Dwight, Dwight, Dwight...can't he see that Jim is only pushing his buttons? It is ludicrous that someone would be so driven to prove that he doesn't take a moment away from 100% concentration on his duties. In fact, it is so obviously a ridiculous and impossible suggestion, that for Dwight to be manipulated in such a way makes this scene very hilarious. At least to me.
But how would it feel if someone like Jim actually followed you around with a stopwatch, or a yellow highlighter, or a hidden camera...ready to pounce on any little iota of "liberty" that you might take with any of the various rules in life. First...it would be crazy...but second, it would also probably become pretty glaringly obvious that everyday life has a tremendous amount of built in "gray areas" when it comes to rules. Broken the speed limit lately? Said something that was "embellished" to make the story funny? Pretended to be offended by something a celebrity did when sometime in your life you thought or did something fairly similar?
If you're having trouble relating...maybe you're a bit more like Dwight than you think. He doesn't think that he can't do the impossible. In fact, when Jim sarcastically discusses the details of Battlestar Galactica and completely butchers and combines the plots from different movies...Klingons and Wookies, Dumbledore Calrissian taking the ring back to Mordor...Dwight can barely contain his righteous indignation...and I can hardly blame him.
And that's where we end up...either justifying/ignoring our limitations, or relishing in our virtue. Both produce righteous indignation...because in those circumstances, what is wrong then with the world is outside of us, not in us.
I have learned not to do this and if you watch this short video I can give you the seven steps to stop doing this too. NOT. (hello 1993 - Austin Powers, Basil is calling)
So, I hear myself saying this and my own argument in my head is...you're being an idiot...nobody is perfect and nobody expects you to be perfect...being a good, kind person who is compassionate and caring and giving isn't about perfection. Well, that makes sense and works to a point...but then the world intervenes...and atrocities happen, and really serious suffering happens that I have no control over. But on a more personal, everyday level...people that I see all around me are suffering in ways that I could make a difference...but I don't. And I would recognize that I should care more about things that are wrong...if only I actually did care more than I do. Maybe it is only me...but then again, that's what I am saying. It IS me. Not society, not ideology, not corporations, not hypocrites, not my enemies, not reality television, not global warming, not recession, not rock n' roll, not hippies, not yuppies, not politicians, not celebrities and really not saying 'nobody is perfect'. It is not that I am personally responsible for all that is wrong with the world...but that I bear all the marks of the imperfection that characterizes a world that contains suffering. The idea is really that if one person suffers, the whole enchilada is bad. Not that if only a few people suffer then we can all relax, we are doing a pretty good job...every chef knows...one booger in the soup and nobody can eat...or nobody SHOULD eat.
If this sounds like a mountain out of a molehill, remember that the next time a molehill circumstance seems to ruin your day...or week...or year. Or better yet, take a look at the mountains that are devastating people in all parts of the world and remember that eventually a mountain falls on all of us.
The Good News is deeply embedded in the realization that the really, really deep problems with this blue marble and the humans on it is way, way, way beyond us to fix...(that means we can't fix ourselves or the world without justifying our fixes, being unaware of the problems or having our own level of righteous indignation because "at least we are doing all that we can"). The irony that I personally struggle with my own righteous indignation whenever I encounter people who exhibit righteous indignation is just one of the humorous ironies that prove my point...every...single...day.
This Good News can actually be quite freeing. In AA it is called Step One - admitting that you are ultimately powerless and that something other than your inner fortitude/willpower/strength/determination is required. And there is a basic term for this that many people hate...faith. That simply means that you don't know it all, don't have all the answers and even if you did, you recognize that you need help. Simple as that.
We all use faith in everyday life...but I think it helps to be aware...it makes the big problems of the world seem more like a job for something much bigger than you or me...and that is better than the alternative. I mean...would you have faith in me to fix any of your problems? Me neither.