We are a nation of sociopaths. And I absolutely hate that statement but the truth of that matter cannot be denied.
Let’s start with a definition, shall we? A sociopath is a personality who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience (thank you, Mr. Webster). However, I like this one better…a sociopath is after personal empowerment at the expense of others and have no capacity for empathy. Maybe because it fits into my point easier, but the idea that a sociopath simply doesn’t care defines the peoples of our nation.
Of course, we can then touch on some of the famous sociopaths in this world (there have been many past and present). Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Josef Stalin come to mind immediately. Josef Stalin didn’t even care about his wife and children, which led to many of them committing suicide. In fact, during WWII Stalin wouldn’t exchange his own son (get him out of a German prison) for Hitler’s nephew. Even Hitler, considered by most of us as one of the most horrific human beings showed a capacity of empathy… he adored his mother!
So when you read the rest of this post and recognize yourself in the words remember exactly who you are portraying…a man who would let his own son die rather than give up power or be seen weak!
And every one of us are going to recognize moments of sociopathic behavior. And we are all going to blame something else.
Maybe that is the part that bothers me the most…we blame something or someone other than our own selves for the way we act.
Last night on the nightly news there was a story about a morning news anchor who received an email telling her she was fat. She then got onto her program and not only acknowledge that yes, she knew she was fat but that by pointing out another’s deficiency we were perpetuating bullying and simple unkindness. (Go you!)
And it got me to thinking about how many times a day I hear someone speak badly about someone else. We don’t even care if others hear (in fact, we often stand up and talk about it in the loudest voice we have). We don’t care if others are hurt (indirectly or directly). We talk about some one’s weight, their horrible behavior, their religion, even the choices they make. We revile people for believing in something other than God and we try to destroy someone who we don’t believe is perfect by making sure we list and denounce everything about them. We do it to our children, our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends, our lovers, and our strangers. We do it without thought to the consequences (other’s feelings) and we it do it easily.
God, how many times I have said something about the caller I just hung up with (and how would that make them feel)? How many times have I innocently told someone that I don’t want them in my life (excusing it by telling them I hate answering the phone, or I am not a good emailer)? How many times have I ended a conversation, turned to someone else, and completely repeated the conversation I just had in a tone of absolute disgust. How many times have I judged a person by their religion, their politics, the dress they wore to a party?
Is this all sociopathic behaviour? Probably not. But could it be argued that not caring about how others feel I am in fact being exactly like those that I am currently defining? Yep.
We blame our behaviour on so many things…religion (God, Jesus), the moral compass, the fashion world, the beauty world, the anonymity of the Internet. We blame everyone but ourselves. And the awful truth is it is so deeply ingrained in each of us that we ALL do it. And we don’t even care.
A friend of mine got an abortion one day. Not something I agree with, however, this was her choice and I applauded her argument for why she felt it was the right thing to do. I found myself empathizing with her story and her reasons, and I realized at that moment that despite it the fact that abortion is against everything I believe in, why was it okay for me to judge her, to sentence her to some sort of ideal because of what and who I am. Yet, we do it. There are those of you reading this paragraph right now that are condemning a woman you have never met, will never speak to, and can’t possibly know. Yet, again you will judge her.
I don’t know that there is a fix to who and what society is. I like to think that each of us can become better people, but the truth is for most of us the idea is just not worth the work it will take. We as a people are lazy, even when it is something so important as improving ourselves. And I don’t believe God is going to reach down and punish this world for who and what we are (there are innocent children involved). But I do believe it is going to get worse. And I for one, will try everything I can to be able to be happy with the person I am, and I will always try to be better, not for you, not even for my children. But so that at the end of this journey God will look at me and say good try. (Not good job, not good going, but good try). For at the end of the day it is just important to try.
Your children will thank you.