Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sauvé par la beauté

Pick any subject—any subject at all—and have a talk about it with anyone intelligent and you will end up in despair for our future. Something has to end what we are doing to the planet: plague or war. Perhaps "the people" will revolt. That's what we do when we are threatened or scared. And now, with social media, "we" have so much more power over our leaders.

When I was eleven, everything frustrated me. An awesome teacher drew a picture of a bell curve on the blackboard one day, and he said: "At this end, are the intellectually bereft; there are very few of them. At the other end, are the Einsteins and Darwins; there are also very few of them. The bulk of the population is average, he said. Then he drew a vertical line down from the top of the curve to  well below the curve's bottom plane. "This line is median intelligence," he said.

Then he asked me to go to the backboard and show him where I thought I was. Then he showed me where he thought I was. We both placed me on the slope between the vertical line and the Einsteins, but at different points. (He was an encouraging man.)

He then said something to the effect of: "Democracy serves those closest to the vertical line, closest to median intelligence.” And then, starting from the vertical line's end point below the curve, he drew an arrow pointing to the Einstein end. “And so the farther you are this way the more frustrated you will be by the actions of mankind, and now that you know this, for the rest of your life you have to find a way to accept this and live with this awareness."  

Instead of despairing, I "make hay while the sun shines."  I have dedicated myself to having a responsible but good time. I am saved by my reverence for and capacity to see beauty.

So, back to where I started: Perhaps "we the people" will revolt. That's what we do when we are threatened or scared.  Just remember:  The loudest voice comes from those closest to the vertical line. Thinking is dangerous.

"Party on Wayne."

   - Mike Myers

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