I'm thinking about two qualities. And the delicate balance between them. One is the ability to rise to the occasion. To the level of our most deeply held convictions. To act as our conscience bids. Regardless of personal consequences. The other is the ability to consult, to be aware of personal limitations, thus to seek advice. Good counsel from those we deem trustworthy. And finding inner balance between these.
I'm thinking also of a different kind of balance. A social creation - rare and wonderful - so easily disrupted for good or ill. A cooperative endeavor, win-win, for a mutual outcome. Versus a zero-sum "individualism" über alles. By the latter I mean, of course, something different from a game one plays, where all the players have agreed-on rules. Where pleasure is in playing. And even watching is enjoyable. Play, I think, is part of the cooperative balance rare and wonderful.
Cooperation is so easily disrupted, isn't it? But such a joy when it goes along smoothly. Best when equals interact perhaps. Unless good education, wonderful teaching, true learning understood and undertaken. The good hour in therapy. Play with a child you love. Making love - in its truest, widest sense.
The more people, the more complicated, of course. But something creative and unexpected may happen. Under conditions of cooperation and mutuality. All too many enjoy disrupting instead. Or perhaps it's just a few - disrupting all too many times. There must be a personality trait at work in "successful" internet trolls. Or whatever passes for that in face-to-face maneuvers. Joy in destruction. A kind of social sadism.
The internet is an interesting place. Some people take time to lay out an argument. Sometimes an interesting discussion emerges from that effort. People working together: Synergism. The outcome of it a discussion "there" for all time. Win-win for everyone. Even those who happen upon it long after it's occurred. History records such events. Or not. The writing of a constitution. The erecting of a cathedral. The raising of a barn. A child raised in a loving family.
But such endeavors also seem to attract the trolls - a ubiquitous disruptive presence wherever that's allowed. Or tolerated. Or simply ignored... How to deal with society's malcontents? How ingenious the malcontent. How secretive or subtle. Or stupidly obvious. History records that too.
I have no solution. Only musings.
Pondering. Musing. Old age is an especially good time for it. (We won't quibble about what old age means, will we?) Pondering and musing. As long as the mind holds up...
If the mind does not hold up, I hope to God not to turn into the equivalent of a codger troll. Wailing in a nursing home. Please... Dear God... Let me be an addled angel instead.