Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finding Your Superpower

James Rummel begins a marvelous post entitled "Desperate to be Special" with these words:

I once knew a girl who was convinced that she could control street lights with her thoughts.

It turns out that this misconception was based on faulty headlights on her car activating street-level light sensors, which he fixed -- and then her magical power disappeared. The lady was not pleased with James because she had invested so much hope in discovering something unique about herself, and now he had dashed those dreams:

Of course, the girl was not too happy that I proved she wasn't some sort of sorceress. She was pretty damn cute, which I thought was special enough for anyone. But she wanted more.

What did I learn? Avoid bringing reality into the conversation if I want to get in to an attractive woman's pants.

There is a bit of a corollary with so-called chi based martial arts. Those are where someone claims to have such a mastery over their body's energy field that they gain Jedi super powers. Hardening their skin to resist injury, instantly healing serious injuries in case the skin hardening wasn't enough, and injuring other people without having to touch them and see how hard their skin is, are just a few of the supposed effects one can achieve.

I am a bit leery about any attempts to debunk such claims, particularly if the person voicing them is an attractive woman whose pants I want to unlock. It seems to me that anyone making such claims, and who actually believes them, has an emotional need to find something extraordinary about themselves. Proving them wrong will result in their humiliation. If there is no compelling reason to do this, then my policy is that it is probably best to live and let live.

Emphasis added. This was the point of a short film that I posted a while back about an ordinary man trying to find out his superpower -- not if he had one, but what it was. And I heard it a lot in Christianese, in which talents became "spiritual gifts" and interests became "callings". All of these expressions are rooted in a desire to be more than we are. It's cognitive dissonance kicking in, trying support the pre-existing thesis at any cost. People like James who undermine such visions, no matter how much individuals might benefit from such truth-telling, are seldom thanked for it.

1 comment:

James R. Rummel said...

Thank you kindly for the link!