I have to admit, I was a naive kid. I believed anything people told me, as long as they managed to keep a straight face. And if someone told me something so ridiculous that it contradicted everything I knew, I would be confused for days trying to figure it out. My dad used to say; you better get tough or else you will be taken advantage of.
And I did stop believing everything at face value. Not because I believe people are trying to take advantage of me. No, it’s because I know that we can feel completely certain about something that is completely false.
Not saying there aren’t any people that try to take advantage. The vast majority is only trying to help, at most trying to make a joke. But that notion of having to be tough or getting eaten is worth taking a look at.
It’s kind of like a self fulfilling prophecy. The people who already believe it act tough, and the ones who don’t will only need a small nudge to believe it too. The evidence is clearly given by the people acting tough.
But is it really true?
Do people only respect each other because of the threat of retribution or violence? And that can be both from a person or from the government.
Well, I would like to make the case that it’s not true. I know, I know, there are lot’s of people treating each other in a terrible way.
But that is actually part of my evidence to the contrary. We all grow up in a world with strong ideas of justice, revenge, strength, abuse, etc. All these ideas are build on the idea that people don’t respect each other by nature but need an additional reason for it. Given the huge odds stacked against truly respectful behavior, it’s astonishing that there are still so many acts of kindness. The only explanation can be that we are inherently driven to respect and love each other.
Hope you enjoyed my ramblings, talk soon