The always insightful Seth Godin writes:
For generations, people dumped crap into the Hudson River. The river was so large and so swift that they assumed that the effluent wouldn’t come back to haunt them.
Of course, it did, killing the oyster beds and poisoning the public.
How big does a body of water have to be before we forget that we’re swimming in it? That it all comes around…
Why are we are okay at yelling at a stranger, but not our neighbor? We will abuse the department in the other building, but not down the hall…
It turns out that the pool/river/tub that we live in is far smaller than it seems. The culture of the place we work, the vibe of the community where we live. It’s all more connected than we realize.
Photo by Shazmyn Ali on Unsplash
Bees are the quintessential collaborators, strong and focused.
Photo by Mladen Borisov on Unsplash
I’m not a murderer; some of my best friends are alive.
Having a friend who belongs to a demographic that one hates isn’t incompatible with a prejudice against that demographic – and this is the key to the fallacy. A prejudice, is by its etymology a “pre-judgement” of someone, based on more general information that may not necessarily apply to an individual.
This can be a relatively benign conclusion (“he’s a gay man, he must like fashion”) or it can be the considerably more negative (“he’s a black man, he’s going to stab me”). However, once some has actually gotten beyond the stage of judging someone on prior knowledge, they can change their mind about that individual.
In many cases, this might overturn the prejudice entirely but in the case of people using the friend argument, it has only overturned the prejudice against one individual, or maybe a few more. The prejudice, the pre-judgement against a group of people, still stands. This is why saying you have a friend in one particular demographic doesn’t excuse racism, homophobia or other prejudice; you can’t have a pre-judgement about someone you already know, but you can still maintain your pre-judgement against people you haven’t met.
We live in the era of the hustle. Of following our dreams until the end, and then pushing ourselves more. And every time we feel beholden to capitalize on the rare places where our skills and our joy intersect, we underline the idea that financial gain is the ultimate pursuit. If we’re good at it, we should sell it. If we’re good at it and we love it, we should definitely sell it.
Adam J. Kurtz, author of Things Are What You Make of Them has rewritten the maxim for modern creatives: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life work super fucking hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally.” Which, aside from being relatable to anyone who has tried to make money from something they truly care about, speaks to an underrepresented truth: those with passion careers can have just as much career anxiety as those who clock in and out of the mindless daily grind.