Ground-Truthing: Who and What is “Better” Thought Experiment 2.3.2
Stop a minute – who would you say is “better” than you are? Think about this for real, not based on what you think you are supposed to say – why is that person “better”? Are you “better” than someone? What are the reasons you might be “better”? What are the reasons someone else is “better” than you are?
Humans admire those who are “better.” We envy them, are jealous of them, want to copy their behavior and belongings. We want to belong to their group, to fit in with their crowd, to follow their lead. We love to read about the excesses of celebrities, people we might consider “better,” because to identify with our “betters” fills up our own emptiness, puts interest into our seemingly uninteresting lives, gives us thrills.
And also, of course, “love” and admiration from far away are easier than the reality of loving and admiring within our own homes and lives. Politeness to the stranger or even the neighbor is often easier than kindness in the family.
“Better” is a very real concept, but defining “better” is difficult and revealing.
Without Words We Cannot Think
“Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant’s truce between virtue and vice. Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), “Higher Laws,” Walden (1854)