The 80-10-10 Principle
As I’ve grown older, I’ve become less and less certain of so many things.
One thing which has remained, however, is my belief in the “80-10-10 Principle“.
That is to say, perhaps 80% of humanity tend to be followers, blown to and fro by the prevailing spirit of the times.
Another 10% are actively and aggressively selfish, destructive, or downright evil.
The final 10% are those who actively stand in the way of selfishness and evil, while seeking to make the world a happier place.
The job of the “righteous 10%” is particularly hard, because such people are not naturally practiced in violence or ruthlessness.
That is what makes the “righteous 10%” all the more remarkable in their determination, perseverence, and courage.
Many, many of the earliest settlers in the 19th century Ohio Country – Hudsons, Leiths, et al – were determinedly anti-slavery. This did not make them saints as regards indigenous land rights, but at least they were clear-eyed about the evil of human bondage.
Never believe the apologists who say that evil “was just normal to everyone back then“.
Here is a wonderful photo from 1863 or 1864 Ohio – probably near the Crawford Leith farm, which also hosted a stop on the Underground Railroad.
One can see the simultaneous exhaustion and pride in the faces of people who knew that freedom isn’t free, and they were willing to pay the price.
This Christmas season I am thinking about all of the 10 percenters – from the women of Iran, to the front lines of Ukraine, and anywhere else that people are doing the hard yards.
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