I don’t understand the cruelty in people

acts of kindness

I don’t understand the cruelty in people.

I read a few days ago an article that said that 1 in 3 adults are depressed or anxious because of the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the mental health of the average US citizen was questionable. So why are we making it more difficult for people?

acts of kindness
acts of kindness

Why can’t we just treat others with kindness all the time instead of asking them to jump through meaningless hoops that don’t serve anyone? For example, millions of people are without jobs and on government support. In the recession of 2009, I lost my job too along with lots of other IT people and I was forced to go on support. It was a humiliating experience. Not only was the process unnecessarily complex but just like the DMV the government workers’ attitude was terrible. I understand compassion fatigue. When you are supposed to be compassionate you can’t be that way all the time. However, if you feel you are burning out, take a vacation or support those employees properly so they can help others.

What I see in every aspect of US culture is a basic lack of trying to help others and more often “testing” people to see how much they will put up with before it becomes a problem. Health care for example is a game of gotcha where insurance companies, doctors, and the entire medical establishment play games with people’s lives. I believe we should have universal healthcare and there is no limit on the benefits. Yes, some people will abuse it but this is the price we pay to help those who are the most vulnerable in the system.

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Everyday lives are lost when the fear of someone getting undeserved benefits triumphs over the ability to care for people. We see in this pandemic that minorities and the less wealthy are more affected by this. As always the poor suffer while the rich get by relatively unscathed. Why do we allow this? What possible thing besides greed could answer why we value money more than human life?

We suffer from a lack of empathy, and a tribalism that says that if our group isn’t benefited then we will do whatever it takes to make sure they get benefits. How can we last as a society when all our actions are dictated by self-interest? We can’t last. Society has existed because as important as individual choice and rights are, the collective is important as well. It is not easy balancing those interests, but they have to be done.

Every time people pursue their own self-interest without regard for others, they suffer. There is no long-term future for society in which everyone pursues their self-interest without regard for others. It isn’t logical, and it isn’t human. Self-interest is a cancer cell that kills the body. It consumes without regard and kills because it doesn’t realize the greater context.

Please consider others in your choices, not just what is best for you or your tribe.