Our social fabric is riddled with conflict.
Schools promote competition with other students over the joy of learning, politics pits opponents against each other through raking muck and shelling dirt, businesses try to dismiss the efforts of one another rather than find unique ways to express common value, and social rules stifle free expression by having us conform to norms that are out-of-touch with our natural desires.
And of course, most dangerous of all, we glorify war and violent conflict on a global scale, making hated enemies out of our brothers and sisters. Take a look at our Hollywood blockbusters if there is any question.
Of course, we’re by default, de-facto, the assumed good guys in any conflict, for no other reason than that we are.
This sound abhorrent and ignorant. So instead of facing the reality of the ugly conflict we are swimming in, we paint it up with more lighthearted versions in the form of fun, games, scores, awards, and titles. But anytime we aren’t looking at ourselves, instead finding our value by comparing ourselves against the world around us, we’ve fallen into the trap of human conflict.
As J Krishnamurti says, it’s not a sign of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Yet, that’s what seems to be called for us to thrive, or even simply survive, on this planet. So it’s important to be partially aloof from this disastrous pull. No we don’t need to be, nor should we be, nor can we be, completely aloof. If we were totally detached, we become completely out-of-touch with the world as it is…and our value won’t be felt by others.
So it’s simply important to be partially aloof, by remaining committed to our higher ideals but still empathize enough with the world as it is to feel its tug. That said, at all times, we must buck the gravity of social obligation and existing institutions to ensure we define value that comes from our ideals, rather than values that pit us against our fellow man and woman.