Friday, May 31, 2013

People

Ever had one of those days where you find yourself agreeing with both lauded philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and masked Iowan nu-metal band Slipknot?

No?

You should try it, it’s quite good.

Nah, I’m lying, it sucks.

Sartre and Slipknot have, decades apart, come to pretty similar conclusions about something. The former said: “L’enfer c’est les autres” (hell is other people) while the latter made it a bit more blunt with their take: “People = Shit”.

On Wednesday evening, following a run in with someone at a basketball training session, I was inclined to concur with their point of view. I won’t go into the tiresome detail of how it was that this angry individual and I developed our relationship during the course of that hour, but I will tell you this: it is the only time I can ever remember someone calling me a fucking cunt. Which was nice.

I also came away with a bruised cheekbone courtesy of his elbow, a big toenail which I’m fairly sure won’t be part of my body for much longer, and a deep rooted sense of hollow despair. Those first two are okay, I’m big enough and ugly enough to take a few physical knocks. The last one though? I don’t like that.

I exaggerate, of course. It was actually a fleeting sense of hollow despair. I’m fine now. But I hate when someone manages to get under my skin like that, to make me feel bad about people. I rant and moan often enough about certain parts of the world which I don’t think much of; aggressive capitalism, far right politics, far left politics, other stuff. But, ultimately, despite a healthy dose of cynicism, I tend to think the people you meet on a day to day basis are generally “nice” people.

When I meet someone who calls me what that guy called me it throws all that off balance a little bit. If someone is that angry with me when I really hadn’t done anything which warranted it, what else might he get angry about? Or where? I’ve never been in a physical fight with someone. The idea of it terrifies me. People who want to fight are not people I want to be near, and I was VERY near to this guy, who clearly wanted to fight me.
Anyway, yeah, it all plays on my mind a bit when I start thinking about Cam growing up. He’s going to meet horrible people, isn’t he? There are horrible people in the world, and they’re not ALL on the executive board of Tesco. He’ll actually meet them when he’s walking down the road, being all nice.

It’s complicated, this parenthood thing. I spend a lot of time worrying that bringing a new life into the world was a stupid and irresponsible thing to do, but then it gets balanced against the fact that Cam is, by an enormous margin, the best thing I’ve ever had a hand in creating.

Cam is surrounded by love and friendly, caring people at the moment, I want it to stay that way. But I know I can’t protect him forever. Especially when I can’t walk properly because my toe’s trying to fall off.

8 comments:

  1. There are horrible people in this world. Loads of them. Bastards.

    Luckily, Cam will be raised knowing the difference between the horrible ones and the awesome ones. So then when he's older, and you're not there all the time to protect him, he can make the decision to stay away from the horrible ones as much as possible.

    And whoever thinks you are a fucking cunt for whatever reason is inherently wrong. You're lovely. Officially. I checked.

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  2. There are lots of nasty asses in the world - but there are also people like you, who will have much more influence on the Cambulator.

    You must be one of the nicest people on the planet to have reached proper, real adulthood and not been called that before. I've been called that loads. Even when I was a child, by people who ought to know better.

    Mostly it taught me that it says a lot more about the person saying it than it does you.

    Cos you're lovely. Innit.

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  3. I agree, most people we meet on a day-to-day basis are decent people.

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  4. ... I need to follow that up by saying I'm a stay-at-home dad and I rant and moan a lot, but continually remind myself that my job is to raise two people as calm and stable people... difficult sometimes in the job we do.

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  5. I've had those thoughts.. It is indeed scary. Ethan has been attacked by another child at soft play which was scary. You just have to try & teach them right from wrong and wish for luck :-/

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  6. When my kids were young, I honestly told them that some kids/adults are just plain mean. I would then tell them just be nice anyways and if you want to come home and complain to mom about it. They are much older now, and that is how they handle those not fun situations, they are nice no matter what then they come home and bitch to mom. I listen & we discuss, but again, sometimes I just have to say, some people are just plain mean sadly.

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  7. Sounds horrendous and if it's anything like I felt when a car rammed my half unpacked trolley (thankfully having removed Hermione) into the back of my car and then drove off it is a feeling which can really fester....

    There's a lot of shite in this world, but look around you at people and all that stuff they do for charity, the friendly petrol station attendant who must be bored stupid but still keeps smiling or the person who helps you wrestle your pram through the heavily weighted shop door rather than tut at you - there's a heck of a lot more good out there.

    Just don't tell the Daily Fail.....

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  8. He will be one of the good ones, spreading the love, and the more of us there are, and the les of them, the better the world will be!

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