Something that I was hoping would come out of the pandemic: the realization by humanity that we’re all being dicks to one another and since nobody themselves enjoys being treated badly, maybe it’s time to stop being dicks.
Something I’ve realized: no human likes being treated badly, but we all really enjoy acting like dicks.
Why? We all know the Golden Rule. We all understand that we personally like stuff such as kindness. Assistance. Compassion. Empathy.
You know, all that good stuff directed at us.
Why do we feel we deserve from the world what we refuse to offer it?
I’m going through a thing right now. My city duplex has had plumbing issues that our building powers-that-be slap temporary bandaids on. Now it’s come to a head and my upstairs neighbors have no hot water, no water pressure, and I who own the two lower levels have pretty darn constant sewage backups.
I’ve had to involve city, state, and federal entities because I own property that’s pretty unlivable with my-kid-the-minor involved and we’ve still gotta live there. Because the building managers and the HOA board don’t see it as the emergency health hazard it is.
Neighbors living in the same building have dangerous water and sewage issues and they don’t see the problem.
I tried. I tried asking how long they could hold out with those sorts of issues in their homes. I blow up their emails pretty much 24/7 so I have it all timestamped and official. I let them know my case numbers open with our city for health and sanitation violations. That my kid and my family and my neighbors are suffering. That we not only pay into immediate remediation of common element failures through our HOA fees, but we as individual homeowners can’t fix a shared building feature ourselves and we’re essentially being held hostage. By them. Now I’m annoying them apparently.
Why is this a mystery? Why do humans willfully ignore other people’s plights when they CAN help them? Why do humans not pause for one hot minute and ask themselves “hey, this would royally suck if it was happening to me and I have a little small power to help push for what’s right and legal and humane. I’m gonna choose to help”.
Why are we such dicks?
My own suspicion is this is simply a mind game we play with ourselves. Let’s call it Proof I’m Doing Better. PIDB for short.
We’re all so desperate for PIDB that we’ll stand by and watch other people suffer greatly, we’ll take their rights away, and we will not feel the empathy we’re supposed to feel as human beings. We’ll risk the other humans remembering what dicks we were to them so they won’t help us back when the shoe is on the other foot and we ourselves need THEIR help.
PIDB, that little mind game we play with ourselves. The tiny thrill we get when we see tangible proof we’re higher on the “doing great” ladder than the next guy.
This is a new thing at this current level. Because many of us are not doing great at all but the thrill of PIDB is addictive. When we’re all not doing great but still need our PIDB fix, we need to start searching for ways to get our feeling of choice. We’ll start just kicking folks while they’re down, just to fake that PIDB.
Making suffering humans suffer more is an easy way to get the fix without actually being great on our own merits. Taking human rights away. Taking away a gender’s ability to make their own decisions about their own bodies. Deciding LBGTQ folks can’t marry, then they can, then “we’ve gotta think about if your rights are more important than our comfort levels regarding relationships that have abso-fucking-lutely zero to do with our own daily lives”. Discussions on whether civil rights or teaching critical race theory makes us feel yucky or not.
We’re destroying our own selves.
It should not be the other humans’ choice whether we’re allowed to exist happily and peacefully. From the jagoffs from my building management/HOA all the way up to the federal government. It’s not up to us to build a system that requires everyone to walk or talk or think or feel one certain way, and to kiss the ring of the gentile/caucasian/hetero humans someone at some point decided was the human ideal.
There is no human ideal. There is no one way we “should” all be. Our job as humans on planet earth is to experience our lives…the joy, the suffering, the human condition. If we see another human suffering we’re supposed to help. If we see someone who really is doing great we’re supposed to celebrate their path and keep moving on our own. It’s not up to us to decide that this one can’t have hot water or that one can’t live their truth or that one has toooooo many rights and it looks like a dangerous threat to the whole Kiss The Ring scenario.
If we suck so badly that we have to make ourselves feel better by making other people feel worse, then we’re doing it wrong.
It’s the PIDB. We do suck so badly. We’re getting it so wrong that we need to get our cheap thrills off the backs of those who just need help, need their ability to live a life of peace, need a human right respected.
And the pandemic made it worse instead of better. We decided to just stay in our own corners, wanting OUR rights but not willing to acknowledge anybody else’s.
We’re doing it wrong.
What will it take for us to understand that we’re all different because we’re supposed to be? That we’re all walking our own paths and it’s supposed to be okay, not scary? That if we don’t like the looks of someone else’s path because it doesn’t jive with our beliefs or our tastes then we should keep our eyes on our own damn path and not worry about theirs if they’re not hurting anybody else?
And if we see somebody who needs our help where we can step in and assist? We’re supposed to freaking do it. Not bask in the fake glory of our PIDB when we’re really not doing great as well. We’re now just manufacturing that PIDB feeling by being dicks and enjoying seeing someone else suffer.
We’re not doing any better than those who suffer. We just happen to be in a more joyful place at that particular moment on our particular paths. Then we’re legitimately shocked when it’s our turn to suffer and everybody around us says “that one’s a dick who didn’t help me when I needed it. Screw that person”.
It’s a dirty loop that we created on our own. It’s systemic. It’ll take decades to get back to good. We like being dicks and fabricating that ol’ PIDB drug so much that it blinds us to our own damn reality of just being good humans to one another.
In my own personal suffering with my plumbing, I’ll undoubtedly win this battle. I have the law clearly on my side here. Will I have to take people to court to force them not to be dicks?
Probably. We’ve all dug a hole so deep with lack of compassion toward the other humans it’ll take a long time to see the light again. But it’s possible. Just like I had a hope at the beginning of the pandemic that being apart would somehow bring us closer together, I have a hope that someday we can realize that being dicks to one another means we all lose big at some point on our paths.
We’ll all lose trying to get our PIDB drug of choice. Our proof we’re doing better than the next guy. By any means necessary.