The Difference Between Interpreting Generalizations and Internalizing Generalizations


The Difference Between Interpreting Generalizations and Internalizing Generalizations
M.D. Wright
9.30.2013

The tendency nowadays — especially with the proliferation of social media in the past decade — is for people to communicate axioms, whether borrowed from others, or conceived on their own merits to the public, using their social media platforms. While this is generally a positive thing, as more people can be reached with a message now more than ever, there is a backside to this sharing of parables, axioms, philosophy and “wise utterances,” something that has been present throughout human communication history.

The tendency for people to internalize a generative statement (which, on its face, operates akin to a Bell Curve, which features outliers on both ends, and a large majority in the middle to which the generative statement applies) and attempt to defy the statement and its validity, instead of doing the wise thing: take out the meat [the portion that may apply to them individually] and leave the proverbial bone [that which does not apply].

This sort of knee-jerk reaction has become increasingly prevalent, despite people being reminded to avoid doing so. Men cannot speak anything other than worshipful praise and adoration upon women, without an individual woman taking what is said to heart and run with it on a personal level. While men do not do this nearly as much, they do attempt the turning of the tables when a generative statement is spoken about men on the part of a woman. It’s foolhardy to take something that does not apply to you as an individual and rail against it, simply because you do not like the statement (particularly if it is empirically proven truth and not solely opinion).

The aforementioned scenario is just one of the instances in which this occurs. You see this when people speak about political leanings, tastes in music, style of clothing, and on down to the most trivial of things. Social media has given everyone a “voice,” and for what that is worth — for better or for worse — many more people feel compelled to share their individual displeasure with a factual assertion or an opinion, even if it has little to nothing to do with them individually.

For how often have we seen “conversations” both in person and via social media devolve into mudslinging and bitchfests because someone internalized a generative statement, instead of dismissing it (particularly of it were inapplicable) or  accepting that the statement either has merit — if opinion — or can be proven true, if it is a statement of fact and not opinion? Self preservation is an innate human trait, but for the love of everything that is sacred, people need to learn how to sort the meat from the bones.

Unless you are a dog or auditioning for the next wave of KFC commercials, that is.

Meat and Bones 1

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