Zen and the Art of Accepting People

I’ve had an ongoing debate with some colleagues recently about “people.” I’ve long held that “people” are stupid once they are in a group of about 5 or more. “People” can’t be trusted to make sane decisions about themselves, let alone elect a president or something major. I still believe this in general.

Yet, I believe in people — the good in people, the drive to do what’s right, the instinct to run ther own community the best they can. I also believe that the parts of Buddhism I most admire are those that deal with true inner peace and enlightenment as well as accepting what you cannot change gracefully.

Because “people” – the general populace – are often ruled by mob mentality and say and do things they think they should, rather than what they actually want. But I think individuals are smarter than that, if given the chance, and can be a successful “people” if nurtured.

Shift gears: I believe that the web is a place for people. And I believe that community should be granted full transparent access whenever possible. I do not believe in all out chaos, as I’ve detailed before, but I do believe in allowing people – online and in real life – to filter their experiences to what they want to and have to see as much as possible. Building up walls makes for useless websites where the like-minded sit around and reinforce each other’s silly, one-sided opinions all day.

When you give up on people, you are headed to one of two extremes, both a sign of weak character. Either you give up on people and seek to control them, become a dictator, filter content, and eventually amass the power to manipulate; or you give up on people, withdraw and seek to grant further control to the masses in order to remove yourself even further from the whirlwind.

And I am weak: I am heading to the latter. I am seeking to grant further control to remove myself from a situation I no longer feel is productive or represents me. I am weak and I see it, and I have no choice but to realize that I am involved in a project with people I’ve come to respect but with whom I have such differences in character that I cannot flex and be at peace. I am not angry like that anymore. I am not mad at the world, I do not seek to shackle, and I do not resent “people.” And I pledge to remember that, to believe in people.

It’s really only once you begin to trust people that you can be free, and it’s only once you can be free that you can be at any sort of peace. I am far from enlightened, but I am beginning to see my way.

Posted in UncategorizedTagged ,

2 Replies to “Zen and the Art of Accepting People”

  1. You forgot the “dedicated to Eugenia” (you know very well what made you write this, no reason denying it).

    On the topic: I’ve seen enough evil, stupidity and bullshitting from people in my life to not want to trust them. To give the benefit of the doubt to someone, I have to really know him, or know his achievements. I’ve been manipulated myself, lied to, used, and thrown away like a used towel. I had to live in different countries to escape my life, work as a cleaner and (usually unpaid) maid for years before my IT career, get beaten etc etc. There are things that I’ve never blogged about, things you don’t know about. Things that happened to me before 1999. My “glamorous, easy” life as “Eugenia from Be/OSNews”, is LIFE v2.0.

    I am the bitch I am, because LIFE v1.0 made me that way. And I don’t intend to change my perception of people just so LIFE v1.0 never comes back. I am not naive anymore. This might be seen as silly defense by some, but I know I have good reasons to not change my perception towards “people”.

    Who knows. Maybe all the people you met early in your life were angels. Mine weren’t.

  2. You forgot the “dedicated to Eugenia” (you know very well what made you write this, no reason denying it).

    Eugenia, I’m sorry, but not everything is about you. This piece is about me and my feelings about continued participation in something things I’m currently second guessing. You know my feelings about things we’ve discussed, but this piece is about me and my lame passive-aggressive stance lately, not you.

    I am the bitch I am, because LIFE v1.0 made me that way […] I have good reasons to not change my perception towards “people”.

    It sounds to me like you feel strongly and I pass no judgment about your real life. But I’m talking about online life here and I don’t think opening up a little means compromising your principles. But I’m not trying to school or chastise you anyway, only to say that you can’t walk around with that chip on your shoulder and still be at peace in your life. I’m trying to move away from that negativity off- and online.

    Your attitude towards users of your websites is not the same as mine. I trust people to run their own communities for the most part and do not belive in heavily policing the web. I don’t think a few off-topic posts are the end of the world, I don’t think that someone saying “Microsoft sucks” means the site has been trolled. You seem to feel as though a heavy hand is the best way to go. That’s fine too, but that’s not the way I want to go… in any manner of life.

Comments are closed.