People don’t like to feel stupid.
Republicans don’t like Democrats because Dems make them look heartless, greedy and dumb. Democrats don’t like Republicans because Republicans portray them as naive fools. You Southerners don’t like Yankees when we dismiss y’all as uneducated rednecks. Certainly Northerners don’t appreciate being thought of as pasty, boorish barbarians. Speaking of Yankees, rivals in sports don’t like each other because, inevitably, one will lose and feel inferior. That’s an easy one. Jocks don’t want to feel dumb, nerds hate being laughed at. (And called nerds.)
It all hit me one day. In my town, just about everybody hated my son’s little league coaches. Other coaches, parents, they all talked shit about these two guys. Was it because the team always won? I don’t think so. I think it was how they won. These guys are smart. They know the game inside and out, and they outthink you at every step. So you feel stupid. And when you feel stupid, do you think to yourself, “Maybe it’s me. Maybe I need to be better?” No, you just trash the other guys as jerks. You gossip about them. You bomb their villages.
Jews, Muslims, Christians. Same dif.
And then, on another day – today, in fact – it hit me again. Nobody hates Buddhists, right? Why is that? Is it because they don’t hate anybody? Because they’re kind and loving and don’t make you feel stupid? (Also they don’t coach little league baseball.)
That’s it. I think I’ve figured out the secret to world peace. So let’s all go out and be blown away by how interesting and creative and funny and wicked smart everyone around us is.
And then let’s tell them.
Or maybe I’m just blathering on about something that’s incredibly obvious and now I feel stupid.
And I hate you.