A satire on behaviour

A satire on behaviour – by P.K. Odendaal – August 2018.
It is said that a fool is born every minute and that you cannot protect a fool from himself or herself, so it seems that my desire to live and let live or to be considerate towards others and be considered by them, in turn or out of turn, is a wild goose chase in some utopia somewhere between here and nowhere.
I will thus offend no one in this piece on bad behaviour and write it in the form of a satire. Firstly because I can myself sometimes be such a fool and secondly because I see so many 'civilized' people around me making such fools of themselves as often as I do. Is there perhaps healing, therapy or redemption for us?
I grew up in a time and place when our nation had good values and we were considerate, but we have degenerated to the point that we cannot speak to strangers amongst us and amongst other races without using our middle finger.

Our worst behaviour, of course, happens mostly on the roads and public parking areas. The latter, I think, is because our cars and our pepper spray shield us from imminent danger. Our loathing and venom towards our antagonists are in direct ratio to our arsenals of vile language and ammunition.

My own desire and veneration is for the courtesy and consideration of nineteenth century Britain as so lucidly illustrated in the writings of Jane Austin, but what I get is hellfire stoked at a million degrees - be it Celsius or Fahrenheit.
What puzzles me the most is that I get this courtesy from poor and 'uncivilized’ peoples and hellfire from the ‘civilized’ ones. My notion is that wealth makes us monsters, and when I look around me I find these rich people absolutely abominable, superficial, selfish and self-infatuated. There are exceptions. In this I think of the humbleness of a Mandela in which honesty, humbleness and forgiveness have been intertwined.

We do not want to mimic him, but we want to strive valiantly to be human. The idea to consider humanity, the ultimate creation of God, and the idea that we are here to live for and help our fellow human beings. Is that ideal attainable? I am not so sure anymore.
Why can we not exchange a glance or a word or a gesture to let the human being next to us know that we respect him or her and is available to offer help and kindness.

Of course, kindness went out of the door with the violent Marxian philosophy which was not content with the synergetic Hegelian philosophy to find some synthesis in this dialectic instead of stopping at the antithesis - digging in our heels without compromise and understanding. Did Socrates not teach us synergy two thousand five hundred years ago already?

Hate speech. Yes! There is a new category of speech which has become very fashionable and in vogue.  Why bother with kindness when hate speech is available? You can say some bad words or hateful ones, add some sign language for spice, cover your ears and move on as if nothing happened, but inside of you you will know that you have failed one of your highest callings - that of being a human and that of being humane. Repeat this process many times and you end up as an animal or some tree or plant.
I have written an article with the title: 'I believe in humans' which you can read elsewhere on these pages. The gist of that is that we should live as humans with basic and lasting human values like kindness, honesty, integrity, be considerate to the rest of creation, be it animate or inanimate things. Once we gather moss like politicians, celebrities or law enforcers, we become less human and regress along the classification of things from human to animal to tree to bacteria to virus to stone. I have omitted many hybrids like murderers and tax collectors.

Who speaks for Man? Shall we degenerate and fill this world as heartless dogs running around and devouring everything around us. Who is our present Thomas Payne, author of The Rights of Man?
Do I not have a right to be kind to all and sundry and can I not expect the same from them? Do I not have a right to ignore fools around me? Am I not entitled to privacy and happiness? Why should I live a life of bondage or slavery to satisfy some inhuman host? Shall I sell my soul for food or wealth? Shall I not rebel against systems which dehumanise me? I do not think so.

I shall not be a Thomas Payne who fought for the rights of people to be free from these injunctions, having not more than five souls around him when his coffin was lowered into his grave, and not expecting to be declared true to basic human values some two hundred years later.
I shall remain a pacifist to live and let live, leaving those abusers of mankind to finally obliterate any semblance of civilization. Courtesy and goodwill is not in vogue anymore. You want to dehumanize yourself by ignoring basic human values? Bring it on and fall like a coward, slave or useless and inanimate being just like Nimrod.

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