Monday, July 22, 2013

Oh, the Humanity!!!

I will never pretend to completely understand human nature or what makes us behave so differently. I will never understand why man commit murders, rape, climb Mount Everest, travel to the moon, run into a burning building to rescue a child or cut out a man’s heart and eat it live on camera. What would make the Hutus slaughter the Tutsis in Rwanda where 500,000 people were killed in the first 100 days of conflict and an estimated 1,000,000 in total murdered or the Germans to slaughter six million Jews and start a war that resulted in over 56,125,262 people killed?

But what I do know is that most children live what they learn. I know that how children are raised and socialized contributes to the type of person they will become and I know it will define their value system. Who we are today is as a result of what we learnt as children, the schools we go to, the people we know and the environment we grew up in. Who we are today also depends on the expectations from the people around us and the level of education we were given. It has a lot to do with who our parents are and how they themselves were raised. Who our extended family are and their values and beliefs. All these things come together to define us and give us a sense of right, wrong. It gives us direction and a sense of purpose. We are a complex animal, we humans are capable of good, bravery, love, death, destruction and genocide. I know that what seems right to one person can seem very wrong to another. I know that what seems like the norm to one person can seem very abnormal to another person and I know what seems straight forward to one person can seem complex and convoluted to another person.

If you grow up in an environment where bad things are happening all around you, so much so that it seems like the norm then that could define the type of person you will grow up to become and you will see nothing wrong with these things, with these actions regardless of how disgusting they really are. It is what it is and the human mind makes adjustments to understand and live with the things happening around us, we adopt, it is what we do best. If a boy who grows up seeing his father beating his mother and no one does anything about it, not even the mother, who carries on looking after the family as if it was normal then chances are he will also grow up to beat the women in his life. Children internalize and make bad disgusting things the norm. I am using the word bad and disgusting because of the person I am, my value system, another person may not describe these actions in the same way that I am describing them, maybe your bad and disgusting is my normal. So if a child lives in an alienated, impoverished community where ignorance and depravity is allowed to fester and grow with every passing generation then that child will think that what ever is going on around him or her is completely normal human behavior. Human socialisation is based on values, good or bad that are passed down from one generation to the next and accepted as norm.

I saw my first jungle justice at around the age of 15 and it struck me almost instantly that what I was watching was very wrong as the level of human suffering was too much to bear not to mention the people dishing out the beating was having way too much fun at the expense of this man’s suffering. I saw a lady tie up a dog and beat it for taking something from her kitchen table and I knew instantly that what she was doing was wrong as the level of animal cruelty was also too much to bear. My father and I saw a woman beating a child and it was no ordinary beating, she completely lost it and was no longer in control of the situation. So my father pulled her off the child, took that child home with us where he spent rest of the weekend and it was not until she calmed down and spoke to my father that she realized that what she was doing was wrong. So my level of compassion and values was inherited from my family, friends and my unique experiences in life.

I totally agree that no one puts a gun in a black ghetto person’s hand and forces him to squeeze the trigger taking another person’s life. That is the decision made by that person alone and only that individual is responsible for his or her actions and must pay the price. But that does not say, that this human created system did not play a part in their twisted decision making process. Who we are today, is as a result of that system, a system that can create the conditions for such negative disgusting behaviors as it desensitize, dehumanize, alienate and promotes a dog eat dog environment.

If a child grows up in an environment where guns are barking day and night, bullet flying everywhere, fights are common occurrence, dead bodies are a common in streets and people literally take what they want from each other because they live by the code of survival for the fittest, only the strong survive at the expense of the weak. Then how in heavens name do we expect these kids to grow up differently from their immediate surroundings, since they will live what they learn? They will internalize and normalize what they see around them. It is a vicious cycle which is harder to break the deeper you go.

All one needs to do is listen to some of these people and you will realize their concept of life is totally foreign and they believe there is nothing wrong with it. Yes ignorant, uneducated people believe their ignorance is perfectly OK and they are not afraid to give you some convoluted, twisted logic as to why.

Before a man can pull himself out of the gutter he must first have the Where-With-All to:

  • Realize he is in the gutter and 
  • That there are other options 
  • Everything that he thought as normal was in fact abnormal and not how human beings should live 
  • He must live in a society that is more accepting of him, one that practice social re-engineering, inclusion not exclusion and allocates resources in a more egalitarian manor regardless of race.

One will also find that solutions are based on human nature and experiences. We get different problem/solutions from different people based on how they were socialized and raised, based on their outlook on life, education level and value system. It is easier for some to just disregard these people as animals, beyond help and a waste of time and space and some will say they are living just how they want to live. Others will say they should Just Pull themselves Up By their own Bootstraps and if you ask a gangster or a murderer why they did what they did some will say they were pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps best they know how in their dog eat dog world.

It is also true that if you try to implement change in the ghetto, to modify their behavior, to legislate change most will resist such change. There are lots of people in the Ghetto who do not want change or structure, some are very comfortable with the system they already know. For many people ghetto life is nice because ignorance is blitz. The ghetto represents a certain level of freedom and irresponsibility that is not enjoyed by any other sector of society…

Ghetto Life, nice, it nice, it nice, in a di Garrison we party day and night

I wish the solution was that simple, that all you have to do is to tell people to simply stop doing wrong things and do the right things. Stop your killing, robbing and raping your fellow man, just stop being ignorant and they would immediately see the error of their ways but looking at human history and my unprofessional study of human nature, it is never that easy. I have been called a Left Leaning Liberal Lackey simply because some believe I am wasting my time trying to understand the behavior of man and human nature. That there is nothing to understand, they are simply disgusting animals …end of… and I am the first to say that some of them are beyond help but the fact that man was not born with a genetic predisposition to hate and to murder other man but acquire these traits through insufficient socialization, tells me that our society must do more to help in the socialization of our young. To give these young people the Where-With-All to rise up and overcome these urges, since children live what they learn we must make sure they are being taught the right values because the greater good of humanity demands it.

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