Friday Rant #13: The Right Way, Personal Pride, and Intolerance

2007-02-16 00:00

I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently. It’s not my fault, really, the whole system is pushing me down. Everyone else is willing to submit, and I’m not. It seems like they believe the same or similar things that I do…but they don’t ever do anything about it. Unlike in fiction, belief alone does not determine reality, action does. If you believe in good deeds, do them. If you believe in free software, use it. (And if you write software, make it free.) And so on. There is always, always, always a way to get your beliefs out there. This doesn’t mean going and pushing them on people, but it does mean that if they share your sentiments you should push them to act on them. Silent dissent does nothing but frustrate; if you have a problem be vocal. I complain, not out of any hope of changing things myself, but in the hope that enough complaint will fall on the right ears who can change things for the better.If you end up in a position of even symbolic power you can do this; however, you will usually be called intolerant or closed-minded when someone who would stand to loose dissents. This is where you need to be sure you have the Right Way to do things. Once you are, no amount of dissent can change what is best. (I will leave how we determine of what is best for another day.) For small things, like doing a project well, or excelling at a task you’ve been assigned, the motivation is personal pride. For anything larger, the motivation is easier to play off as love of country or any number of other populist ideals. What is really needs to be is personal pride, though. If you can’t brag about what changes, policies, or finished tasks you’ve done, you aren’t following the Right Way. This is true whether you know the Right Way or not.So be intolerant of bad choices, wrong reasoning, faulty logic. Be intolerant of the Wrong Way, because there’s no other Right way to be. Follow the Right Way, and be proud of your intolerance.

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