My Perception of People

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For the longest time, I had a view of people that we are all broken, flawed, and miserable. People are destined to fail at everything. There’s no hope to change any of it.

I don’t like that perspective, because it’s a negative perception of people. It assumes the worst in everyone, including myself. If I mess something up, it’s not because it was supposed to happen. Things just happen, often for reasons that aren’t readily apparent.

That said, I’m not in a rush to find some new dogma or doctrine to tell me what I should think of others. Not everyone is a paragon of virtue or an archetype of villainy. Sometimes people are simple, and sometimes they’re complicated, and sometimes they’re just pretending to be one or the other. People are not obvious creatures. How we present ourselves to the world is only one part of who we are.

What I want is to be able to look at things as they are, not as others might wish them to be. I don’t know all of what that means. Part of it is not wanting to assume the worst from people, or assume that they’ll let me down in a way that will hurt. Another part of it is wanting to see the actual best that people have to offer the world around them. I can’t do that if I’m focused on the negative parts of humanity.

3 thoughts on “My Perception of People

  1. Please do realize that “For the longest time, I had a view of people that we are all broken, flawed, and miserable. People are destined to fail at everything. There’s no hope to change any of it.” is a mindset that is promoted by religions. The basic lesson is, you need help and you cannot trust yourself to work your way out of it. (Christianity is both the disease and the cure, according to them, anyway.)

    This is hammered home: you are fallen, you are flawed, you are a miserable wretch (Look up the lyrics of Amazing Grace if you do not believe me.) And only we can help you with that.

    It was common practice in militaries of the somewhat recent past to train recruits by belittling them, explaining they didn’t know “shit from Shinola,” etc. Break down any self-esteem that had as a civilian because that didn’t matter. Only the self-esteem of being a soldier mattered, so they denigrated whatever you were (“Oh, lookee here, we got us a college boy!”) This was also the approach of the new age Erhard Seminars Training (EST). Break down all of the barriers so you can build anew. Of course, people with demolished self-esteem will believe almost anything to get back to some semblance of respect.

    So, in indoctrinating you, they were instilling this viewpoint in you, making you think it is your own.

    In my life, my overall perception of people is that they are basically honest, trustworthy people, worthy of respect. For example, I dropped my wallet on a street in San Francisco and then drove the 144 miles to my home. When I got home I got a phone call from the guy who found it and for the little cash I had in it, he mailed it back to me. He didn’t have to do that. I would have though twice about it, but would have, in the end, done the same.

    Neighbors help when asked and often volunteer to help you out even if you do not ask. A neighbor we didn’t even know plowed the snow on our very long driveway one day.

    It pisses me off to this day when I found out that the Bible was first written to justify the rule of a particular king/group of elites and as a matter of controlling the masses, included that if anything went well, it was a gift from god and if anything went wrong, it was due to a lack of belief and obedience to the will of god. Of course, the elites got to say what the will of god was.

    I am so sorry that you had to go through what you survived. I consider such indoctrinations as child abuse, but the religious excuse this because they were “saving you.” What they were saving you from was the religion itself, but they didn’t know that. They thought the disease was a cure.

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