The “State of Nature”. According to some of the great Philosophers (notably Hobbes, Locke and Rosseau) all mankind share very similar traits in this state; however they differ with regard to the severity and certainly in their recommendations on how we successfully move out of this stage. But this is not a Monday morning Philosophy lesson geared at testing your familiarity with the ‘thinkers’; this is much simpler, citing only one point they all agree on. So, call it ‘Philosophy for Dummies’.
Human beings are singularly self-interested. They said it, now I parrot both the statement and the sentiment behind it. And the truth is there is so very much evidence to support this theory that it can ill be disproved! When given the choice between doing something that solely and greatly benefits someone else or doing something where the benefit to oneself is marginal at best, most choose the latter. It has gotten to the point where one would be wise to wait for a bit after being presented with the so-called gift of complimentary words or spectacular deeds, for the true motive behind same to present itself. And, it always does.
It is becoming a very telling and disturbing testament how far down the pole of (intended) human decency we are allowing ourselves to slide. The comfort with which we are moving through life, flitting from one direction to the next without objective or conscience, a sense of cooperation or morality, is frankly quite appalling. The blatant disregard for our fellow human beings must stop! And, not only when it affects us; not only when it looks cool to add our names and voices to a protest or a FB outrage!
Here’s the thing: the seemingly little things we do at home or on the street or at work – those little things that we think no one sees or that if they do, they merit minimally – those things are the things that point out your potential – your potential to do the bigger things; your potential as an asshole. Seriously. When your actions are dictated by self-interest, you place your needs and desires above all else; above everyone else. You determine that the other person is of lesser value – their needs subordinate to yours. My initial question is, “how dare you”? Who are you to infringe on someone else’s right to, well, anything? Just as I make room for you in the world, so too are you to do the same for me. And, not only when people are looking.
Rosseau, unlike the others believes that no man should be ruled by tyranny; we should all be guided by our own sense of morality. I agree with him; but to both him and myself I loudly say: “good fucking luck with that”! I firmly believe that if one has to be told to behave and constantly watched, the moment eyes are off of them they will revert to being who they truly are. You know – being faithful because your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner is always at your side (cock/pussy-blocking) vs. being faithful because your sense of morality and decency dictate that you do. That learned man and I believe that we should inhabit a world comprised of the latter.
Sometimes when I am very quiet, I think of the people around me and I realize how many, when given the opportunity to be bigger than they are, continue to remain small. I recognize that for so many, it is difficult to constantly do the right thing; because as I have said before, that requires both a decision and a commitment. People, look at all the foolishness happening around us: school shootings, terrorists (but, that may be redundant), abuse of any kind, diseases, wars – all of these started with a mere decision – someone, somewhere thought it was a great idea to indulge themselves; to exercise their will, desire and domination over someone else.
I’m tired. I will not be that girl that signs a petition or waxes eloquently on FB about the latest headliner; I will continue to be the woman that fights for what happens right here – in my home and yours; because that’s where (disregard, impatience, disrespect, humiliation, victimization, dominance, disgust) it starts.