Saturday, March 13, 2021

Everyone's So Nice!

If you help a stuck rabbit or bird, or right an upside-down bug, the animal will dash away, clearly relieved, yet oblivious to the fact that it was helped. It just goes off and resumes its critter activities.

And I keep seeing humans under age 35 do likewise. They'll accept/absorb help with relief and go do their thing, scarcely looking back. They may or may not utter a "thanks"-related statement, but if they do, it's strictly pro forma. Their inner narrative, if I grok correctly, is this:
"Another door opened!"
I imagine that's what a released raccoon thinks - or would if it were more articulate.

Understand, I'm not a quid pro quo guy. I don't need favors returned or gratitude showered. So I'm actually ok with this, and my message here isn't "the youth today are so ungrateful!" I don't expect squirrels to present me with acorns for being of service, and same for people. It's just strange to see humans become so narcissistic that help gets absorbed as entitlement.

It's always smiley, however. That's the evolution (in the 70s, only extreme hippies were smiley; the rest expressed positivity by not punching you in the face). These days, people fancy themselves on a journey, and doors appear to magically open before them. Everyone's so nice!

The problem is that the helpers, themselves, likely haven't experienced life this way; i.e. with a solicitous safety net. In fact, its their scarring and trauma that spur them to help in the first place. And it's odd to find oneself lumped into a faceless crowd devoted to the elevation of some random somebody. "Go, Riley," I guess.

I struggle to empathize with the framing. But I do understand its roots, having seen it coming years ago. Major shifts in parenting style in the 90s left an entire generation with the enduring conviction that they're superheroes - the best little boys and girls in the world.


My mom called me that a couple times, but she wasn't super-convincing, and I certainly never believed it.

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