compassion and not hating people

Humans have a habit of seeing things as cause and effect. You drop a dish, it will shatter. You close your eyes and wake up at a different time, you were asleep. You say something rude to person A and they are angry.

Emotions are wild entities because while they usually have some manner of correlation between cause and effect, the proportions don’t always fit like we want them too. When a person is under an incredible amount of stress, sometimes something as small as a sad puppy picture can make them cry. Furthermore, even when we know it’s selfish and unrealistic, we can find ourselves angry or frustrated that things don’t work out the way we want.

No human is the center of the universe, and yet getting that into our skulls is another matter entirely. We want things to go well, even when we realize that the bumps and swerves and mountains in the road are necessary to feel that things are going well.  It’s a dangerous habit to claim a thing is part of human nature, but it is easy to feel that we all want the best for ourselves, in some form.

I feel like the more I learn about humans, mistakes, crime, and every other bad thing we go through, the more I feel that we largely have a cooperation and interaction problem. Many, yet not all, diseases come from our inability to care for ourselves and others. Both psychological and physical problems we face are often the result of not having the necessary social support, whether that be financial, emotional, etc.

People lash out because they are hurt. It doesn’t mean they should have lashed out, it just explains why they did so.

When it comes to cause and effect, we can simplify the situation down too much. We can point to A, B, and C, but we might miss the emotional reality of a person altogether. It’s not so simple. Events and actions add up over time. Experiences can remind someone of another experience.

When we look at ourselves, we know how it feels to be in our own shoes. However, being compassionate toward others is important. Communication and balancing out complex interactions is a tightrope walk with the whole circus making a ruckus around you, and it’s a tightrope for everyone.

There are so many things we don’t know. Being loving towards both ourselves and others begins with realizing that. Everyone is doing the best they can, as messed up as they may end up. The only way any of us gets to something approximating normal is by depending on others and letting others depend on us.

pride?

Pride is a concept, but it is also a question. Some cultures have valued it more than others, but it has existed in practically, if not totally, in all. It is tied to dignity, as well as foolishness. Pride is a way of seeing yourself as set apart from others. When someone says they have to “maintain their pride”, it often relates to their moral character and values. So what is pride? Is it a love and distinction? Or is it holding values? Maybe is it a love of certain values that is set apart?

One interesting thing about pride however, is that it is almost always placed upon a concept. A people don’t necessarily love their nation, they love the idea of that nation, the feelings and stereotypical emblems of that place or people. Pride is based upon symbols, often a more idealistic view of what the true thing is. Therefore, however, pride is by nature always an overestimation or extreme version of reality. As data points in some hypothetical graph, you could narrow down all the points and times a parent and child interacted. You could take into account every variable! But the pride that parent has in their child is more than the sum it’s parts because it’s the emotional impact that really ties home the bond they share.

Emotions are hard to deal with. Pride is a question, because it usually doesn’t “feel” wrong. To some extent, it is healthy to love and hold loyalty to some concepts and values. However, pride is also dangerous because if you always keep comparing reality to the heady notions, there’s going to be a bit of a disconnect. You’ll miss the earth with your head in the clouds. People each have their own emotions and experiences, but what connects us is the nitty gritty, reality of existence. Losing the sight of other’s experiences, setting you and your own ideals too far apart, makes us dehumanize others.

Pride is a question, but it is also something that grows within us. Let’s just be sure to mind the garden, so that we can see other people and the value they have.