Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Milk of Human Kindness

On “House,” Cameron, the “good” doctor, gets burned three times in one episode:
-she discovers the one lover actually does want to leave the other
-she discovers the other did not selflessly donate half a liver to the one
-she discovers her collegue doesn’t think it’s wrong to have not given her a heads up.
A friend from New Jersey calls last night. Her local radio station is running a promotion. Listeners sign up, and if their name is called, they have ten minutes to call back and win $100. Yesterday morning, when the winner calls the station, she tells the DJs that she hadn’t heard her name, but someone called her to tell her that she needed to call. The someone was a stranger, who got nothing from the exchange. The DJs think this is creepy.
Someone is in a marriage for legal reasons. There are no children, and both husband and wife have agreed that, were it not for these reasons, they would divorce. They are dating other people. Another friend thinks this is a scam.
Politicians. Need I say more?
I understand that the general agreement is that the human animal is selfish, is just as tuned into jungle rules and logic as other animals, is out to do what is best for him or herself. But isn’t the blessing of the human mind, of human reasoning, that we know this, that we know that things can be better for everyone if we try to be more selfless, less selfish? Isn’t this the point behind morality, and laws, and religions in general? Isn’t this the reason we are so disappointed in our leaders? because they should be the people who try the hardest to overcome this savanna mind-set and who try the hardest to share with others? Why is it too much to expect?


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