03 December 2009

"Just Kids"

Yes, I know... I missed Humpday Hardware again. I'm working on getting my posting up to speed. Sue me: I'm pretty sure my lawyer can take yours.


Stingray over at Atomic Nerds just posted this gem, and I have to expand on it a bit.

You see, I have a working theory. From my observations, most of humanity never really matures out of their teenage years.

Now, don't get me wrong: folks can and do go about leading productive lives. But, for the most part, we all still have that whiney, boundry-pushing teen lurking in the depths of our souls. The reason we don't act on it (much) is that we learn where our boundries are, what's acceptable and what's not. But we still have ways that it shows...

Way back in the Dark Ages, I was dating a wonderful young lady in college. She was complaining one day that "I thought college would be different! But it's just the same as high school!". I started questioning her on some specifics, and realized that the same things that bothered her in high school (and now, college) existed out in the "real world" as well.

She wasn't happy when I pointed that out to her.

So, comes the question: "Why do we, as a society, allow this BS to go on?". Stingray asks it (though not in so many words). I'm sure AD and the rest of the emergency services crew asks it at some point (whether it's AD himself at am accident scene, or LawDog dealing with yet another Sumdood sighting). And we always ask, when we see someone who should bloody-well know better pull a "Hold my beer and watch this!" stunt: "Why do we tolerate immature assholes like that?"...

It's simple, really: it's because so many of us are hoping that our own immaturity will be overlooked, in one form or another.

Think of a group of guys going out and getting plastered. There may only be one bonehead in the group that'll do something absolutely mind-bogglingly stupid that night, but they'll all defend their friend... at worst, you'll hear "oh, he's just drunk".

That's not because they're standing by their bud out of a sense of loyalty, it's because they know THEY will likely do something just as stupid at some point, and are hoping to earn forgiveness for their transgression.

Do we ALL fall into this trap? Not all the time: I know I tend to call folks on their mistakes, regardless: helps them learn, which is more important to me than "being liked" (which is funny: that usually means folks come to me to help them figure out their problems).

But you've got the group that has the most impact on a person's behavior (their "herd") making excuses for bone-headed behavior (if not actively encouraging it), what's going to be the end result?

That's right: more bone-headed behavior.

Is there an answer? Yes and no: I can see it in the small scale, but I see no way of fixing the bigger issue directly.

And that, more than anything, scares the crap out of me.

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