"Common sense is not so common."
- Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique (1764)
Let's be brutal in observing and criticizing ourselves: let's be honest with ourselves in accepting that we are often ridiculous. We build up a caricature of ourselves through years of repeating stereotypical patterns of behavior. These patterns, because of their nature, are rigid, so they do not adapt to the changing situations of real life. We clash with reality and often react by being stubborn and forcing our stereotypical patterns of behavior, thereby disconnecting ourselves from reality and becoming unaware of the presence and individual characteristics of the other people around us. We "perform" our patterns of behavior without listening to the feedback of others, like bad actors on a stage.
We readily critique others around us, without first observing if what we critique in other people is one of our own characteristics.
We freely give advice without assessing if we qualify to give advice on a particular subject. Which achievements and certificates can we present as our qualifications to provide proof to validate our advice?
As well, we are too easily accepting of the critiques and advice from others. Why? Because we are educated to believe that everyone should be equal on our scale of values, even ourselves. But this is an abstract general notion that has nothing to do with the specific particularities of real life.
We should have a very clear assessment of who qualifies to critique and advise us on particular matters, and what qualifies us to critique and advise others. The rest is empty words - that we can play with, but not take them seriously.
We should learn appreciation and respect for silence.
Do we realize how annoying we are?
As "cool" as we may believe we are, it is always good to keep in mind that we can still improve - that we may not be "that cool" to someone who is cooler than us.
Because everybody acts stupidly, it seems that we should do the same, almost like it’s wrong not to act like stupid people do. We can always find plenty of excuses. Instead, let’s be cold and analytical in observing how we explain ourselves. And not to forget that we were educated in perceiving passion as a waste.