Sometimes I am angry at the world. Who am I kidding? I’m USUALLY angry with the world. And while I sit here and type away like I have a few times prior, I can’t help but desire for a greater ability to recall my thoughts. I think these thoughts, words, phrases, descriptions, comparisons, poetic pieces of words strung together in some haphazardly beautiful manner, but they all escape me, every last one of them as I sit in front of my monitor, fingers tapping away at my backlit keyboard, while my girlfriend falls asleep just a couple feet behind me on the bed.
What is our goal as people though? Now I’m not talking about our purpose, our quest to find out why we are here, but rather, is there anything that unifies human thought in such a fashion that we can use it as some basic frame of reference with which to draw comparisons from one individual to another.
I know people are all so different, but we are still all people right? Is there anything that unifies us in some way universally, regardless of background, social, cultural, regional or otherwise? I think about it. The best I can give it is, provided we are working within a realm of “sane” people, everyone should be seeking happiness right? Hell, even insane people should, but they may have either more difficulties navigating the faucets to achieve happiness or else an entirely different concept about what happiness is.
But for the most part, I feel that’s as universal as mankind can be, we all want happiness right?
An interesting and sometimes provoking thought oddly enough… I mean, how do we achieve happiness? When other’s happiness “usurps” our own, what sort of morals and ethics should be in play to remedy or “litigate” that?
The pondering does not last an exceptional amount of time, but it does last enough to make me rub my forehead/temples as well as generate an audible guttural sound.
I’m not an exceptionally moral or ethic person, unfortunately. I like to think I try to put others needs in an adequate priority, but I’m less rationally inclined than I would try to have you believe. People, they make me so angry. Not just one or two, or a group, or a type, but almost all of the beings that make up the existence of mankind. They upset me so deeply, I can’t even say why. It boggles me. Just about the only thing that is significantly clear is the misanthropic view which festers into something more and more abominable each and every day. As though life were not such a cruel enough style of humor on it’s own, individual experiences with people and their opinions and actions, their decisions, ignorance, and impact on different and various facets of life, all conglomerate to generate a sort of cancerous hatred resource pool.
I’m not a good person really. I help people, yes, that’s true. I treat them with the kindness, respect, and dignity that I would want them to treat me with, also usually true. Oddly enough, that’s the thing that probably leads to the part that I hate about me. Any negativity I encounter with someone, is sort of subverted in order to not harm the “neighborly experience” I have with them, which results in me taking it out on people I am close to, too close to. I hurt people closest to me, not necessarily with that intent in mind, but I just rant, bitch, and moan, at the people who are in my life, in part due to the anger I harbor from pure strangers…
I try to treat people the way I want to be treated, but it’s not always a favorable option. So why do I continue? Altruism? Principle? Pride? I can’t even tell you. I often ask myself this, and try to convince myself not to do it before temporarily just accepting it as part of my nature.
If you are around me a prolonged period of time, you will inevitably hear me discuss something either “taboo” or controversial. Not really for shock value, but because I want the discussion on the table. I complain about America a damn good amount, but then conclude my bitching or ranting with something like “Now don’t get me wrong, I love America, I’m absolutely glad I live here over pretty much every other place in the world. I’m quite satisfied with the way things operate here overall.” and then I will provide one last follow up sentence for the relevance of the initial argument indicating what I wished… Always I can shit in one hand and wish in the other right?
Why are people so devoid of empathy nowadays? I feel like I’m some sort of freak stuck in philosophy that was required of people decades ago, but is now no longer relevant.
I know I’m not the most intelligent person, despite my intellect being the source of most of my (undeserved) pride. But, I can at least say if there is an issue, I at least try to gather information if I’m interested in discussing it. I don’t just believe whatever I’m told on the matter by any source, regardless of it’s credibility or lack thereof.
I saw a story recently. A mother had written an anonymous note indicating how thankful she was to a stranger for being nice to her daughter on a plane ride. I read a little bit about it. It was heartwarming, but even more than that, heartbreaking. The last I had heard, they had no response from the stranger who provided such kindness. I read about what the stranger did and said. Admittedly I was a bit jealous, I do the things that stranger did all the time, and think nothing of it. I’d surmise that most of my efforts in that regard, while not going entirely unnoticed, are not rated as highly by the people it goes to “serve” as this one mother’s appreciation for this particular stranger. So, yeah maybe I was a bit jealous I never get recognition, but I thought about it a bit, and thought, maybe that was a good thing to have these things go viral on occasion, to sort of instill a spirit of good will in all of us. Then I realized… It’s going “viral” because these are uncommon acts of virtue or something.
I maybe a selfish person, but if I feel the inclination to help someone, or do something nice, I do it. I don’t talk myself out of it, regardless of it’s benefit to me or “payoff” in the end. I do it, because I feel it’s the right and just thing to do, not to sway karma, not to gain points with the big man upstairs, not to make anyone proud, not to be cool or popular. I do it. Just because. I don’t have reasons. I see a homeless man, I immediately check my pockets. There’s no thought there, just a reaction. The instinct to do good.
Like I said, I’m so far from perfect, I’m not trying to be “high and mighty” or sit atop my high horse or gun you down from my moral high ground. For each thing I do that I consider to be right, I also do a lot of “bad” things that I feel I could avoid. But overall I say I do pretty good. I am upset though that people no longer can expect kindness from others. That kindness is such a commodity that it can be a driving force in the latest viral sensation. I hope that man never came forward. I hope that he saw that he was appreciated though. I hope he knows he made an impact in that mother’s life. And I hope he stayed silent to make it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, but what good would that do? No more good than talking to interviewers about how kindness should be prerequisite for interactions with other people. For that matter, probably no less either.
The times have changed you could say. Kindness is no longer it’s own reward, it’s used as a manipulator, a way to twist and tug at your heartstrings to promote something and make a profit. Yes, some things are legitimate good, and benefit a lot things that need these sort of promotions happening, but it’s getting to be more and more common, that kindness is more or less a fantasy, something a lot of people pretend exists, but deep down don’t believe that.
Whatever my dad did to instill this behavior in me before his accident when I was just the age of 10, he must have been something spectacular. I remember some things. Not enough though. Funny enough, they seem to contradict his attitude of the younger version of him. Maybe I’m just an old soul at heart, hoping everyone can do better to help out and start a revolution. That would make me happy. Constructing a legacy while simultaneously starting some sort of humanist movement. I’ve given it thought. In more ways that I thought I would. Ways that most people would have a difficult time understanding.
When did kindness stop being its own reward? Or the pursuit of knowledge for that matter?
I wish I was as nice to everyone in my life as I am to the strangers in it… A man can dream right?