The Hurt We cause

The Hurt We cause

De Greek

It is astonishing to what degree the basic human principles of justice, compassion and fair play are universal, as is the feeling of guilt for personal acts of cruelty, irrespective of one’s background, country of origin, skin colour, religion or education. As, of course, also universal are humanity’s cruelty, pettiness, selfishness, unfairness and an astonishing ability to justify the most horrendous acts of barbarism with a theoretically glorified end result as a justification of the means.

I say this because a lot of us have been indoctrinated to automatically expect human beings in primitive tribes for example, to be deficient in the positive aspects, i.e. those aspects of compassion, guilt and regret for personal acts or omissions. This, in spite of the example of “civilised” Europeans causing unimaginable agony on their fellow human beings in the heart of Europe during WWII, for reasons which most of us are incapable (I hope) of comprehending. I recently had cause to feel considerable shame for my attitude towards our more isolated brethren in Africa, through a documentary called “Tribe”, on one of the educational channels. The adventurer in charge of the programme documents his stay with various tribes around the world, living as a member of different remote, primitive and mostly self sufficient people.

In one of these series, he visits the village of an isolated tribe somewhere in deepest West Africa, apparently known for its religious belief in a kind and forgiving God, whom they contact through the use of a drug found in the root of a tree. After about a month of living with the villagers, they trust him enough to put him through the religious process of acceptance into their religion and their clan. For three days he is fed the apparently disgustingly bitter tasting root containing the drug, in steady but reducing doses and for three days he vomits and purges himself continuously. After the first hour or so of this torture, the camera crew is banned from the hut where the process takes place and we, the viewers, are thankfully shown only the first bouts of violent vomiting.

The adventurer subsequently describes his experiences on camera. It appears that all who take part in this ceremony of acceptance into this particular religion go through the same drug induced and drug enhanced emotions. Our adventurers’ case was no different from the others. The drug brought rushing back to his memory, past and long forgotten and unwelcomed instances of acts or words of unkindness he was guilty of. He said that his recollection even took him back to actions he took as a child, to his earliest possible childhood remembrance. Under the influence of the drug, he was forced to experience the actual hurt he caused to his victims by the various long forgotten deeds of cruelty he had actually perpetrated in reality months, years or even decades before.

One could see in his face his shock and actual shame at having caused the pain he now actually experienced himself exactly as his actual victim did at the time of the offence. Having experienced the victim’s real pain, with himself on the receiving end, one could see how regretful he was at having committed those various acts and how he wished he could take them back. This was an ordinary human being, who had spoken unkindly to, or had taken advantage of a brother, waiter, cousin, warden, friend, secretary, girlfriend, or wife and was now feeling the deepest possible regret for having done so. It certainly was not acting. In fact he felt the need to explain himself by saying that basically he was an averagely decent human being, who had at times in the past behaved in ways which he was not proud of and would now shamefully and willingly correct those instances if at all possible.

For those who might think that there are secondary benefits to using the drug, I hasten to underline that those who go through the process are not anxious to repeat it due to its extremely painful and unpleasant nature.

What we have here is a group of supposedly primitive people who go through a very painful process, in order to experience the hurt, the sting and injury their own acts of cruelty cause to others. By feeling the damage they cause to others through their words or actions, they become restrained in repeating acts which wound their fellow man. How wonderful is that?

We all could learn so much from this, especially those of us who are parents, but we can also go a lot further than that. By seeking to understand the hurt we have caused each other in past conflicts and challenges, be they in business, in religious conflicts, in expansionist wars, in colour differences or elsewhere, we just might begin to celebrate each other’s differences and each other's right of choice. We might even learn to support each other in such choices.

As individuals, human beings are generally a kind, generous and hospitable species. It is only when the herd instinct is taken advantage of by eloquent and gifted maniacs that we forget our inherent love of our brethren of other colours and beliefs that we fall into the traps set for us and we then forget our true selves and follow shameful paths. If only we could experience the hurt we cause.

Dimitris Mita

De Greek

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Comments 47 comments

LEWJ 6 years ago

Thoughtful hub. You're a good writer, articulate.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

How kind... Thank you ... :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Ah, so this is how one responds to people who are kind enough to comment on one's wall... :-)


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

You're right De Greek when you say that human beings are generally a kind and hospitable race...but there are increasingly glaring exceptions. My own city was recently victim to a bomb blast where so many innocent lives were lost - and all of them below 30. Such a senseless waste of life...can you imagine how brainwashed the perpetrators must be, how uncaring of humanity?


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Fanatics of all sorts, religious or otherwise, MUST be the exception that makes the rule. Just think of the opposites of the fanatics in order to take courage from their example. I think of that courageous senior officer in Mumbai who faced the terrorists’ automatic weapons with a puny pistol. He died probably knowing that he did not stand a chance, but he declared that HE was the REAL representative of humanity, not the terrorists. I know that his sacrifice made me cry, even though I am so far removed from the culture and the country in which the incident took place. May that brave man rest in peace and may his memory live for ever.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you De Greek for a very interesting and informative hub, I appreciate you. Godspeed. creativeone59


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

That is so sweet, creativeone59, thank you. Is it not interesting how we humans need the companionship and appreciation of others in order to feel complete? Even a clumsy oaf like me does .... :-)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

How wonderful to read a hub like this about not hurting one another. I have been deeply saddened by recent hubs attacking others in the name of religion. Well done and keep these good hubs coming.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

You are kind Gypsy Girl (with the Angelic face) :-))

As I get older I realise how important it is to love our fellow man and the importance of forgiveness. Now that I said that I feel quite saintly :-))

If and when you have time, I would appreciate it if you would read "Allergies" and tell me your opinion. Since I have no imagination at all, I cannot invent things and therefore everything is based on life experience... Look forward to hearing from you again... :-)


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Ex Africa semper aliquid novum! Love, acceptance, forgiveness - these are the important things in life. Thanks for sharing this great Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Tony, thanks for taking the trouble to read and to comment... :-)


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

What an interesting article. I never knew of this drug. What a blessing it would be to experience such a thing. I would really like to do some research on this as I find it very intriguing. Maybe all abusers of children and animals should be forced to receive a high dose. Anyhow, this was an excellent hub.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Lisa. Really nice of you to take the trouble to comment. The program was on either Discovery Channel or National Geographic. And from the description of the drug's affects, I don't think that it would be a good idea to try the drug on impulse. As to the monsters who abuse children, they are beyond help. If they had any pity or decency in them, they would have committed suicide to prevent themselves from causing harm.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

LOL. I agree wholeheartedly.


i scribble profile image

i scribble 6 years ago

Interesting hub. Seems strange that a particular natural drug could have such a specific effect on memory. I agree we need to be more aware of how our actions affect/hurt others. I don't quite understand your next to last sentence. Are you sure you said what you meant to say?

This reminds me of the first time I heard of humanity on the whole described as "tribal warriors". I would have probably never come up with this insight on my own. Anyway, thank you for becoming my fan, & I invite you to check out my new hub on Rob Blagojevich & comment on it or any of my others. I will reciprocate by becoming your fan. And welcome to hubpages!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi i scribe, thank you for taking the trouble to visit.

My next to last sentence says

"By seeking to understand the hurt we have caused each other using our different religions and colour differences as an excuse, instead of celebrating each other’s diferences and each other's right of choice and supporting each other in such choices."

I fail to see what you mean. Please help :-)


i scribble 6 years ago

I was referring to the sentence after that, which begins "Humans are collectively a kind..."


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

But we are kind. One has to see the whole, not the exeptions :-)


H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 6 years ago from Lone Star State

Although I think that most people are good, and act as a way to defend themselves against others or the world in general- I think that some people look for reasons to be cruel (if it is caused by cruelty imposed upon them- I do not know) in order to bring themselves to a false sense of Higher Self. The pettiness, greed and discontent with ones self is what destroys good intentions that we shine with when children-most still have that purity within their souls...that if connected with can bring peace and worth to ones self and greatness to the world-through acts of kindness and general acceptance and understanding for each others differences.

I don't believe that there is just one way to believe in God or one right Religion-and I believe that at the end of the day- God is okay with all the different views and differences- Why should we not be?

Sorry for rambling on... I'm letting my thought process take over my writing-and some times it does not make perfect sense.

Great Hub- Great Take on this Human Behavior.

hc


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

I agree with what you say child. If only we could try to understand each other and learn to forgive. And you are right, there ARE people who look for ways and means to be cruel and yes, usually it is because others were cruel to them. And I also agree with you about religion.

It's good to see a young person like yourself make an effort to acquire a deeper understanding of life.

Thank you for passing by and for your comments. :-)

And I love your poems. How is your dad?


H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 6 years ago from Lone Star State

I think that what I feel about religion and how I view it, has given me more understanding of myself and what I have experienced in life-and allowed me to find peace within darker days.

Thanks for the compliment on my poems, my dad is doing okay. Refuses to slow down and relax, staying busy seams to give him more comfort than relaxing. Today is his birthday-so I will be making a much needed visit to my families home this evening. Thanks for your concern and comment :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

“We could all learn so much from this. . . but we can go a lot further than that by seeking to understand the hurt we have caused each other using our different religions and colour differences as an excuse, instead of celebrating each other’s differences and each other's right of choice and supporting each other in such choices."

I couldn’t agree more! This really is the point - the bottom line: going beyond mere tolerance for a true delight in & appreciation of differences, which are actually as numerous as there are individuals. In this is appreciation of life as we know it which is characterized by differences & by elements of insecurity. We’re in it for quality rather than quantity of its duration, but we must choose which to pursue by recognizing that it's in actively positive responses to others that we are free to express our own enhanced & justified self-acceptance &contentment & vice-versa.

As some of the other comments point out (and there are some really good comments here!) there's some self-hatred in hatred of others, along with mistreatment from others in mistreatment of others. We must like & forgive ourselves in order to see likeability and forgivability in others, whether their traits are more or less similar or contrasted to ourselves; and we must like and forgive them in order to fully like and forgive ourselves. It "goes-with" being a living human being in the fullest sense.

So why isn't it more the rule? Granting that humans are born to be good, why do some become monsters and the rest of us either deliberately or inadvertently hurt others along the way - (as apparently this going through a drug-induced initiation brings to full awareness in those going through it)? With or without such a dramatic facing-up, though, we have hurt others along the way. Why is that?

A number of vices come to mind which might seem to be basic to human nature in various quantities: mean-spiritedness, greed, selfishness, envy, mistrust, suspicion, etc. But I suspect it's highly probable that the underlying basis of all of those characteristics is simply fear for our own safety and well-being, which may have been bred into us over eons of imminent danger of being eaten by tigers, deprived of basic rights, stolen from, abused, weakened and generally conditioned to develop our own vices to defend and protect ourselves from real or perceived threats.

Obviously such a cause-&-effect kind of vicious circle tends to reproduce itself automatically, except in special instances in which individuals raise their sites to take a step into – (dare I say it at risk of oversimplifying?) – a higher, more evolved mentality by choosing personal courage and adjustments to resist falling into the tiresome time-proven disastrous norm.

Fully appreciating INSECURITY of LIFE as a vital part of itself which is as essential as its blessings to its existence & deciding to be a source of positive influence and effect is a possible effective choice! Voila!

Without the movement of electrons and protons, there would be no friction and there would be stasis, ie: non-life. Not a desireable trade-off!

So one can relax & - as you say - celebrate the differences of our fellowman as blessings rather than threats. It does not magically change everything but personally & within one’s sphere, it is a lighthouse set on a hill.

Thanks again for a most thoughtful and well-presented hub, De Greek, one which demonstrates a basic thinking niceness about its author! :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Nellianna, I have jsut noticed this comment! I am a brute for not unswering you in time and I shall correct this as soon as I return from a shopping trip with my wife who is waiting for me. Kiss you


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Nellieanna, what can I say. You have covered the shole range of any importance. I am now sitting here and listening to Easter music and the lyrics of the Byzantine period are so powerful that tears are running down my face becasue of them. So much poetry exerted to describe the absolutely finer instincts of the human species. Love, compasion, charity, care and love of a kind and gentle God...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

I can visualize you doing so.

Thanks for reading my comments. No problem with the delay. I'm not much of a score-keeper. Have a lovely Easter.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

De Greek, what a beautiful, thought provoking hub. How many of us have hurt others without even trying, without realizing the pain that we inflict, sometimes just with what we say. You remind us to always behave kindly, with understanding, and empathy. Peace to you.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Dolores, you are very kind to say so. Thank you for your courtesy to drop by and comment:-)


Aley Martin profile image

Aley Martin 6 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

Have you read Diderot's "Voyage to Bougainville"? I think you may find it rather brilliant.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Have not read this, Aley. Will try to look it up, thanks :-)


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

I would love to watch this show/documentary, it sounds fascinating. I often think if we could see ourselves more clearly, see ourselves through the eyes of others, and be able to walk in other's shoes as well...we would be much better people. Given the opportunity to see my misdeeds over the years would doubtless make me a better person, but how frightening too...what if you couldn't bear what you saw?


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Ah.. Mulberry... the more frightening, the less possibility of re-offending. It is certain way for all of us to become better persons. Thank you for commenting :-)


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Wow..I never knew the psychotic drugs can induce such deep recollection.

Thanks, De Greek.

Tonight, actually I was thinking of the word, Charisma.

There used to be such a perfume when I was growing up. Musk in cream. I liked it but they don't make it anymore.

I was thinking if I were to describe Charisma in man, you would be it, so I was really looking for some of your writings that I can post to my many men friends.

I am glad I came here and read this hub. Thank you.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Ahhh...My BAD girl Melinda :D


mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

Very thoughtful and well written hub. You made so many points with which I agree. I think generally speaking people have more in common than they realize and if we could focus on this, the world would be better for it. Thank you for a thought provoking hub.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank YOU for passing by and for your comment :D


triciajean profile image

triciajean 6 years ago from Bantam, CT

Wonderful writing about us folks and how we behave, as so many have said in the past weeks. One can never be too kind!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Triciajean, how right you are: One can never be too kind. Thank you for visiting :-)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

This is great writing. There is no cause for the hurt we cause. Thank you Sir!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank YOU Micky Dee :-))


McHamlet profile image

McHamlet 6 years ago

Very interesting and thought provoking. I know myself I have both moments of sensitivity and insensitivity. In the latter I've sometimes get more done but at what cost? It's an issue I've struggled with for years, and it's often only years after events that you realize what you did to others' feelings. I think that kind of knowledge though, is a drug worth taking. Thanks a lot for this. I'll be following your writing in future.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

McHamlet, as long as we realize our errors, even in retrospect. Thank you for passing by :D


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I am so aware of people who rationalize anything and everything painful and horrific done to others, women and children. It boggles my mind that some men are so cruel and mean what has happened to them or is wrong with them to hate women so much, bullies and they get off on it... as if they do it because they can.

Anyway, often times life is hard and raising my two girls sometimes creates a bit of stress especially in rushed moments of trying to get here and there and both my kids seem to have a slow motion mode, which I do not, I'm dynamic and ALWAYS early, pride myself on going above and beyond. So anyway when the stress of conflict of me to them presses down and I raise my voice, rush them, say, COMEON you gotta do this, do that, I later or in the moment say to them,

"If I've done or said anything to you to hurt you or make you feel bad please forgive me as I would never do that on purpose as I'm trying to teach you and may not always take the best course, so do please forgive me and know that I love and adore you"

Peace :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK Author

Katie, with age I have come to realise how important it is to try to avoid having to apologise for our actions. In other words, to try not to hurt or to bully anyone from the beginning. BUT, if as you say we do make a mistake, the sooner we admit it to those we have hurt, the better. :-)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Wow, how come I missed this great Hub?

Brilliant and touching Dimitris. Thank you.


PassionFalls  5 years ago

What an inspriational piece of writing. I think this is by far my favourite of your pieces. And thank you for taking the time to read my very first hub! Part two will be on its way soon... but that is, as they say, another story for another day! :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

Tatjana,

How come I missed your comment and did not respond? ;-)))

Sorry!!!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK Author

PassionFalls,

Thank you for your kind words :-)

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