Mamacita says: I tend to stress and focus here on people who are, let us euphemistically say, somewhat less than nice, or less than hardworking, or less than considerate, etc. Let’s face it: those are the people who “stand out” sometimes, which is most unfortunate since such people don’t deserve to stand out.
My question is simply this: What has happened to us as a society that we give all this time and attention to such people when it’s the OTHER kind of people who are most deserving of it?
In any group of 100 people*, for example, 95 of them are good, kind, honest, decent, considerate, intelligent, polite, hard-working, savvy people. 95 out of 100 people earn a living, help others, discipline their children, read things other than the sports page, keep promises, control their hormones, appreciate, thank, accept responsibility for their own actions, and take care of their responsibilities properly and well. These people know what love is, and what love does. I shall refer to this group as the “cream.”
As for the remaining 5, who lie, cheat, steal, abandon, betray, abuse, annoy, harm, distract, neglect, attack, ignore, and defy**, and who choose themselves and their own personal convenience first, above and beyond any person or any responsibility they might have, and who consider “consequences” as some coincidental oddity that occasionally falls from the sky for no apparent reason, and just generally do their utmost to prevent others from learning, achieving, living a good life, being comfortable, feeling secure, or in any way being able to trust? These people believe that love is sex. I shall refer to this group as “skim milk,” or , the “lowest common denominator.” (LCD)
The lowest common denominator is, naturally, at the head of the line when it comes to attention-grabbing, which is one reason the media is all over them like piranha on a cow’s hind leg. The lowest common denominator is fascinating to read about, for their antics and general lifestyles are so far from what decent, intelligent people believe and do that it’s often like watching or reading about an alien species. (Hoarders. Honey Boo Boo. I rest my case.)
Which, indeed, it is. And not a superior one, either. Quite the opposite. Maybe, an evil alien species that’s trying to take over the planet in order to drain it to keep itself alive. “To Serve Man” etc.
While the lowest common denominator is out there doing its “thang,” the cream is busy taking care of people: their own, and those the lowest common denominator left behind. The cream is working two or three jobs, making sure their children and other people’s children have shoes and milk. The cream is trying desperately, with little or no support, to educate both the cream and the LCD, often amidst great reluctance at the best and chaos, destruction, and harm at the worst from the lowest common denominator. The LCD will often protest being asked to lay aside their egos and fun and body parts – instant gratification – merely for the sometimes delayed gratification of thinking, connecting, exploring, and probing their heretofore unexplored brains. That’s too hard, and besides, most of the LCD don’t have a large enough vocabulary to make very many connections. Small vocabularies are also one of the causes of much of the violence: when someone doesn’t have the means to communicate verbally, he/she tends to strike out physically.
The more words we know, the more connections we are able to make. The more connections we are able to make, the more we can understand. The more we understand, the less apt we are to be violent.
The more we understand, the more we want others to be able to understand, too.
Uneducated, undereducated, lazy, small-minded people perceive the world to be equally small, and treat it likewise. To the LCD, the world is a buffet of victims and freebies, all of which belong to him.
The cream tends to perceive the world as being just like themselves: eager to know, willing to learn, trustworthy, hardworking, and worthy of respect. Even after being victimized time and again by the lowest common denominator, the cream still has hope.
I wish the media, the business world, and the schools would stop giving the lowest common denominator so much more than their fair share of attention or focus. Making headlines out of adultery, betrayal, violence, bullying, drugs, disruptions, adultery, selfishness, etc, somehow makes such things “okay” to a person without the means to make proper connections. “Wow, it’s in the paper! Cool!” is not a good attitude to cultivate in our young people, or in our LCD older people, either.
The cream doesn’t usually make headlines. The LCD have money, and they aren’t interested in spending it to find out about cancer cures, rocket science, volunteering, sacrifice, donations, and people who go about their lives quietly, decently, doing the right thing even when the wrong thing would be easier and a lot more fun. The LCD feed on discord and personal pleasure, and lately they’ve had plenty to feast upon.
No matter how the lowest common denominator may prosper, and no matter how much attention they get from the media and the people who finance it, and no matter how much our schools ignore, neglect, and even punish the pupils and teachers who work and care above and beyond the norm, the cream will continue to work, care, love, and display those very unfashionable traits like loyalty, fidelity, ethics, citizenship, good behavior, charity, and other positive attributes laughed at, devalued, and mocked by the lowest common denominator
In the end, the cream will rise. It always does, no matter how hard the LCD tries to push it down or mix it up. The cream will continue to rise, and work, and love, and be shining examples that get no press to those fortunate enough to know them.
The lowest common denominator may get most of the attention, money, services, and press, in business, education, media, etc, but it is the cream who will ultimately rise to the top.
Let’s all give the cream the time and attention they so rightly deserve.
* I made up this statistic, but I stand by it.
**The bad, negative kind of “defy,” not the cool, out-of-the-box kind that creative people are often forced to do.
Oh, oops, is “stupid” a politically correct word? My bad. And, too bad. Used properly, it’s the perfect description for some.
Besides, overuse of political correctness and euphemisms cheapens our language, and our society.
Bring it on.
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“when someone doesn’t have the means to communicate verbally, he/she tends to strike out physically”…. or with a weapon… like the kid who shot me b/c Gabby couldn’t understand his right-wing-nut-grammar-is-the-death-of-American-civilization question months before he decided to use a gun to solve the problem.
The cream makes one phone call to a Senator, protesting a vote that’s shameful. The LCD spend hours bombarding that same Senator. To whom do you think she will listen?
The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I am NOT enjoying the ride. I do feel like the ingredient in an alien cookbook; not all the time, but more and more lately.
Once again, you are absolutely right!
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I love your reference to “The Twilight Zone”.