Monday, December 20, 2010

People Are Idiots: A Practical Guide to Living Life and Enjoying Every Minute of It

People are idiots.  That's my life's motto.  In the Book of Logan, the key verse* is, quote, "People are idiots."  Once this idea is fully grasped and understood, when its profound meaning seeps into the core of your soul and you embrace its truth as a lifelong mantra, everything else gets relocated to the back burner.

So, why have I waited so long to share this amazing secret?  That, dear readers, I cannot say.  But, with the holidays practically here, I offer up this life-changing motto to help you get through the Christmas season.

1.  People
The first word from this verse is People.  Not Dogs or Walruses or Rocket Ships or hungry, hungry Hippos, but People.  This includes every single person on the face of the planet, from the tiniest, most innocent little babe to the oldest, grouchiest wretch alive.  You.  Me.  Every single one of us.  We're all idiots.  What does this mean?  It means that we're all capable of acting idiotic and making poor decisions.  It means we sometimes pull out in front of people when we shouldn't, or we decide to forgo using a turn signal because, really, why should I when I know I'm turning here and it doesn't matter whether or not anyone else does.  They're not the ones turning.

The qualifier here is that people includes each and every one of us.  We're all screw ups, therefore, we all screw up.  Sure, some folks are more idiotic than others, but that's beside the point.  Why compare one rotten apple to another when no one wants to eat a rotten apple in the first place?

2.  Are
It's not "People were idiots."  While this is true, as I suspect people have always been idiots, that verse is not found in the Book of Logan.  No, the linking verb are connects the subject, People, with the descriptor Idiots.  The word Are is in the present tense, meaning that right now, at this very second, people are being idiots.

This is always true.  There is never a time when a person can stop being an idiot.  Since the Initial Screw Up, we're doomed to being idiots.  Thus, people are-- have always been, and always will be-- idiots.

3.  Idiots
What is an idiot?  Well, in the Dictionary of Logan, a supplemental reference book highly recommended for day to day life, the word idiot is defined as
idiot: [id-ee-uht], noun, a person that does something stupid, foolish, dumb, or senseless, whether in ignorance or not.  See also People.
Now, can you think of anyone that does not fit this category?  Personally, I cannot.  Your mom, she's an idiot.  Your pastor, he is, too.  That coke-head down the street?  Idiot. We all make foolish decisions from time to time, some more than others, and half the time we may not even be aware of it,.  This, friends, is what makes us idiots.

But what does this all mean?  Why point this out?  Am I rubbing salt in a wound?

Perhaps, but not intentionally.  I suppose there are some delusional people out there that think that they're perfect, and I can see no reason why to argue with this person.  Their self-denial is of itself idiotic.  But for the rest of us, the ones desperately looking for something, take heart.  See, I give the gift of my life's motto as a present for the benefit of mankind.

When you fully understand this teaching, you begin to see the world in a new light.  So what if that lady took your parking space or that kid cut in front of you at the checkout line.  It might have been intentional, but it could have been completely ignorant, too, and they have no idea that they've just infuriate you.  Shrug your shoulders and smile.  People are idiots.  They're simply slaves to their idiotic nature, just like you.  How likely is it that you've wronged someone without realizing it?  Is their ire deserved?  

Some say yes, but I argue a strong no.  See, the principle to understanding People are idiots is the principle of forgiveness and self-realization.  Do unto others as you'd be done unto.  Embrace this teaching and you find yourself truly loving everyone and forgiving all their idiotic ways.

So this Christmas season, don't let the stress of it all get to you.  Remember my motto and smile when your drunken uncle accidentally lights the kitchen table on fire and forces the family to flee for their lives out into frozen, sloshy winter weather.  People are idiots.

*Corollary: If People are idiots, then it reasons that all people act idiotically and therefore their actions can, at any given time, be idiotic, depending on the people directly and indirectly involved.  Example: One person may see something stupid or senseless that another person sees as perfectly sane and reasonable.  The beauty of this verse is that regardless of point of view, every person is still an idiot, and so their thoughts and reasonings may be tainted by idiocy. 


Kristopher A. Denby said...

This may be meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, but I think there's a distinction that you're missing here. We all do idiotic things, true. I don't think that makes us all idiots. I'm probably guilty of just about every ignorant, careless mistake one could make on the road, but when I do make those mistakes I put my hand out the window and wave to apologize for said mistake. You know, as opposed to putting my one finger out the window to let the other drivers know that I am upset that they had the audacity to call me on my stupid mistake.

I pride myself on manners and being considerate of others. If I mess up, I am going to apologize for it and be embarrassed. I guess I have always thought of people who are unashamed of their idiotic behavior as idiots, but if you've already claimed that definition for other purposes then I guess I'll have to come up with another term for those sorts of people. But I'll save that sort of vulgarity for my blog.


The Sound and Fury of Kristopher A. Denby

logankstewart said...

Tongue in cheek, maybe, but a truth, too. Maybe it's more of a philosophical viewpoint (or the evil that is semantics), but the way I see it, if somebody does something idiotic, they're an idiot. Plain and simple.

Now I'm not suggesting that we throw manners and courtesy out the window, because I, too, pride myself on tact and being considerate of others, and I genuinely hope others do the same.

What it boils down to is that we're all human, we're all made of the same stuff, and we all screw up. Those short-comings should be recognized ASAP, forgiven, and then forgotten. Should we throw justice out the window? Absolutely not. But we should all be more compassionate and considerate of others, especially over petty things that really don't matter.

So yes, tongue in cheek, but serious, too. Idiot may be the wrong term to use, but that's the word I like. People are screw ups just doesn't have the same ring to it.

David Wagner said...

"Why compare one rotten apple to another when no one wants to eat a rotten apple in the first place."

Nice line.

I don't know... sometimes the idiotic things people do result in pain, injury, death... kind of hard to shrug your shoulders and dismiss something in that case. If some idiot is texting while driving and slams into another car head on, with a family inside...

Besides, Logan, you're not an idiot! Therefore, you're the exception to your own rule!

logankstewart said...

@Dave: Well, yes and no. Ultimately, if you don't come to realize that all people are idiots and you do get hurt or see some sort of suffering, you only have bitterness and a bad remainder of a life. Now I'm not saying they don't deserve punishment for their crimes (drunk driving, say), but the family does not deserve to live the rest of their life in grief and pain, either. Accepting people are idiots is accepting that we can't control anything and that the sooner we realize that, the happier we are. Holding on to anger and the like does nothing but mar a life.

Of course, this comes from a man who's never had to experience any great evils done to him or his loved ones. Perhaps my worldview would change should something like that happen, but I would hope I would be strong enough to "forgive" the person, but I would still want them brought to justice, too.

And watch yourself there, mister. I am an idiot, proved time and time again. If not, I'd have no basis for this argument! ;)