DON’T BE AN IDIOT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTER
When you think about it, daily life can be reduced to a continuum of disappointing, annoying or outright pissing off other people. Yeah, you have think about it cynically, but still, tell me I’m wrong.
You won’t let the kid have chocolate cake for breakfast (but Pop-Tarts are fine???)
On the way out the door in the morning, you tell your spouse you’ll be late for dinner. Again. Then you actually are. Again.
You deliver bad news to the client at work.
You dodge lunch with that coworker you can’t stand.
You’re a jerk to the telemarketer on the phone; the poor, eight-dollar-an-hour schlub who had to call you for her job.
You lie about being out of town and hide inside with the lights off all weekend to avoid the annual neighborhood block party.
You flip off that stupid driver on the road, only to realize a mile later, you actually cut her off.
Your brother-in-law calls and tells a stupid joke. You don’t laugh, even though it would be polite.
Annoying or disappointing our fellow humans is necessary sometimes. You can’t sugar-coat everything. It can even be fun in the right mood. Most of the time, with the run of the mill stuff, it’s harmless. It’s just you or the other person, or both, being intractable. Just being an idiot.
Yes, you’re an idiot. So am I. So’s everyone. No one of us is knowledgeable enough about the world or self-aware enough to be idiot-proof. It’s just the way it is.
But what we can do is ration our idiocy. Learn to recognize when being an idiot is impeding functioning in society. Would it have killed you to laugh at your-brother-in-law’s joke for the sake of family peace? Yes, you had to give the client bad news, but did you have to do it in an offhanded tone while eating an apple and reviewing some other client’s file?
I guess what I’m saying is: Be smart about being stupid.