pteromys: Braaaaaaains... (ibrains)
Pteromys ([personal profile] pteromys) wrote2011-04-12 04:53 am

Burying the Spatula

It's quite entertaining to blow off steam by smashing an endless supply of flies breeding in a dorm's kitchen sinks. Yet, just cleaning the sinks is easier and vastly more satisfying. If I aim to eliminate the flies at some point, I might as well skip the smashing.

I had to follow my hate to much darker places before I finally managed to understand that this observation generalizes. I don't think I'm ready to start caring about the suffering of flies, but at last I've seen the utility of detaching myself from hate.

Actually, make that "utility" a "necessity". Even if the blood on your hands never causes you regret, blood in your eyes is a terrible distraction. This past fall, in a series of events unrelated to our kitchen, I tasted what regret could arise from that kind of distraction.

Out, damned spatula.

[identity profile] 2011-04-13 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
I possibly have a counterpoint to part of that, mainly, flies might be stupid but they are programmed with basic learning algorithms. So... there's a slim but non-zero possibility of living in a world where the flies help you cook and then you all sit down to a family-style dinner. And, sometimes, it actually helps to show the flies a little aggression to demonstrate the behavior you're not happy with and activate those learning algorithms.

Erg... I'm... dropping the metaphor.

Basically, it's pretty much never good to unleash pure hatred on someone else, but treating someone like they're too dumb/inferior to you to be worth trying to get to a situation with more utility than null is also usually non-optimal... and, I mean, golden rule - I don't like to be treated like that. For an example of the other extreme: I don't get angry very easily, and this has backfired on me a number of times when I didn't show someone clearly enough that what they were doing was hurting me. If I had simply gotten really angry at them the first time they did it instead of asking them to stop in a way they didn't really understand, things probably would have gone better. :-P

Back into metaphor:
Just wield your spatula like you're doing shock-therapy rather than an execution. Even if you feel stupid swinging it around menacingly without hitting anything, sometimes that's for the best?