My step-father used to be sick all the time, and would complain about loudly, making it the excuse for everything he did, or didn’t, do. But whenever anyone else was sick or hurt, he’d tell them it was in their head, that they wanted to be sick, because they didn’t want to work, and that’s why he was never sick. He kept that opinion until the day he died, succumbing to mental illness, several strokes, and a collapsed lung. Now, if you’re anything like me, a story like that might make you think, “Good, that’s what he gets.” But then your second thought is, “What kind of an arrogant, uncaring, self-absorbed creep thinks that, just because they’ve tricked themselves into believing something crazy, that they have the right to judge other people by it?”
The answer to that question, of course, is “everyone”. Sure, we’re not all whopping bastards like my step-dad, but we’re all still perfectly capable of deluding ourselves into believing we’re better people than we are, with more positive attributes than we may ever have. Very creative, if I do say so myself, but rather than using these vast powers of imagination for everyone else, the rest of the world can apparently get bent, because we’re even more likely to hold up our delusions about ourselves as the standard by which we coldly judge everyone around us. I’ve known fat people who were told by even fatter people that they’re fat, and that they need to do something about it. My mother’s boss is one of the most childish, lazy, idiotic, moody, misanthropic dicks I’ve ever met, who is thoroughly convinced that he is mature, a people-person, ward-working, nice, and, most importantly, normal. In the majority even, as if that described the majority of people. And he loves to laugh at the people who work for him, for not being more like this ideal of himself he’s so enamored with.
Yes, I know a lot of creeps.
When I was a teenager, I was suicidally depressed. Since I was a bit preoccupied with the roller coaster of my emotional hell, I didn’t care if other people found out I was sad, and, naturally, there were people who immediately looked down on me for being depressed. Most of those people were at least twice my age, and every one of them made a cherished hobby of bitching and blubbering about their lives — their children, their spouses, their jobs, their parents, their finances, their friends, anything they could think of, and would either lose their tempers, or break down in tears, at the drop of a hat. They seemed like basket cases with no emotional control, but they just loved telling me that the only reason I felt depressed was because I wanted to, and that I was just feeling sorry for myself. That I enjoyed it. And that I just needed to think myself happy, like they did! Because everyone has a social responsibility to suck it up. Now listen to them moan about how hard their lives are for four hours and then call it church.
One of these church-goers was my mother, a very mean woman, who told me that it was just a teen phase, she went through the same thing when she was my age, and that she got over it quickly, all by herself, with way more to deal with in her life than I ever had. Like others, she also said I was faking for sympathy, as if that was something available in our house. Or town. She even put me on medication, then for a while afterward reacted to every disagreement we had by asking me if I “took my pill,” and tried to convince me the only reason they weren’t working was because “you have to keep taking them for a long time before you get results.” It was a brand of anti-depressant that later became famous for driving people to suicide.
Many years later, Mom decided that she was suddenly suicidally depressed. Forget all that phase/faking stuff, this was real! She would cry about it to anything that stood still long enough, and whenever she went to me about it, I, like the angel that I am, proceeded to parrot back to her all the cruel, heartless, insensitive, insultingly condescending BS she used on me, in a “What’s irony?” tone that suggested I believed what I was saying. I figured that she was either a). actually depressed and that this was a really evil way to get back at her, or more likely, she was b). faking so everyone would feel sorry for her, and deserved to find out just how kind and sympathetic people are when they hear you’re suicidal.
They just raised me right, didn’t they?
Anyways, I could go on with examples from my own life, as I’m sure you could, too, but it would get really redundant. Also, I’m sure there are some people who have stories that I come off really bad in, so this would be the time to wrap things up. There are very few things you can get done through sheer will-power, but I think one we should all give a spin is doing our very best not to use ourselves as a basis to judge other people by. Just because we think we’re more mature, work harder, have more self-control, do more important things, are more skilled and talented, are nicer, or just plain look better than other people, doesn’t mean it’s true. And even if it was true, it doesn’t mean we’re not arrogant assholes.
And is that really better? Would you rather be the biggest creep on the planet, that no one can stand to be around, because your such a self-important prick who’s completely in love with yourself, and who looks down on everyone else because of some undeserved self-esteem no one knows how the hell you came by, because at least you don’t like Twilight?
Well, maybe that’s not the best example….