Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On the Human Nature

On the highway of life, the secret of smooth riding is to avoid the potholes.

Long time ago I had a friend that was really bad with money.
He couldn’t hold a job for more than six month, was always involved in some get rich over night scam, never paid his bills in time and always got in trouble with the banks.
One month, as usually, he was late in paying his rent and was facing eviction.
He asked me to lend him 300 $dollars until next day and some how I couldn’t say no.
Well, guess what? I never saw my money back.
My question was not why he didn’t pay back his debt – that was his nature.
He did the same thing with every person he came in contact with – but why all the people got suckered in to give him money? Why somebody like me who thinks of myself as pretty rational man, did not see it coming?

At about the same time I started dating a very nice girl. Her best friend had a very nasty gossiping habit and I was quite shocked when my girlfriend started telling her very intimate tidbits of our personal life. I told her:
- Don’t do that! She is a gossiper and she will take that information and spread it around.
- No, she wouldn’t do that. She is my best friend. She replayed.
Well, guess what? She did just that.

So what is the moral of all this?
It looks like all of us have some sort of a soft spot, a built in gullibility I would say.
We all like to believe that we are pretty special and that we deserved to be treated differently.
We believe that we can change the people around us, especially the people we like.
We get emotionally involved with those people and it becomes very difficult to see when we are suckered in. At the same time if we are not emotionally involved, it is much easier for us to see the true nature of other people.
The truth is that people cannot change their nature. A liar will be always a liar, even if he tells the truth when it is in his advantage. A cheater is a cheater an ass hole is an ass hole as well as a nice person is a nice person.
If we could step outside of the emotional involvement and look at the true nature of our friends, relatives coworkers or other people involved in our lives we would avoid a lot of bad surprises.
Only if that would as easy to do as it is to say it…


This Brazen Teacher said...

This makes the fable of your last point very accessible. I agree with your examples- and remember times when people did things according to their characters- and still shocked me anyway.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that people can't change though. Otherwise- I should just give up the good fight and go move in with my parents or sell my soul to a rich husband- because I live paycheck to paycheck.

What do you think?

Buddha said...

You can't do it. It is not your nature - the rich guy thing - but
moving with your parents might not be such a bad idea. I don't have suficient knowledge to give you a definitive answer but my philosophy: Better to be pulled by your dreams than be pushed by your bills.
Good luck to you!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I'm not sure i agree that it's because we believe we will be treated differently - i think it comes down to a desire to believe that the people around us are deep-down good, despite the evidence to the contrary. A kind of bloody minded optimism perhaps?

On a further note to this and the last post about nature - and from a philisophical point of view: you state people can't change, and yet you have clearly studies religion or are religious yourself - so do you not believe in Redemption?

One of the central concepts of Christianity is Jesus saying "He who believeth in me shall enter the gates of Heaven" - he didn't put a caveat on that saying "only if you were never bad"

And surely Bhuddism is based around the idea that the deeds of this life affect the next and so on - so we work towards improvement?

My problem with the above is this: in England we had a series of really nasty child murders in the 1960s known as The Moors Murders. One of the murderers, Myra Hindley, turned to God whilst in prison. According to Christianity if she truly accepted God into her heart then she was cleansed of that sin...

Do you want to spend eternity in paradise with that kind of person?

Buddha said...

@ Pixie - I will have to write a post about your comment since it is a longer and more complicated issue to be clarified in a comment.

Bhing said...

Very interesting.. I can relate! After reading it, i started to reflect my life.. And the answer to my questions are "hurt" .. I mean, I agree with what you said.. We, human, really want to be treated special.. So when we treat a person with so much love and importance and the return was not the way we expected, worst if it is below the belt.. it really comes to a point that we feel hurt.. Because we are emotionally inclined to them that we easily affected with all the things that are happening..