Saturday, September 29, 2007

Small-Mindedness, Pettiness, And Unkindness

Qualities that easily come to mind when thinking about human interaction.

Though one is confident that we try to avoid exhibiting them in the countless situations where we have to interact with our fellow humans, whether on a personal face-to-face basis or remotely like when writing.

But be that as it may, we still find ourselves falling into that undesirable rut, manifesting signs of being small-minded, petty, and unkind. It can’t be helped all the time. We are naturally slanted toward paying attention to interminable details and minutiae in our everyday workaday lives. We tend to be blinded by our self-righteous views of our own selves, giving way to unmindful neglect of the delicate feelings of others.

Still, we have to take that extra effort, lest it also infects the broader aspects of our lives that require us to be more open and tolerant to the larger realities around us.

I fear that this situation is quite widespread in the newest medium which have opened for us limitless access to the most numbers of people around the world, through their creative works or writings in the virtual library which is the Internet.

We are not only gregarious but socially competitive. Scoring points with others gives the animus and impetus to feel good about ourselves. Feeling justified and satisfied. That we are smart and can compete and fare well with similarly-blest individuals. We must confess we get some “kicks” going this way. But in the process, do we have to bring others down, so we can promote ourselves and our ideas? Thus, is it necessary to, say, bring the United States down because we want to promote the idea the we are just as good as them, in the areas of social mores, intelligence, politics, or what have you? Or, to namecall other persons who we find espousing ideas or publicly acting when perceived to be inferior to ours?

I specifically point as example to a well-read Philippine blog, who will only introduce any subject about the US, if in the process the country can be disparaged and portrayed in a bad light. Thus, while entries like this are far and in between, one can almost be sure that when the occasional entry involves the US, it will be because it can be parlayed as a shill piece invariably having the US come out as the unlovable villian, with the possible exception of entries involving Hollywood movies, which of course are US originated. Is it simply a manifestation of visceral hatred or dislike? Does a person harbor such unrelenting disdain for such a huge and diverse entity? Does such a one wake up in the morning, feeling cheery, generous, loving, etc. but at the same time concurrently harboring, however latently, this long-running disdain for a country so that when the opportunity and occasion align, another fusillade will be forthcoming?

I am not saying that this happens uniquely to this one individual, because I also witness this in others, who typically come out as very passionate and oozing with love for country, family, honor, and all the good stuff.

Is it possible then for such two irreconcilable extremes to co-exist in one mind or personality? Love wildly, but hate wildly, too?

This continues to baffle me. Not because I see myself as this pristine and could do no wrong storehouse of virtues and grace. But because, if as a transgressor myself I can see the falsehood of certain of my actions and am impelled when discovered to resolve to rectify and make amends, aren’t these same epiphanies shared by all of humanity?

Or is it simply, the case of the “square peg in the round hole”?