Someone near to me relies upon an interesting coping mechanism.
Whenever someone points out problems in his behavior, whenever someone raises concerns about his actions, whenever anyone criticizes him in any
way--instead of addressing and remedying those issues, immediately he justifies his stagnation by comparing his behavior unto the median.
Let me explain.
If I send him a text message, it might be days before he bothers providing a response. Yet he's on his phone all the time, and could easily take
thirty seconds to type out that reply.
The considerate behavior would be responding asap, but instead of modifying his own actions to embrace that paradigm, he instead tries mollifying
himself with the most meaningless excuse possible:
"But that's what everyone does," he says. "Everyone I know takes days to respond to my messages, too."
Thus, because others engage in the same inconsiderate activity, he feels justified doing the same. Because the median response time in his world is
days in length, he sees little point in embracing a higher standard.
A strange perspective, that. But it got me thinking.
How often do we demonstrate a lesser standard of ethics because it matches the median? How frequently do we reduce our moral potential simply because
others around us are doing no better?
Consider the bystander effect, where entire crowds will watch assaults and murders being committed and none will step forward to stop the crime.
Because the median behavior in that situation becomes passive observation--everyone there feels justified in doing nothing more.
To some extent, that averse trait effects us all to a degree. At times we're all guilty of downgrading our morals to fit the median.
But this is a serious crutch we should strive to overcome.
Instead of aiming to be average, we should set our eyes upon steeper summits. In lieu of modulating unto the median we should embrace only the highest
Like crabs in a bucket, the amoral and unethical behaviors of those around us can have a debilitating effect. They can subconsciously yank us back
down whilst we're trying rise up, pulling us into the depths when we seek only the greatest of heights.
Set for yourself loftier standards. Rise always above the median.
And never let the behaviors of "average" people drag you back down.
edit on 10-7-2015 by Trachel because: (no reason given)