Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


No Precedent (Get Over It)

In-Shape Health Club, Napa, California, USA

January 9, 2023

This essay, No Precedent (Get Over It), is the companion piece to Everyone's In Love With Everyone.

It is also the sequel to Context, Word, And Un-Ego: Who Are We Really???.

I am indebted to Paige Rose PhD who inspired this conversation.

In this conversation I'll make a powerful claim, one I'd originally prefaced by saying something with dramatic literary effect like "Ever since the dawn of time, ever since God was a baby girl, throughout history including early unrecorded history, for as long as human beings have been living on the planet, ..." etc.

But with due consideration and looking with newly imposed rigor (seriously), as dramatic and as powerful as that may sound, we can't claim anything that way. And why we can't claim anything that way, is obvious: prior to recorded history, there was no record of anything. So if something happened prior to recorded history, there'd be no proof of it even if it happened, and we'd have no basis on which to claim it happened. We can  however make the claim that something happened if it happened in recorded  history, and certainly within the last two thousand years or so. If it happened then, we can indeed claim it.

So with that proviso now in place, I'll make a powerful claim: throughout recorded history, there's never been an example (not one, not a single one) of any individual person being liked by every single other person. There's no precedent  for any individual person being liked by every single other person. Not one. Not a single one. Not ever. That tends to suggest that the odds of you being liked by everyone are slim to none. So someone doesn't like you? Get over it.

Be careful. What's important to get here is that my "Get over it" is neither derogatory nor disparaging nor callous. Rather it's compassionate. It's insightful. Here's how so: the trouble with not being liked, is rarely in not being liked by another. Yes, that's how it shows up  for us: that the trouble with not being liked, is in not being liked by another. That's the coin of the realm in which all those unrequited love  novellas, TV "soaps", and screenplays gaddingly traffic.

But in reality it's almost always never that. In reality the trouble is almost always in not liking ourselves. The trouble is almost never in another not liking us. The trouble is almost always in us not liking ourselves. It's almost never that another won't engage with us. It's almost always that we are disengaged from ourselves ie that we're disconnected from who we are really. The real issue (if you'll just take a cold, flat-footed, unflinching look) is we have not resolved liking ourselves ie we haven't resolved liking who we are really simply because we don't know  who we are really. And in the absence of liking ourselves, it's easier (that is to say it's more convenient)  to look at not being liked by another as the causal issue in that maddening malaise: the sense of not being liked.

That's problematic - twice. First, the odds are really low of resolving the sense of not being liked by projecting that expectation onto another. Listen: "You complete  me" is actually a rocky foundation for a relationship (my apologies to Jerry Maguire). Second, not liking who we are really, is the more immediate issue, an essential  issue for all humans in the matter of being human, one we'll be stuck with until we resolve it posthaste with velocity and intentionality.

That said, the injunction to "get over it" in the matter of not being liked by everyone (given that throughout recorded history, there's no precedent for any one individual person being liked by every single other person) is deeply compassionate of who we are really (and almost piously so). It doesn't diminish it.

Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2022, 2023 Permission