People aren't really bastards...

So, I’m sitting here in the sun watching the people go by on this fine winter’s day and I think to myself, “They’re not really bastards, they’re just… well… people. And Gods know, that’s bad enough.” I mean, you’d have to be pretty blind and stupid not to see the evidence every day of how humans treat their home. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, so dig another earth killing hole in the ground; the Amazon is burning, clear some more rainforest. Vote a giant, unhinged cheese doodle into the most powerful seat on the planet and, here in Australia, vote for the villains that have been committing unspeakable villainy despite the fact it’s led by a bible thumping lunatic with no policies. If I were an alien looking down from space, I’d be thinking, “Crikey, what a pack of dum-dums!” and then I’d just rock on by in favour of seeking out a species who thinks that burning their home to a cinder is just a not the greatest of ideas.

While these atrocities do keep me awake at night, today I’m thinking about how we, the normal, everyday Joe Citizens, treat each other. The past few months have tested my faith in humanity to say the least. I won’t go into details, the details are kind of incidental. But let’s just say I’ve experienced a wonderful little cocktail of disrespect and betrayal. Boo hoo, right? But, hey, I’m not alone. A woman gets evicted for no good reason and within days is fired a week before her six month mark. A dude learns his bud of many years is a terrible, predatory criminal. True stories.

Extreme cases, perhaps, but as sure as taxes and death, human beings will make your life a misery if you let them, and they won’t, for the most part, even realise they’re doing it. They’re just too damn self-absorbed. They’ll cut you off in traffic because they’re quite concerned about being three car lengths closer to their destination, and not concerned in the least for the heart attack they just gave you as well as an incurable dose the shits for the rest of your morning. They’ll shake your hand and smile while you speak at them, all the while waiting for their turn to speak right back at you. While talking shit about you behind your back, they’ll undermine your efforts and sacrifices, and take credit for your work.

But here’s the thing. They just can’t help it. People aren’t evil… well… most people. They’re just kind of ignorant. Everyone I’m looking at here in this nice cafe district is smiling in the sun, drinking overpriced coffee and eating smashed avocado. It’s the weekend, right? I should just lighten up a bit. Everyone’s being nice to each other while the world burns, and next week they’ll turn back into pricks in the traffic; backstabbing villains in the office; and disrespectful savages behind false, condescending smiles in the boardroom.

And what can you do about it? Nothing. There’s nothing to do. The thing to remember here is that it’s not personal, and the best you can do is look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say, “Well, I didn’t try to be a dick.”

Anthony Vercoe1 Comment