Name one thing about human nature that puzzles you.
There is one thing that puzzles me.
Why do people not take responsibility for themselves?
I believe I have mentioned this before, but it is because I do not understand it.
To me it seems so very simple.
One controls one's arms and legs.
One controls one's words and what one says.
Yet people's grasp of these simple facts cause them to fool themselves and to try to convince others of their inner deceptions with perfect conviction.
You hear people 'apologise,' "I'm sorry. But. I had to, you made me, it made me so angry, I forgot..."
You hear people say, "I wish I were different, that I could do..., that I could keep from..."
You hear people say, "I didn't want to do it, but I couldn't help myself, I couldn't stop myself."
You hear people say, "I don't like myself."
People apologise, yet they do not say they are sorry. They try to convince those they have wronged that they were right to act badly. And they themselves are already convinced. If they are apologising for insult, often they repeat it in their frantic and attempts to look as if they had done nothing wrong. They explain they were driven to act with dishonour. They often again blame the person to whom they are apologising, while divesting themselves of responsibility. I say, 'I stand by my words and actions.' But I mean something else. I mean I did intend them at the time. I take full responsibility for them; use them and learn from them perhaps, but they are mine. Perhaps I will judge they were mistakes. Perhaps then I will apologise. But that apology will be sincere.
People do not like the way they are, and do not like what they do. Yet they continue to do it. I hardly even know what I can say about this. It is beyond my comprehension utterly and alien to me. If you do not want to do something, why do not do it! If you do not like the way you are, why be some other way! They look at accomplished people and wish for their abilities. They do not really wish for the skills, or they would be working towards them. Why do they say these things and even more, why do they think them? People admit character faults - they regret being lazy, for instance, but they do not take up industry. They regret drinking, yet continue to drink, saying this occasionally with a full glass in hand. They buy things recklessly, frivolously, saying they really shouldn't. Even worse, people abuse others and say they wish they did not, yet they continue. How can they do this? Again - they are not sorry, truly, or they would not do the things they regret. Why the compulsion to fool themselves? I suppose they try to convince others because they have deluded themselves, but the contradictions seem so simple and linear. I cannot understand it.
True, there is occasional compulsion. Perhaps man can resist only to a certain point of literal pain, as in the case of torture. That is one thing. Perhaps there is the most unlikely chance that one's hand is seized in a grip beyond one's force to break and one's fingers are forced around a gun, and one's finger squeezed past the trigger's static point, so one's hand shoots one's comrade. Perhaps one is drugged against one's will and performs despicable acts in a dream. Well, in that case, one is conversely not responsible. But up to that very point, one is. Perhaps one drugged oneself. In that case one brought himself to an irresponsible state and is therefore responsible. Perhaps a literal gun is held to your head, or to the head of one's friend. Perhaps one is asked to perform a despicable act or die, or to allow a despicable act or see one's friend die. Then it is a choice of evils. And, in fact, a gun may misfire, a nervous villain may miss his aim. I am sure this knowledge does not make a decision easier to bear. One must still live with one's choice, if one lives - accept that one values one's safety or survival, or that of one's friend, above one's principles. This is another exception, albeit a hard one. But occasionally, men are forced at gunpoint to dig their own graves. How can that be? "Dig your grave, or we will shoot you." Do these words not suggest they will be shot in any case? If one is not prepared to lose one's life, one may be bribed with its very continuance. I am free of that. But what if one values the life of one's friend? I have acted with what speed and decision I could bring to bear, taking the chance of unreliable villains.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 806
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Nulli Virtute Secundus