19 September, 2007

Reasonable vs. unreasonable

A friend of mine e-mailed me a quote that got me thinking about a subject I almost wrote about previously. The quote is from George Bernard Shaw and it goes like this... "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. All progress, therefore, depends upon the unreasonable man." To me, most of America is the "reasonable" man. It's convenient to take the easy way. Most people are, sadly, like sheep. They have no real opinions of their own because they are afraid, in these politically correct times, to offend someone. They have no true interests of their own. They follow the masses in determining what they really like. If this weren't true, reality t.v. would have died out by now. Most people are eager to part of a mass consciousness. They fear being an outsider. So much so that they will sacrifice their own personalities on the altar of general opinion.
At first blush, it is easy for me to dismiss these people as stupid. But that's really not fair and really not accurate. It's not stupid to want to be part of something bigger than yourself. The problem, in my mind, comes when you are so eager you will become a part of anything even if it is something you would not normally be a part of. There are certain phenomena, tragedies, celebrations that bring us all closer together and that is for the best. But to watch a t.v. show or listen to certain bands or read that best selling book just because your neighbor tells you that you absolutely must is just wrong. I would argue that the problem with America is that people are too reasonable. They are too eager to let the will of the masses dictate society. At this point those of you that are politically inclined are crying foul, no doubt. Anyone who follows politics knows full well that, in that arena, it is the will of the few that controls all. That is a separate issue for another day for the purposes of this post.
Politics aside, most people just "go with the flow". Society is shaped not so much because a few people want it that way as much as it is that so many people do nothing about it. They may rail against it. They may be disgusted or appalled but, in the end, they will not actually do anything about it. You may have a right to say what you want and complain incessantly about things but if you never take steps to change it then you are really just part of the problem. I would much rather be a friend of the "unreasonable" man who strives to change the world. Hopefully for the better but, if not, it falls upon other "unreasonable" men to oppose them.

1 comment:

number 1 cuz said...

Amen to that! One of my biggest "pet" peeves has always been with the infinite pack numbers of Pavlov's Dogs.