What an entitled pack of ingrates we are. We want to own a bloody house, we want cheap education, we want a good bloody job, and we want bloody welfare goddamnit! AND we want it now!
We want to be successful, and we want what we want, and you better believe that we believe we deserve it.
A number of students have been very clear in voicing their disapproval over the possibility of the deregulation of universities in Australia, which could lead to less affordable degrees. Or maybe they were protesting against Christopher Pyne’s voice. I’m sure the truth is somewhere in the middle. Regardless, they want cheap tertiary education. Not ol’ Chrissy-pants though, he wanted you to pay right the heck up. Holy freakin’ heck did he want you to pay up.
On the job front, the oldies complain that university grads are simply not good enough to be blessed with the tedium and obsequiousness of an entry level job. They want you bloody cheap with 10 years of experience damnit! At the same time the youngies complain about the lack of decent jobs that they actually want to do. They deserve a fulfilling bloody job that taps their bloody skills, damnit! They too want just enough money to get themselves into lifelong debt with an unscrupulous bank. They too want to experience the terrifying lows and non-existent highs of first home ownership while starting a family.
Australia’s precocious young tennis champs Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic want… something. To party and win tennis matches without trying or whatever. Anyway, whatever they want, it’s very clear that they want it, and fuck everybody else.
Recently Reddit went through a bit of a leadership change after interim CEO Ellen Pao enacted some less than popular decisions, banning some extremely distasteful and morally reprehensible subreddits which in some way apparently infringed on the right to free speech for these anonymous users in this non user owned site. Who cares if this material belittles the overweight population, or is incredibly racist or homophobic, they want their free speech you fascists! Regardless of how hateful, hurtful, dangerous or just plain ridiculous the views expressed in these pages were, it was apparently the users’ rights to express such material, and you’d better believe they would destroy you to be able to express it. They demand free speech damnit!. It’s their RIGHT. They DESERVE to be able to deride an entire race or gender without reprisal. (p.s. there may also have been a bit of sexism and racism in the mix here too)
You could even argue and point out (and I know you will you pack of jerks) that this act of blogging my thoughts is the very epitome of self-centredness. ‘Look at me!’ I seemingly shout. My thoughts and opinions are valid. Look at them. Appraise them. Tell me I’m good.
I believe it was Moving Pictures that best encapsulated this phenomenon in their moving ballad, and then Australia’s own Shannon Noll who very appropriately also inquired about his own self in a beautiful example of life imitating art that I would strongly suggest never occurred even the slightest bit to the venerable Mr Noll.
It’s easy to become frustrated, whether you’re on one side or the other. We humans sure do want what we want to the detriment of every other sucker don’t we. But honestly though, isn’t that the very basis of being a human being? Isn’t this the very basis of life? To get what we want? Of course we want everything. It’s all about us.
And amazingly for those of you not paying attention, the science totally supports this fact. Egocentrism is a thing, and it underpins a great deal about about how we operate as individuals. You better believe that we are self-centred. We only ever see the workd through our own eyes. Our wants, needs and motivations are first and foremost. It’s a genuine cognitive bias in which we really do struggle to see the world from the perspective of others. We’re not even born with that particular ability, we have to develop it over time. And, you could argue, some don’t even develop it at all.
Ever consciously attempted to take the perspective of somebody else while you were talking to them. Establishing what they were thinking and really drilling down to their motivations and reasoning, understanding what they want and why they act the ay that they do?
You’re not alone if you don’t do it often, in fact we’re pretty bad at it even as adults, but simply make up for it for effectively with our superior adult brains and grovelling ability.
As important as each of our own experiences and needs and wants and motivations are, the experience of 7 Billion other people is seen as far more important by 7 Billion other people.
Frustrated by that other guys’ lack of care for the amount of sunlight that your beautiful begonias need? Fucking tough. He wants to block that sun with an apartment building for the use of moneymaking and slumlording, you pleb.
Wanted to drive to work unhindered? Too bad, that dented Mazda 3 wants to cut you off to save 5 seconds drive time that they will lose when you both sidle up to the next red light next to each other, avoiding each others gaze in a desperate attempt to avoid confrontation.
We all want what’s best for us, regardless of how much we also care for each other. The sooner we each understand that everybody else is also fighting their own battle today, the easier we make it for each of us to get what we want.