I noticed that one of the masters of the apartment started crumpling the tops of cereal boxes so that they couldn’t remain open.
I remembered that many times earlier, he would race to shut the cereal boxes that I would leave open, even if the bag was closed.
He could not tell if the bag was open or not.
The old me would have lost my mind, him accusing me of letting the cereal go stale, and longing to show me up for doing something I might not have actually done.
But I remembered the theory of purpose-result friction,
I remembered that actions and consequences, when perceived, create a tension.
And people are inspired to desperately do what they think is right,
and forlornly frustrated by the possibility of others’ lack of virtues,
so much so, they will do things that might not yield much of a real effect
upon the effects caused by someone’s supposed behaviors.
You cannot say it was about the cereal, or about me, about him, or the desire to be a good person.
Those aspects set each other on fire.
I took care to close the bags more, less offended by him.
I subsided the angst.
Wouldn’t it be nice if my country could do the same?
Although I admit I think the right side of history is the right side,
they are stumbling so very much.
Accusing people of doing what they might not be doing can only take you so far.
That’s why no ethical system has yet to work.
It’s all about the friction between who you are and what you do.
People have already done much positive self-correction,
and that’s why they feel so offended when told they’re completely off the path of dignity.
I’d like to carry the weight of the world, until I see all the kindness unfurled.