“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, better run, better run, outrun my gun,”
Reading an article on A Million Gods got me thinking about people and why we are the way we are.
There used to be a time when the incredulous stupidity of people astounded me. I would get all riled up, blog, speak out in protest and having that voice to be able to do so somehow made things a little bit more bearable. And when the incredulous stupidity of people remained the same, the passion for causes and recent events made me slightly bitter. I grew weary of racism, prejudice tired me, female oppression just made me sad. And when the political scene in Malaysia got unbearable to the point where people were silenced for speaking out, bloggers arrested, people with statements sent abroad to flee possible murder…
Well I grew quiet and I moved away. I came to England, established a new life and left a different one behind. I escaped my own version of oppression, I began to live. I spoke no more from the comforts of my room in a family full of traditionalism and faced the world on my own terms.
Seeing how people respond and react to a million different issues on just about anything has made me more tolerant. Instead of getting outraged, I adopt a more c’est la vie approach. The danger with that is eventually, you become a vessel filled with apathy. You care less.
Why? Because nothing changes. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough. Maybe during my breaks from medschool I should get involved in more causes. Maybe adopting a snow leopard will impact something in humanity. Maybe it’s fucking Maybelline.
The point is, reading back on posts on an old blog, I’ve realized something alarming. I am only 26 and riddled with cynicism and apathy. My friends joke about what a skeptic I am and how pessimistic I can be at times. No, I’m not depressed – well not anymore, anyway, I discovered Jaffa cakes!
But I am also more tolerant. I have begun to accept more and work around things better. I have stopped expecting from people and when people disappoint, well, c’est la vie.
I see the tolerance as a good thing. The world is riddled with people of different varieties. What makes me sad though is how the selfish and stupid variant seem to be on a rise. I see myself swimming in a sea of them looking for the right people. A lover once described meeting the right people as if you were lost at sea and you suddenly came across a boat. A boat floating at sea just like you.
A romantic way of looking at it but if only romanticism was what got us through life.
I may not have experienced a lot or been through horrors some people have. I see that it makes them better people after coming out of it or it just completely breaks them. I hope to never experience those horrors but I also hope to learn a little more about humanity and what compels our actions. How several boys can live with themselves after raping a young girl cruelly and leave her and her partner to die. How these boys derive pleasure from such an act and what were the sort of backgrounds these lads had. If they were mentally off and let loose on the public because of a society that’s refuses to acknowledge mental illness or if they were just plain malevolent beings that contributed to the word ‘psychopath’ being invented. What about the people who watched and refused to help because they were left nude? What do you think went through the minds of those people who let what is automatic for me to want to help them be overridden by the shame that they were nude? Why, is being nude so horrific that you’d let death claim the life of someone innocent? What sort of morality codes do these people live by?
In my experience with people, I have learnt that everyone has a different moral compass. And that everyone’s definition of what’s good and what’s bad differs. So here we are, in a world full of 60 billion people and more, with all of us living by our own moral codes. It’s mind-boggling! How do we ever come to some sort of uniformity that action A is definitely bad by everyone’s terms and action B something worse?
But surely, the act of something cruel sends shivers down just about everyone’s spines? Or does it not?
Curiosity and a longing to understand drives me to think about the people who don’t process things the way most do. There is a general consensus to what constitutes as evil and what doesn’t. And there is some kind of universal agreement that most people adhere to on those things. What compels the deviants to stray and what motivates them to justify their actions to themselves? (you know, apart from, well, the Law)
I’m sorry that a lot of people out there in the world have to undergo such terrific horrors due to what seems to be the stupidity and cruelty of others. I wish that I was in a position to be able to change things. And maybe some day I might be. But first, there are things that need to get done and people that need saving. Maybe once I’ve done this bit, I’ll be able to stretch my hands into something that can actually help change lives.
For now, I shall try to do whatever I can from where I’m at and hope to gods that apathy doesn’t consume me whole before that happens.
Or worse, the human nature that is, being selfish.