Fahckmylife's Blog
Crap adult, OK human.

If only I had a gun…. Empathy, or a lack thereof…


I sat in the A & E with my mother the other day for 4 hours and a terrible thought occurred to me.  Well, it wasn’t that this thought had never occurred to me  before but I could completely articulate it.  People are soooo selfish and self absorbed with their super important problems.  It was probably when a lady on a lot of cocaine and ecstasy was coming down screaming in a room off the side of where I was with my mother and other very sick people that I really could put words to it.  This lady was obviously still somewhat out of her face, and was one of several people on drugs who kicked off while up to ten other very ill and worried people listened to her shout and kick chairs around demanding to be seen in a completely understaffed hospital.  Why did she think she could get to the top of the queue?  Why did she think that her needs superseded the needs of the others in the waiting room, who had all been waiting for several hours (some up to 36 hours) to be seen by a doctor?  Why?  I asked myself this over and over again.  You know why?  Because she and the others after her who threw spoiled brat fits believed that their problems were the most important in the world and that they are entitled to whatever they see fit.

Let’s face it – most people are selfish.  Whether we know it or not we all are – obviously to varying degrees.  What this boils down to, I think anyway, is a lack of empathy.  The inability of most people to acknowledge , either willingly or unwillingly, the feelings or impact of their actions on others.  Just because you do something unwittingly it does not mean that you are free from blame either.  In fact, it shows an even more inherent sense of self-centredness where others do not even factor into your plans.  In fact, deliberately lacking empathy seems to me a much more respectable route to go.  Being a deliberate asshole is much better than not realising how self-interested you are.  To argue that you did not realise what your actions (or inaction) would have negative  consequences for people other than yourself indicates a high level of self absorption.  When you never consider others you run the risk of becoming an out and out prick who only assesses things in terms of how you relate to them.  This is probably a central reason for my anger.

Whether these actions are conscious or subconscious I think that people need to know a few facts to themselves.  Now, I’m not saying that I’m an authority on this but these are things that I think people need to consider.  Obviously I don’t think everyone is a complete bastard and that we should all become completely altruistic individuals (who the fuck wants to do that?) but these are important things to note when contemplating the results of your actions on a wider scale.

You are not the centre of the universe (You do not automatically deserve to be at the top of a queue, etc.).

Everything is a two way street (There is give and take with everything).

People will not clean up your mess, or at least shouldn’t have to (this is both literal and figurative).

Being drunk is not an adequate excuse for 95% of things.  Being drunk makes you more likely to do things you want to sober but would be too scared to.

You are just another person and no matter what you may think about you or your time are not worth any more than anyone else’s.

Things cannot always be your way.  You cannot and should not try to control everything.

You are not entitled to anything.  You cannot operate under the assumption that you deserve anything more than what you have. 

Some of the things that I have noticed that people do are tiny BUT I totally believe that they are indicative of a larger sense of egotism.  Take for example the old woman that skips you in the queue for a bus that you actually waited in line for.  She might be old but she is a bitch with no consideration for anyone but herself.  Also the person who parks across two parking spaces.  The person in the shop who shouts at staff and screams demands at staff.  The person who lets a door slam in your face when you’re carrying coffees.  The person who doesn’t clean up after themselves in your work canteen.  That guy who doesn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom.  Or that girl that takes your seat even though your stuff is on it and you just went to get a glass of water and doesn’t offer to give it back to you on your return.  The woman on a packed bus who has her stuff on the seat beside her.  The skangers playing music on their phones.  All these people, whether they know it or not, are selfish dicks.  I can nearly guarantee you that in other real life situations on a larger scale that these people are mean and lack empathy for others.  Maybe not completely, but they definitely are incapable of, or have difficulty, recognising the needs of others.  In a slightly hypocritical way, which I mean goes against the entire point of this blog, I wish I had a shotgun to undertake some kind of maverick justice on all their asses, but that would mean I think I’m better than them.

There are loads of other things that I can add to that list but I think these are some good fundamental rules of interaction.  You see when we lose sight of our empathy we lose sight of other people’s humanity.  They cease to be real or human, at least if our selfishness is subconscious.  If it is deliberate, you are simply a mean person.  You have already decided that people aren’t worth it unless they are useful to you for a time and then instantly disposable. You have somehow managed to kill something inside yourself that holds any optimism for the future.  This makes you a sociopath or (best case scenario) a very cold person.  I know we should look out for ourselves first, a rule that I have only really employed in the last few years, but purposefully lacking empathy, or supressing it and acting like a dick, does not make for a good person.  It’s not only destructive to others but also to yourself and could possibly lead to a very flat two dimensional life.

I know I give out about the impending decline of humanity but if more people thought about others in terms of how they feel I probably wouldn’t be so angry.  The world would be a better place with contempt reserved for politicians, serial killers and the police.   If people considered each other with respect and as equals there would be no war, or social injustice, or poverty.  Obviously that’s on a grander scale but if empathy is something that we can employ in our everyday lives I firmly believe that it will gradually bleed out into things on a grander scale.  And if that isn’t true, or not going to happen, well then we might as well just all kill ourselves now.  So maybe that’s another possibility for a use of a gun right there.





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