I spent a couple of hours with some young people this weekend and it got me thinking.
That statement is significant. The drug infusion didn’t go very well because someone screwed up and ended up giving me an overdose that left me puking my guts out for nearly three days. So being able to be outside my dark room and off my bathroom floor was pretty cool.
Then the really cool peeps I ended up spending time with in the name of ‘training’, happened to be very young. Maybe not young in experience but anyone on the -23 range counts as young to me these days. I feel old most of the times these days. Go to the gym and the young lady on the treadmill next to me hits 12 speed while I’m huffing at 6. Go to the supermarket and the kind till person smiles, ‘Hello mum, do you have a loyalty card?’ Okay, fine, I’m exaggerating. But I do have lotsa white hairs.
As to the thinking…
Anyway, the youth in the really cool peeps was evident in their ability to express ideas with such enthusiasm and hope, I found myself feeling a little peeved with myself for being so negative about some things. Sighed several times, ‘To be young again!’
One of the conversations we had was on the increase of narcissistic obsession. It’s all about me, I, mine… We are so focused on what’s good for me. Some schools of thought encourage psychopathic arrogance. You don’t have to be nice, just be good at what you do. Nice guys finish last. etc etc
Then we are shocked when killers kill – they are good at what they do, and definitely not nice about it. #Gaza #Westgate #Mpeketoni #Ukraine The Twitter hashtags abound to prove my point.
Look around you. How much narcissism do you see? Look at yourself. How many times do you put your needs ahead of the safety and well-being of others? In the way you drive, the way you grow the food you sell to consumers, the reports you hand in that affect that company you work for that supports 40 -100 employees, the policies you support, the politics you stand with…
Enthusiasm only comes in when I’ll be getting my way and gaining a lot from it. Hope is almost non-existent because I’m double sure my next door neighbour has just about the same amount of ill-will towards me as I have towards him.
I look at the people I work with and sometimes I am simply amazed by the sheer amount of politicking and scheming going on. What happened to doing your best and getting ahead by merit? Everyone assumes the other is out to get them and you’ve got an endless cycle of show downs. It generally exhausts me so I keep finding myself zoning people out and focusing on tasks, which isn’t easy because I have to pretend I’m working with a bunch of difficult AI. Reboot! Edit code!
I’ve caught myself saying more than once that I can’t deal with humans. Repeated the joke: “I used to be a people person, but people ruined it.” I hear my own narcissism in that.
I’ve watched with amusement as feminists and pseudo-feminists react to a certain ‘young lady’s’ articles on societal issues. A few years ago, I listened with amusement as people harped about the content of a certain radio presenter’s show. There was even talk – in both cases – of impressionable youth adopting the teachings perpetuated by these persons. Haaaarrr!
1. Words only have as much power as YOU give them. Emotionally/verbally abusive relationships destroy the victim only as long as the victim needs and seeks validation from the abuser.
2. Bad behaviour ignored, good behaviour rewarded. This kindergaten principle doesn’t always work, but it would definitely work if bad online behaviour was denied airtime/airplay and better /more useful content promoted. It isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
3. Humans have stopped thinking for themselves and will simply adopt other people’s thoughts. People go with the popular opinion.
I watched an Indian acquaintance declare that if you worked with Israelis, you would understand why Hitler threw them into the gas chambers. I wondered if he had even paused to consider what he was endorsing. I personally know a Kikuyu man who cheered at the brutal murder of an old Indian couple, because some other Indians he worked for were cruel employees. I bet you can add to these stories here.
We just don’t see each other as human beings. Africans see whites and either assume that all whites have money and ‘can help’ or that all whites have a ‘white-saviour complex’ or that all whites are racist pigs. The people from the other side either see ‘lazy niggers’, ‘what a gifted young man from Africa’, or ‘you are from Kenya, I have a friend in Nigeria, do you know him?’ Christian Kenyans see Muslim terrorists. Muslim Kenyans see hateful Christians. Kikuyu. Luo. Israeli. Palestinian. Just depends on which holy war you are fighting.
Like, I said, spending time with hopeful enthusiastic young people got me thinking. I didn’t say I found a solution. I don’t have a solution. But I know who does.
In the meantime, I’ll pop another pill and get me some sleep.