I was once (still?) a cynic. I started to consider years ago that ten percent of people were the top intellectuals, philanthropists, inventors, artists, and warriors (I was in the military at the time). That also got me thinking about all the gloom-ers, doomers, and desperado, folks whom I likened to the bottom “ten-percenters”. In the middle were the remaining eighty percent who either were sketchy, but not necessarily “bad” or the more reasonable just-trying-their-best-to-get-by folks. In a world today where people determine the answer they want first, and go in search of, or create the evidence they need to support their pre-determined answers, it seems unnatural to work the other way round. So I came up with an 10/80/10 proposition. I have not conducted rigorous research. During my worst cynical days and weeks, personal experience and social media provide me a predetermined answer in search of validation. I often apply it to everything that humanity touches.
- Technical workers
- military /cops/security forces
- Politicians (Statesmen)
The stories that television, radio, newspapers and Internet sensationalize as everywhere-all-the-time crime, hypocrisy, gore, and political nonsense are probably ten percent of truth or people that they harpoon. On the other hand, the ten percent who build new roads, electrify once impoverished communities, feed the hungry, and teach the illiterate are rarely illustrated. In the middle are average folks getting by.
Individuals in every enterprise and community who are “supposed” to represent the success, values, integrity or achievement for others, can be models or pariahs to others. The top ten percent of industrial workers, bureaucrats, doctors, managers and artists may draw the ire of others who are not compelled to improve the “greater good”, or have not achieved the position, responsibility or recognition. Stand-outs who declare publicly support for one thing or another, are opposed by a minority. Sometimes, ambivalence in the middle group, empowers the loudest.
Given that the same information sources publicize the most egregious behavior, perhaps ten percent of the students in schools – primary through university – either are not there to learn, create distractions, or do not question what is taught ( indoctrination). If ten percent of the professors pursue different agendas than teaching how to learn, there may still be ten percent to mentor the most creative and successful minds produced in higher education. Many in the middle acquire the skills or trades to make a living.
While ten percent of humanity might be responsible for most of the depravity, violence, terrorism, animal cruelty and neglect and environmental destruction, there are a lot more who are loving, charitable, and leave a lasting positive impact on the world. While I personally hold to one specific set of religious beliefs, of the eight billion people on earth now, many adhere to one religious tradition or another. Many have no affiliation. In each situation, some leave a positive impact on their community, some are despicable and many are, to varying degrees “get by”.
It is relationships between people, instilling integrity, honor, responsibility, and self-respect in the next generation. Those who would bring harm – physical, emotional, cultural, and social -to others and the world we inhabit should be opposed. Discussion of different ideas and beliefs – without resorting to violence should be made. But because people are complex, there will always be a minority that will be the bottom ten percent. It should be a human goal to raise the other ninety percent.