I’m Probably a Terrible Human Being
Going off of today’s Daily Prompt: Nice is as Nice Does I started to think about the nice things I’ve done in my life. How discouraging it was to come to the realisation that I am actually not a very nice person.
The Good Samaritan
Random acts of kindness are easy to do, and often appreciated by most. In this respect, I can think of only one occasion in which I actively helped someone for purely selfless reasons. This I shall return to. First, I am going to outline the things that seem nice, but in the long run are really not as decent as you’d think.
– On the bus I sit at the back, or at least as far back as I can get. As much as I would like to say that this is so pushchairs, wheelchairs and the elderly can have access to these seats, the bare-faced truth of it is that, whilst this is part of the reason, my main motivation is being a loner. I like my space. I prefer to sit at the back of the bus because I get nervous wen people are behind me. So really, I’m using the Disabled Access card as a sad excuse to be left alone.
– Holding open the door. I always do this. If I am in a room full of people and I reach the door first, I will usually hold it open until everyone else has gone through. A lot of people will smile, nod, give their thanks, and then I’ll follow last. But am I being kind? Or do I just not want people behind me when I walk? I think it’s more likely the latter. I like being nice in opening doors for people, but I would be lying if I said that the main reason I do this is kindness. I have a constant anxiety that if I go first I will reach the next door first, and then I’ll push rather than pull. Or I’ll get the door right, but trip on my way to it and everyone behind will see. I get laughed at enough without this. So my ‘act of kindness’ is really just an excuse for not looking like a fool should anything go wrong afterwards.
– Donating to charities. I have done this a number of times over the last couple of years. But again, is this really as selfless as it might seem on the surface? Yes, giving money to charities gives me warm fuzzies, but there will always be that niggle in my temporal lobe telling me that I’ve just lost ten pound out of my bank account. And whilst it would seem that I’m doing it for the charity, more often it is the case that I’m donating simply because the person raising money is a friend. It is selfish of me to donate to these charities because I end up concerned about the money I’ve just lost, and whether or not my friend appreciates it. It is no secret now – I donate to friends’ charities because I want them to like me when I tell them I’ve done it. But also, I donate so I don’t seem like a hypocrite. If I am going to advertise a charity, I would be tremendously guilty if I didn’t donate myself. If I did, I would deserve to get HYPOCRITE tattooed across my forehead.
But I am capable of doing something selfless .. sometimes. There is one occasion a couple years back where I was on my way into college, and on my bus was The Pools Man, also known as The Strawberry Man. He used to come around to our house with the local lottery which my Mum did every week, and when we stopped doing that and he retired to focus on his gardening, he brought a punnet of his best strawberries to us whenever he could. And at Christmas he would bring a little bag of sweets for me and my sisters. He is a lovely old gent and it was nice to see him again. I didn’t make myself known to him on this occasion. When we got off the bus I found we were walking the same way, but I kept behind him. I noticed he was carrying his trusty garden shears. He reached the stairs before me, and on about the sixth step, he fell. Boom. Down he went face first onto the steps. I couldn’t see the shears. I was instantly worried for him and helped him up, asked if he was okay, and aided him up the rest of the stairs. I am glad to report he was okay. But again, even in this, a selfishness can be found. Did I only help him because I knew him? Would I have helped him if he had been a randomer I’d never met? I really hope I would, be I am sad to admit, I don’t know.
The Good Friend
I don’t have many friends but I’d like to think I’m loyal. I don’t tell their secrets – well, except maybe to my parents. I keep in contact with them – well, I have them as Facebook friends, even if I never write them, or meet up with them for drinks, or ever speak to them at all. I’m there for them when they need a friend – well, that is on the extremely rare occasions they come to me over their other friends. Hmm, there’s something not right here. Maybe I’m not as good a friend as I’d like to think.
I know I can be a good friend. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. There is one person who I can call my best friend and my brother from another mother. We very nearly grew up on the same street. I live in Basingstoke, when not in Plymouth, and grew up there. As it happens, his Mum almost moved there but changed her mind. I wonder if we still would have been as good friends as we are now if we had have met then? He knows more about me than anybody else on this planet and I feel like I can share anything with him. I hope I do the same for him. He tells me so. So I guess I’m not a complete failure of a decent human being.
But on the whole, the outlook is gloomy at best. I don’t like children. I’ll even go so far as to say I’m a little scared of them. I make babies cry. I think it’s my face. I accidentally give off bad vibes, to children and fellow adult humanoid alike. I don’t know what it is I do, but people don’t seem to like it. I complain about people a lot. I complain about everything quite a lot, come to think of it. I blank street fundraisers. I lie to gypsies. I was once given a ‘lucky heather’ out of ‘kindness’. When I took it I politely nodded, said thanks and made to leave. She grabbed me by the wrist and asked for “10 pence, enough for a coffee”. Knowing full well that a coffee is not 10 pence, and that I had fifteen pound paper cash in my bag, I told her I was skint, to which she snatched away the plastic flower and scowled as I went away.
My parents are good people. I was brought up well. I appreciate the things I have and the things they do for me. I would like to say that I do nice things for the people around me because of they way they taught me to be. This is not their fault.
But I backed out of going to a blood-drive because I didn’t want to go alone.
How can I ever call myself a decent human being after that?