I have been around for a few years on this earth, but I still haven’t decided what I think of mankind.
I mean, some days I’m convinced that we’re a species of cockroaches, where every individual is in it for himself, trying to grab as much as he can, with the final objective to propagate his genes around the globes at the expense of everyone else.
Perhaps that is true. After all, such behavior may be what made our species win over the Neanderthals and we’ve continued fighting our own ever since then.
Other days I observe in wonder selfless sacrifices and bravery.
So who are we?
In the last couple of days, someone everyone perceived as a gentle man, “Kramer” of Seinfeld fame, aka Michael Richards, exploded on scene, howling horrifying insults to people of a darker color than himself (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDXWk9dTX-I) in front of a laughing audience. Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, and Regan Books cancelled the book that was meant to shock everyone; “If I did it” by O. J. Simpson.
So are the people involved in all this aberrations? Or are they all of us?
The fact is that most of us are not wife beaters and possible murderers. Like O. J. Simpson. Most of us would not do anything for money. Like Rupert Murdoch or Judith Regan. And most of us would not scream insults to anyone, least of all from a stage, like “Kramer.” But many admire the drive that allowed all of these people to achieve so many other things.
Of course, today, they are all sorry for what they did. Except, perhaps, O.J. Simpson who doesn’t seem to have worried too much about how his book would make his now 18 and 21 year old children of a murdered mother feel.
But the question still remains, how much evil is inside us? What would we be capable of? Every war has taught us that irrespective of our nationality, background, and beliefs, humans are capable of the worst atrocities.
The winner keeps the land and writes history. The loser is gone, and so are his genes; just check out how many native Americans are left. And since the ruthless are more likely to win, we have become a species dominated by this trait.
And perhaps, because we fear what is deep inside all of us, many rejoice when others are publicly shamed for what is really inside them.