... At a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think that digital watches are still a pretty neat idea.
... the problem remained. Lots of the people were mean and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
Douglas Adams - "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy"
The Guide is one of my most favourite books of all time. It is a rather accurate portrayal of how humans can be seen in the eyes of an outsider. We are mean and miserable creatures and the only person who actually had the courage to tell us to be nice to each other for a change was nailed to a tree.
It's funny. Christ obviously believed that humans are innately good and can get past all the banality of life. Obviously not. He expected too much. In return for all the good deeds he did, he got nailed - literally.
Through Christ's example, we can answer this question:
How do you set yourself up for complete and utter disappointment?
Answer? It is completely believing that by being nice to people, you'll be treated in kind.
People may not know this about me but underneath my easy-going and very open-minded view of the world, I am a real cynic when it comes to human behaviour. Let's just say that I have been burned a few times to completely trust someone ever again.
I guess it is just natural for us to think that the saying "do unto others what you want others to do unto you" is gospel. It's the same thing as saying that there are certain things that we do in life that is just plain common sense. Well, if it were really as common as people say it is then how come there are still people out there who completely fuck up certain things?
It all boils down to this: humans find it very hard to be completely nice. Why? Because being nice means that one has to be devoid of selfish behaviour. Selfishness is the mother load in the whole human psyche. I cannot name a single person who does not do things without a miniscule amount of wanting something for their own personal gain. Why do I try to excel in my job and schooling? So that I can get more money and for the betterment of my career. Why are guys so nice to girls when they are courting them? So that they can get a leg over (okay, may not always be the case). Why are girls acting all hard to get even if they like a guy? So that the guy will chase them some more and it's good for the ego. Every single thing that we do has some amount of selfish reasons behind it. It is sad but true.
As a result of this selfishness, it also affects our relationships with other people. Admittedly, there are some people worse off than others. There are people who are completely devoid of any concept of "give and take". They take as much as they can but never give anything in return. These are also the kind of people who conveniently forget if someone was nice to them before. Forget gratitude, if there is nothing in it for this person you can keel over for all they care! These are also the sort of people who make friendships with people just because they may be able to use them for something in the future - not exactly a great basis for a good friendship.
I guess the only for humans to be entirely happy is if we learn to accept the fact that unfortunately, not everybody thinks the same way. Common sense is not entirely common and that just because you're nice doesn't mean that others will be equally nice to you. If you push this, you will, unfortunately, might end up being nailed to a tree yourself.