I sit and I think a very simple yet complicated topic. Why do people fight with each other? Why does that person do the things they do? What drives people to do the things they do?
Human nature is a very messed up thing. You don’t know what it is driven by. It makes people unpredictable. You don’t know what to expect next. If you figure one person out, you have no guarantee that the next one will be the same. What I think drives people, is wants. Their own wants. Their self-satisfaction. Psychological egoism.
People, underneath it all, are selfish. Every single person.
You might think, hey, what about that guy? He’s a saint, helping old ladies out and doing charity work for society all the time. In truth, what he wants is his self-conscience to be clear. Or maybe he wants to appease everyone and be liked by everyone.
What differentiates people then? What makes them so unique, doesn’t this mean everyone is the same, just a selfish person? The answer is simple. It’s the upbringing of the person. If he was fed with a silver spoon all his life, he would be arrogant, snobbish and as an individual, weak. When infants grow up, they observe around themselves and pick up things. Habits, mannerisms, personality traits. It’s what the person believes in that makes them different. What they want. If he just wants a peaceful world to live in, that makes him good-hearted according to the norms of society.
Now, what are these norms? Why the differences? It’s what they are taught by their parents, their guardians, their acquaintances, their friends, family everyone teaches them all around. Live in a family of thieves, and you will grow up to be one. Because you know of no other life. Unless you somehow see that other life and aspire to change, you will remain the same. The norms are related to what makes people have differences and causes so much fighting. Disarray. War. Bloodshed. It’s a matter of what they believe in. What they think is right. People fight for what they think is right. And you cannot fault them for it. No matter how twisted it may be, it’s what they have been taught.
Yet I sometimes wonder about those people, who know they’re doing wrong, yet feed on it like a glutton (cough cough, politicians for one, cough cough) and just live with it. That’s true evil. Being selfish and greedy. But it’s rather a mixture of these two kinds. The evil take advantage of such beliefs for their own personal purposes, using people like tools. You can take those phoney Gurus for example. What I might say will offend a few, but grow up. It’s today’s modern world. Ram Rahim is a great example. They use people’s beliefs for their own benefits, heck, even twisting people’s conception of right and wrong. While I don’t say all of them are like that, quite a lot are. They get money, fame, power and so much more. But the people who believe that they are right, are genuinely good people. They don’t know what to do.
But then who are we to say what’s right?
Wars happen for a reason. Let’s say that there is a global famine incident, and two countries fight over a huge ration of food, in a silo supposedly. Both are only fighting for what they believe to be right. Each fights to provide its defenceless, poor citizens food. How can we say who is wrong? They might not be able to share, as it might fall short. This is a hypothetical situation, not getting into legal aspects as to who owns the land. It’s what makes people fight for what they believe is right. But wars consist of the so said evil too. The Middle East was ravaged for its oil by a certain (cough cough) country or few. Just so they could get rich on oil and because they had the resources to do so.
But if we go back to the basic rule of survival of the fittest, isn’t it applicable here? We are a race that has already plundered the way of nature and outgrown ourselves unfairly. This moderation of power within ourselves is a fair price to pay. The law of each place was made by people collectively stating what they believed is right and forming an entire proper system about it. For instance, I saw a TV show about another species, that looks exactly like humans, but are much more physically superior and have predatory organs as well, highly dangerous. They cannot eat the food humans eat. They can only eat human flesh. It isn’t a choice. It’s just how they can survive. So humans paint these creatures in a negative light, as monsters. But aren’t they just trying to survive? A few of them even prevented themselves from killing humans, opting to morgues and suicide victims and so on. It showed that humans were threatened by someone attacking their place as the top of the food chain.
Because in the end, didn’t we humans do the same? Plundered through other races, ate them, and even destroyed their entire planet? The point is, nobody is right, and a lot are wrong.
We have a system of such rules, that is a collective say of what’s right. But even a few laws are flawed. Because we humans are flawed.
Another thing that motivates people to do what they do is religion. You might go crazy over me saying this, but I could care two hoots. But people who fight over their religion when someone insults it? It’s bullcrap. It’s your belief. Not necessarily theirs. If you think that they are insulting your god, the truth is, you are. It’s not their lack of faith, but your lack of faith in your god.
If they say what they are, let them. It doesn’t matter what they say. Your god doesn’t get affected by that. It’s your own self that is getting offended. Your own faith that you doubt. Grow up and stop blaming others for it.
It’s just these few thoughts that randomly linger around my head day in and day out. Perhaps, reading my opinions will prompt you to think more deeply about your own.
~ Mudit Saklani, 11-F, Amity International School Noida
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