if today, an alien came to ask me what’s most dangerous to humans in this world, i’d say it’s being easily charmed.
guns and swords can be outlawed; if you one day decide to seek hermithood and shun contact, others can’t hurt you. being easily amazed though, is something you do to yourself. to a precious part of ourselves.
and that’s why it’s scarily dangerous. maybe we have always known that we were a greater danger to ourselves than anyone can ever be– maybe that’s why there’s all this craze about meditation, maybe it’s not to hide from the world, but from ourselves.
to protect ourselves from loving too overwhelmingly, hating too achingly (is there a fine line between them? a fuzzy cloud? or no line at all?), hurting too suddenly.
not that i think we need to be protected– quite the opposite, i think i’m an advocate for trust, if there ever was one. it’s a gut feeling kinda thing, but reading ‘the social animal’ by Elliot Aronson almost convinces me of the benefits of this approach too: for one, the “tit-for-tat robot” who won the prisoners’ dilemma robot competition started off nice, altered its behaviour only when the other party started to cheat, and forgave and cooperated again when the other robot repented. secondly, people respond to how you treat them to begin with, and it determines how they treat you in return. i.e. start kind, people sense it, people are kind. oftentimes the darker side of this cycle holds too (start mean, receive viciousness in return). where’s the reset button? maybe all cycles just need someone to break it by deviating from what is expected, returning nastiness with kindness. does Les Miserables priest come to mind, anyone?
i’ll dig up the chapter on it, to substantiate my point in a bit. :)