Anyone who knows me knows that I treat everyone equally and with respect. It’s just the way I roll. I treat a janitor the same as I would treat a CEO. In fact, I’ve made some close friends who are cleaning-people. Big-shot bosses and janitors are both human beings and deserving of my equal respect. Money, fame and the like is nothing more than gravy and not the foundation of a human being. Now, when I say I treat them equally, I mean that I treat them with the open mindedness that they are just as good and deserving of everything as me. That is the extent of what I mean by equal. Having said this, I must also say that it bothers me when I hear people tout that everything and all people must be equal and pretty much the same. That anyone who is a little louder, richer, or bolder, is wrong. That everyone should basically be equal in how much wealth they have, types of homes that they live in and the ideas that they should believe in. And also, that we should almost always hold everyone’s interest, or the groups interest, paramount, not a person’s own interest.
I realize that this type of thinking has been taking hold in America for the last decade or so and capitalism, along with personal-freedom thinking, has started to be looked down upon in America. And some of the thoughts and economic policies that have shown success in Scandinavian countries have led many to believe the possibility of “equal everything” in America.
And here’s where all of this starts to bug me. In areas of Scandinavia, becoming successful, more so than average success, is looked down upon by the masses. It really is. As an example, if you have a great restaurant, one that stands out and is considered the crème-de-la crème many people look down on you and have sort of a disdain that you are starting to stand out, starting to be better than “us”. This is a fact. And this makes some people who want to be better, who want to be different and who want to soar to new heights, hold back.
Speaking of these Scandinavian countries, some reached their economic successes utilizing capitalistic ideas back in the 60’s and 70’s and when they morphed into a more government ruled or socialistic way, in some ways, they survived well off despite of it, not because of it. What has really helped these countries to do well is their culture. According to Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, “Social trust and cohesion, a broad egalitarian ethic, a strong emphasis on work and responsibility, commitment to the rule of law — these are healthy attributes of a Nordic culture that was ingrained over centuries. Jacoby also notes, “Scandinavian –Americans, have higher incomes and lower poverty rates than the US average. Indeed, Danish-Americans economically outperform Danes still living in Denmark, as do Swedish-Americans compared with Swedes and Finnish-Americans compared with Finns. Scandinavian culture has been a blessing for native Scandinavians — and even more of one for their cousins across the ocean.” America has numerous cultures in its 320 million population. The whole of Scandinavian countries have a population of about 26 million which is about that of one American state, Texas.
So, we have a whole lot of people who are looking for Shanghai-La. An economic and social utopia where we all are the same, have the same, think the same, and believe the same and those who think or believe differently, are ostracized by “them.
This type of thought is contrary to what America is based on. America was based on personal freedom and I like the premise. I don’t like to be told by anyone that I should be a certain way because someone thinks that’s the only way America will change to an all-encompassing do for everyone place. I want to trip, fall down and make up my own mind whether or not to judge someone, help someone, or perhaps choose to simply to do nothing other than smell the fresh free air of America. Many people think that this group thought is the wave of the future. Nah, it’s not. It takes away too much from people’s self-interest and self-will and that is what runs the world. Following self-interest is not bad as many have said, in fact, it is what motivates us to do most of what is good in our lives. Civilized people offer of themselves after their self-interests and self-needs have been met. This is a fact of life and will continue to be so even if some people want to put it on the back burner and strive mainly for group interest. You can’t change Mother Nature even if it makes someone feel good trying to do so.
Freedom, like found in America and elsewhere in the world has shown that it is what people who have not turned into complete sheep, want. Even many countries that have gone to a socialistic group-think power base have started to break away from that folly and return to a more freedom of the people style government. Millions enter America every year, many illegally, for freedom; economic and personal. And many of those who come here have known what group think does. Those who have lived under its grip know how it limits their personal growth and possibilities.
It is quite acceptable to have self-interest and to work toward fulfilling our personal wants and desires. It’s good to think for ourselves. When people start to believe a group that touts relinquishing that for a false way to nirvana, the human spirit withers and just gets by. In addition, in a short amount of time, the false way to nirvana will collapse.
Never leave your common sense at the door. Never believe anyone who tells you to let them take care of everything in your life for you. Never accept giving yourself away and allowing group-care and group-think to take care of you and your world. Accepting it will make us just get by in life. And getting by is not enough. Accepting it leads to a mild watered down version of the grand possibilities and grand privilege of being a human being.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
- Black Lives Really Mattering and My Friend the Boxer - September 7, 2017
- Meaning—Makes the Man and Woman–Makes the Difference - August 28, 2017
- Bars, Demonstrations, and Getting Thumped… - August 14, 2017