top of page

On the Incompetence of Others -- How to Use Logic to Retain Your Own Competence

Updated: Jan 28



When Society Fails to Equip Us for Life


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. These are not just gaps in knowledge, but holes in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.


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 mere formality of a graduation certificate. We become products of a system that prioritizes grades over growth remembering knowledge over applying wisdom, and conformity over deep thought.

Much of who we are is indeed 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. The scars of these failures can run deep, shaping our perspectives, our relationships, and our very sense of self.


When we are children, much of who we might become in the future lies in the hands of those we depend upon. This is not to say that we are powerless, but rather that our development is connected with the actions and choices of those around us. Whether they are equipped to guide us with competence and compassion can make a world of difference in the adults we eventually become.


Therefore, it is crucial that we acknowledge these invisible gaps in our education, these areas where society fails to equip us with the tools we need to navigate life's complexities. We must not only seek out these missing pieces ourselves but also demand better from the institutions and individuals responsible for shaping our future. Only then can we truly claim to be educated, not just in the technical sense, but in the way that matters most: prepared to face the world with resilience, wisdom, and a deep understanding of ourselves.


As long as we won't be thought to be virtuous, we are prone to serve as the building bricks of a morally depraved society, and morals are tied to our ability to be competent within our interactions with others, be them personal or professional.

From Hindrance to Resilience


But keep in mind, dwelling on the incompetence of others can become a time-consuming and wellbeing-depleting trap. Indeed, a crucial pillar of resilience often arises not from explicit instruction, but from the containmennt of unnecessary suffering caused by external shortcomings and misdeeds, or of a world built out of people who don't do their jobs properly. Navigating these challenges can forge a logic-fueled sense of resilience, a quiet strength born from overcoming obstacles placed in our path.


Initially, I let the actions of others define my mood, the frustration a constant echo in my mind. Yet, I gradually realized that clinging to this anger only served to fuel the negativity. Instead, I shifted my focus, channeling the energy I once spent on futile attempts to control the actions of those who fail to understand me, into strengthening my own resilience.


This shift, from dwelling on the impractical "why" to focusing on the controllable "how," proved transformative. By learning to navigate the ripples of external incompetence without letting people define my inner state, I found a deeper sense of peace and agency. For it I who controls myself, and am the one who gets to decide how much I actually regard others.


Remember, while the world may present us with challenges, the freedom to choose how we respond lies within us, and is may be wider than we think. We can choose to let external negativity become a defeating hindrance, or we can choose to forge from it a quiet strength, a resilience born from the displeasure of adversity.


Stop victimizing yourselves due to the incompetence of others. Is this the life you would want to live? A life defined by whining over how you want others to change, but cannot make them do so? Why rely on them, when you, in a sense, "must do everything yourself"? Remember what you can control, and stop worrying on things and beings you cannot do anything about them.


Reclaiming Inner Peace


It was then that I realized the true source of my unease: it wasn't just the external world's flaws, but my own irritation to them. By allowing the toxic reality of society, intentional or not, to breach my internal world, I was unknowingly contributing to my own discontent. See how we unconsciously enable that which we have no desire for.


Take the example of many in Israel who express disdain for the news channels, despite their supposed "objective" reporting. These channels merely mirror the unfortunate events that occur, some caused by questionable authority decisions. Yet, for the non-resilient, witnessing these events can be enough to trigger withdrawal, especially at times of war, where they have yet to be mentally prepared.


But the truth is, the incompetence of one doesn't always have to be another's misery. This is the core message of my book, "Solos Dinus," which explores the potential downside of empathy. While feeling empathy for unfortunate situations is moral, it can become counterproductive if it cripples our ability to navigate life's challenges. In other words, the incompetence of external reality to make things right, can also deteriorate the stability of our own internal competence as individuals, to function and progress through life.

Balancing Benevolence and Self-Preservation


Benevolent values like empathy and sympathy while noble, can prove impractical when faced with the need for self-preservation and practical functioning. This is not to say we should dismiss suffering, but rather distinguish between acknowledging it and allowing it to define our own well-being. Also, it could be one of the reasons why mercy isn't always a virtue.


The key lies in drawing a healthy boundary between concern and self-preservation. External negativity, even if well-meaning, should not hinder our ability to function or pursue our own goals. Our internal peace is too precious to sacrifice at the altar of every societal grief and dysfunction.


Where do we begin? By examining the things that preoccupy us. Often, we discover that many anxieties are self-inflicted, burdens we carry long after their initial impact. Repressing them, instead of facing them could prove counter-productive. Recognizing and releasing these unnecessary worries is a powerful first step towards inner peace.


Remember, the world may be dysfunctional and messy, but our internal world doesn't have to mirror it. By learning to navigate the negativity without succumbing to it, we can cultivate the resilience needed to thrive in the face of adversity, and actually try to remain competent ourselves.


Choose the things that truly matter, let go of the rest, and reclaim the power to define your own well-being.

118 views0 comments

Comments


Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-11-02 202752.png
bottom of page