O Great God CONFORMITY, give us the power to make everyone else, just like us!
Yea, verily, in the beginning was the EGO. And the EGO begat an Opinion. And the Opinion fed upon the EGO, and the EGO raised up the Opinion, until it was greater than Creation itself.
This was going to be a light, fluffy piece about the cola wars and pizza, until I realized how serious and ongoing this idea actually is.
The very history of the human race is a history of those with any kind of power, forcing the rest to agree with their often-incorrect opinions.
It was already old 4000 years ago, when Moses climbed a mountain. When he finally came back down with the Ten Commandments, the first thing he and his cadre of cronies did, was disobey Commandment number four – Thou Shalt Not Kill – and executed 3000 Israelites without a chance to recant, for holding an opinion that wasn’t even officially prohibited before Moses left.
The Inquisition was 500 years of torture and murder of anyone who dared stray from a very narrow religious path. The Crusades were a series of long distance religious disputes. The Thirty Years War was not fought for riches or territory, but for the right to impose opposing Christian dogma on individuals, cities and nations.
Towns near the ever-changing line of combat could have their religious allegiances forcibly changed from Catholic, to Protestant, and back to Catholic, half a dozen times in a year. One town was known to have a number of….weirdos – vegetarians, artists, free-thinkers, Gnostics – heretics of the worst sort. When Tilley and his forces arrived, he gave the order, “Kill them all! Let God sort them out.”
Every man, woman and child; every dog, cat, pig and chicken was slaughtered. The town was burned and pulled down, razed to the ground till no stone stood upon another. Thousands of innocents were slaughtered, just to ensure the elimination of a few who held contrary opinions.
Too often I’ve heard the Coke is better than Pepsi claim, or listened to gearheads argue whether Ford or Chevy is better. When I researched for my P Is For Pizza post I was amazed at the vehemence of opinions. Theirs was right, and everybody else was wrong. Thick crust! No, thin crust! New York style! New York sucks, Chicago style rules!
This might be understandable, if all people, and all colas, were the same, and some folks were willfully disagreeing, just to be disagreeable. To some people’s taste buds (mine included), Pepsi is refreshing, and Coke is too sweet. It makes no sense to hold forth on whether Doc Martins are better shoes than UGGS, to a person in a wheelchair.
Other than my (often) aforementioned ‘Ego And Insecurity’, I don’t understand the driving need of so many people to foist their opinions upon others. ‘Live and Let Live’, or the Biblical, ‘Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done Unto You’ doesn’t seem to enter into the equation.
I know that none of my gentle readers would force their beliefs on others, but I’ll bet that you have seen, and been peeved by, all too many who have. Anybody want to cite specific examples??