Let me be clear, upfront, and personal; I am not here to tell you what to think, how to think when to think, or where to think. I will not force my opinions and ideas upon you as the global corporate media does. I will offer ideas and suggestions and how you proceed is your affair. Your choices will determine your destiny. I aim to aid you in understanding and viewing the world a little differently to improve your destination.
Action vs. Reaction
Action encapsulates intention, producing accomplishment from organized activity; action is a process of thinking, acting, and becoming. Only in physics should we ever consider every action having an equal and opposite reaction. Why; because for humans, any reaction gives control to someone else and removes intentional controls. A reaction is all about response to stimulus, no thinking, no changing, no intent, no organized activity, and no recovery until we, the human agent, retake control of our action.
Easy example, consider the toddler throwing a fit. The toddler is trying to obtain a reaction from the parents favorable to that toddler’s individual desires at that moment. However, any good parent will not respond to the toddler’s demands and usually provide behavior correction to enforce the thought that the toddler cannot make demands. To regain control over the stimulus provided, the toddler must correct behavior or will not gain control over the future individual actions without additional parental intervention, an undesirable activity. Thus, early on, the toddler will realize actions do not bring reactions but decisive action by parental figures, which is generally not the desired outcome.
Action versus reaction is an essential principle with foundations in moral agency, individual agency, and long-term consequences. However, if the parent reacts to every toddler fit, the toddler gains power over the parental figure, which is an undesirable activity for the parent. Action versus reaction is not splitting philosophical hairs or linguistic nuance; action is an intention-producing accomplishment; the reaction is an intentionless activity where self-control has been given to others.
Victor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” and Robert Solomon, author of “Not Passion’s Slave: Emotions and Choice,” both speak to this action versus reaction principle in a manner easily grasped. We, as individuals, might not be able to control our every environment nor control the activities of others upon us, but we can control our actions in response. Retaining control of self, improving who and what we are, and keeping the power of intentional activity.
The ‘knee-jerk response’ is any reaction that is done automatically, without thought. The knee-jerk reflex is what’s known as a mono-synaptic response. The impulse only has to jump from one nerve to another once. Thus, the medical definition for a social activity, a knee-jerk reaction, requires no cognitive thinking, no intention and is the worst form of response to the intentional stimulus of others.
For example, Speaker Pelosi tore up President Trump’s State of the Union speech record on live, national TV as a knee-jerk response to the sitting US President. Of all the US President’s Speaker Pelosi has experienced, her behavior to President Trump was the most toddler-like, and people quickly excused this behavior as “Trump-Derangement Syndrome (TDS).” Thus, we can drop the “knee” in knee-jerk responses and describe the activity aptly as being a jerk. No thought, not intentional activity (even though the action has intention, the brain does not register cognitive effort), and the reaction to the stimulus is mono-synaptic.
Micro-Aggression and Macro-Aggression
Micro-aggression, according to Webster, is “a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).” What is missing in this definition; individual perspective. Micro-aggression is a personal choice to take offense at “a comment or action that” is judged to be “subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally” expressing what is considered by person one to be “a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).”
Macro-aggression is the complete opposite and are “obvious, intentional, above-board insults, where there is no chance of a mistake on the part of the transgressor to be provoking, insulting, or otherwise discourteous.” But, again, the definition does not include the fact that the person claiming another person’s activities are macro-aggressive is a personal choice, a judgment, and a socially powered decision.
Micro- and macro-aggression are often claimed to be “triggered” by specific words, colors, foods, waters, fruits, and a host of other items. Essentially using fear and envy to demand people act differently or the consequences are toddler-like fits and fussing, picketing, rioting, looting, e.g., acting like a terrorist. Thus, micro- and macro- aggression is nothing but the toddler throwing a temper tantrum because they are not getting what they want at that moment. While claiming their aggression is on behalf of someone else, and their acts of terrorism are excusable because the aggression was triggered by someone or something else. This is like the eight-year-old older brother or sister throwing a fit that the toddler was punished and claiming they are behaving irrationally in support of the toddler’s tantrum. How many parents will buy this logic; I do not!
Love them or hate them, comedians have changed since I was a kid sneaking peaks of comic relief on cable while washing dishes late into the night. Comedians now carefully pick their materials based upon their perceptions of the audience. Thus, we have classes of comedians, including “Shock Comedians,” who try to be as offensive as possible and still get laughs. We have political comedians; some come down equally on both sides of the political aisle, others are as cemented to a political agenda as they can be and use their “comedy” as a tool to influence their audiences towards that political agenda. We have a host of comedians dedicated to helping people laugh and others who see themselves as able to influence, regardless of consequences.
I am not providing marketing to any comedian by giving examples of the statements made above. You can certainly use a search engine to find these examples for yourself if interested. You might even be able to think of several instances from history, especially recent history, that fit into the descriptions provided. As I said in the beginning, you remain empowered to think as you prefer.
My point is that humor, like every other emotion, can be a tool to build or a tool to destroy, and the choice of build or destroy rests in the user, but the consequences rest in the hands of the audience. Consider this for a moment, how fast would a “Shock” comedian change their tune if the swearing, foul and degrading language, and behaviors manifested on stage did not get a single laugh, or worse, resulted in people standing up and walking out? Some would change quickly, others it might take a little more pushing, but the result would be the same, a changed comedian. Why; because capitalism works!
The comedian is the greatest example of capitalism at work in the world. People will pay money for entertainment, but if the entertainer insults, denigrates, and derides, that entertainer is history and is told to find a different line of work through capitalism. The pattern of comedians can be witnessed and applied across the spectrum from politicians to judges, from businesses to non-profits, all because capitalism works.
Why this article; why now? On Monday this week, I received an email talking about micro-aggression. The author used greeting cards and their sayings as representations of trigger events for micro-aggression. We have the US President (Fraudulent or Not) being hostile and aggressive towards unvaccinated people. But unvaccinated people are not spreading the Delta-Variant COVID virus; vaccinated people are. We have social unrest in Cuba, where nobody is taking notice because for too long, the social elite has said that Cuba, as a Marxist-Leninist country, is a good thing and cannot stand watching their lies become evident.
Like the disc-jockey’s of my youth said, “And the Hits just keep on coming!” Pick a spot on the globe, and you will find problems, issues, and concerns driven by micro- and macro-aggressive people who refuse to understand the difference between action and reaction—leaving this article as an attempt to aid in making better decisions. How you choose to respond to the day’s events informs the political leaders and social influencers if they are winning or losing. Thus, choose better, knowing that the social influencers and political leaders want you to react, not act! Hence, choose to act. Choose to use your moral agency and individual agency as a tool to intentionally choose your following action in the process of becoming who you want to be and not what others want you to be for their selfish gain.
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.