How to hit a home run in the game of good versus evil

Perhaps you weren’t even aware that you were playing this game. Life is not a comic book.

But the ethics of a community are a common good, shared. We are all affected by the ethics of the people around us, because those ethics dictate how they make decisions, and those decisions impact us.

In fact, those decisions constitute pretty much everything that impacts us that anyone can influence.

Like the ecological environment that we take steps to protect in our daily life, even though we see no immediate benefits ourselves, the ethical environment we create will be inherited by future generations.

In fact, you could argue that one is even a little bit more important than the other.

Our ethical environment is already so messed up, in fact, that I can’t even call it our “moral environment,” because using the word “moral” at all makes me sound like I hate gay people. This is high ground we’ve already lost in this game: this word “moral.”

In fact, it makes me sound like I’m about the use the phrase “family values.” Which I just did.

Ok, linguistic alterations are difficult. In fact, in general this game of good versus evil is difficult. Difficult enough that apparently it has kept us interested for millenia. And difficult enough that it should be approached carefully.

Still, I imagine it is a lot like baseball.

Ok. I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about baseball.

I know there are positions (is that what they call them?): judges judge, preachers preach, professors lecture. There are good reasons why the rest of us don’t, or shouldn’t. Because unlike us, they’ve been practicing–most of us haven’t.

We’re more like outfielders. Every now and then a ball comes our way, and we know we’d better look sharp and do the right thing. Sometimes it lands on our head; sometimes we run and try to save the day. And we don’t always. But when we do, everyone and every thing cheers.

And we get to bat. We suit up, stand up in front of everyone, and face the pitch. Although it’s less even exciting than it sounds, this is where we make the biggest contribution to the team. Just swinging the bat as best we can, every time we get the chance, every time we interact.

But there’s no reason why with a little effort and thought, we couldn’t make shortstop. Teachers teach, and so can most people. And there are some easy plays in this game, with its confusing multitude of rules, some strategies even that even amateurs can pull off. Every single one requires less effort than recycling, and has a potentially greater positive impact on the wellbeing of future generations.

Warning: intentionally messing with the minds of people around you should be approached like brain surgery, because it is.

And you better be on the side of the nice guys.

Ok? Here’s one.

When someone thinks you are about to become angry with them, this is basically a solid center fastball. If you are quick enough to get in front of it (that is, notice your opportunity), you can easily knock it out of the park.

Just tense up a little, while simultaneously relaxing, tighten your grip, loosen your knees, and wait for just the right moment–here it comes–a little excuse, maybe a slight hint of whine that says, “You are probably about to get mad at me…” and you—

don’t.

HOME RUN
FOR THE NICE GUYS

because that someone you’re talking to is at least one point nicer. Forever. Maybe more, depending on the situation, on how many people you had on base.

One thought on “How to hit a home run in the game of good versus evil

  1. radiation says:

    Our hosts understandably don’t allow content from visitors outside their group.

    To comment on a post, tweet and include #radiationComments

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