You probably know someone who is an asshole. Pardon the expression, it may be brutal, but it’s necessary. We all know one. It is said that there is one in every group. I have even heard the addendum that if you don’t think so, you’re probably it.
You’ve probably experienced this thought a time or two on your daily commute. “Wow, what an asshole!” This is usually in reference to the driver that rode your bumper, sped around you, cut you off and then slammed on his/her brakes upon realizing that you were going slow because of the people in front of you.
How about this one? You’re moving towards a line in the grocery store, you’re less than 3 feet away when…some cranky old lady decides to move from one line to your line because she’s afraid you might make it out of the store two nanoseconds before she does.
What about retail? Have you ever worked retail? If you have, perhaps you recognize this customer asshole. A customer calls to yell at you about <<insert policy here>> and you repeatedly inform them that unfortunately that’s the company’s policy and as you are an employee you have no power to change <<insert policy here>>. The customer proceeds to scream at you, ask for a manager, to which you reply calmly, “My manager is going to tell you the same thing I am telling you, as we are all bound by the corporate policies.” You hand the phone to the manager and the manager caves into the customer after 5 seconds of listening to them. Yep, that’s right. There are two assholes in this example.
“How many assholes do we have on this ship, anyway?” ~ Dark Helmet, Spaceballs
What about the person who walks past an African American teenager and edges away, averts their eyes as they try to stay as far away as possible? Because you know that teenager could be a dangerous “thug.” What about the person who walks past a homeless person begging for change and never makes eye contact, never responds when the homeless person says “good day” and then just pretends that the homeless person doesn’t exist? What about the person who says that homeless person should just “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” and thinks that they’re lazy and useless to society, without actually acknowledging the situations that brought them to the state of being homeless?
How about the person who claims they have the right to control what a woman does with her body? What about the politician who tells you how you should live your life? What about the person who says you’re wrong because the person you’re in love with is the same sex as you?
What about the person who tells you that your religion is wrong because theirs is different? The person who claims to be a Christian on Sunday and reports to Satan on Monday? What about the person who talks about how devout they are while hating everyone who isn’t like them?
What about the person who talks about their “rich people” problems to the people around them who aren’t as fortunate in their own lives? How about the person who smokes right outside the door to a building so that there’s no way to avoid smelling their filthy habit?
What about the person who complains that everyone else isn’t doing their fair share? What about the elected politicians who allow their opinions to be swayed by big business as opposed to those of the constituents? What happened to “We the People?” What about the people who sit idly by and make no effort to change this system? What about the people who sit on their pedestal and judge others for the money they make, the clothes they wear, the words they say, the way their pants droop, the bag of candy they carry, the baggy jeans, the ridiculous shades and the way they walk?
What about the guy who wrote this post? Man, what an asshole he must be. The truth is, there is something very wrong with the way our culture is. We have shows like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and America’s Got Talent teaching us that there’s always someone better and focusing on judging every single person with the guts to stand up and be who they dream of being.
Why is that?
Don’t say you don’t think you’re better than someone else. I know you’re thinking it. It seems to be human nature to measure ourselves in comparison to those around us. How else do we know how well we’re doing, if we don’t have a yardstick by which to measure?
Do you really need to measure against someone else in order to feel that you’ve done right by yourself? Truthfully, I don’t think you do. I think doing the right thing feels good. You know when you’ve done the right thing. You can just feel it, even if there’s a repercussion; you know that you’ve done the right thing.
I’m not here to tell you what the right thing is. I’m not here to preach, I’m just as guilty as everyone else. What I have hoped to accomplish in this post was simple. I want to draw your attention to the need for change in our culture. Our culture is poisoning us, our culture is leading to terrible television, subdued and depressed workforce, the inability to rise up and change for the better and something I dread more than anything, acceptance of this as the norm.