Let me paint you this scenario:
Two people are running for a bus at full-speed. The bus-driver sees them, but like the mean bus-driver I talked about in my previous post, the bus-driver ignored them and drove off.
Hence, in a fit of fury and on impulse, both people opened their mouth and each said one of the following:
Person 1: “God! I wish that stupid driver will meet with a car accident!”
Person 2: “God! I wish that stupid driver will be turned into a cabbage and get eaten up by some slimy slugs!”
Now, you are to decide who is the mean person in 3 seconds. Ready?
Now I think majority will tell me, “Of course person 1 is the mean fellow! How can he ever wish that the bus driver to meet an accident? All the people on board are innocent, and it won’t hurt her to take another bus.”
Is that what you are thinking now?
So let me tell you what happened exactly and what made me interested to write this post. Sophia and I were running for 174 double-decker that was relatively empty after school, and we reached there just in time, the driver saw us but drove off. I was so furious (you can tell from my previous post) by this driver that I shoot my mouth off on impulse, “I hope he meets a car crash! I am so angry ugggghhh!”
Actually, I regretted saying that the minute the words came out from my mouth (you do have to keep in mind that I, afterall, am a very very nice person), but before I could say, “wait I take that back, he should not meet a car accident”, I heard two shocked exclamations.
From Sophia and Luo Wen who happened to be walking towards us and heard my comment.
Both of them cried in unison, “That is so mean! How could you say such a thing? It is just a bus! All the people on board are innocent and we can take the next bus.”
Then they gave me angry looks.
Coincidentally, the similar situation happened again after sometime, just that this time, I said something different.
This time, we were in class and because the teacher kept ignoring my question, and I was so angry that my question kept getting ignored that I said, “Man I am so super angry! I wish he would turn into a cabbage and get eat by a slimy slug!!”
Reaction from everyone?
Everyone laughed at my short rant, some loled, and Luowennie went, “Lol Ying Ying you are so cute!” which made me feel very very happy and flattered indeed. After all, I don’t get called cute all the time.
So I was wondering, what is the difference between the two statements?
I thought about it for so long, and I can only think of these:
1. Statement one about the car-crash is more likely to happen than statement two which wishes for the teacher to be turned into a cabbage and eaten.
But am I that effective or “ling2”? To the extent that when I ask someone to meet a car-crash, they will? If you argue that the latter is not going to happen no matter how I wish for it, and hence less mean, let me tell you something—the first statement won’t happen either. Why? “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!” Seeing how poverty is still rampant in so many places, and that I still look as ugly as ever despite me wishing for better skin, better nose, better eyes all day, we can safely consider that wishes does not come, at all.
What if this is considered as a curse and it works?
Unfortunately, no. Curses are just as effective as wishes, and there is not effective at all.
How do I know?
Well, I have been cursing for spiders and lizards to go extinct ever since I was in P6, and nope, there are still as many spiders and lizards as ever.
I have also been cursed right in my face and behind my back by people wishing that I would fail PSLE, but nope, I did better than ever.
Thus, curses and wishes do not work. Why then, get upset over something I said on impulse?
2. Car-crash is plain malicious, while turning into a cabbage and getting eaten is sorta cute.
Let us just look at the end results of each:
Getting into a car-crash indicates that the person gets injured, and possibly dies.
Getting turned into a cabbage and eaten means that the person first gets injured, and then eventually dies too.
So how is one “mean” while the other “cute” (not that I mind being cute, but that is not the focal point)?
So I move on to my third and more possible reasoning, which is:
3. Possibility of each occuring
Okay, it is obviously more likely that the car-crash will happen than becoming a cabbage and then being eaten, hence people feel more horror towards the former than the latter. Although I can guarantee that if the latter does happen someday, no one will find it funny anymore.
But do you all believe that car-crashes happen because someone ask it to?
It can’t be right?
Drunk-driving. Sleep-driving. Not paying attention. Lousy car skills. whatever.
But happening because we say it will? Nope.
Go back to point one. Wishes, curses and now, statements, do not simply just occur when we utter it.
So here comes the best reasoning I can think of, and that is:
4. Our conscience does not allow it.
So let say that I say that “I wish that he would meet a car accident!” and neither Sophia nor Luowennie stops me. And let say that if I am indeed all-powerful and the car-crash does happen, so what happens?
All three of us would wallow in guilt:
I would be guilty for saying such an inauspicious thing.
Sophia and Luowen would be guilty of not stopping me.
Now does it suddenly look like I am the culprit behind the accident when it could totally have been the driver sianning away and falling asleep or something?
But our conscience, or the “little voice in our head” that appears whenever we are in a dilemma, tells you that you are partly responsible for being so foul-mouthed and so terribly mean to wish this upon others. But then look at Argument 1. Have you ever wished that you can strike lottery and you did? if you did, then you are damn lucky. I wished that my mum would strike lottery for the last 10 years of my life and we haven’t really struck lottery at all.
Now my point is that by telling the mean person off, it seems like we would automatically feel like we are better people ourselves right? And no I am not saying that Sophia and Luowen are superficial people who go around telling people off to make themselves feel better. I am just saying that in some situations, we all would respond accordingly to make ourselves feel better because we have a conscience and would feel guilty if we don’t step out to say it.
Am I right?
I know my argument and deduction sounds a little skewed here and there, but do you get my main point?
If you don’t, let us see another example.
One day you were strolling on the streets and saw an old lady crossing the road. Then you realized a Ferrari driving at full-speed towards her. She would be knocked down, and 99% of chances is that she would die.
You have half a second to think whether you would rescue her.
For those who rescue her, why did your rescue her? Who is she to you to make you risk your life, and risk having your mother grieve over you when you possibly pass away while doing this heroic act?
You might tell me,
Now all these are due to conscience.
Not being able to live with yourself? Little voice asking you? Simply have to do it?
Hey, your conscience sends its greeting.
And it is not a bad thing.
I digressed a little too much to prove my last point that some people do things to make themselves able to live with themselves, hence it is also of course, an option that people say things to make themselves live with themselves.
Like if my friend told a beggar, “You stink and I hope that you will die.”
I would say without hesitation, “No, don’t say that, you will hurt his feelings. And asking someone to die is terrible.”
If you overheard this, would it seem to you that I am a better person than the one who asked for the demise of the beggar? But why don’t we see that:
1. It is true that the beggar stank
2. The beggar won’t drop dead because you asked him to
3. I did nothing to solve the problem by chiding my friend? The beggar still stank, and he won’t have an extended life just because I told off the person wishing for his demise.
Why did I say it then?
Because then I feel better, because I am not keeping my silence which might show my consent, and essentially, my conscience rejoice.
I guess all these may or may not make sense to you all….
But do tell me:
- Who is more mean? The one asking for car-accident or the one asking for the person to be a cabbage and consequently get eaten?
- Why is the chosen person more mean?
- What would you do, and why would you do it (saving the old lady)?
- Will you chide your friend when they make childish remarks? If so, why?
Do tell me in the comments box below! I am starting to feel confused and warped and wish to hear from everyone! Thanks!:)