September 10, 2023

Optimizing outcomes by thinking the best of people

The alternative perpetuates the festering wasteland of pointlessness...

Ah, the festering wasteland of pointlessness. We all know it. It’s that place where you feel like crap. Most often, when we feel like crap is when we make other people feel like crap. Crap begets crap. Like yawning: it is contagious.

This is why it’s important to be compassionate, perhaps especially when you feel you shouldn’t be.

I have been thinking about this a lot. It has relevance in the subject matter of some ‘bullying’ (not sure this is right word, but it’s not the wrong word) going on within certain ‘circles’, and it occurs to me that my strategy for ‘managing’ all kinds of people, including bullies, has been very functional and kept me on a clear path. By a clear path I mean one that doesn’t contain me in the sometimes nefarious and sometimes not, traps that are ready to spring everywhere. One that involves research and not gossip. I am definitely not saying I have not fallen into traps, but as part of the past 3 years of ridiculousness, I think I have become pretty good at both getting out of them if I fall in, and seeing them so I don’t fall in the first place.

The first trap I managed to escape was trying to convince ‘narrativers’ of anything other than the narrative. Stepping away from those pointless ‘arguments’ saved me a lot of heart ache and time. My energies went to analyzing data. The second trap I managed to escape was falling for the lures of trolls with regard to wasting my time responding to their hit pieces. This was really hard because oftentimes they write as if they know you when in fact - almost 100% of time - not a single reach-out or conversation has been had. When I see my name and image used in conjunction with falsities - even if they are just ‘kind of wrong’ falsities, because it’s in the context of non-conversing (just shoot me an email - sheesh), I find it super creepy. It feels like stalking. I think this kind of creepy stalking is now called ‘fact-checking’.

The third trap I am still learning how to side-step is the one that is really hard to see. I am not even sure how to define it, but I do know how to define the outcome: division. If I do fall into one of these traps, I usually end up with misgivings against someone that perhaps I have never even met. That kind of thing. It reminds me of when I found myself yelling at my screen when I still had facebook back in 2020. I had to stop myself one morning and simply ask the rational question: Why am I wasting all this energy, and ramping up my blood pressure over something I can’t even verify? Is this the purpose of these ‘messages’?

Ultimately with people, my strategy is basically to think the best until I have proof that they are crapola. And by crapola, I mean someone who really is consistently intent on hurting others. I think these people are few and far between, in reality, and that most people want to do good and perhaps even think that they are doing good even if they aren’t.

On the subject of lying, even when I do find out that someone lies a lot, I try to refrain from calling them ‘a liar’ (in my own head) because, to me, there are very few real liars around. Everybody lies, but that should be defined as ‘lying’ when one does so. To be a liar , is to consistently and persistently lie with the intention to hurt others, or at the very least, without concern for the fact that others are being hurt. To me, it really only matters if others, and how many others, are being hurt by those lies. I’m looking at you regulatory bodies and ‘big’ everything.

Thinking the best of someone creates and maintains an environment of possibility - a best potential whereby that someone has a chance to live up to this best potential. Thinking badly about someone does the opposite, and creates and maintains an environment of doubt, deprivation and non-productiveness. The former is productive and allows for the possibility of best outcome. The latter is non-productive and encourages worst outcomes and actually, potentially prevents any good from manifesting.

I know, I know. I’m being naive. But, to be fair, I also don’t think there are actually many evil people alive. Probably only a few. We know who they are. They always seem to have ‘rock’ in their names, don’t they? You can’t ‘good-think’ evil people into not being assholes. But, I believe that we can ‘good-think’ all others - which is most people - into being the best ‘them’ possible.

We are a social species - we need each other. We are better together. To pitch insults at each other or to brew doubt and draw lines serves the ultimate purpose of the rock fellas: to divide us, so to conquer us.

Stop playing their game, byes. Try something new. Optimize our outcome. Even if some people are doing ‘questionable things’ ask yourself: have you walked a mile in their shoes? Will you? Are they really evil , or are they just ego (driven)? To be egotistical is not the same thing as being evil and let’s face it, none of us have any idea what we’re doing so isn’t it best to try to drop ego stuff and help each other along the way. This is hard one for us humans. :)

Sorry if I sound preachy.

Originally-published article

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