My father is fond of saying that the problem with human society is that we were born without an operating manual.
Clever I thought. Once. But thinking more carefully, I realize it’s actually not true at all.
We have endless advice passed down through tradition and testament and even tablet that lays out pretty unequivocally how we should live. And it’s surprisingly consistent. From Buddhism to Christianity, Confucius to Mohammed, the great mandate has always been to do unto others what you would have them do unto you.
So that’s out there, and it shows up again and again in social conventions and cultural upbringing and even on fridge magnets and coffee mugs. Constitutions and declarations and proclamations for centuries have laid it all out. This is not the problem, Dad. Our problem is that we don’t want to follow it. Yes, it’s an obedience thing. When confronted with what we should do, we human beings like to say, “Oh yeah? Who says so?”
Defiance to the truth then … this is deep, isn’t it. And it deep inside us all.
Looking Inside for Truth, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.