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Monday, February 22, 2010

Superman? Superwoman? Super! -

I have known people who considered themselves to be intrinsically better than others. Not better in some particular way, such as running or balancing a checkbook. They actually believed themselves better. Superior. Entitled. Worthy of respect just by virtue of their superior existence.

Now, I have actually been better than some other people at some things. Sometimes. Not particularly often. I usually stop trying to advance my skills past adequate. Once you can do something well enough to get by and get on, I don't see much need to aspire to higher levels of performance. It is my adequatitude.

I drive perfectionists nuts. Authoritarians don't particularly like my adequatitude, either. But, hey, if I am doing a thing well, meeting reasonable expectations, how much better can it be done? Hmm? I digress.

What, then, would be the characteristics of a truly superior person? Would they be sexually appealing to just about everyone? Male? Female? Young? Old? They would all lust after this super being.

Perfect hair? Even teeth of exceptional whiteness? What color would their skin have? How heavy the muscles on that perfectly proportioned frame? What is the perfect shape for this man or woman?

How would they speak? The voice, of course, would be perfect in timbre and pitch. What about the content of their communication? What would a super being think and talk about? Could everyone everywhere be compelled to listen to the perfect voice speaking with perfect erudition? How could they not? And, they would understand every perfect word.

At first consideration this being should be quite appealing to be around. Yet, would you want to work next to such a person? They would be perfect, and superior to yourself. Looking better, speaking better. Being intrinsically superior they would always do things better than you can.

There would be one consolation. Since they will always be promoted over you (due to their perfection) they would have to be the perfect boss. After all, this person is perfect in every way!

I, for one, cannot recall ever meeting a superior person. I have been under the authority of persons referred to as my superiors, but I can't recall a one who was superior to myself. Oh, they sometimes had more particular knowledge or a better skills set than I did at the time, but none were truly superior. Not in any way I could see.

That reminds me of a story. Old men always have a story.

A woman of some wealth, and the belief that said wealth demanded others to give way, was shopping in a store. She was growing frustrated with the clerk in the store, as he insisted in meeting her as an equal for whom he was performing a service.

"I demand to see your superior!" the woman finally shouted in exasperation.

"Madam, I have no superiors." replied the clerk, calmly. "And damned few equals."


I don't know about you, but I prefer a world of varied and interesting people, with diverse skills and interests. I also prefer to meet them as equals, in a place where we perform services for one another from time to time. A world where people assume authority with responsibility, not to compensate for their own inadequacies but with the purpose of serving their diverse and interesting equals. A world where people submit to authority for the purpose of working together better, not out of fear or by the compulsion of some inflated ego.

It ain't gonna happen, but wouldn't that be just about perfect? We could all be supermen and superwomen. Equally superior!



Laura said...

Very clever post, Michael.

I believe that only God is perfect (and some say God is a woman. haha!)
As for humans, it is imperfections that make us beautiful.
Unfortunately, Mr. Ego has many victims -- he's the ultimate Casanova, seducing many weak individuals.

Personally, I recognize beauty, skills and talent but I don't consider them signs of superiority. I just admire and learn.

Hey, some people call me "Wonder Woman", but it's just because they have seen my daily to-do list. 57 chores and all

Jerry said...

I like your approach. I know that we have benefited in others excellence. But I prefer being pretty decent at a lot of things and excelling in none. My life is note interesting.

No indeed -- I don't think I would want to know the perfect person. Put me with people like you, and somehow we'll muddle along.