Friday, May 5, 2006

You Need A Pig To Find Truffles

For some reason, I've always loved that little saying. It's a little negative sounding, but actually a positive expression.

"You need a pig to find truffles" means that it's the result that counts, not necessarily how you achieve it. This should not to be confused with "the end justifies the means," which isn't true.

The former means that sometimes you must do something unpleasant to reach your goal. The latter means that anything can be done, no matter how despicable, as long as the goal achieved is good.

There's a subtle difference, to be sure. But, it's an important distinction to remember.

It's too bad that people are so familiar with the latter concept and not so familiar with the former. The pervasiveness of negative talk stifles the culture and, in many ways, keeps us down, just as positive talk uplifts us.

Language influences thinking to a great degree. Even more than thinking influences language. Read 1984, by George Orwell. Newspeak is a great example of how changing the language influences the way a culture thinks. Ungood, to be sure, yet it may actually work.

Many seemingly inherent concepts are learned: racism is a good example. I believe that if we could eliminate talk of racism for a generation, it would likely be gone. Likewise, a generation of people not espousing the worst motives to their opponents, would do us all good. When you assume that the other side is doing bad because they believe the end justifies the means, you become jaded. Soon, you will use your desired end to justify your means, too.

If may be a little unpleasant to try to understand the motives of your opponent, but it's important to actually know them, rather than just assume the worst.

I go years without talking politics. Every once in a while, I jump back in. Well, I'm out again. I usually assume that the other side has noble motives, but is wrong. I can't converse in a world where my side is always assumed to be mean, greedy, or even evil, just because our goals and methods are different.

This is one post where I really know how I feel, but just don't know how to say it. I pitty anybody reading this. I hope it makes SOME sense...

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