Yesterday was the first time I had been out in public during the hours people go out. Usually, I do all my errands and appointments early on the weekdays to avoid the crowds. With the temporary job assignment I have, and my dislike of going out after 5, that means I have to shove all of that to the weekends.
My eye appointment was at 4 in the afternoon. Not my first choice, but it was either that or wait out another month. Since I hadn’t run errands in a few weeks, I decided to do all my errands before and after the appointment so I wouldn’t have to worry about things for the next few weeks. I braved a storm to drive 30 minutes into town to go to my first stop, where…I was met with people who couldn’t be bothered to move at a pace faster than a snail.
I have a pretty low tolerance for people who move slowly when they have every perceivable ability to move at a normal pace. It is met with distain when they look right at me, can see I’m obviously waiting for them to move within human standards, and proceed at the speed they were going. Like, why? You see you are inconveniencing others. Why not just not do that upon realization? Why spend your time wasting other peoples’ time like it’s your god damned job?
I posted my frustration on my personal FB account, mostly to vent and get the irritation out so I could go on with my life and forget my temporary anger at other peoples’ inability to consider other people. Once that was done, I got my eyes checked, got groceries and went home, glad to be heading back to my place of comfort.
After I got my groceries put away and I got myself settled in, I did a bit of scrolling to see a couple comments on my mini temper tamtrum. One was discussing their errand routine and how it has changed since covid. The other was…really rather sad, to be perfectly honest.
They started off by calling people who irritated them “stupids” and “Karens”. I clarified that I didn’t think these people were stupid, just that they were operating off the self involved position that since they had the day off, so does everyone else and therefore, no one had places they needed to be at a designated time, because they didn’t. That it wasn’t an attitude of “fuck that guy”, but more of a perception issue. They aren’t in a hurry, so no one else is either. And while I understand that, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating, and in some cases, even more so because it shows people are really stuck inside their own world that they don’t even acknowledge other people are living a different reality than the ones they perceive. That these people aren’t actively stupid, just being human and doing human things, even though those things are annoying.
Their response was that they use the term “stupids” as a kind way to refer to some people they encounter daily. My reply was that perhaps, this is one of the major things currently wrong in the American society. That we instantly assume that anyone doing something that upsets us in some way, must be stupid, or somehow incapable of being at an awareness level equal to our own. That we are actually willing to view another person’s life as something less than ours simply because they aren’t catering to our own perceptions and beliefs.
I had a previous conversation with this same person who assumed that because a person was on disability, they would be incapable of working at all. Ironically, any education to shatter these ideas that people are stupid or their disability limits only certain types of work fell on deaf ears, which made me question who was really the stupid one in those situations. Even in this conversation, my discussion was overlooked to discuss how people were too stupid to use crosswalks, insisting on walking in front of vehicles.
Lost causes are lost for a reason, I guess.
It made me realize just how invested people are in their own unhappiness, though. How desperately they cling to ideas and beliefs that continue to make them angry, frustrated, and often times, hateful of others. They are so invested in this unhappiness and cultivating it, that even when opposing information comes along that tries to help them let go of those negative feelings, they ignore it to keep their negativity close. Unhappiness becomes this weird blanket of comfort because it can go unchallenged and unhindered for as long as the person chooses to be unhappy.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people open my eyes to how other people outside myself live. I’ve taken courses that show me better ways to view life that allow me to shed ignorant views and to be happy at exploring new ideas that make people better than viewing them as absolute assholes whose sole purpose in life is to piss me off. While I complain, I know it is a temporary blowing off steam and my logical mind will take over and remind myself that those people live different lives with different perspectives, and that their world does not revolve around me and to think otherwise is not just foolish, it is a needlessly unrealistic exercise in futility.
I wonder what makes people go down the path of deliberately shutting out happiness and avoiding ideas and information that not only rounds out their perspectives, but allows them to become happier. I can’t imagine living and feeling fulfilled this way. I wish I knew how to get people to realize happiness is the process of understanding the world and people around from a perspective that isn’t self involved.