John Wright

From time to time I learn through humorous conversation with my better male friends some of their basic dos and doníts in the world of romance and making love. Guys, like girls, will now and then reflect on their life experiences and preferences and inhibitions, and when they share with each other individually or within group settings there is an opportunity to learn things never normally discussed publicly or openly. Some of this, of course, has to do with age, for with age comes experience, but often only for those who were open to learning and exploring from the time they were young.

For whatever reason we males often hear or say things that are more insinuations than proclamations of what we either do or would like to do regarding any given female, particularly the best looking and least available. There is sometimes a reluctance to openly share likes, dislikes, desires and fears, as we males tend to want to appear strong and smart, yet like women we also have insecurities that we attempt to mask with proclamations of right or wrong. I wonder for everyone where candor goes when discussing matters sexual? It is as if there is some absolute determinant of right or wrong, whose borders we avoid crossing, or at least we do not admit to crossing those borders, especially to those who we think might think less of us for engaging in, shall I say, less inhibited love making.

What I find is that when I am in the presence of people who openly demonstrate inhibitions and very limited preferences, in most any or all areas of life, I quietly mark my mental tablet with a notation to spend as little time as possible with those individuals. The "Oh, I donít do that" is the mark of the fearful or internally horrified or insecure person, and that can address food preferences or entertainment or moral convictions as well as things sexual. Experience, either direct or indirect, through activities like reading and public events, can produce from the same raw material a liberated thinker or a slave to some set of conventions. In short, the boundaries of behaviors considered to be either okay or not okay are certainly individual and certainly a product of experiences and mental ability to sort out the chaff from the grain. Cultural mores can be helpful or idiotic, thus the mores may express the prejudice of the narrow minded through social structures or laws, or the wisdom that promotes peace and understanding and live and let live thinking.

Attempts to appear or to be superior to other people are the mark of the fool and the liar when the lives they live are simply self-serving words and not actions that help build up and enhance the lives of other people. Control mechanisms and determination to occupy the "moral high ground" by any definition are the domain of pricks and the weak. Truth suffers. Valid useful experiences seldom occur. Ingrown thinking leads to mental and then social mediocrity, regardless of the apparent position of the individual in the social or political hierarchy. Realize always that apparent progress or culture or even business results must always be viewed and valued in terms of how good things could be, realistically, rather than in terms of how they compare to some inferior historical starting point.

At this point it is important to acknowledge that we all develop behavioral boundaries based on our sense of right and wrong. These can vary from no value for other humans leading to unlimited self-centered behaviors, to liberated egalitarian golden rule thinking, to extreme control behaviors demanding punishment or even death for those who disagree with a given value system, political system or religion. This means we inherit at birth a world of confusion and conflict, especially if our subsequent growth in experiences exposes us to alternative and widely different ways of thinking and living. Sorting out the bullshit from the useful information is one of lifeís major activities for the individual, yet we seldom talk about or even acknowledge that very real truth.

So, what is the point of my observations? Basically I have two points to make. The first is that any thinking or activity designed to take away from others without giving of equal value is destructive to humanity as a whole. Extreme distortion of income distribution is an example. Thoughtless overpopulation is another example. The second is that preferences and inhibitions are rightly purely individual, and as such should never be the fodder used by the insecure or the control freaks to say anything about behaviors or thoughts of others that do not directly inflict damage in the personís personal domain. In short, opinions are fine, live your life, let others alone, donít pass judgments about those who are different, protect your immediate domain to reflect your values, but donít impose those values on others outside your immediate domain.

The measure, then, of the worth of any society, or of the thinking of any individual in the society, is in how close the values stated in the last paragraph are accepted and lived. If then, you live in a society that does not on balance reflect those values, you have no reason to develop or to demonstrate any sense of loyalty to those in power. Anarchy is not the answer, but destructive societies must be destroyed and rebuilt, hopefully with the wisdom from experience directing that rebuilding process. Recognize that rejection of infliction is not just another form of infliction but a return to reason.