Well It Just Sounds Stupid When You Say It Like That

After deleting my original draft for yesterday’s entry for being too self-castigating, I had a little chat with myself. If you’ll indulge the literary device, the conversation went (figuratively) something like this:

Me: So someone who hurt your family very badly is now suffering, and you can’t bring yourself to feel bad about that, is that it?

Also Me: Yeah, I’m not a very good person in that regard.

Me: You sure have a lot invested in the idea of not being a good person sometimes, you know that, right? You’re not an ideal person, sure, but that’s a work in perpetual progress.

Also Me: I think a good person should be able to care about someone else’s suffering without using a workaround.

Me: You mean your “workaround” that you care about this person’s suffering only in that affects people around them who don’t need or deserve that kind of suffering?

Also Me: Yes.

Me: So this person’s suffering is “deserved,” is that it?

Also Me: Well . . . said that way I wouldn’t necessarily go that far. They did some terrible things, sure, but I also know terrible things happened to them that probably made them terrible in the first place.

Me: Do you want to increase their suffering? Would that make you happy?

Also Me: No!

Me: Would you deny them medication or treatment that would ease their pain?

Also Me: No, that would just be pointlessly cruel.

Me: So you don’t really want them to suffer, you certainly don’t want people around them to suffer, but you want to make yourself suffer just because you’re not as invested in their suffering as you would be if it was someone you liked because that . . . helps, somehow?


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