I Am Better Than You

Think about your favorite music.

Your favorite song.

That one that has you rockin’ & rollin’ while you’re heading down the road.  You know every word, every inflection.  When it comes on, you’re the lead singer, the guitarist or the drummer.

(Nobody pretends they’re the bassist.  They just don’t.  Bassists, I’m sorry.  Get over it.)

It’s YOUR song, really.  Made for you, right?  You hear it in the car, in the store, on the dance floor.  Maybe it’s an oldie but a goodie, so you only hear it when you play it.  But man, do you play it.  It puts you in the right mood.  You’re thinking about it right now, and the thought is making you smile.  It’s your favorite song.

Think about your favorite song.

Now think about that one person you know that hates that song.

That put the kibosh on things, right?  Not in such a great mood anymore?

“Stupid Greg.  Ruined my mood!”

Yeah, well, it happens.  I’m trying to prove a point.  Let’s go back to thinking about that person that hates YOUR SONG.  How does it make you feel?  A little put out, right?  I mean, come on, let’s be honest.  You aren’t happy about it.  Maybe it doesn’t stick in your craw, but it does bum you out, just a little.

They HATE that song.

Ugh…Gut shot.  How could they hate it?

Well, because maybe they have a favorite song of their own.

Often, we forget this scenario is okay.  Healthy, even.  That two people feel passionately different about a subject.  They each bring their own history and memories and meaning to the answer.  And because they bring all of those things, it hurts (if only just a little) that others don’t share the same love and passion.

For some, they really forget this is okay.  They become just as impassioned about others not liking the same song that they feel about their song.  People feel like others are wrong about how they feel.  They think…

I am better than you.

We see this a lot online, don’t we?  In chat rooms and comment sections.  Facebook, anyone?  And it’s not just music.  It is any subject you can imagine, let alone religion and politics and now, science.  Do you know how much of science is theory and not proven fact?  Do you know how much of science is wrong?  Read science journals long enough and you’ll discover enough studies tell us everything is bad for us, but then again, maybe they aren’t.  But read comments from those whom science is a religion, and most likely you’ll get the same vibe…

I am better than you.

But I digress.  It’s not that theory or studies or supposition are proven fact that matters, it is that they are what they are, one point of view.  The world is full of point of view.  I believe it’s what makes the world go round.

Ok, maybe not literally.  Angular momentum, gravity, the moon…Yada, yada, yada.

I think we all have emotional currency to spend.  Call it Sympathy Scratch or Emotional Moolah, whatever.  It isn’t limitless.  As beings we have a finite amount of this currency.  If we were all to run out at the exact same time, I believe the Bible described that as the apocalypse…Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes.  The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria!

Ok, maybe not literally.  But then again.

My point?  Yeah, I’m getting to that.

We only have so much emotional currency.  Why spend it on something as trivial as a song?  And realistically, there are so many other things we spend our emotional currency on that we shouldn’t.  Like what other people are wearing or doing or saying or…

The list is long.  For the most part, the things we spend our currency on are things that aren’t really bothering us, but things we let bother us.  And though we may even say they aren’t bothering us, our actions indicate otherwise.  The more we let things bother us, the more they bother us.

And for what?

Truth is, you aren’t better than I am.  What’s the gauge, anyway?  I know people who genuinely don’t care about money, do you think they really care you just bought an expensive car?  Me?  I don’t care for big televisions.  I still have a tube T.V. in my house.  I’ve known people to try and impress me with their fancy, expensive, latest in technology, takes up a whole room television.  They cost about the price of a tropical cruise.  These people, they get upset because I’m not impressed.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m guilty of feeling better, at times.  Lately, I’ve been catching myself.  I see someone and have a criticism.  I don’t like their hair, their clothes, the way they talk.  Who the hell am I to judge?  Truthfully?  I’m nobody.  They aren’t hurting me.  What do I care?  I’m going to spend my emotional currency on something else.  Like telling friends and family that I love them.  Or being part of a circle that I trust, and can trust me.

There is no gauge.  The art of “Keeping up with the Joneses” or the desire for everyone to think the same fads are cool at the same time is a myth.  There is no spoon.  As humans, we’re making this all up as we go.  Sure, there are some basics that should be adhered to like don’t be rude, don’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater, and don’t watch Adam Sandler movies.  But other than those, shouldn’t most things that regular, sane people do be okay, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else?  You want to wear flip-flops and socks…Rock ON!

And if you don’t like what I’m watching, listening to, doing or wearing?  Well then, that’s just, like, you’re opinion, man.  I’ll stick with Rule #13 – Make Your Own Cool.

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