Opinion: Ultimatum warriors


The world is filled with experts. Many have trained for years, studied a craft and experienced much through trial and error. We look to them for insight. And then, there are the other authorities. They opine endlessly about all manner and topic. They know the very best type of jelly bean. They know the very best way to raise a child. They know the very best way to govern us. Their wisdom, it seems, is boundless. Alas, the root of this tremendous insight springs from some genetic font. They aren’t trained, or especially experienced, but they are all-too willing to claim to be. 

It is said that the most dangerous among us are not those who know nothing or have never read a book. Neither are those who know much and have read extensively. The greatest risk comes from those who know something, have read one thing and have extrapolated this piece into believing they see the entire puzzle. “Name That Tune” pitted contestants on 1970’s television to identify a song using as few notes as possible. Suffice it to say, a single note, other than the occasional wild guess, could never prevail – much like trying to guess the word intended here with simply the letter “t.” 

Well, know-it-alls are not new to the world. But social media has fueled their intolerance. Expressing a point of view about complex global or interpersonal issues, extolling 25 or 30 words to round-out their epistle, they, like some ultimatum warrior, then lay down the gauntlet. If any reader doesn’t understand and agree summarily, then they are no longer a friend. Really? Lifelong supporters, colleagues and the folks who gave us life are dismissed in an instant. Doesn’t it all seem a little excessive (even needy)?