Oh man, as hard as I try, I just cannot believe that there are such things as inherently bad people. Humans, I find, just aren’t built like that. I went to a smart uni counselor around 12 years ago and she told me something I should probably tattoo on my forehead. ‘Happy healthy people don’t bully’.
There are many micro- and macro-aggressions flying at you on the daily journey of a human through this world. Some of them arrows come at you seemingly from nowhere, but I tell you who produced them in the dumbest factory ever: the wonderful empty signifier that is ‘The Society’. The society is unwell.
The Society may be an empty signifier, if taken literally, but the society is of course comprised of actual living humans. They can be arrowful too, of course. In the life and times of a human individual you have to create a full-body armour to fight against all these arrows. Unfortunately it is not possible to escape battle entirely if you want to get the full world experience. Unfortunately a full-body armour must leave holes for breathing and vision purposes. You may thus get an arrow in the eye, in the mouth.
The hardest thing for me is when the enemy enters my safest spaces. My home, and other such places where I should feel no fear, and be accepted as I am. It’s hard to make peace with the fact that this happens. I will take care to build trenches around my safe places, to interview any new employee who enters thoroughly, but in life, nothing is completely secure and perfect. Sometimes some cunning ninja soldier with one of those leather quivers (check me, I googled this term!) full of fairly lethal arrowage sneaks through and tries to cause havoc. Such is life.
In these cases I draw from my humanist life philosophy. I am hurt and bleeding, but I can stitch myself back together. The string and needle are moulded from my firm belief in the inherent goodness of all people, including myself. My intentions are good. If others hurt me when I don’t mean to do bad things it doesn’t mean I am bad. It doesn’t mean they are bad. They are hurting themselves. They may be disguising several bleeding arrow wounds, or at least some small itchy scab.
Of course I’d like to be a doctor, but I can’t always fix everything. I make peace with the fact that my most important thing in life is to take care of my armour, help some others build theirs, but I don’t have time for all. Human responsibility involves caring for yourself, so you don’t end up hurting others when they don’t deserve it, and I believe all people have the potential to help themselves in this task.