Selfishness

Those who have read back through the past rants on this site will have seen my musing on the former bastard-neighbour-from-hell.

I was reading the other day and found this:

Suffering and dissatisfaction come to humans because they are possessive, greedy and self-centred.

- Siddhartha Gautama – 6th century, BC

This got me thinking about the idiot neighbour. He of the “f*&^-you I like loud music so I’m going to blast you with it”.

This guy and his idiot wife were typical of the types of people who are self-centred, self-involved, and nasty. Every summer evening spent in a drunken session with their loud and obnoxious friends, they were trying too hard. Everything they did was a deliberate attempt to achieve two outcomes: one to seek self-gratification, the other to tell everybody else to get stuffed.

This seems to be very common – we live in a society that seems to have progressively placed more and more value on the individual. We don’t teach civics (or responsibilities to society) but everybody knows their own rights.

At the same time as descending into a pit of debt and consumption, many people try too hard – as if to say “I’m all right, I’m doing well, look at me.” It all comes undone in the end.

Is it really worth trying so hard to enjoy yourself? The old line about “party hard” springs to mind. There is much pleasure in simple things – sitting in the sun on a warm winters day, pruning fruit trees, sitting and talking quietly with friends. Or my favorite (perhaps because it is so hard to achieve) – anything done slowly and carefully, in peace, quiet and tranquility. These are no longer valued, in favour of noise, alcohol, and action. But which is better for the soul?

The idiot neighbour got his comeuppance. The wife was seeing somebody else, they divorced and the house was sold. That got them out of my way, but I wonder if they learned anything… Anything about humility, about thought for others, about valuing what you have…

Somehow I doubt it.

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