Discover more from Overcoming Bias
I attended a memorial service today, for someone I hardly knew. His family was wealthy and full of energy and passion and creativity. At the service folks wore nice clothes, and were pleasant and polite. Nice food was served in a scenic setting, beautiful music played, and idealistic speeches given, talking about family, dedication, caring, bonding, and intelligence. It was noted, for example, that he did the crossword puzzle daily, in ink.
Such services seem designed to affirm the shared far values of attendees, and to affirm the status of those who achieve such values. But the idea of service like the one I attended appeals less to me, since I put less weight on the values it affirmed. So what kind of service might better affirm the values I hold high, raising the status of people like me who most affirm those values?
Well one thing I value greatly is insight. So I’d like it if service attendees would each share an insight they’d had that day, or perhaps in the last week. Anything about themselves or the world around them they hadn’t quite understood as clearly before.
Another thing I value is honesty. So I’d like it to be clear to everyone that they need not say only nice things about the deceased. Finally, I value grand ambition, so I’d like folks to talk about how exactly they hope to have a huge impact on the world.
Of course mostly I hope to never die, or at least to put it off for as long as possible.