Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how egotistical we are as human beings. I think most, if not all, of us have at some point wondered “how will this affect me?” before we decide to do something for someone else. I think that most of that comes from how we were raised. It’s like when you were in school when there was that one person or group of people who ruin something for everyone else. For example, my senior year I had to go to Saturday school and it was around Christmas time so instead of doing pointless packet work we got to decorate the cafeteria…of course, the people in Saturday school are there for a reason and I should have known that it was too good to be true; so one of the kids was dicking around and ended up breaking an ornament and we had to go back to copying a packet word for word. That’s what’s happened to our society; there’s a small percentage of people who like to make people’s lives miserable and be assholes. That means that we start to question people’s motives; we don’t know if we should help someone because we don’t know if they’re being genuine.
I don’t want anyone who reads this to think that I’m sitting here not including myself in this critique; this seriously happens to me at least once a week. I’ll drive by someone who’s obviously having car trouble or needs some help, but I don’t ever stop. I’m either on my way to work or it’s nighttime and I have to question whether or not it’s in my best interest to stop. For instance, the other night I was driving home from class and a woman was walking alongside the road with a bag in her hand and as I passed she stuck her thumb out. A large part of me wanted to stop, but then everything I’ve ever been taught fought against it. Seriously, just take a minute and think about everything you’ve ever been told about situations like that. I don’t think I’ve ever once been told that I should stop; it’s always something along the lines of “they could murder, kidnap, or rape you.” So of course I drive on past her and tell myself that she could have had someone waiting with her so they could rob me or do something heinous. Of course, then you think later on how ridiculous that seems, but then what happens if you choose not to follow those warnings? What if that one time is the one time you shouldn’t have stopped? The same goes for donating money; is it legitimate or is this some scam I’m being tricked into? How about giving a homeless person spare change; what if they just take that money and spend it on drugs and alcohol?
I think it’s sad that this is what it’s all come down to, but it becomes necessary in the type of world we now live in. Why are there people in the world who have to be wholly evil and ruin our idea of what’s good and right in the world? They ruin that image for all of us. Now children are taught about stranger danger and how to protect themselves at such a young age. Is it unfortunate? Yes, but I can’t sit here and say that it isn’t necessary. It’s a sad, sad world we live in. I don’t think it will change in my lifetime, but one can only hope.