Wednesday, June 12, 2013
It's easy to think of oneself as clever. We can outwit our children, for a time. We can master our jobs, given time. We can solve the riddle and guess the twist ending.
But then we encounter those fortunate few who float above our earthbound intellects. Like a rising sun, they blind us, boggle us and befuddle us. We are disoriented by these radiant celestials.
In short, they humiliate us. If you have a healthy attitude, you will confine yourself to the denotation of humiliation, rather than the commonplace connotation. Otherwise, you will hate the light.
If you hate xkcd, it's because it is smarter than you are. It humiliates you. It sure humiliates me.
Either way, though, humiliation is good for the ego. Humiliation wakes us from our stupor, of course, and reminds us that we have further yet to travel. If you rise from your rut, rub your eyes and squint skyward, you'll see that the gleaming stars are in truth guiding lights, illuminating dark paths, forging new roads, leading us through the unmapped wildernesses.
We are never truly done exploring, adventuring, ascending -- unless we give up. And why would we quit? -- When does anyone retire? When we cease to be challenged and, thus, decide our journeys are at an end. We hang our hoods and remove our boots when we seem to have reached our destination. We decide we are heroes, our quests complete. We sing our own ballads and wallow in our magnificence.
And then a new star rises.
And humiliates us.
We are challenged, and we grow, and we see farther. (Some days, we get the joke!) To stand on the shoulders of giants, that is enlightenment!
See, humiliation really is good for the ego.
Post script: There's that humility word again. If Control+Alt+Deplete is not careful, it will become a theme.