In order to facilitate things for ourselves, we usually end up making things more difficult for others. For example, parking in the most obnoxious of places, simply for the sake of being closer to our destination: on the pavements, sidewalks, in front of entrances/exits, around turns, in the middle of the street. Simply anywhere that will best serve our needs. Failing to realize, however, that this ease of ours makes life all the more difficult for the rest.
Selflessness is a rare characteristic in our times. And it seems all people care about is how to best serve themselves, above and beyond others, and even at the expense of others. Fighting like hunters over food, the need to contend with others for commodities has become so embedded in daily routines, that this is how society now learns to behave. Skirmishing over even insignificant matters. Simply for the desire to show superiority over others. The motto that rules the day thus is “live and let die – as long as I’m fine, who cares about others”.
In an evolving world, instead of coming closer together we are drifting further apart. Societies are becoming all the more uncivilised and the rule of the jungle is reapplied. Survival of the fittest. Perhaps that is the reason why reality-shows monitoring each and every minute in the lives of enclosed contestants record such high viewings. People want to see what others do and find every bit of excuse to make fun of, condemn, criticize. Altruism and generosity are terms relatively unbeknown to society. Yet, when it comes to giving money to charities and other fundraisers, everybody is more than willing to show their philanthropist nature. Most, gaining on the side by the publicity and exposure they receive on account of it.
Even in supermarkets, with hundreds of products in line available to all, we witness trolleys crashing into each other, carelessly left here and there, while their owners run back and forth picking up things and moving them around, as if it is a contest to be won. And in the eyes of an independent observer, (for example KD who also told me of this), until all of these people actually pay at the cashier, they haven’t really bought anything; they’re simply shifting things around! And even left abandoned for the supermarket employees to re-arrange. At times it seems like even shopping is becoming a competition. Who will shop more, the more expensive products, the more exquisite wines, the more extraordinary food. Everything is becoming a matter of showcase.
And all that is linked to the ego – the “I” or self of any person. The essence of what builds up or tears down a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Yet, there is a difference to being confident and being overconfident. The first implies feeling self-assured, while the latter insinuates a taste of egotism – selfishness that reveals itself in trying to appear better, smarter and dominant to all others. And thus leads to the belief that “I’d better look out for myself first, because no-one else will do it for me”. It is sad that in the 21st century people still behave in such conceited and egotistical ways, ignoring or simply not caring that in a democratic and contemporary society uniting forces would actually facilitate everyone’s lives and improve everything for the better. If we would all simply help each other and follow those simple principles upon which society was based, life would be much more stress-free indeed.