We are the Masses

People have a tendency to generalize.

Well, they may or they may not. But it always makes me laugh inside when I hear someone say, something such as, “Well, you know people these days, they’re not very smart.”

Or maybe it’s that people are lazy.

Or maybe they just don’t care.

It’s always something.

If there’s something wrong in the world, or in your little corner of it, it’s easy to blame it generally on the populace. It’s easy to shake your head and sigh, “Ah – people. What are you going to do?”

As if an unfortunate outcome could have been easily predicted from the fact that people were in charge of the decision in the first place.

Stupid, fallible, biased, corrupt, people.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I regularly quip that I “hate everyone.” But even as I direct my undirected anger at the vast horde of the nameless, the faceless, The People, I try to remember that I’m just as bad (or just as good, if you’re an optimist) as any of them.

We’re all stupid, fallible, biased, corrupt individuals and sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we make mistakes as individuals, and sometimes we make mistakes en mass.

And that’s okay. Maybe we just have to accept that and move on.

It strikes me that professionalization is an attempt to protect us from the masses. Because having well educated, specialized, idiots is preferable to having some random idiot off the street.

But seriously, how many times have people in high-level, professional positions messed up big time? I don’t have a number, but go ahead and Google “scandal” and see what comes up.

There seems to be a certain mythos around professionalization – as if by carefully accruing specialized knowledge and experience, an average Joe can transcend into some infallible existence.

And there’s something appealing about this vision, as we each see ourselves as infallible (well, I don’t know about you, but I am always right), and we each see Others as screw-ups.

But the truth is, we’re all just people.We all have our faults. And we need to figure out how to work together.

Blaming our problems on generalities and looking for solutions from specialists is not going to help us. We’re all generalists in the world, and specialists in our own experience. We are the masses.


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