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November 23, 2012

Don’t Be Dumped On…

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 8:55 am

As an Orthodox Christian, I am obligated to love – or at the very least like my own species. But the older I get, the more despicable I find people. The only saving grace is the knowing, that all the human leeches I have had the misfortune of encountering, are mortal, and their questionable ways of life will fade away, just as surely as their wrinkling bags of skin and bone will turn to dust. It’s just a matter of time, and for once, I am truly grateful that time is part of this existence.

I did not always feel this way about humanity. I used to think that all people were basically good and that all people had an innate common decency within themselves. What I failed to realise is how much our nature is still based on self preservation and that when push comes to shove, most individuals, and I mean almost all, will prioritise saving their own skin over their fellow human being. It’s just nature (biology – the survival of the fittest) and we’re just animals, in spite of all our selfless philosophies and religions.

What counts is preserving one’s life – an end in itself, or using life to perpetuate one’s own genes. The unfortunate part of this equation is that the majority of humans who survived in the past and who prospered, did so because of their superior self preservation. The selfless amongst us, were and are the minority, and though they may have influenced human thinking and culture along the way – i.e. bringing stability to human groupings, it was the brut selfishness of the majority that has carried the species forward.

I can’t help but marvel at the irony however, i.e. that humanity has become this powerful, not because we’re concerned about our fellow human beings (or because we work well together), but because we’re so good at looking after ourselves. Think about it, if people weren’t so good at looking after themselves, how would our societies function. Societies are dependent on each cog looking after itself, in order for the machine to continue to work as a whole. If cogs stopped prioritising their own self maintenance, the mega mechanism of human society would crumble.

As a result, I can often rationalise to myself why I’ve had the ongoing misfortune of dealing with so many despicable self centred individuals – after all, according to this theory, they are the norm. Thinking otherwise is just a childhood delusion I’ve perpetuated well into my 40’s. And though we can’t prevent the selfish majority pursuing self preservation, the one thing we can do, is refuse to allow them to dump their emotional problems on us.

So I propose the following – for once, the unselfish should refuse to be dumped on, and for once the unselfish should sit back and watch the selfish implode under the weight of their own emotional baggage. Sadly, I know this won’t happen – by definition the unselfish won’t allow those around themselves to suffer. Maybe it’s just the way it has to be – i.e. the selfish majority will always be complimented by the selfless minority. Most people will continue to use other people and/or prioritise their needs above others as they always have – at least, until our species comes to an end. ;)

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – November 2012

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