On the Incompetence of Others (and why it doesn't have to bother you even if it does)
Updated: May 24
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 our lacking any practical education whatsoever, beyond the fact that we have formally graduated.
Much of who we are is the product of the failure of others. If we had a traumatic childhood, it was 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 for 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 upon, regardless of their level of competence in filling their roles.
But keep in mind. It should be known when the incompetence of the external world should affect us and when its effect is nothing more than 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 from others but, instead, earned, through the unnecessary suffering caused by the incompetence of said others.
But once the wisdom of the past has been learned, contemplating it further 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, she resumes to yell at them nonetheless.
It was then that I knew the incompetence of others shouldn’t breach into my internal world. It was I who was too incompetent, as well. By escaping the toxic reality of society, whether or not that toxicity is intentional or otherwise.
People in Israel show great dislike for the news channels, even though these channels, arguably, are doing their jobs well. Bringing us knowledge about unfortunate events that may or may not be caused by the incompetence of our authorities.
One stabbing here, another blackmail there; a suspicion of bribery here, violence in public schools there. Recognizing these happenings can cause the non-resilient to avoid the news entirely. They have yet to understand something. The incompetence of one doesn't always have to be another's misery.
Hence why I wrote a book, "Solos Dinus," about the downside that empathy might have. Even if feeling bad about an unfortunate occurrence is morally a good thing, this alone isn't practical 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 where the line should be drawn between benevolence and feelings of disgrace, shame, and dissatisfaction and practical functioning and self-preservation. One shouldn’t stand in another’s way because the latter is of greater value than the former should they be in conflict, 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.