when people do surprising things, when it just doesn’t add up, consider that you may have incomplete information. Another way of saying “Bob did something that Alice thinks is completely senseless.” is “Alice doesn’t have the slightest clue what Bob is up to.”
From my journals: Today people are giving me advice that assumes I wish to do things in the way that they would do them. They laugh at me when I encounter a state that they would consider embarrassing, or that they would consider failure. In such a situation, I find no motivation to attempt communication with these people. What goodness might I reasonably hope to tap by attempting mature interaction with someone who makes the broad assumption that I am operating under precisely the same pretenses as they? I do not so broadly make that assumption about people I meet. When someone is doing something that is different than anything I have done, my first thought is generally that they probably have a reason that makes sense to them, and that I simply do not know or understand that reason. My first thought is not generally that I completely understand the internals of their decision-making process and that they are stupid for not being like me or doing something like I would do it. I lament whatever skein of consequence has led so many individuals of this species to believe that other people somehow do or somehow should operate with the same attitudes and goals as each another. That belief lies deeply at the center of much of the behavior in others that interferes with me peacefully doing what I do. I’m walking in the rain without an umbrella. Some people conclude that I was stupid for leaving my umbrella at home based on the assumption that I want to be dry. And their fear of embarrassment by wetness blurts out ignorant remarks, apparently unattached to any sort of evolved reasoning capacity. Maybe that actress with a genius IQ doesn’t want to be a doctor. Maybe that Britney Spears lover doesn’t share your particular and narrow view of what makes sound beautiful. Maybe that man wearing a dress isn’t as paralyzed by other people’s thoughts as you are, or as obedient a subject as you to the rule of idiosyncratic cultural dictums. Maybe he’s completely and happily oblivious to your culture. Maybe, if you chose to so inflict him, he might not even consider education about your ideas to be enlightening. And maybe, maybe I never intended to carry an umbrella, and am quite properly enjoying my walk in the rain.