I am proud of each of you. But there are those here and in life who may believe that you–as humans–are inherently Evil. And there are those that may believe you are inherently Good. I do not want you to fall into the mistake of believing either one of these.
Rationally, humans are machines. Not literally–do not take this literally, please. But, we can reason about ourselves and our affairs as though we were machines. Minimum viable products. Human bodies. That part of us that is born, the part of us that dies. The laws of physics and animal behavior that drives every decision and heart beat that we make.
But these machines are not simple. Right?
I believe that they are. I believe that the “human MVP” is ridiculously simple. Our apparent complexities–all the fun things that make us different and allow us to construct massive structures and venture out into space and bring tears to another’s eye with a well-written book alone–, these things can be explained–better, let’s say rationalized–like this:
If nothing, we are machines that make decisions. The environment in which we make decisions, though, is complex. We shape it, and it is shaped by others. But that environment contains more than dirt and sticks and grass–it contains our memories, our souls, our likes and dislikes, all the things, everything, that we have the power to interact with and modify. It is our movement through this complex world that makes us appear to be complex ourselves, and nothing more.
No decision is inherently Evil. No decision is inherently Good either. They are made by someone operating in one environment, and they are suffered by those operating in different environments.
–Every villian believes he is a hero.
–Every insult comes from someone who is hurting.
–The green that I see is not the green that you see.
These are the realizations that drive the postmodern intellectual movement. If we are, in any function, the product of our experiences, then we must all be unique. Even two people standing very close at a concert hear something ever so slightly different, and that difference leads to different reactions within our “MVP” of a human body. These difference compound, one second at a time, throughout our entire lives. And since our language shapes our perceptions of reality–we did watch the video about the color blue at GSE, right?–, and since these unique experiences shape our understanding of language, it can only be concluded that every one of us perceives a distinct reality from what every one else sees.
So why is it important that I am telling you all of this? It is important because, whenever someone is “crazy,” or when someone disappears on you, or takes credit for your work, or insults you by calling you a “slacker,” step back. Step back, and take a moment, and breathe. Become them. See the world through their environment. Get to know them. See if, for them, that act of Evil was, perhaps, just something they decided to do–no harm intended.
And then decide. In situations of danger, react. In situations of simple misunderstandings, respond.
–But decide rationally.