Aug 2022, I’m sitting in in Blue Bottle (that is already where it went wrong, since you not supposed to go to Blue Bottle outside of the Bay Area) coffeeshop in Lower Manhattan.
In front of me (it’s a huge shared table) sits a guy. He starts hitting on a girl close to him. The girl seems to be from Ukraine. The guy is American, shooting some films. They have some cringe conversation about life and war in Ukraine and so on. And both of them have ridiculous opinions and they just want to impress each other. Both of them somehow believe that the situation and war in Ukraine are not so “straightforward”. Both of them like some old school conspiracies and like to feel “unconventional”.
And then the girl says this phrase “I try to be very open minded about the war.” And this is the moment that hits me. Whenever people say stupid stuff they say they are being “open minded”. Because “open mindedness” is positive label. But it sounds so ridiculous in that context that I cannot even explain it in writing.
If you have stupid opinions - you have stupid opinions. That is it. It’s not open mindedness.
But back to her phrase. She self assessed herself as “open minded” person and she was quick to say that to the guy.
It reminded me of another situation that I had that happened a year before. One of my friends referred to himself “the “most empathetic person.” I almost died inside from laughter at that moment. Because that friend is almost universally considered “the least empathetic person“ by the people I know.
This one was especially funny because back in 2019 I documented in my list of beliefs how I do not believe in such absolute statements like “I’m an empathetic person”.
At this moment in life I believe that many people fail with self assessment. It is just an heuristic but when people make self assessment that they share publicly it’s a red flag and usually the opposite is true.
I also stopped believing many people who do meditation. I’m yet to meet people who truly mastered themselves. But I’ve met many people who just bottle things inside and do meditation to cover up things and do virtue signaling. And when they enter some difficult situation it all flows out of them - insecurities, tension, aggression, fear.
Don’t talk about who you are. Let other people say who you are. And let your actions speak on your behalf.