon us, and remember, we will always find someone stronger than us, sooner or later.

We always reap what we sow.

Assertiveness, militancy and other attitudes based on anger have no place on the mechanics of real change, so take them out of your inventory if you want to truly convince you fellow human beings that you have some idea worth pursuing.

Courtesy costs you nothing, but gives you everything. Become smarter, and stay so.




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