Down-to-Earth

down-to-earth, adj. As unexceptional as me; devoid of excellence; that which does not make me feel inadequate, insecure, jealous, or envious.

zqvccIt’s important to communicate effectively: by using examples and language that are readily accessible to those you wish to communicate with. But you don’t have to act like a fucking idiot to connect. That’s pandering, and it’s NOT important. Perhaps it’s the teacher in me . . . or is it the preacher? Regardless, I want to raise you up to my level; I don’t want to stoop down to yours. And I want YOU to raise me up to your level; I don’t want you to stoop down to mine. I want to enlighten you. And I want you to enlighten me. I want to bring out the best in you. And I want you to bring out the best in me. I want to celebrate your excellence, and I want you to be okay with mine.

Wisdom of DashWhy must we debase ourselves to make others comfortable with their own mediocrity? Why do we expect others to debase themselves to make us comfortable with our own mediocrity? Why do we ask this of our politicians, our public figures, even our friends? Previous generations may have been squeamish about sex, but we’re just as squeamish about real human excellence—unless, of course, it involves music or sports. In The Republic, Plato seems to suggest that this a basic feature of every democratic age. I hope he was wrong.

Democracy needs to learn how to celebrate human excellence with a clean conscience. Baptizing every success story in the holy water of hard work, Malcolm-Gladwell-style, isn’t the solution. As my friend Kaï says, you can’t escape the unfairness of nature by sanctifying hard work because the ability to work very hard may itself be something that’s unequally distributed from Day One. The same is true of the seemingly innate loves and proclivities which draw us to a vocation or avocation in the first place, and make much of the hard work easier than it might otherwise be. If, like me, you wish to wage war against the maddening unfairness of nature, do so by sharing your stuff and caring for the weak and vulnerable.

—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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