You know the saying “you’re the apple of my eye”, meaning cherished above all? And you probably know the phrase “he’s rotten to the core”, meaning entirely bad? Those are the two extremes:
They indicate the two extremes of possible human behavior that we have outlined using two quotes:
In our discussion of funny return stories, Janis brought up a great question: how much do the extremes of human behavior effect society as a whole. The emphasis, probably because the return stories portray the less noble of our behaviors, was on the negative behavior. It is rare that we are (always) in either extreme. Where do we land?
An old (Cherokee, I believe) story tells of a grandfather telling his grandson about an epic battle that wages inside him, a battle between two wolves:
- One wolf is evil: angry, corrupt, immoral, greedy, jealous, envious, resentful
- One wolf is good: cheerful, kind, ethical, empathetic, helpful, moral, generous
The son asks his grandfather which wolf wins the battle. And the grandfather answers: “the one you feed.”
Janis’s question made me think: how much of our society is impacted by the two extremes? As I thought about policies at work, and laws in our culture, a lot of them address controlling the behavior of the evil wolf, often to the detriment of others. Processes one must follow at work to attempt to ensure that the careless, thoughtless employees do the right thing, and mostly help annoy the careful, thoughtful employees. Return policies may be another example.
What are your thoughts? How profound is the impact of the “few bad apples” on society? How about the “apples of our eye”? And are there more of one or the other?
Interesting Trivia: what group of 6 reside at all times in the Tower of London?