© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher

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On the Incompetence of Others (and why it doesn't have to bother you even if it does)

Updated: Aug 25, 2019


There are many things that society, even with a fairly-invested ministry of education, fails to teach us, in terms of giving us helpful insights to get through life, and should we not discover these insights ourselves, our lack, caused by external incompetence, can be equivalent to us lacking any practical education whatsoever, beyond the fact that we have formally graduated.


Much of who we are is a product of the failure of others. If we had a traumatic childhood, it is due to the incompetence of those who raised us. If we live in constant fear and anxiety, it is due to the failure of those responsible on providing us safety, or at least the feeling that we are safe.

When we are children, much of who we might become in the future lies in the hands of those we depend ourselves upon, regardless of their level of competence in filling their roles.



But take note - it should be known when the incompetence of the External World should affect us, and when its affect is nothing more but a wasting hindrance - a waste of our time, a waste of our wellbeing and so forth.


And indeed - a logic-fueled sense of resilience is something that is not usually learned but others, but, instead, earned, through the unnecessary suffering, caused by the incompetence of said others.


But when the wisdom of the past has been learnt, contemplating any further about the past might yield counter-productive results.


It is so that I learned the wisdom in the stupidity of my so-called “arch-enemy”, that is my neighbor, that even with my efforts to make her stop yelling at her child and disturbing my peace, resumes to yell at them nonetheless.



It was then that I have come to realize, that the incompetence of others shouldn’t breach into my Internal World, and it is I that was too incompetent, as well, in resisting strongly enough, the toxicity others might bring on me, intentionally or unintentionally.


People in Israel show great dislike of the news channels, even though these channels, arguably, are doing their job well - bring us knowledge about unfortunate events, that may or may not be caused by the incompetence of our authorities.


One stabbing here, another rape there; a suspicion for bribery here, violence in public schools there. The acknowledgement of these unfortunate occurrences cause those not resilient enough, abandon knowing the news entirely, because they have yet to realize the following insight - that the incompetence of one, shouldn’t be the misery of another.


Hence why I wrote in my second book, “Solos Dinus”, about the negative side that empathy may possess - even if feeling bad for an unfortunate occurrence is morally a good thing, this alone doesn’t make it a good thing, practically, when it comes to enduring whatever life may throw at us.

In other words, even benevolent values, such as empathy, sympathy, pity and compassion, may prove to be impractical, and even counter-productive, in our quest for a life of decent wellbeing.

This is, therefore, where the line should be drawn, between benevolence and feelings of disgrace, shame and dis-satisfaction, and between practical functioning and self-preservation, as one shouldn’t stand in another’s way, because the latter is of greater value than the former, should they be conflicted, because the latter helps us more in the quest of enduring.


Find the things that usually make you preoccupied, and you might find out that many of these things are not really worth worrying over; not now, and not necessarily forever - even if they may cause a significant level of unease.

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