With the rise of the internet, popular culture, and rugged individualism, I believe that our world is becoming increasingly infantile. By "infantile," I mean the refusal to act maturely in the name of things and beings that have nothing to do with our hearts and emotions. When people act mostly or purely from their hearts and not their rationale, they can easily make regrettable mistakes that could harm their progress in life.
The heart does not think for the long term. It encourages us to act on momentary impressions of reality. It does not think for the long term because it is too complex for a mere emotion to be this calculated. Therefore, the heart can easily make us whine and initiate "pity parties" with others. That is because the unrestrained heart can be naive like a bull.
It sees reality from day to day, and not for month to month or even for year to year. It may encourage us to use ignorance as an excuse for our actions, without understanding that not every cause is reasonable, and not every cause is justified by reason.
Many people find logic boring, so they avoid studying it. However, by succumbing to the distaste of boredom, they only harm the competence of their own rationality, in the name of the heart. Therefore, the heart alone is insufficient in decision-making, and can actually be counterproductive to our ambitions in life. This includes business and politics.
When we fail to understand that the cause of our actions is not always reasonable, we may as well fail to learn from our mistakes and make the same actions under the same poor reasoning. It is irrational to justify poor reasoning when that reasoning can be improved. Because when our reasoning is improved, we can decrease the chances of committing the same mistakes again.
Studying reason is part of growing up.
Because grown men and women are also reasonable beings who do not act on petty emotion alone. In order to do that, one must be rational. And rationality is something that should be taught, for that endeavor. It deserves to be taught just like anything else in education that is there to prepare the student for their adult life.
Those who fail to be rational remain infantile. And those who are seen as infantile in this world can easily be treated disrespectfully, and like dirt beneath people's feet. Therefore, in order to earn respect in this world, one must also be rational, and not only an adult. Because to be treated like a child, when you're not, is very disrespectful. No matter by whom. No matter the reason or intent.
Those of us who need respect in order to mentally survive may crave rationality like a cat may crave the affection of its owner. Therefore, without rationality, some of us are good as dead. Some of us, like myself.
Because if I fail to prove that I deserve respect, I will only be met with the traumatizing humiliation of the cruel and the merciless, whose behavior is normalized.
It is easy to normalize anti-social behavior in our world and treat people like garbage without remorse. However, what they fail to realize is that, without respect, there is no legitimacy to the consideration of human and civil rights. And with the disrespect of human beings, some of them would ask themselves, why do they live, and should they just die, and end the agony of feeling small, insignificant, and/or unloved?
Still, some of us may become anti-social beings in order to survive in an anti-social world. Shame how lack of empathy can corrupt the human mind, and crush it like a twig. Moving on.
Because it is far easier to disrespect those whom we may see as infantile, than otherwise. It is wrong to judge people by mere impression, by mere emotion. But by doing so, we would only feed the cycle of suffering, by refusing to be reasonable ourselves, and consider the long term. The "long term" that exists beyond our first impressions of someone. The "long term" that dares to question who the person in front of us really is, and what they are capable of, for the good and for the bad.
And if we use ignorance as an excuse, like a child would, we would only feed that cycle of suffering even more. Because the child is naive. The child is ignorant, and might not consider the fact that they should learn from their ignorant mistakes, in order to avoid making them again.
Because he or she who refuses to make the same mistakes again are doomed to repeat them indefinitely. The infantile does not learn. The grown up does.
And this world of rugged individuality is not one that cares much about learning. It is one that cares to feel good and have a good time. Just like a child would. All in the name of niceness and fun. For learning, which is essential for maturity, is far more boring in comparison. That is, even though it is imperative for our survival.
If we succumb to our infantile desires, they will only bring us down with them. Down to humiliation, whining, self-pity, and seeing ourselves as victims and weaklings. All the way to the bottom of the human social hierarchy. That is the merciless world we live in. A world that can easily bring down our self-respect, because it encourages the infantility found in hedonism, naivety, and reluctance to do things that are difficult and/or unpleasing.
And with our own lack of self-respect, the world will not respect us as much as we deserve. Another cruel cycle, played carelessly or without awareness.
See how this world make us wish to grow up, and yet, nurtures a culture that praises infantile traits. Should we ascend this culture, and act outside of its counter-intuitive rationality, we might be able to get the respect we deserve as human beings. Because respect, like love, while elementary, is forever to be gained in this cruel meritocracy of a world.
Should you ultimately fail to gain respect from the world, you can easily be left behind in the capitalistic competition over resources. Money, influence, and even followers. Virtual, or otherwise. Because even those who are there to give you services, can easily dismiss you like the human dirt they think you are, should you fail to gain their respect. That is especially true in kakistocracies, where professionalism is compromised in the name of self-interest. That self interest may include the desire to avoid discomfort. And to avoid discomfort, they (professionals) may disrespect you ruthlessly in a kakistokracy.
So, if we want to get the relevance we may believe we deserve, as well as the respect of others, we must eradicate infantility within us. Because acting immaturely can easily make people minimize our worth. And in lives where there is a shortage of love, empathy, or affection, that minimization of worth can also make us depressed, if not suicidal.
We may be in a constant war to prove our relevance in the eyes of those who are unable or unwilling to distinguish rationality from normalcy. But in order to persevere, we must win that war regularly. Because otherwise, why would we want to live if we are treated like dirt? Why would we want to live, if we are not as loved, and remain in a lonely corner, despite what we can give to this world?