Our Little Idiosyncrasies…

Take What You Need

I was greeted this morning by a video someone shared.  It’s a bit long, but it makes a point.

The narrator, with a fine British accent, includes a clip from the movie Good Will Hunting in his video, starring Robin Williams and Matt Damon.  The clip features a scene where Williams, portraying a psychiatrist, talks about his deceased wife, and how he treasures the memory of her little idiosyncrasies.  It’s a touching vignette for anyone who has lost a loved one to death.  But the whole point of this longish video is how narcissists / psychopaths / pick-your-favorite-label lack compassion.

I was reminded of the adverts that appeared regularly on TV in England, asking support for starving children in Africa.  This is not one of them, but it conveys the message:

If you go to the actual link on YouTube, you can see the comments here.  And if you scroll a short way down the comments, you will see that someone writes:

If you can’t raise a child……STOP HAVING UNPROTECTED SEX…..goddamn africans. I will not spill a tear for you idiots.

Anyone who knows anything at all about the world knows that much of Africa has extreme poverty, is riddled by violence, rape, and genocide.  Witness Darfur and Rwanda.  Access to basic health care is limited, let alone contraceptives.  A few years back, I attended a lecture given by a minister who had just returned from Africa and he told how women had to walk 5 miles or more from their village with large jugs on their heads to fetch potable drinking water each day, no convenient running water from taps or hot showers.

African Women with Jugs

It’s debatable how large parts of Africa came to be this way, but it is in no small part because of pillage by Europeans after such stuff as “blood diamonds,” gold, and ivory.

When the adverts to help the starving children would come on TV, I used to sit in silent shock as my wife would rant about how “our money” [AKA, British funds] was being sent there when it should be used at home — similar to the comment I quoted above.  Who wouldn’t be shocked?  The woman had four children herself, with two ex-husbands nowhere to be seen.  She lived off the dole, and I never saw her do a single day’s honest work.  She preferred to scam money off of people she “loved.”  Apparently, she hadn’t heard of contraceptives, either?

Isolationism and geopolitics can be debated, but who can observe emaciated children and not have a tug at their heartstrings?  Anyway, regardless of whatever way they were conceived, the children themselves didn’t deserve to starve.  It’s not like the women were being handed a “child tax credit” as incentive for having more kids.

This, my friends, is the definition of psychopathy and myopic self-centered greed.

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About DogDharma

Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
This entry was posted in Africa, compassion, narcissism, poverty, psychopath, psychopathy, starvation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our Little Idiosyncrasies…

  1. A lack of compassion for human beings viewed as “other” seems to run rampant. I would think a person would have to have a great deal of self-hatred to be this way. I wonder if there are a couple of categories to include: 1. Psychopaths and sociopaths who literally are unable to feel compassion; and 2. People who are so caught up in their own misery that they take it out on people they view as “worse” than themselves.

    Neither is ok, honestly. I’m just speculating on why this lack of compassion seems so common.


    • DogDharma says:

      Interesting question, nftbrf. I just stumbled across a couple of blogs by self-avowed psychopaths. From the stuff I’ve read by such people, most justify their lack of compassion as being superior. Why bother with empathy and love? “There’s nothing wrong with me; there’s something wrong with you…” A few are more honest. The one I just read admitted that she felt zero compassion, but that her logical mind knew there would be consequences for her actions some day.

      From what I have personally observed, if they have misery, they don’t admit it. Oh, they do use “pity stories” that are designed for manipulation. But behind that facade is the sense of superiority and entitlement. Most non-psychopathic people I’ve encountered who’ve had genuinely hard lives and true misery end up with more compassion, rather than less.

      Statistically, the number of psychopaths is reputedly very low. I believe one reason we see so little compassion in the larger world is because of the wide-ranging damage a single psychopath can do to so many lives. Also, the cunning ones end up in positions of power — lawyers, politicians, religious leaders (Jim Jones!), and dictators.

      The other thing I weigh is what I learned from sociology, the in-group and the out-group. Actually, one of the articles by a self-avowed psychopath I just read was pointing out how when a wrong is done to someone we perceive to be in our in-group, we take it personally as if it was done to us, even if we don’t know the actual person affected, and then we react with emotion (and perhaps anger and violence). I hope / believe / pray that we as a species are transcending this in-group / out-group business.


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