I'm not going to talk all about stuff they should teach in school, just one specific thing. In one of my bitterer moods over the past couple days, I wondered to myself, why do they waste time teaching kids in school how to share and take turns? It's not like anyone uses it. (i.e., when am I ever going to need this?) So I step back and observe for a few more days. I think a lot of people do share and take turns, but many people take from another, push ahead, and don't concern themselves with who was there first. I think these attitudes in people might overlap with one another, many people are both of those kinds of people in the same person, depending on the situation. I get more to the fair and square side - what's mine is mine and I will notice if you've taken it; what isn't mine is ok for me to wait my turn - I don't feel that I begrudge anyone for being ahead of me, if they have gotten there fairly.
This is everywhere, from the supermarket to driving to my fencing club to the building where I live, etc. Somewhere along the way, most people seem to get a sense of when it's ok to take advantage of a situation, or assert oneself into it, and just take something that's not theirs (from a turn to a place to an actual object). It's obviously a useful skill to have, and I wonder why they place such an emphasis in school on fairness, when everyone knows life isn't fair, by which I mean, having to deal with people who cheat you, or by their ego, feel that their time is more valuable, that this is some big competition, and if you want something, you have to compete for it, be ready to go when there's an opening and someone you can step over. I mean, I think, the history of the world? Where would we all be if people always shared and waited their turn? I think the whole society, no matter where you live, is built on someone dodging their social responsibilities and making their way by taking something that wasn't theirs.
As I was being cynical at the beginning about school, I feel like they do enforce a lot of sharing and fairness in school which a lot of us retain as the "right" way to cooperate in a society, and others just see this as patently not true. If you have people skills and are a good observer, you see how the world appears to work and how you can navigate through it fairly easily, without breaking any written laws, and without losing any friends or the respect of people who matter to you. I feel like I've been "indoctrinated" into something that doesn't quite fit survival. One of my personal issues is how I hate - really hate - being manipulated or taken advantage of. You know, to the point of being quite distrustful, but ill-equipped to see the situation and either dodge or flip it so I win.
_________________________A relevant personal anecdote you can skip__________________
So, basically, what do you think? I like that about myself, that I feel like I'm a good person, but one thing nearest to me now is a situation at the fencing club. Very shortly, we're going to split up, going to two different clubs. This one guy I told you about before called me a socialist! because I said everyone should fence with everyone. He told me his time is valuable, so I said, my time is just as valuable! He said he won't fence with the newly taught fencers because they are going to a different club, I said, you are fencing with a guy who is also going to that club. I don't mind fencing with them because it's the right thing to do, but I also don't feel that I will get as much quality practice if they are all I get to fence. He's not a great fencer except that he's deluded that he is, but he hogs another fencer I would like time to practice with, and not too many others showed up. I'm also not a great fencer, but everyone who was new would get better more quickly if the better fencers also deigned to fence them sometimes and circulate, take turns, fair, and he says I have to fight for the right not to have to fence any of them. By September, I will be going to the same club as this guy and not too many others. He's an ok person, but this side of him I do not like. I do like to socialize, but I also need practice, that's why I left my apartment at night to go and do. I feel like he just doesn't consider a lot of people worth his time, and I don't like that control over the group that I have to be good enough for a piece of shit like that to find me worth fencing, that that's what I'm practicing and trying to get better in order to gain such a "privilege." This is just one situation. I end up spiting myself and rather leave than wait for him to fence 5 or 6 bouts with someone I haven't fenced once any particular night.
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It comes up a lot more in mundane situations concerning people I don't personally know, just about every day there are examples. I don't really need help with the fencing one, I am more interested in the basic life skills they don't teach you, and the basic guidelines for keeping order that some so easily ignore in order to get ahead - and if they are absolutely necessary, maybe not for an individual but for society and progress to occur. Sharing and cooperation they teach you in school is rather socialist, that I do kind of wonder why someone hasn't seized on it yet. It's obviously difficult to tame the human behaviors out of people when it isn't fatal to be selfish, and probably shouldn't be.