The Cowards Paradox

The moment happens. And it happens faster than your brain can give you a reason to react. You stand there, immobile, whilst consequence and repercussion do a merry jig. When you realise you did nothing, the justification process kicks in. Who says we lack the survival instinct?

And so you run through the gamut of reasons it was probably wiser to do nothing. It’s none of you affair, if you did intervene you would only make things worse etc etc ad infinitum. And if you look at it from an objective point of view, you probably did the right thing. Unreasonable people don’t usually perform a sudden 180 when taken to task, and they’d probably only have made life more difficult for the victim.

We’re not talking witnessing a rape or a murder here, but those daily instances where pseudo-entitlement allows certain people to believe they have unspoken authority over the lives of those they deem as subservient.

And if you haven’t guessed, you is me.

And sometimes I just wish that the moment was all that mattered, so when it looks like a dick and quacks like a dick, you can call it exactly that. With the moment in question, I know that if I’d done just that, he would have taken it out on someone else because he has no authority over me, but is that really a good enough reason for inaction?

I don’t know. What do you think? It’s easy to denounce injustice and to believe that you will stand up for what’s right every time, but when it actually plays out in front of you……..well, nothing is ever black and white.

So how do we stop it then? How do we stop this ridiculous notion that one person can have jurisdiction over another simply because they believe they have a higher status or because they earn more money?

I see a man who lives, alone, in a huge four-bedroom house. High ceilings and fantastic views and rim-flow pool. He’s yelling at the maid, who probably lives with her family in a shack the size of his en-suite bathroom, to polish the tiles around the swimming pool properly. And don’t tell me the wheel turns or that judgement awaits in the afterlife. The wheel has already turned, and given him an 18yr-old son who cannot look after himself and a 3yr-old son who he seems incapable of being a proper father to, but he hasn’t seemed to notice. And even if he did, he’d have his car and his house and his room full of cds to console him.

I just don’t know anymore.


~ by tenmiles on March 30, 2007.

3 Responses to “The Cowards Paradox”

  1. You’ve said it yourself, if you had’ve interfered it probably would have made things worse.
    But in my long spell on this planet I have come to the conclusion that people are shite. Individuals can be wonderful and all, but in general you shouldn’t expect much from people.

    As for stopping that, I don’t think you can stop one person from treating another that way, you simply have to deal and move on. What was it yer wan Rooseveldt said, that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent? I’d agree with that, but at the same time, it isn’t all that hard to make someone feel inferior, because we depend so much on other people for our own self-image, but you can learn to ignore it, and to know that the person thinking he is better than you is nothing in the grand scheme of things, and while you might want to respond sometimes it is better to just nod your head, pretend to agree and then go your own way in the end.

  2. “O, it is excellent to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant … ”

    “Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
    Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
    ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed .. ”

    Willy Shakespeare says it all, does he not? “Othello” and “Measure for measure”. Mantra 1# applies. And often because that’s not always as easily said as done, so does 2#. And that sounds flippant and callous, but it’s not meant to. Sometimes life hands us lemons. It’s up to us to make the lemonade *sigh* 😦

  3. There is no accounting for other people. Often I think we freeze in the moment and don’t know what to do because a part of us knows that whatever we say or do just won’t matter one bit to that person, that they will never, EVER ‘get’ it. If that happens, we have to take a big hit in realizing that people have the ability to be everything we despise. And we, being the ‘people’ that we are, fit into that category. It means that in that split second we realize that by saying something, we are placing part of ourselves in the same category. Unnerving, disturbing, and something most of us would like to avoid in most cases. I, for one, am not a fan of having my weaknesses pointed out. You can expend every last bit of energy trying to get them to ‘see the light’, but to no avail. Humans do what they want, when they want. They say humans have the ability to reason, which puts us up higher on the evolutionary chain. I say there is a flaw in someone’s thinking. You have a good heart, but cannot balance all the world’s ills. It will take too great a toll. Teach by example. And if that doesn’t work, you can always call me to kick a few arses; I never staked any claim on the evolutionary chain. (Oh, ahem, and it’s *ducks* that quack, innit?) 😉

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