As a teacher, one of my favorite classroom rants is on the topic of hurting others for the sake of hurting others.
Once in a while I’ll hear someone discussing how a turtle was crossing the road so a student swerved his car off to the side of the road in order to crush the turtle.
This is apparently great entertainment for some. My ensuing classroom rant goes on and on discussing just how warped it is for some people to derive pleasure via the pain of other living creatures whether those creatures happen to be lower mammalian life forms or other human beings.
As usual, some get what I’m talking about and others just give me blank stares as I venture off into the statistics regarding how highly correlated cruelty to animals is with people who beat their spouses or become serial killers and all that good stuff.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a tree hugger. I eat meat. I don’t have a problem with hunters or farmers so don’t include me in that radical fringe PETA groupthink or anything.
Of course, cruelty to others is not something exclusive to high school students. I’ve run into plenty of adults who seem to derive pleasure from being cruel to other humans as well. Just simply ignoring the complete lack of moral development someone who calls himself an adult must have in order to find nothing better to do with his time than to try to create pain and havoc in a fellow human’s life…that type of thinking is so foreign to me….so unrecognizable as anything that could possibly serve to better one’s self…I don’t know. I guess it just amazes me.
Why would someone get up in the morning and decide they need to cause an innocent person pain or discomfort? Our time on this earth is so very short and we have so little time to try to achieve higher levels of thinking and achieve some sort of inner peace so we can grow as individuals and grow spiritually. Is it really that hard to recognize that time spent on such petty endeavors that are soley practiced in order to make someone else’s life less enjoyable does nothing, but set us back on our moral and emotional development?
I have hurt people in the past. There’s no doubt about that. Never intentionally. Not that intent necessarily gives me a pass on the amount of blame I should take for my actions, but unless outrightly attacked by someone else, I honestly cannot remember the last time I tried to inflict any kind of pain on another individual. I don’t see the point in doing it. I don’t see what I gain from doing it, so I don’t do it. I try very hard not to engage in thought processes and actions that do nothing to advance me as an individual, a father, a brother, a son…etc.
I’m nowhere near perfect, but it does occur to me that if more people on this earth spent more time in self-reflection and less time trying to lash out at others for real or perceived wrongs…or, in some cases, because the other has what he wants or, in other cases, for no reason whatsoever…well, this would just be a much better damn place to live wouldn’t it?
I just don’t know why it is so hard for people to “get” that.