Sunday, August 27, 2006

Better Than You

When I was in school, Doug and I noticed that every group of people (club, sports team, group of students) we encountered seemed to want to have another group of people to look down on, to be "better than." The folks who weren't going into the corporate world thought they were more virtuous than those who were "greedy money-grubbers" while those who were doing the corporate thing felt superior because they were getting jobs with more prestige and benefits. The exercisers felt superior to the couch potatoes while the non-exercises felt superior to the shallow and vain. The liberals felt they were smarter and kinder to others than the conservatives while the conservatives felt that they were more smarter (funny how they both thought that!) and more realistic than the liberals. It's a difficult fight for us (big us, not just me and Doug) not to seek out ways in which we can deem ourselves superior. I fight this in my daily life - it's hard not to sweat the "idiots" when I am foiled again by the other drivers or the lazy behind who must have the closest parking place or at the post office or the shipping place.

Anyway, I know I fight this tendency and yesterday I heard a comment about "Sunday Catholics". Now, we've all heard or made the snippy comments about the only-on-the-holidays-church-goers, but I've never heard anyone look down on the folks who show up "only" every Sunday. It just goes to show you that EVERYONE fights the urge to deem themselves the "good one". Maybe we'd all be a little happier if we tried to find the goodness in everyone else instead of searching for the chinks in their armor that we could use to deem them less than us.

However, all of this niceness is ignored if you are in front of me on my run because I have to beat you. I might think nice things about you after I pass you or while failing to pass you, though. : )

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