“As a connoisseur of human folly, I would have thought you impatient to be savoring these delights.”
“Of some delights, sir, I believe a little goes a long way.”
– Pride and Prejudice, 1995
You may not believe it, ducklings, from all of my snarkiness and eyebrow lifting, but I really do like people. I enjoy meeting people and making friends. And I’m often deeply impressed at the heights human nature can climb to. Alternatively, I’m often deeply annoyed by how low some people can sink.
My trouble is (as per usual) that I work at a police department, the nature of which means that at least 50% of the people coming through our doors are in some sort of trouble. The other 50% have caused some sort of trouble, and so don’t help my attitude.
Here’s my beef. I have discovered, through 2+ years of observation of this sort of thing, that it is extremely easy to be a fairly good person. No, really. It’s a piece of cake! Don’t take what’s yours, don’t say what isn’t true, don’t go out of your way to be obnoxious, and have some sort of basic theoretical understanding that your actions affect others. It really is that simple. You may still get a little moody, you may still tell the occasional exaggerated story, you may still have a no-good-very-bad-day when the universe conspires against you and you lash out, but to all intents and purposes you will be a Decent Human Being.
And yet, in spite of the simplicity of this solution, there seems to be whole hordes of people incapable of being Decent Human Beings. They are determined to be jerks.
Take for instance the late incident of a man whose daughter got into a minor car accident with a foreigner. The daughter gave false/faulty insurance information and when the foreigner, who assumed the error was his, asked politely for the correct information, Daddy told him a series of lies about insurance in America, and ordered him not to contact his daughter again. All to keep from reporting his daughter at fault in the accident, apparently.
Or the various attempts to hit others with their cars recently.
All entirely avoidable! See? Jerks.