“Jesus in a camper van
he says sorry to leave you but I done all i can
I suppose even son ‘o God gets it hard sometimes
‘specially when you’re singing
that i am the way
i am the way!”
-Robbie Williams, Jesus in a Camper Van
At the roots of everything we consider is us, are prejudices that we
may not be aware of. I don’t mean racism. I don’t mean
sexism. But it can include these things– a prejudices is just
what the word implies– it is a pre-judgement.
Or is it?
A lot of the prejudices that we hold are no longer even judged– we
don’t have the time to do all the evaluation work, and that is how
things like ‘styles’ or ‘group mentalities’ come about. Because
it’s a lot easier to just do what the next person is doing, and assume
that their reasoning is just. It’s cumulative.
But just how right are our definitions?
Is a hero someone who selflessly acts for a greater good? But
what about a terrible person, who because of some mental disease, is
compulsively helpful to others? Can he still be a hero?
Or what if a person does everything in their power to do what is
right? But turns out to be ‘wrong’, and was just doing what they
thought was right?
Does anyone consider Hitler a hero? The question cannot be
answered with “are you crazy”. And the answer is “yes”. The
follow up question is “why”.
And maybe that is where you find the false roots– because at some
point, someone stopped asking why and just assumed something was
something… and one thing leads to the next.
Was the Great Leap Forward a good idea?
Is a cop right to arrest someone for a broken tail light? Did we have to use tailights in automobiles?
Could a toothbrush have been invented as a toothcomb? Or a toothsponge? Or a tooth squeege?
Could the average chair have more or less than 4 legs?
Could a television screen have been invented to be square?
Do we have to read from
right? Or vice versa?
Does everyone in the library have to be quiet? Should cellphones be turned off?
Should cellphones ring?
Is a president who acts thinking he is deffending his country wrong to do so?
Is riding a large car, a car bigger than you’ll ever need power for, is it really bad if it protects you and your family?
Can everyone say what they want?
Should everyone carry a gun?
Should people be locked away?
My point is that every one of us has an answer to all questions– and
that may include that we don’t know the answer. We all have
answers. Some answers we can answer with prejudice and that would
be okay. A ‘good prejudice’ is something that you’ve run into
before, and thus you already know how to do with it. A good
prejudice might all this talk about eat healthy. A bad one might
be to smoke.
But test yourself.
If life is to constantly degrade– if the world gets worse daily– why
not smoke? Find a way to invest in a death closer so that you
don’t have to see the decay of the world when you’re too old enough to
Why eat healthy? It assumes we want to live a long time. It
assumes that a shorter life may be more valuable than a long one.
I am not saying that our choices are wrong– but until we can honestly
put ourselves in a scenario where we can truly try something, including
that which we would never imagine ourselves doing, until we can put
ourselves in the frame of mind of the opposite case, the opposition,
opressed or the opressor– until then, how can we say that our choice
We have judged without the experience to know it is true. How is
a one track path in any way an exercise in judgement, if there are no
choices to be made? One has to know what straying is to be able
to know what it means to stay on a right path.
I am not saying that if you have a prejudice that life is valuable,
that you should challenge yourself and shoot someone in the head.
No. But what I am saying is that, in some cases, it is possible
where just that kind of violence is the only solution. THe
prejudice is that life should be preserved at all costs. Prima facie,
this is true– but there are always exceptions.
We have to be open to the possibility of exceptions to everything.
“The greater good” is the slipperiest slope known to man, and we can
fall down that faster than even the pull of a force like gravity–
because more bottomless than the deepest pit, with more magnitude, more
density, more attraction and darkness– is the human soul. And
that spirit lets us know what’s the right thing, or the wrong thing, or
what we need help with. We just have to ask.
It is the brain that is the overlay, the supressor of the soul, the one
that we can change– and the one that is subject to prejudices.
I am not a preacher– i’m not asking you to turn to god(s). But i
am asking you to write your own gospel, i am asking you to be your own
savior. You have to think outside the box, you have to fight for
every inch. If you must take the prejudices of others, then think
foryourself first– have they judged well?