Hey, you guys! Chuck here!
In my last post I discussed how we shouldn’t waste too much time on things we’ll never be that good at. I argued that our time is much better spent focusing on our strengths and attempting to maximize results instead of trying to fix our weaknesses. One thing I’ve noticed that we’re not very good at is trying to figure out what other people are.
I was a very conservative Catholic in my early twenties and I was a student at Michigan State University. So I have very vivid memories of people calling Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi. This idea seems silly now. But, in 2005, the issue of whether or not Pope Benedict XVI is a Nazi was very much up for discussion. Just watch this clip of Robin Williams calling Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi, notice how his voice goes from silly to serious the moment he calls Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi. People are just not very good at figuring out who is and isn’t a Nazi. You’d think it would be obvious, but it totally isn’t.
This is kind of like how 500 years ago we weren’t very good at figuring out who was and wasn’t a witch. And 1500 years ago we weren’t very good at figuring out who was and wasn’t a Nestorian. In fact, most theologians now agree that Nestorius himself wasn’t even really a Nestorian. Kinda like how Calvin wasn’t really a Calvinist. Human beings are just really lousy at figuring out what other people are.
This doesn’t really surprise me too much, since I’m really bad at figuring out what I am. I can’t figure out if I’m a Democrat or Republican. I can’t figure out if I’m a libertarian or a socialist. And I can’t figure out if I’m a Catholic or a Buddhist. You’d think these things would all be really obvious, but they’re totally not!
But, the lesson I learned in 2016 is that what I am doesn’t have any real effect on all of the most important things I’m going to do today! I don’t know if I’m a Democrat or a Republican. But, I know I’m going to do a forty-five minute core-blasting workout routine this morning! I don’t know if I’m a libertarian or a socialist. But, I know I’m gonna spend an hour a day practicing Spanish! I don’t know if I’m a Catholic or a Buddhist. But, I know I’m gonna eat oatmeal for breakfast. We can do so much useful stuff and still have no idea what we are!
I keep talking about how we don’t understand any of this but that’s okay because you don’t have to understand how the universe works in order to operate it. You don’t even have to understand yourself in order to operate yourself. I don’t understand why eating oatmeal makes me feel really high-energy all day long, but that doesn’t stop me from eating oatmeal and feeling high-energy all day long. I don’t understand why this song gets me pumped up, but that doesn’t stop me from listening to it and getting totally pumped up!
In 2017, lots of people are going to try to waste your time with useless discussions about what other people are or what you are. Don’t waste too much time on this! It’s something that human beings are inherently bad at! Eat oatmeal and exercise! Learn a new skill! Together we will have many successes in 2017! And if you have any questions or you have an idea for something you would like to see me write about on this blog, feel free to email me at my new high-energy email address firstname.lastname@example.org!