You are the other

| Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My reasoning for helping the noob was this:
If I can make him even slightly less terrible, isn't it worth it? He'll be in hundreds of PUGs down the line, so in a way, I helped make hundreds, maybe thousands of people slightly less miserable and nerd-raged.

This may sound a bit like collectivism; that I am placing the happiness of the hundreds of people down the line ahead of my own now. Maybe I am. But here's my own justification: I and you are the others. By that I mean that I am the noob or elitist or jerk or hopefully, decent person, on the screen of someone else. And they are on my screen and the screen of someone else who is on my screen and it goes all around until eventually, I am on my own screen, looking at myself and thinking "who is this jerk?"

Or to put it another way, we all add up. We are part of the society that we want. If I want a WoW society which is not ignorant, then I should reduce the ignorance of others. And when I set a small example of helpfulness, that may come around to me again. Or it might not, but it won't just dissipate and vanish into nothing. Instead it might be someone helping someone who helps someone who joins my PUG. And that someone might have been a complete noob if not for the societal standard of helping.

I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I am going to going to single-handedly change the WoW community. Even if I changed the minds of every half the people who read this blog and they changed the minds of half the people they knew and half and half and half... it wouldn't make much of a difference. Ultimately I'm a very small bit of a small subset of the community which is itself a small subset of the overall community. In the grand scheme of things, I don't make much difference.

But, that is a terrible justification to do nothing. Here's why: we are the other to someone else. If I am a jerk and someone else is a jerk and someone else, well before long we add it up and we're all jerks. If I try to be a decent person and someone else and someone else, add it up and we might be trying to be decent people. We all add up. I do an insignificant amount. You do too. Get enough insignificant amounts and they become significant. Inaction because of mass inaction accomplishes nothing. That's nothing better than social loafing.

As so often happens, this might be out of context to make it sounds better. It might refer to something specific about which I know nothing. But I like the sound of it.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Oh but where have I wandered off? This isn't about society, it's about me. I am self-serving; I want something from this. I want a world that I want to live in. So that is what I try to create.


Kiryn said...

That's a great way to think of it. I especially like the idea that I'm looking at myself and wondering why that noob doesn't know what she's doing.

I'll remember this post the next time I group with a feral-spec druid who's wearing stamina/spirit gear and standing around in caster form spamming moonfire.

MLW said...

Sounds familiar

LarĂ­sa said...

Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself... It's still valid, all over the world. But for some reason it isn't widespread in Azeroth. I'm glad you're trying to plant some seeds though.
To quote another saying: don't ban the darkness. Lit a candle.
It's nails my life philosophy in two sentences.

Klepsacovic said...

@Kiryn: I hope you never have to be in that situation; but maybe you can make the most of it.

@Jormundgard: I don't doubt that a million people have said almost the same thing before.

@Larisa: Somehow in a virtual world of fun and unlimited resources, we've become selfish. It is strange.

Kiryn said...

Actually, I was referencing a druid I encountered in Scarlet Monastery a few months ago. I felt so sorry for her but I was afraid that she'd get mad at me for trying to tell her what to do, so I kept quiet. I have to wonder what she's doing now?

Anonymous said...

Just remember... that noob may one day be the guild leader of the guild you dreamed off...

Treat him bad... no entry...

Treat him well..

Well, if nothing else you wont cringe if you find yourself in a group with him in future.

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