Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Why is this? What causes people to act badly? Is it our culture? Their upbringing? Sure, there will always be some who are psychologically damaged, but what about the others? Why do they choose to be dishonest or mean?
When I was a child, I learned that while deceit may sometimes get you a short-term advantage, it almost always backfires. People distrust you. You may even gain the reputation of being dishonorable. There doesn't seem to be any real advantage to acting wrong.
When faced with moral choices, I do the right thing, operating on the belief that doing good is the best choice. In situations when I can be kind, such as giving an old person a seat or letting another car into traffic, I'm courteous. That's my default.
Friends remark that I have exceptional character. I disagree. I have ordinary character. I do what everyone should do. I don't understand why it is extraordinary to act decently.
Why is it unusual these days to be a good person?
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I never forget what Thumper's mom said. If you can't say something nice don't say nothin at all.ReplyDelete
I agree, there are many things that are just normal courteous things to say and do. But, or "excuse me!" There's nothing wrong with being a good person.ReplyDelete
It's not unusual, it's just that the assholes get a lot of attention. There are a lot of reasons for being a bad person, some of which get better as one gets older and wiser. I can't say I've always done the right thing, but I hope I've learned to be better.ReplyDelete
Sometimes it's upbringing, sometimes hormonal, sometimes just selfishness, sometimes mental illness. Then again, some people are just evil bastards. They enjoy inflicting grief.
I like the shorter hair, btw. Suits you better.
Excellent point, to which I will add that some are genuine sociopaths... caring for almost no one or nothing but their own advantage.Delete
http://www.sociopathworld.com is a fascinating look into the minds of sociopaths among us.
And you don't fret none. Just keep being a sweetheart. If for no other reason than karma is a thing.ReplyDelete
What a good point. It should be the norm. We try to teach our kids to be polite and courteous, and it's my biggest compliment when people tell me we're raising kind kids. And even if what you do should be the norm, I'd still say you're exceptional!ReplyDelete
I believe it's because we now live in a culture/society which encourages us to only look out for ourselves. "I am number one"ReplyDelete
Self-centeredness breeds disregard for others.
I agree and find that sad. Communities thrive when their members cooperate and diminish when they don't. In earlier times, there wasn't as much need for formal laws because everyone complied with custom and lived up to the expectations placed on them. Our atomized society has lost that.Delete
You really are one of the sweetest, kindest people I know! I don't know what makes people so mean. There are a few people at my work who are just terrible. I don't even know where to begin, they are either gossipy, or just plain rude, worse than high schoolers! I will admit that I can get snippy with people when I am exhausted, or tell an occasional white lie, because I am a human being and not perfect. For instance, I have a friend who has been trying to lose weight for ages, and has been working hard at it, but I never notice when she drops a pound, mostly because I see her so often that it is hard for me to notice. But when she asks if it looks like she lost weight, I will usually nod and smile, not to lie for the sake of lying, but because I know that saying that I don't notice would hurt her quite a bit. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I feel that some people are straight up hurtful.ReplyDelete
I agree with you, being kind and acting for the good should be normal...but sometimes it is not. I try to follow what I believe in, to stand up for it, too. KissesReplyDelete
Fashion and Cookies
Very true and well said! On a plus point, you are WEARING TARDIS BLUE!!!! (see my blog post for information!) Go and link up with Maricel www.myclosetcatalogue.comReplyDelete
I also had a "Tardis Blue" post... too bad it was a bad hair day!Delete
Yes there are lots of crappy mean people out there, but there are just as many ( I like to think more) super nice people. It is the luck of the draw who you run into on any given day.ReplyDelete
I do believe that the online virtual world the internet makes it very easy for people to be mean because they are faceless and can hide behind a computer screen without worries of repercussions.
That's a true and important point, which makes life different now than it was 30+ years ago.Delete
Oh! I forgot to mention...you are looking HOT here! ; ) Really like the hair.ReplyDelete
Thank you, buddy. That is the first wig I wore. I like to mix things up.Delete
I don't understand why or how most people act, either. It makes me sad when people can't just be straight with you and that apparently no one can trust anyone with anything ever. We have no strong bonds or ties anymore, and I feel like that makes friendships all the more shallow.ReplyDelete
I popped over because you looked so so so so so so so glam in that photo I just had to tell you. You're beautiful, I love your personality and your face. ;-)
Thank you! :-) Your point is accurate -- social bonds have disappeared. They used to make interactions better.Delete
I think it's not just a person - but a social change that's happened. We don't trust each other as human beings anymore. There isn't even the initial trust of 'hey this person is trustworthy to do what they say' - which is EXTREMELY hard in my career.ReplyDelete
I got through a lot of work and it costs my company a lot of money to go through the process of finding the right candidate for positions - which is different from most staffing agencies that send whoever they can find. We try to tailor match the right person and it's awful when someone you spend several hours, days, working with to get them a real, long term job and they just plain don't show up.
I'm often surprised when people who come in - mention they're hungry and I offer a snack or cup of coffee to warm them up from outside and THEY are surprised.
I have people comment they like something or covet something, and a lot of time, it's something that's cost me little. I've give kids little toys that come with kids meals I've gotten while on the run or pretty pads of paper. I know how it feels to have something a little extra special and the unexpected gift makes them smile.
Sometimes, it's just simply been that we've been taught that honesty is going to get us screwed over. I know in my family, what someone says to me is NEVER what they mean. And in fact, it's probably the opposite.
I haven't spoken with my maternal grandparents in 8 months, or my paternal since last December. It's self preservation.
Admittedly, I do think you're extraordinary. You have such an amazing heart and you're one of the few true friends I have.
I wish it was the norm that people were as good hearted as you. I've definitely had to make a conscious decision to be more giving, more thankful, less gossipy. It's made me a bit of an outlier, but I feel like I'm maintaining my morals.
I believe you're right -- this observation transcends individuals and reflects a broader change in society. Thanks for contributing to the discussion and, of course, for saying nice things about me.Delete
My Mum raised me to be considerate of others and I am a big believer in Karma what you give out you receive. It's a shame that most people don't act this way because the world would be a much better place.ReplyDelete
This, dear Ally, is a question that I have been asking myself for as far back as I have memories. Be it small injustices, cruelties or offences or epic atrocities (like genocide), I will never, ever fully grasp how anyone could willing and knowingly do harm to a other living being (human or animal). Thank goodness there are those who strive to live by the Golden Rule to help balance out the scales.ReplyDelete
Hello blogger buddy! Sorry I haven't been commenting on your blog lately :( This new job of mine has been keeping me super busy.ReplyDelete
This year I've done something different. I've made a little promise to myself that I will not take anything anyone says or does personal. If someone is rude to me, I will try very hard not to take it personally. Hurt people will hurt others. So it's a reflection of how they feel about themselves. I've also promised myself to see the good in others, regardless of how crabby they've treated me.
This helps me cope with the everyday rudeness of people. Cruelty in this world doesn't make sense. But if we can just dismiss the cruel ways and better ourselves...it really does make everything better.
Hope you're doing well <3
PS. Thank you for writing this lovely post! I always enjoy coming here :)ReplyDelete
That's a smart and productive way to react. I try to do the same, to avoid absorbing badness emanating from others. Happy to see you back!Delete
I was typing a comment and I think I lost it!!! Sad!ReplyDelete
Ok, let me try again - I was trying to say that it's unfortunate that there are some people in the world that are so down on themselves that they need to be down on others to feel better about themselves. I don't like it, it makes me sad, but unfortunately it's just a fact of life I guess. You're one of the kindest, friendliest and warm people I've met and I hope that you don't let the haters get you down too much!
I think there are more good people than bad but the bad is what stands out the most because it's well-bad.ReplyDelete
Our societies have become very self centered -ReplyDelete
I try to be nice too, but when I see someone trying to take advantage i confess I stop the niceness and with respect get my point across.
I was about to say exactly what Lorena just said above. We have shifted from a culture that is based around group activity to one that is more individualistic. We don't have to directly deal with the repercussions of bad behavior in the same way that we would be exiled from a village 1000 years ago. We can just put on our headphones and pretend that person who needs a seat on the subway doesn't exist.Delete
I agree and have the same historical perspective. We used to need one another, and now we don't. (Or think we don't.)Delete
You are a doll, Ally... and a hottie in that outfit. Perfect for Date Night or Girls' Night Out!ReplyDelete
I don't have an answer for your question. It gets me depressed sometimes. I know that the people I admire the most and hold in high esteem are usually all kind and generous and have big hearts.ReplyDelete
Also, you look lovely :)
I couldn't agree more. When did it become acceptable to not have and/or use manners and common courtesy? I've raised my kids to be polite...they hold doors for people, say please/thank you, compliment others, etc. To me, that's just how it should be. It's always such a nice surprise to run into someone in public who still will hold a door or let you out in front of them in traffic. I still do these things even though it's not always reciprocated.ReplyDelete
I feel the exact same way, Debbie.Delete
Hi there Ally! I haven't seen your blog in ages now and I caught your comment and it brought back memories (of when I was still actively blogging)! I guess that's one of the many functions of commenting, right?ReplyDelete
Anyway, I so agree with you in the matter of mean and dishonest people. I just can't understand people who refuses to even smile to their waiters or to the cashier girl. When I was younger, I just thought that those people are having tough lives and tough times so their burden is heavy and all that. But as I'm growing up, the painful truth is that we all have burdens, even the waiters and the cashier girls!
I definitely think family culture really does matter, but as for grown ups, I think how they view the world and themselves is what really matters. I have parents who were rather cold to people who could be classified as the lower economic class but they were honest people. I decided to filter the good and throw out the bad. I decide to be as honest and nice as possible. I guess some people just don't filter out what they've been taught or maybe they never even thought about it.
Or, you know, they could just be bastards. Who knows?
Good observations. Happy to hear them. Welcome back!Delete
Nice photo Ally.ReplyDelete
I'm a new reader & was going through some of your recent blog posts when I stumbled on this one. It really spoke to me--I often wonder the same thing. I think it's actually harder to be mean than compassionate. The older I get the less time I have for mean people & drama & instead surround myself with love. I think I'm going to love stopping by here daily.ReplyDelete