No, this isn’t a post about drinking too many Red Bulls or Monsters.

This is about how we’re wired. What makes us go. What makes us stop. What makes us unsure.

motherboardNow, if we were all automatons, robots, gizmos, or devices, we would be wired to turn on when a human decided we should, programmed us to, or determined when we would be turned off. We would boot up at their discretion. They would push our buttons. The tragedy and bliss would be that if we were those robots, those motherboards, we wouldn’t care. We work for them. If I was an i-Pod and someone loaded me full of Lawrence Welk accordion music or Slim Whitman (look them up, kids) I wouldn’t have any say about it. I would play the music, and not have the opportunity to weigh in with my likes and dislikes.

Not so with people.

We LOVE to let everyone know what we think, how we feel, how others make us feel, all the time. That’s all we do. We are in our own little mortal coil packages, wired uniquely from all others. No one else knows what it’s like to be us, and we cannot ever completely imagine what it’s like to be them.

The tragedy and bliss comes from when we attempt to understand others, when we’re sympathetic, empathic, or antithetic. There’s the rub. When others think they are allowed just as much freedom as we are to weigh in with opinions, positions, ideas, and viewpoints, we think they’re geniuses when they agree with us, knuckleheads when they don’t.

That’s the very essence of tolerance. We do not have to agree with each other, but if we want to hang onto our humanity, we have to at least provide the free speech, free press, and basic human rights to each other. Otherwise, we might just be powered down.