Monday, October 29, 2018

Microstory 961: Sassy Compassionate People

If you wanted me to describe the perfect person for me, it would be really easy to come up with the surface characteristics. I prefer shorter, lighter-skinned girls with dark hair. I like a bit of asymmetry, with as few flaws as possible. What attracts me to a man is a bit harder to codify, but I know it when I see it (on a scale from John Barrowman to Channing Tatum, they should be somewhere on that scale, and that’s rare). Obviously, personality is more important than superficial features, which is why I would never rule out falling in love with say, an extraterrestrial alien, or someone with some kind of so-called deformation. But what is a good personality for me? Would I want them to be really outgoing, or be quiet like I am? Should they struggle with self-confidence? Be into science fiction? Should they be just like me, or my complete opposite? When it comes down to it, the people I find myself liking the most share two common traits, which may seem contradictory to one another. I like people with attitude and snark, and also compassion. I like when they look at the world from multiple perspectives simultaneously, and are capable of judging fairly what they see, while also being able to play devil’s advocate. They should enjoy cracking jokes, but only in a playful and harmless way. These jokes should not be mean-spirited, or have a negative impact on the progress of the human condition. I care about the world, and the people in it. And when I say that, I mean everyone. I don’t just mean my family, my country, or even my continent. If I had the power to change society on a massive scale, I would use that power to equalize everyone; get rid of money and suffering, and instil a sense of loyalty and love amongst all Earthans. I prefer to surround myself with people who possess the same crazy dreams of a better world. This mix of sass and compassion is important, because I do not believe either one fairs well without the other. A sassy person who doesn’t care about others is really just inconsiderate, callous, and negative. They quickly devolve into a spiteful and vindictive, cynical misanthrope who manipulates others to their own gain. You would think compassionate people are fine enough, and for the most part, that’s true. But I’ve personally found really nice people to often be hesitant to help others grow. In a world where no one can do wrong, and everyone is perfect the way they are, people can’t improve themselves, or learn to fail. It’s not inevitable, but compassion plus sass gives an individual the edge they need to truly understand what others are going through, because there’s a difference between compassion and empathy. Empathy is a prerequisite for any decent human being, so if you don’t have it, you don’t matter to me in the slightest. Regardless of how you feel about flaws, if you’re incapable of seeing them in the first place, you’ll never be able to relate to most people, because most people can see those flaws. So please, be nice, but also be interesting.

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