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Longsuffering People

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Posted in Reflection by Joel Gross

People are willing to put up with a staggering amount of shit, if it’s fed to them correctly.‚  There are a very few people who have an absolute limit to what they will take, rather their limits are relative and if you increase it at a rate under their “exponential suffering curve”, they will tolerate it.‚  I know this because I have been on both sides of this equation as a giver and a taker.

At some points in my life it’s been almost been a game to see how much people will put up with before you push them over the edge.‚  Of course, others have done the same to me at times.‚  My stories collection includes a huge number of ridiculous things that I have done to other and others have done to me.‚  Many of these stories are hilarious (though dark) and some are tragic.‚  The hilarious stories are the ones where I give longsuffering others crap and the tragic ones are where they give it back to longsuffering me.‚  It’s much funnier when it’s not happening to you.

I wish I could share with you all of the stories , but it would take me far too long and probably would be inappropriate.‚  And it’s besides the point of this post.

For a long time, I thought it was entertaining to push people’s buttons and watch their reactions.‚  My friends and I would swap stories of ridiculous happenings like they were trading cards.‚  Many of my friends still do, but I have begun to lose interest in such things.‚  After you have carried something too far or had someone go too far doing something to you enough times, the humor dies and you begin to empathize with the suffering inflicted on others.‚  Most of what I have done is fairly mild, but there are a few things that on sober reflection I have grown to regret.‚  It becomes depressing.

My memory on things that people have done to me is vivid.‚  Thinking about some of the situations still makes me angry or humiliated.‚  When I compare those intense feelings of being on the receiving end to the shallow laugh of the giving end, I am very opposed to bringing that upon another.‚  I realized this as a very young boy, but still have occasionally brought suffering to others.‚  Before puberty I changed much of my humor to self-deprecating to avoid potentially hurting others.‚  Even in doing so, I have sometimes misjudged what would hurt someone or have been unable to contain myself if something is just too funny.‚  The scummy feeling I get afterwards though generally prevents such incidents.

For some reason, one area where I and many guys that I know have not been good about empathizing with others is when I’m dating.‚  I generally treat most people with respect and kindness, but for some reason this hasn’t extended as far into dating as it should.‚  Don’t get me wrong, I am far better now than I used to be, but there is still room for improvement.

Some of the people that I respect the most in my life are those who do not ever hurt others for a cheap laugh.‚  They treat others with the same kindness and attentiveness that they would like to receive.‚  Bestemor, Mark and a few others have this quality and everyone who has met them likes them greatly.‚  I am starting to aspire to be that good a person, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but it also will bring me the most benefit from a selfish perspective.‚  People who treat others extremely well are usually treated just as well back and have far better relationships than those who spinelessly seek a tacky guffaw at the expense of another human. On the other side, if someone doesn’t treat me right, it is fairly easy to point that out to them or just leave.

4 thoughts on “Longsuffering People

  1. great post. However Im very dissapointed that you did not mention my name cause I always show people repsect. I treat people like they deserve to be treated and I never prey on the weak or make fun of people for a cheap laugh. I even stand by my friends even if a huge number of people may dislike that person. I think the frat and the years following proves my point.

  2. BR, You are very respectful and caring for your friends. You do not do things that you think would hurt someone. You also are very loyal to your friends, which is greatly appreciated. However, I did not include you on the super short list of people who treat others extremely well for two reasons: 1) if you think something is funny enough you will occasionally forget about how someone else might feel (remember the night of the Diaz Penis Photography? lol) and 2) you treat women like I do (not as well as u should ;) ). Don’t feel bad though for not being on my list… there basically is only a couple of people who I think treat people right almost all of the time. I definitely would never include myself on my own list haha.

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