It’s a simple question with a complex answer. Who, when you think of them, makes you feel smug, like you have it all figured out?
Maybe you’re not perfect, but thank goodness you’re not them.
Do you think this about a group on the political spectrum?
What about corporate stooges, trapped in their stifling, soul-crushing office jobs?
Anyone tolerant or intolerant of any particular thing coming to mind?
Many people could write long, long lists. I mean, I’ve seen Twitter – I know exactly how much a sense of superiority is thrown around out there.
Here’s the thing, though.
While there are many honest answers to this question, there aren’t any good ones. Even something supposedly positive – like “I feel superior to my past self!” – has traps inside it.
Because at the end of the day, you are amazing and you aren’t superior to anyone.
Not the spoiled brat living on the end of the street.
Not the stoner dropout who’s too anxious to look delivery folk in the eye, let alone leave the house.
The list doesn’t include criminals, con artists or pickpockets too lazy or stupid to hold real jobs.
And it doesn’t have a newborn baby or a great-grandparent on their deathbed.
The list of people you’re superior to is the same as those you’re inferior to. It’s bone dry.
We’re all in this together.
Now, some of you are already judging me. Probably pretty harshly. You might already be formulating a reply, something like, “what, you expect me to treat pedophiles the way I treat my mother? You expect me to love racists and release criminals onto the street?”
I’m not telling you to do anything.
Or to feel any particular way.
All I’m saying is that smug, sense of pride you feel is an illusion.
There are bad ideas in this world.
You can, and should, judge behaviours.
And you definitely should strive to be a better person.
None of that means anything – not one iota – about any person.
The moment you stop seeing people as people and start seeing them as bad ideas with mouths… well, you’re focused on something worth seeing in perspective.
If you’d like to see people for who they really are, you need a different approach to your thinking.
Here’s one way to get it: