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Sunday, July 24, 2011

On Discounted Experiences

Too often people tend to discount the importance or significance of their own experiences.  With this comes a tendency to romanticize and elevate the experience encountered by others.  They consider their own experiences of little or no importance and less worthy than that of others which they feel reside on some unreachable star.  Often this unreachable star is set apart by prestige enhanced by remoteness.  A great deal of human effort can go into creating this air of untouchable inaccessibility.  Automatic assent to prestige alone is quite valuable in all types of social settings.  A key purpose becomes through elevated status to create an automated response of acquiescence to the predilections of the privileged.  Let us take an example.  One can graduate from an Ivy League university while another is released from incarceration at a prison.  The natural tendency is to enshrine the experiences garnered at the first institution, while demeaning and dismissing the experiences encountered at the second.  In actuality, the life lessons learned from prison experiences can rival the wisdom from prestigious universities.  The main difference is that society tends to bow down to the first while dismissing the second.  Credibility is far too often related to reputation rather than reality.  Worship at the altars of “the best and brightest” has always caused incessant mischief and great societal-induced foolishness.  I look forward to the day when a prison record (or being raised in the back country sticks) is a cause for preferential treatment in employment.

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