Life is an unending struggle at the edge of uncertainty.
Some say that nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes. And, that we should live in the moment, taking what joy there is to be had. All I know is that a little certainty sometimes would go a long way. Worrying about things that may happen is to create pointless pain.
Over the past few days I have been struggling to make sense of a relationship that’s important to me, and my introspection and deliberation hasn’t gone so well. Either I just do not understand my friend and why she does things, or I do not understand women at all, or both. It’s probably both.
My friend is taking a trip to England ~ going on a retreat in the Cotswolds with a weird self-improvement group. Her first trip to England isn’t to visit me, it’s to be with her group. That doesn’t make me feel good, it makes me feel very second-best. What my friend is going to do by taking this trip to England to see a bunch of other people hurts me more than just a lot. Anyhow, I hate groups. Most small groups revel in their self-righteous and introspective stupidity.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. ~ Martin Luther King.
In general I don’t much like the self-righteous people who join groups, and I don’t like group mentality. I would not join any group / association / society/ club that would willingly have me as a member. I firmly believe that groups create a vicious ‘them and us’ mentality, especially closed groups, and I despise that. It disgusts me. I firmly believe that groups close off outsiders and that people develop unhealthy relationships within the group. The whole group ethos sickens me.
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Groups can and do operate to unhealthy norms. Group members will continue to conform to norms that are quite harmful rather than healthy, even norms that run counter to society’s accepted standards of behaviour. Members of small groups can find their behaviour unconsciously regulated in a way which is not good for their physical, mental, and spiritual health due to pluralistic ignorance.
Sex, drugs, and pluralistic ignorance: smart groups do dumb things. ~ Geoff Cohen
Pluralistic ignorance is a shared delusion common in small groups. A small group can engage in systematic barbaric, harmful, hurtful, and uncaring behaviour ~ even though the individual members of the group may be good people in their own right. The members of small groups are amoral within the group, they tend to drink too much, smoke too much, use drugs, and engage in casual sex, all within the group, and those self-destructive behaviours can become the group norm. I know, I’ve seen it happen.
Sometimes most people in a group will disagree with the group norm, but nobody will ever speak out. Groupthink is a powerful thing, it’s what creates a mob mentality, a cult mentality, a harmful and poisonous bunch of people. The list of destructive groups is long and painful.
No one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes. ~ Tricia Wang.
I do not like this situation, I do not like that my friend’s first trip to England is to be with a ‘group’, and it’s making me very unhappy, which is stupid. Unhappiness should not be endured, it should be cured.
I can do nothing about some things. I can’t try to stop my friend from being in a group she says is valuable to her self-development. But I fear that this situation will end badly and painfully. Yet, I cannot change other people and what they do. I cannot even change what happens to me. All I can change is myself. All I can do is be the best guy I can possibly be; accepting, considerate, kind, reliable, and understanding. All I can do is be there for my friend.
written close to midnight on
January 30th 2018