I want to talk about how we treat each other. Do you remember when we were kids in primary school, when friendship was real and true? Sure we might have liked some people better than others, but it was all simple and good. We treated friends well, and close friends even better. The unwritten rules were crystal clear. Those were happy, care-free times.
Don't you think things have changed now that we've grown up? How have they changed? Are you more comfortable with your relationships with the world around you today? Personally, I'm not, and here's my theory as to why.
A lot of people these days are hypocrites in the way they treat others and expect to be treated, and I think this is very common among the "educated/affluent" type who grew up being able to get away with it. While it seems personally advantageous because you get the "better end of the deal", this is literally double-standards on integrity, and the realization of compromised integrity can make one uncomfortable and insecure. I say "can" because some people genuinely seem to be unaffected by being two-faced, although I would like to believe that it does still bother them or influence their behavior in some way at a subconscious level.
One of the most effective ways of making oneself feel less insecure (without addressing the actual root of the problem) is to discriminate and put others down openly in an expression of self-worth. If your friends validate it, you (and your views) become legitimate, and you feel better about yourself- at the expense of others. If only one or two individuals did this, it wouldn't be validated- but it's becoming increasingly acceptable behavior. This is why I believe discrimination has moved from the personal domain out into the open, and consequentially it feels like we're becoming less tolerant of one another.
Soundness of character, personal integrity and consistent values appear to be compromised, and if we don't take note of it and do something about it for ourselves at a personal level, we're going to grow up to be rather unhappy people. I personally acknowledge my hypocrisy, however mild or excusable I think it is, and swear to do something about it.
What are your thoughts?
PS: To those of you who have never compromised on your own personal integrity, you have my absolute respect. It can't be easy. Please never give up, no matter how difficult it gets. You inspire.