Remember the old (possibly biblical) chestnut “treat others as you would want them to treat you” ? I have the feeling that it needs a corollary: “but don’t actually expect anyone to treat you anyway near as well as you would like to be treated”.
I’m beginning to realise that one of the main reasons that I often feel so let down, even hurt by other people behaving like dicks is because I hold other people to the same standards of behaviour I set for myself. When I have someone’s back, I expect them to reciprocate, not stick a knife in mine. Even if it’s someone I don’t actually know, I expect basic human decency. I should know better by now, but letting go of my great expectations is harder than you’d think.
Then again, occasionally, I’m on the receiving end of a random act of kindness and that makes it even harder.
The path to disillusionment is paved with good intentions. And piles of dicks.
Edited to add: Damn, that will teach me the wisdom of the saying “don’t blog angry”! After a few comments both on and offline varying from “you okay?” to “you’re not suicidal are you?”. So before anyone else gets freaked out about it: yes I’m fine. At the time I finished and posted I was in a bad mood, mainly brought on by Thursday. But I started this post on Monday, which, believe it or not, was actually a good day. Well, a good day for a Monday.
Monday began with someone doing something purely gratuitously nice for me. Someone who knew that Mondays had been particularly sucky lately and just left me a surprise in my desk drawer that made me smile. And then it made me nom nom nom because it contained marshmallows. And once I got over the initial LOL-OMG-AWESUM of it, the first thought that popped into my mind was “oh, right, so that’s what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness!”.
It’s not like I’ve never been there, I’m lucky to have had plenty of experiences of the spontaneous kindness of others, but to be honest, for something that random, it’s been a while. But performing random acts of kindness are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, even when the recipient if them will never know who did the deed. Suddenly the ratio of giving and receiving just hit home a little and triggered a bit of a realisation. That’s all there is behind this post, that and a rather trying Thursday.