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When trying to be a good person makes you a bad person...

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posted on Nov, 10 2014 @ 11:39 PM
I need to vent a little if I may...

Up until the age of around 20 or so I was a dick. I was a bully, selfish, inconsiderate. I thought I was too cool for school, knew it all - by my own admission I thought I was smarter than the average person. I was a moron.

I say "was" when a more appropriate word would perhaps be "am", maybe I'm still an moron.

Does being hateful make me an moron? If it does then I still am one. I saw a girl cross the road the other day - I was on the bus, she on her phone and has earphones in and was staring intently at the display on her life-support unit...sorry, phone...she was staring at her phone and smiling from ear to ear. Living the dream I guess...the dream to be constantly and continually happy and entertained, that's what I see now. Everywhere I look I see people striving to attain a perpetual state of entertainment like it's all that matters.

A taxi almost hit her...and she didn't even notice, carried on walking and smiling...or maybe she did notice but cared not. For a brief second I found myself almost wishing she'd been hit, I scolded myself for being so mean but found myself have this internal debate. 20 years ago I'd have laughed if some idiot gawping at a phone were to be hit by a car due to their inability to be mindful of where they are and what they're doing...10 years ago I'd have felt pity and I'm back to where I was, sort of torn between the me of 20 years ago and the me of 10 years ago...I'm a sort of hybrid of both mindsets.

I guess you could say I've come full circle. What changed 20 years ago?

Like I said, I was a dick. I got pleasure out of hurting people, physically as well as mentally. I can't account for that and won't even try to justify who or what I was, but came a period of self realisation where I really started to reflect on what I was and the notion of karma - what goes around come around hit me like a sledgehammer. I started to make positive changes in my life, I was still a teenager - maybe I was simply growing up. This whole period was born out of isolation, I spent a lot of time alone and had time to reflect on who I was and what I'd been, and how I could change and be a more positive person.

My life back then was about me, my leisure and my happiness and the constant pursuit of it. I came to realise that self-discipline was more important than languishing in front of a tv screen stuffing my face, or getting drunk and having fruitless sexual encounters every weekend. That suffering in some small way or abstaining from the pleasures of the flesh, those things that can corrupt the mind - was a good thing. I became interested in education, learning about subjects that once bored me, learning became my drug of choice. It was a period of self improvement and I don't regret that at all, I genuinely feel it made me a better person - the short version of the story is this - had I not reached that point in my life back then and continued on the road I was on, this thread wouldn't have been written, in fact I probably wouldn't even know ATS existed...there's a reasonable chance I'd be dead and that's not an exaggeration.

To me, I was becoming a better person, isn't that progress? I became more tolerant, avoided conflict, became more mindful of the situations I got myself into and the company I kept. But, maybe most importantly, I came to realise that I won't always be happy or comfortable, that hardship can actually be a good thing.

But now, I'm older still and starting to think I was naive. My ill behaviour was inexcusable, this was something I came to realise on my own and felt the better person for it. I think it's important for someone to analyse themselves and be honest with themself about who they are and what they're becoming...having at least some foresight to see where you're headed and making the right choices.

So, why the internal conflict now?

What happened 10 or so years ago that changed me? So much has happened and the more I observe the world and people around me the angrier and more irritated and hateful I become. I can relate so many incidents from the last 10 years that made me genuinely want to smack someone about the face.

Now I think...I, like the majority was a dog in the proverbial dog-eat-dog world, then I became a ####

I lived life as a #### for a while and realised that #### get chewed up and spit out by the other dogs, the ones who lack the ability to see themselves for what they really are.

I'm surrounded by people who are exactly the thing I tried not to be, and it would seem their ability to check their impetus and take appropriate action is non-existant...which leaves people like me in a vulnerable position. In essence I feel I've no choice but to play their game.

Life isn't about being constantly happy, entertained. If someone gets smacked by a car while watching netflix then that's Darwinism at work right there.

It's tough when you're at odds with the world around you, it's a little tougher when you're at odds with yourself - it's a state of mind I'm none too comfortable with. Does anyone else feel like this?

If that girl got hit by that cab I don't think I'd have felt pity...that's not the person who I wanted or tried to be but it's the person I'm becoming. One part of me is telling me I'm callous, the other that I'm righteous, people are responsible for themselves.

But ultimately - the overriding thought is this...if she'd got hit by that car, how would she feel as she lay there, possibly dying in the street, while the crowds gathered and filmed the scene so they could "share" that s**t on facebook so as to "entertain" their friends?

That's the ultimate irony right there - it's one of my biggest fears right now, that I'll suffer a terrible accident, and instead of help I'll be the subject of some amateur film that's shared for entertainments sake...and it's that thought that leads me to my conclusion...I've come full circle and rightfully so.

I keep finding myself more and more hating people for the things they say and do. I've a friend who's a single mother, she whines about how she just wants the best for her kids but her actions say otherwise - her kids are raised by technology - x-boxes and phones - while she whinges on facebook about how the handouts she receives aren't enough and the only thing that matters to her are her kids, blah, blah. And often I want to slap her and tell her it's her own fault, then I tell myself I'm being a dick and say nothing.

I have a friend who continues to live with a woman who has cheated on him several times because he can't stand the thought of being single...and he had the audacity to criticise me for still being single in my late 30's...and seemed totally confused when I explained that I'd not yet met a woman who I wanted to spend my life with. So he constantly whinges and complains about how his woman invites her old friends over for a drink and party while he's at work, worrying...constantly phoning her, checking up on her - it doesn't work but he's so desperate to have that someone in his life he'll suffer that, and he thinks I'm the weirdo. And I want to slap him and tell him to be a man and have some self-respect...but I don't, because it's at odds with the man I wanted or tried to be.

I once dated a girl and found out she was seeing her ex behind my back, when I confronted her she basically told he we were both her f*** buddies - and acted like I was the one with
edit on Tue Nov 11 2014 by DontTreadOnMe because: Community Announcement re: Decorum

posted on Nov, 10 2014 @ 11:45 PM
a reply to: samerulesapply

You know you're rant is epic when you run out of space...continued:

I once dated a girl and found out she was seeing her ex behind my back, when I confronted her she basically told he we were both her f*** buddies - and acted like I was the one with the problem because I didn't want to share her with another's these people and these things that have added to my accumulating bitterness over the years. I tried to be a good person but it's hard when the people around you are so self-obsessed and apparently have no morals or self-respect...I could go on but shan't.

So...I'm open to judgement on this regard as I can't quite conclude where I stand on this one, I can't judge myself here as I'm constantly leaping from one side to the next. I don't think I'm a bad person, I'm not blinded by bloodlust or the desire to see people suffer at all, but at the same time there's that voice telling me that lessons must be learnt or things will simply continue to deteriorate...but in order for lessons to be extrapolated by those the lessons are pertinent to they have to pay attention and reflect...and I don't think the majority of people will do that. And until they do so, I'm stuck in limbo, trying to be a better person but always being clawed back into that old, hateful way of thinking.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 12:06 AM
a reply to: samerulesapply

I would say worry more about how you treat others and less about your internal dialogue. If that girl got hit by a car and you thought inside that she deserved it that's perfectly normal, if a bit cynical. If you called 911 that's the right thing to do. If you just pulled out your phone to tape it that's not really so great. If you laughed at her and called her a stupid bitch that's pretty low.

In other words try to be a decent person. That doesn't mean thinking pure, innocent, happy thoughts all day. Those kinds of people are a bit insane in my opinion. The world isn't a place full of constant happiness. Just try to live by your own morality, which hopefully is based on some degree of the Golden Rule. No one expects perfection from anyone else, nor should they expect it from themselves.

Balance in all things is the way to go. Don't be like your friend the doormat and let people get away with body murder. Martyrs only get respect if they are martyrs for a just cause. On the more obvious end of the spectrum, don't stab the ho for cheating

Hopefully that made sense. I'm not the best at transmitting life advice in short, text format :p

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 12:11 AM
a reply to: tavi45

It makes perfect sense, maybe I judge myself too much.

I never really thought of it that way, I know I'm not perfect but maybe I expect I should be or have tried to be, and failed.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 12:46 AM
One day I decided I didn't want to be a jerk any more. Once I started to achieve that goal I realized as I became kinder and more loving that jerks were everywhere all the time. Everywhere I look people are just derping around paying attention to nothing except technology and themselves. Blatant disregard to actions or others on a wide spread scale. Because of this I don't like public much. I also imagine smacking people for their embarrassing constant selfishness. My neighbor laughed hysterically the other day when my wife dropped her groceries everywhere. And like you I am starting to lose my sympathy. I don't wish bad things on others and I still want to try and be a good person but if something happens to someone and they were a selfish jerk then I don't really feel sorry. I know I should and I want to feel sorry, but I don't. There are still some truly decent people in the world but all I see is my grandma hungry and only my wife and I help, mother in law is very sick and kids and husband don't care at all, sister getting a divorce from abusive sphincter, brother is in rehab, and on and on. The drama never ends and it is almost all avoidable rampant acts of selfishness. Don't stop trying to be decent. Don't become one of the chodes that make life annoying as hell everywhere you go. It can be hard to contain the anger sometimes but don't let go. If you don't stop trying to be better and I don't stop trying to be better than we can both rest knowing that there is at least one other person out there worth not punching in the face.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 01:11 AM
a reply to: samerulesapply

There is no ideal. As long as you are trying to better yourself (again there's no grading rubric for life, you have to decide what a better you is like) and not harming others (obviously if you see some dude steal sometimes purse you can tackle him :p ) it's all good.

Your doormat friend should not be getting brownie points for being nice, hes just stupid. Alternatively and more obviously the bully or asshole gets no points either.

It's all about balance. My story is the opposite of yours. I was the doormat. I'm still incredibly nice and tolerant but I no longer let people use me or get away with compete bs. I'm not a dick now nor do I want to be.

Long story short you shouldn't revert to being an asshole but neither should you think you need to be some Buddhist vegan pacifist

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 01:13 AM
a reply to: lysacid

Well said sir. No one said being the "better man" is an easy or materially rewarding part. If you do it right though you end up more fulfilled.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 02:43 AM
a reply to: samerulesapply

Simplicity is elegance, and in this situation I believe that what you need to do is remember the simple method for getting through life. Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated.

Although the sentence itself is simple, it is also elegant, because it communicates a great deal with very little preamble. If you were hit by a car, or had something fall on your leg, you would not want to become the star of an impromptu medical drama shot by an idiot, who should have been using their phone to summon aid.

Similarly, if you were caught out and nearly hit by a car, then wouldn't you want someone to let you know, rather than to have people shake their heads, grin sarcastically, and move on? It happens every day after all, someone is always seconds from calamity somewhere. At the end of the day, all we ever have control over in this life, is our own actions, our own intent. If you make sure that these things live up to your expectations of yourself, and you can look at them objectively and be content with your performance according to your criteria, then that has value in and of itself.

It can be hard to achieve, but easy things are very rarely worth doing!

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 03:36 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

"It can be hard to achieve, but easy things are very rarely worth doing!"

Sage advice sir. I'm constantly reminded from reading, watching movies or tv, listening to music, talking to people, and other mediums, the same thing I figured out many years ago. All the answers are out there already. All the wisdom and knowledge to create utopia already exists. Many people have figured it out long ago and they became the well known historical figures like MLK or Gandhi. Someday we'll all have it figured out.

OP, you can be part of the great change. Be the best version of you that you can be. Don't let those obnoxious bastards you run into in life get you down

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 05:01 AM
a reply to: samerulesapply

I enjoyed your rant very articulate and well written. It sounds to me like you have fallen into the 'judgement' habit. You turned the spotlight on yourself and made the changes you felt were needed, and darn it, no one else did. Try flipping it over, look for the positives in every situation, including yourself. None of us 'pass inspection'. All of us need acceptance and validation. Also try to make new friends you can respect, ones who aren't complaining all the time. Don't expect the new ones to be without flaws.

You will be ok. Your discomfort means you are working on the problem, take hope. Meanwhile here is a song for you, a bit tongue in cheek.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 05:32 AM
One of the things I have found is that while I am trying to learn something new, and working hard on self discipline, determining what is right or wrong to do, I also get very judgmental of others at the same time.

Whether it is a new sport, a new hobby, a new job- it is a stage which I go through. Then I watch others go through it when they are "newbs"- as soon as they start to get down the basics, and feel they have a grasp on things, they suddenly start getting really caught up in noticing everyone elses shortcomings or mistakes. It can get obsessive at times!

What I pulled from your rant sounds like you have gotten the bases of respect for others, and that is what calls you to focus on the ways others around you haven't.

This stage is especially a problem for this particular discipline- working on being conscious of others and non-judgmental clashes with this!

I guess what I can say my message is- you sound normal, you sound like a good person. But no one is perfect, and there is no such thing as perfect. And you will find that some of the things you learned you must not do ever- well, never say never.

There are things you must learn to not let fly thoughtlessly, but a time comes when you can let them go thoughtfully.
Self mastership is not self suppression. All behaviors are relative to context. Even things like aggression and hostility have their appropriate moments!

In most disciplines I have learned, I came to a point (after the "look at them - they are doing it all wrong" stage) then came one where I finally saw that there were things my masters told me at first to NEVER EVER do....but then they confide- well, yes, sometimes you DO have to do this. But you were not far enough along back then to tell the difference. Now you can. At that point I can usually see why they tell beginners to just not do it all.

"Knowing the difference", is really that eye of the needle, that is so hard to stay on top of. It is a constant effort, which requires a lot of quiet reception, observation, listening... before the mind puts in it's two cents.

It also requires you being less hard on yourself. You have described how far you have come, and you know that intimately, you are basically good. So let up on the pressure a bit. Accept that at times, you might have less than ideal behaviors or thoughts.

I am willing to guarantee that as soon as you are more compassionate towards yourself, you will find a higher level of comfort around others, even with all their shortcomings.

Or maybe this is way off.. if so, leave it aside. But know it is offered with good will, if nothing else!

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:21 AM
Shadow cannot exist without light/light cannot exist without shadow.

The body cannot exist without the mind/the mind cannot exist without the body.

Man woman, love hate, right wrong.

Balancing these dualities is a constant dance we perform in our lives.

Maybe accepting these dualities would bring us greater peace of mind.

I don't know, I struggle with it also.

Thanks for sharing samerulesapply.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:34 AM
a reply to: tavi45

Well thats just it tavi45. I do not believe that utopia is the aim. I believe that the key to living is, to do so the best way you can, despite there being no hope of ever being a part of utopia, or any lifestyle which is similar to it in aspect. What meaning would it have otherwise?

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:56 AM
I don`t feel anger or bitterness towards other people when they do dumb things. I feel pity for them because they just don`t know any better.
Materialistic people think that the things they buy and own can bring them constant happiness, and I pity them.

I feel sorry for angry,bitter, mean people because obviously they aren`t happy,they are completely lost in their search for happiness.

The search for Pleasure and happiness is what motivates all people but many people are so lost and misguided in their search that it saddens me to see them chasing their own tails.

People don`t start out in life making a choice to be miserable they become miserable because they just don`t know how to find happiness, and that saddens me.

people need to stop creating expectations for happiness based on what society and their friends tell them happiness should be and how to obtain it.
people need to enlighten themselves and only then will they be able to obtain true happiness for them individually.

One of my neighbors acts like a jackass all the time but I don`t have any bitterness or hard feelings towards him. I know that he only acts like that because he`s not happy and doesn`t know how to find happiness.He is addicted to prescription drugs, I suspect he uses those drugs to gain a little temporary fake happiness since he has failed to find real happiness.
I`m sure that when he was little he didn`t make the choice to fail at finding happiness, he just doesn`t know how to find`s sad to think that he may be incapable of enlightenment and learning what will make him happy.

I`ve learned to find happiness in the littlest things,like just sitting out side on a nice fall day like today.
listening to the fog horn at the harbor,the smell of the dried leaves,watching a bug makes it way carefully up the side of the porch rail.
It`s humbling to realize that the world has been here long before I got here and will be here long after I`m gone.The leaves will still dry up and fall to the ground in autum,bugs will still do there thing, long after I`m gone.
it makes me happy that I had the chance to be here, if only for a little while, to watch that bug and smell the leaves.

posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 05:19 PM
a reply to: samerulesapply

Mr OP.....are you me? Reading your post relates to me WORD for WORD! Even living the '#### life'! Which i do think can make how we are worse.
edit on Tue Nov 11 2014 by DontTreadOnMe because: Community Announcement re: Decorum

posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 05:46 AM
a reply to: samerulesapply

You sound perfectly normal. You can have all types of thoughts run through your mind.... this is not sin and/or wrong UNTIL you act them out.

Everyone of us have crazy and foolish thoughts and that is all they are .....foolish thoughts, ones that we do not follow up on. Stay on guard and protect yourself from acting out any foolish thought.

Don't forget that all thoughts inside your head do not come from you............thoughts can and are generated from outside one's mind.

Temptation can be a bitch.

posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 10:56 PM
Thanks, guys - genuinely appreciate the responses.

Maybe I'm a bit harsh on myself sometimes, I was hacked off the other night about a couple of things and wanted to let off a bit of steam, quite cathartic.

The thing that bugs me isn't that I think people are really dumb as such, more oblivious and/or/ignorant. Most have the mental capacity to be at least a little more sensible but don't care enough to try or deliberately decide not to bother trying, I don't know. When I was a kid things like basic road safety were discussed a lot, we were always being on tv, in school, always being told to look left, look right, don't go with strangers, don't walk across iced lakes.. all that stuff, I even remember an ad advising the public not to swim after having eaten a meal!

I want to go off into a tangent about creepy old 70's and 80's public information and safety adverts now, I'll resist the temptation but feel free to do so if you think it'd be amusing - I do but I'm lazy.

People know what they're doing, some seem to think they're invincible or special. Another incident that comes to mind happened in Edinburgh city centre on a night out...I was outside a pub with some mates, busy night was a Friday or Saturday night and we were at the corner smoking. These lads were coming towards us down the high street, they had to cross at a junction to reach us and the roads were still quite busy, one was swaggering in front proper Liam Gallagher style...zoned out, just walking, kinda blank look on his face. Kinda like Richard Ashcroft in that Bittersweet Symphony video but less cool.

We watched him step onto the road, he didn't even turn his head, his mates were shouting to him to be careful and a car had to brake to avoid hitting him...he strutted across the road like he was the terminator, ignoring the irate driver who was screaming out of his window ...badass, it was humorous to a bunch of drunk lads like me and my mates but still idiotic. To us back then this was quite a novelty, we all laughed, not something we'd see every day and we were younger and more impressionable.

But this stuff seems more common nowadays, everyone's badass and gangsta. My friend who someone said is a doormat...and yes, he is, and I've said exactly that to him and more - thinks he's gangsta. But I know him better than that. The girl, who just wanted an f***buffy, for me to share her, thought she was a celebrity, Linsey Lohan or something I don't know. At the time I was quite into her, but looking back...the usual crap, sort of stuff she'd say - I just want to have fun! I'm just being me! Just doing what I do! Sort of thing you'd expect from Paris Hilton. I know more girls like her now than I did back then, they're a lot more common, I mostly blame television and modern music.

It's more prevalent now than ever, strange times. Everyone's got multicoloured hair and is something or other, be it emo or vampire, there's a guy I work with who seems to think he's Cloud from the Final Fantasy 7 game for playstation...or he's trying to look like a manga dude, that ain't normal. The amount of tortured souls and bleeding heart artists I see on a regular city centre night out has increased immeasurably over the last 10 years or so.

I remember being quite narcissistic, maybe I still am from time to time but I dion't feel particularly special or entitled, if anything I've probably still some accumulated bad karma to burn off, what goes in must come out.

I just realised that this response is more of a rant than the OP, I do apologise! More cathartic indulgence on my part, perhaps.

Still, cheers for the responses guys, grateful as ever and enjoyed reading over them.
edit on 12-11-2014 by samerulesapply because: (no reason given)

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