Sunday, May 28, 2006

Consideration for others

'Inconsiderateness' is a very clumsy word (perhaps other languages have a better one), but it is a very apt word for the downside of friendships and the things that go wrong in human relationships. It also has a wider sense of ethical 'negativity'.

One can be inconsiderate without being aware at the time, but realise later that something was overlooked about how one was treating another person or persons. That can be quite embarrassing; but it is not delberate or blatent inconsiderateness.

What is astonishing is the blatent inconsiderateness that can be perpetrated by people who are not at all among the 'class' of the needy and poorly educated or lacking in intelligence.

Someone dumped themselves without warning on a family member - apparently to avoid an ugly confrontation with and estranged partner (but not one that seemed to be particularly dangerous). She and her child took over a fair portion of the home and made themselves comfortable. They did a bare minimum of helpful jobs like washing dishes, which they did badly anyway. They offered no money, complaining they had very little, though in fact this person was a trained professional and quite 'middle class'. They simply expected - by and large - to be fed and waited on.

Lack of consideration from one person to another is also a characteristic of institutions which run for their own benefit or profit or to gain support at all costs. People who act prudently so as not to burden others, or who take their own steps to clean up the environment, are often disadvantaged by governments, who pay out money to those who are imprudent or who stubbornly continue to pollute, offering them a 'carrot' to change, instead of telling them that others have managed to change, and they can too - or else!

Religious institutions are often the worst at being inconsiderate to those who do not believe in what they regard as important to believe in. In their arrogance they remove all considerateness toward 'outsiders' by appeal to their doctrines or dogmas, unproven as they are and having almost nothing to do with genuine ethics or spirituality. By interfering in politics and attacking or preventing measures that can be taken at both ends of the life span of individuals to reduce suffering, and even obstructing knowledge and certain kinds of access that could increase the life quality within that life span, many of the religions are simply stupidly inconsiderate.


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