Happy Sun’s Day
“People are Stupid” – The Book of Rabyd 2:1
Thoughts and Exposition:
We are with verse one of chapter two moving into a different realm of The Book of Rabyd. Chapter one is principles I would say are universally or nearly universally true. Chapter Two is points of wisdom which are more about life guides and coming to a better understanding of the world. Not hard fast rules in chapter two, but definitely can be seen to be true most of the time. We start with the simple three word Phrase: “People are Stupid”
One might say this is a pretty pessimistic view of people in general. This is not a statement about people and their morality however, just their nature. Terry Goodkind and his Wizard’s Rules impressed me in their quick way of getting to human nature and laying it out there plainly and bluntly. I like someone who can take a concept and put it into a simple statement and “People are Stupid” shocks you ,and yet catches your attention, because you know in you heart it is true. I have tried to put this idea into other terms or phraseology but it never has the force of “People are Stupid.”
Terry Goodkind though really doesn’t stop with just these three words. but in his book Wizard’s First Rule he makes several other points about it:
- Given proper motivation people will believe almost anything.
- People will believe something because they want it to be true or fear it is true. (Confirmation Bias)
- Peoples’s heads are full of things that they think is true but is in reality mostly false. (Cognitive Dissonance)
- People rarely can tell the difference between a lie and the truth, but they think they can. (Ego)
- Because of all this people are easier to fool.
You will note Terry did not say ALL People are stupid. His assumption is that by understanding this rule you can rise above it yourself. First you understand it for yourself that you yourself are stupid. Once you get this idea that you are stupid, and need analyze your own thinking and beliefs for whether or not they are true, then you are very much on the path to understanding yourself and others better. Stupidity is part of being a human being and once you get that part, the rest of the wisdom that flows from this foundation becomes easier to swallow. Truth is found in understanding that even you can be subject to stupidity and that means re-thinking things regularly to make sure you are basing your understandings on the truth and not just what you want to be the truth.
There is tremendous power that you gain when you understand all of this and the challenge for the vitreous person is to not take advantage of it for malevolent purposes. It gives you an advantage when you realize what makes people, stupid including yourself is Confirmation Bias, Cognitive Dissonance, and Ego. You can use this to help or harm. lead people to truth to a lie. Motivate them to great good or evil.
As a leader over the years’, I have come to realize the difficulty of researching and coming to know the factual truth at times, but knowing full well that to motivate people to act on it, requires a great deal of tapping into people’s ‘stupidity’. Otherwise they will never be motivated to act. Truth rarely motivates, passion does. That is the challenge to be motivated by truth as a leader but tap into people’s passions so you don’t on the one hand mislead people, but on the other hand get them to act.
We may see Terry Goodkind again. I am revising a lot of these points of wisdom and combining some of them so we will see. However many of the Wizard’s Rules echo in a lot of them.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.