“Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.”
― Harry S. Truman
As I sit down to write this piece, I am finally zen. Now, I understand if you are confused, as to why anything in this piece, should produce such a response. You see, when I made a roast chicken a few days ago, I experienced a feeling of peacefulness. I had not felt any kind of peace for the better part of three weeks.
Center of Selfish Drama
I had just come out of the glow of Christmas and holiday baking. I was imagining the aura of contentment that would encompass my New Year, a.k.a January 2021. Instead, I was assaulted with drama-seeking people once again. I am afraid I cannot understand people who must be the center of attention all the time. And the harder I try to escape them, the more they invade my space. Some of them actually think that I want to be as offensively and selfishly invasive as they are. They really think that it is all about them. And all they do is take, giving no joy back.
Still, when I look at the number of people I have come across who are incredibly self-centered, I am not surprised. You know who I mean. The person who mopes and throws tantrums if she is not given the limelight, to bask in the entire time. The one who grabs all the resources for himself even if it is a team effort. That thirsty, ambitious co-worker, who will climb on people’s heads, to seek all the glory and to triumph at the expense of other colleagues’ reputations and even their jobs. This type of human being refuses to see how destructive he/she can be to other people. Let us extrapolate this core personality to encompass all those involved in the riots and unrest at the Capitol. This event is increasingly being characterized as an armed assault on the U.S. Capitol.
You see, we had a bunch of immensely violent people invading a very important symbol of democracy, in January 2021. All I could do was to watch helplessly. COVID-19 and its mutations make life very restrictive for someone as immune-compromised as I am. I just couldn’t handle one MORE thing to add to my already stressed-out state.
Yes, I am the proverbial person who hates drama of any kind. I literally would go meditate on top of a mountain, if circumstances allowed it. We know that our collective mental health has been battered by COVID-19. The issues with early COVID-19 were badly mismanaged by those in charge at that time. Many of us will need a lot of self-care and mental health therapy for a very long time to come.
I am sorry to say that I cannot imagine anything more unsavory and selfish, at this time, than the chaos and pandemonium these drama-seekers created. They did all this while filming and streaming themselves. The leaders in this motley crew pretended patriotism and in the name of a religion, Christianity, which requires one to love one’s enemy. They did all this while causing unimagined consequences. All of them brandished violence and mayhem around, with an angry bravado arising from zero sincerity. They selfishly added to our collective national trauma.
Indeed, some of these people were domestic terrorists with expensive weapons and weaponry to injure and maim. Yet, they streamed as much evidence as they could over various forms of media. These people really do believe that some publicity is better than no publicity. They also seemed to have tons of money to travel to Washington D.C., pointing to an apparent, well-funded and pre-meditated assault.
I am not sure if these same rioters will find their idols’ characters or their cause worthy of them or worth their while in the long run. This, if the news sources are to be referenced. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/22/economy/economists-oppose-trump-election/index.html and https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/investigations/capitol-rioters-express-regret-for-participating-in-unrest-after-not-getting-a-pardon-from-president-trump/63-7a04e9f1-4f72-4704-bd79-0e0ca09c1552.
All this mayhem happened, while other people around the country lined up at food banks, schooled their children at home with limited resources, worked at side gigs for rent and applied for unemployment checks.
While some factions may not have intended such severe destruction, one thing is clear. These selfish rioters simply did not care about other people, only themselves. I quoted Harry Truman at the start of this post because he pinpointed selfishness as a national sickness and a troubling phenomenon. He may have even foreseen things to come.
Self-Care Not Selfishness
I don’t know about you, but I am so weary of the clamoring cries of these violent people who don’t care that EVERYONE is facing the scourge and consequences of COVID-19. They are not special. We don’t deserve to have these rioters’ tantrums thrown about for all to see, while the rest of us must suffer in silence. Indeed, there are so many heroic people on the front lines, risking their lives everyday, who only ask that we wear masks and socially distance.
I wonder if any of these social deviants had the coping skills to engage in mature activities. For example, they could roast a chicken, creatively craft, draw something or meditate, to ease the stress. These are HEALTHY coping skills, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html. These sorts of activities exhibit NORMAL behavior. Instead, the deviants exhibited extreme selfishness and a blatant disregard for social norms and laws.
Do you know how much better it is for our peace of mind, when we can pull away to ruminate on our own, quietly? Or as they say, ‘just chill’. In line with my efforts to ‘just chill’, I made a golden, roasted, butterflied chicken dish with lemons, which gives out an aroma that to me, is better than a fancy aromatherapy candle from a ritzy store.
I acknowledge that not everybody can experience the warm glow of satisfaction knowing that they have saved some money. All this because they butterflied a chicken, like I did. But, if we are on a tight budget, we know that chicken breasts on their own cost an arm and a leg (no pun intended). We also know that the dark meat of the chicken is both succulent and flavorful. By butterflying the chicken, we cook the chicken faster. So, in a full chicken, we have the full chicken-eating experience, plus a lot of extra meals.
Yes, I know this feeling is temporary. Tomorrow I may feel low again. Here’s the thing, though. I am not here to impose my misery on you. Neither am I going to force you to accept my present state of mind. I know that if I throw a tantrum for all to see, I am being selfish and being intrusive towards you. So, if we find coping skills in a variety of non-violent, unselfish ways, we are doing well. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we have tough days. Remember, we are better than those violent, offensive drama-seekers. We are not selfish nor self-absorbed.
*I am aware that I am writing this as a layperson and expressing my own opinion. I do not represent that I am an expert in this context. Investigations by various departments are ongoing and circumstances and evidence may change.