Definitions : S

S for and systematic.

Every individual and situation is unique, but it can be useful to look for common threads. Consistently refusing to do so may indicate that one is avoiding coming to terms with an inconvenient state of affairs, such as oppression at the hands of bloodthirsty tyrants. Without an analysis of the dynamics that give rise to such situations, it can be hard to keep oneself out of them (see The Forest for the Trees—or don’t, as the case may be).

Some, upon hearing a critique of the social role of police officers and politicians, protest that it may apply to most of them, but they know some who are really good people: “Sure, we have to abolish governments and all that, but here in [liberal oasis] there are such nice folks on the town council! I feel we should treat them with respect, even if that means calling everything off.”

This brings to mind the story of the man who, tormented by fleas, managed to catch one between his fingers. He scrutinized it for a long time before placing it back at the spot on his neck where had he caught it, to the shock of his companions. His friends, confounded, inquired why on earth he would do such a thing. “That wasn’t the one that was biting me,” he explained.