Who’s the Jerk?

There’s a saying that goes something like, “If you meet an asshole in the morning, you’ve met an asshole, but if you’ve been meeting assholes all day long, you’re the asshole.” It’s an interesting statement because it implies that there is no way that the majority of people in a given area or place can be assholes. It implies that if someone is dealing with obnoxious people all day long, then it must be their own fault. In other words, it’s saying that the world is fair and just. It’s a remarkable way to browbeat anyone who is having a bad day.

I’ve been thinking about that statement because I’ve been meeting assholes my entire life. I can count on my fingers the amount of people I’ve met who have been genuinely kind towards me, and it’s less than five, so I don’t even need both hands. The answer most people would give me, including therapists, is that I am the problem. That I am either acting or behaving in some way which causes people to do the things they do around me, or that I am simply perceiving people to be worse than they actually are. This seems to be the answer given to most people who are unhappy with life, if you’re depressed you are mentally ill, because to believe that things are bad is in itself apparently bad according to the world. The world thinks that it’s wonderful, God believes that he is good, and most people are subservient to either the world or God.

There’s no way to get people angrier than to just complain. It doesn’t even really matter what you’re complaining about, you can be negative towards society, towards individuals, towards religion, or towards art, the problem is that you’re being negative at all. I’m starting to think that this is proof of the unity of existence. We are all in some way the same thing. We are connected to such an extent, that to criticize anything is to criticize everything. If you say that things could be better, you are saying that things are bad, and that means you’re saying that everyone on Earth is to blame, because we are the stewards of this planet, and no one wants to be told they suck at their job. So someone hears you say, “This movie blows” and what they’re really hearing is, “I think you blow.” Even if you’re criticizing a stranger that they never met, they may identify with some small features of your description of this stranger. To call out the jerks, is to be seen as the real jerk.

This raises a question, who is the non-jerk? Who is the human being who is the most praised? What does a guy gotta do to be loved? And the answer is that you have to appear to love everyone, even the haters. Can you think of anyone who did that? Can you think of a guy who sounds anything like that? Someone who was willing to sacrifice himself for other people, even the ones who do nothing but sin? Yeah, you can probably think of that guy. And no one can live up to the standard of that guy, even two thousand years later. But still, that’s the way to try to go if you wanna be loved.

There’s a disconnect however, because that guy, the non-jerk, I don’t like him. The guy that everyone should love by this logic I’ve been going through, I kind of hate him. Despite the fact that he apparently loves me. Why would that be, though, why would I dislike this guy? My first attempt at answering would be to say I hate him because he loves people who do evil things, and if he loves me at the same time he loves those who do evil, then his love is worthless, because I hate those who do evil. But if we’re all connected and everything, does that mean I hate myself? Is that really what this is all about, self-hatred? I don’t think so. I think that’s a trick. I think the real truth is, I’m not part of the all. Everything is connected, except for me. I exist outside. And because of that, I will never be able to effectively communicate with anyone who is inside.

In the eyes of the world, I could definitely see how that makes me the jerk.

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