I find myself feeling like I must be missing something, like I must not realize what the thing is that propels people toward feelings of entitlement… Perhaps not the greatest term to use for it, though I’m short for the right word…
I can’t seem to stretch my mind to make any accommodation for it though, and I find myself enraged at the slightest signal of superiority in anyone’s actions. I have been told I have a problem with authority, but I don’t think that is to blame here. What chain of thoughts required to commit any hateful act toward another human truly eludes me. We hear these terms constantly- hate crimes, gay bashing, bullying- and people seem to roll on without the slightest notion that it may have something to do with them. It seems more and more these days, especially when there are reasons in the media for people to justify their own shortcomings, the innocent bystanders can be held liable and need to be shown why. When a hate crime is committed, an average parent or adult sees the news and thinks, “ugh, how terrible.” But then, they continue whatever default behavior is programmed within them. This default programming of people is where I think our concerns should be. We all can say, aloud, that it is “just terrible” when a hate crime is committed, but does anyone tell their child how to treat other people that they cannot automatically relate to? Those two words, programming and automatically, just grabbed my attention. Is it that people rely on their default principles for how they should treat one another? I don’t know that all people would consider themselves “principled” in the first place. It takes a second party opinion, or a purposeful self-awareness to even cite a difference between how people act and how they think they should act. Most people truly seem to REACT. Most people seem to have an opinion ready for when it can be dispelled, despite it’s actual cause or reason. It’s as if people maintain a core set of negative principles because when they concern themselves with having to deal with others they find unappealing in some regard, they have prepared a DEFENSE, despite the relevance of whether or not there is anyone on an OFFENSE. This defense, however, cannot be termed lightly and incorporated into our discussion without note. Defending is a reaction to offending. Now, can we say that people are truly offended by the way other people live, look, love, etc.? I think most people at first suggestion would quickly answer yes- it does seem to be the argument of the aggressors to say that the person whom they have chosen to oppress in some way has offended the aggressor by living outside of what the aggressor allows as “normal”. “Normal”- another terrible word consistently used to validate the delusions of closed-mindedness- a simple feeling rises when the term is used. Normal, not too much, not too little, assumed to be “what is expected”.
Can we not expect to be unable to relate to one another? Is it really a stretch of logic to simply say we don’t all understand everyone else? It seems like a redundant notion, but I think this is much further from people than they assume. As humans, we do not, at this time, possess the intellectual qualities to readily empathize with each other without any bonding actions. We can try, and we do, but the real fact is that we do not know each others’ minds. We do not know each others’ histories or experiences, our priorities or concerns, our motives or aspirations, we just do not. Opinions are always subject to their creators, and then subject again to those receiving. One person’s individual composition is very different from the next’s, and we all can find assurance in the fact that we do not know what the other is thinking, or where they may be from, or what their intentions are, etc. People can affirm this relinquishing of preconceived attitudes, or prejudices. People can say they understand we are all different. What people do not disturb in their own minds is their safety, their security, their understandings. To make an effort to open one’s mind in hopes of having a more tolerant understanding of someone else is a contradiction. There is no effort within a balance of insecurity that activates any intentions of opening one’s mind. Furthermore, there is no individual constant that proves any gratifying benefit of unhinging one’s security at the risk of having to tolerate more of what makes someone insecure in the first place. Many people can trace their principles backward and find justification in a previous experience, or in a learned behavior from a parent/guide/teacher. They seem to think that by following the backward logic of finding justifications for their actions, they can prove their defenses as valid, and that is only if they are pressed to make excuse. In a more honest example of behavior, all we do can be attributed to our learning. What must be questioned is our intentions. Do we intend to raise defense at what we do not understand? ABSOLUTELY- this is probably one of the most fundamental wrong-turns that people seem to accommodate. It has been completely supported, through religions, governments, education, and all else to reinforce the need for an abundant defense to ensure victory when engaged with what we do not understand. Even in the emotional awakenings of mass-destruction and loss, we are still only comforted by our intentions to prevent the pain from happening again, and seeking reparations for our losses. It is not generally popular, or even deemed allowable, to empathize with an assumed enemy because- they have already been assumed to be the enemy, and an enemy is a logical character in an example where there stands an insecurity, a lack of understanding, and a prepared and ready defense. The offense can only be an enemy, and we know exactly what people intend for enemies. Interesting that an intention is very clear at the point of conflict when the scene has been readied for destruction. If there is anything on Earth that humans can use to undoubtedly prove their reliability, it would be our incredible perseverance and boundless expansion toward resulting destruction. It does not seem like an easy notion to say I do not understand you, but I am confident I can refrain from hurting you because I know I am no better than you, but we seem to readily accept the notion that I do not understand you, and therefore must assume you are harmful and must be defended against and destructed.
Can it really be that we feel we are better than others? This is where I was reaching for the adjective to describe this behavior. Do people maintain a deep sense of entitlement, and find justification for it in the mistakes of the past? Would it not take as much effort to find a negative quality about someone as it would to find a positive quality? Perhaps not. Perhaps it has a similarity in our natural understanding of our own memories; why a complaint seems to shine louder than a compliment, why a severed relationship holds more emotion than a blooming relationship. Can we be so fragile that we cannot help but automatically set up defenses to prevent our having to endure any pain? We are the ranks of both sides. We are the oppressed and the oppressors. I feel it may be a problem in the mind that cannot shake itself loose from being misinterpreted.
What do we need to see this?