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jenks
19-01-2005, 12:43 PM
before christmas there was some interesting stuff on here about whether we think about humans as pretty poor as a race but quite ok as individuals - reductive in the extreme , i know, but i want to quickly contextualise this.
during the holidays i got burgled - didn't take much, smashed up my door and filched my wife's purse. contrary to cliche i didn't feel invaded etc and am pretty stoic about the theft. however what has happened is that my once sunny disposition to 'strangers' in the street has been replaced by deep suspicion. in other words the thieves may have not stolen much in material terms but they appear to have stolen my good nature - i can't see someone i don't know in the street without casting glances (impugning them and their motives), as if a middle-englander has sprouted from my being fully formed, as if from nowhere.
i suppose the question is: does this matter? will it disappear? was i being foolish before hand? how does all this fit into a workable world view which up to now had been one based on all kinds of liberal notions?

infinite thought
19-01-2005, 02:44 PM
yeah, your good nature will come back whether you like it or not. It's physically quite difficult to live in a constant state of fear and suspicion (much as our dear leaders like to think otherwise).

I'm of the slightly naive view that all is not killing and eating when it comes to us hairless monkeys. Most of the time we live together not too badly, it's unusual for really bad things to happen, that's why murder and stuff gets reported. Imagine a world in which it wasn't and went on all the time as if 'natural'....eeek

egg
20-01-2005, 09:51 AM
before christmas there was some interesting stuff on here about whether we think about humans as pretty poor as a race but quite ok as individuals - reductive in the extreme , i know, but i want to quickly contextualise this.
during the holidays i got burgled - didn't take much, smashed up my door and filched my wife's purse. contrary to cliche i didn't feel invaded etc and am pretty stoic about the theft. however what has happened is that my once sunny disposition to 'strangers' in the street has been replaced by deep suspicion. in other words the thieves may have not stolen much in material terms but they appear to have stolen my good nature - i can't see someone i don't know in the street without casting glances (impugning them and their motives), as if a middle-englander has sprouted from my being fully formed, as if from nowhere.
i suppose the question is: does this matter? will it disappear? was i being foolish before hand? how does all this fit into a workable world view which up to now had been one based on all kinds of liberal notions?
humans are pack animals hence trust and the instinct to believe in an individual until they let you down are hardwired into us.

there are a few people around who live off that - but it is against human nature. the majority of people operate on the principle that they will be better off by being considerate of one another.

the qualifier to this, i think, is that you have circles of trusted people. around you at the centre are your family - that's the hardcore circle - then close friends, then outside that other people that you like but don't see much, then people in your community/ies, then probably some sort of regional or national allegiance, then everyone else.

so e.g. if someone is about to die of hunger in sudan (your outer circle) you will react differently (general concern) to the way you would if they were on your street (specific concern, might even help) or in your friends or family (feed them).

having been burgled, your family has been threatened and your natural reaction is to close ranks to protect it. so for a while your fear of others might increase. but in the longer term there is no logical reason for you to feel any different about humans as you did before.

in my opinion!

polystyle desu
20-01-2005, 09:52 PM
Hey Jenks
Sorry that happened ,
but what you are feeling now will almost surely pass .

And yeah, 'humans as pack animals' - very good point egg
You telescoped the whole thing well there

Some paranoia , suspicion , reframed view of people around your place
may be useful
maybe one of the people out there was checking you too ,
bk before Christmas