Nobody ever questions how exactly Mary got that little lamb now, do they?


People get me thinking, for some reason or another. Maybe it’s because I’m continuously bored, or maybe it’s because I listened, once, in a psychology lecture, but I find myself wondering – continuously – why the hell do people do the things they do. 

Why does the guy on the train play music from his phone at a volume that irritates the neurones out of every other passenger’s brain? Does he lack the ability to feel concern for the affairs of others? Or does he simply not care? Is he very proud of his musical taste and hopes that all others will enjoy it also? Maybe he is bored and wants to start an argument just to make his enduring journey pass more quickly, or maybe he’s going to run a marathon in an hour and the only sound that will get him pumped up enough is ‘Lil Wayne singing about how his modified Cadillac got repossessed while he was in jail?
I can’t be the only one that wonders why these blimps in humanity behave the way that they do. We’d all like to think that they are thoughtful and good when they want to be, or that they only react to situations in this way because something terrible happened to them long ago and they have lost the ability to feel compassion for another human being. It is easy to be judgemental of the different or the abnormal. What really interests me is why the average person, or the ‘normal group’, behave the way that they do. Why does the average train commuter sit quietly against the window and read the Sydney Morning Herald on the way home? More interestingly, why does the teenager next to them listen to music? Why does the twenty-nine year old lady read OK magazine? Why does the nurse just sit blankly staring out the window? 
What causes us to make the choices that we make? Why is it that right now I am writing this article when I probably should be studying for my anatomy mid-semester? The answer, you could say, is that I enjoy writing more that I do studying anatomy and that’s why I made this choice. But why do I write when I am procrastinating and not play video games or spend hours on Tumblr like other people who don’t want to study? What happened in my life that made me a writer and Joe Smith down the road a gamer? Is it because I am more educated? Is it because I think far to much and feel like reducing others to my level? Am I writing this just to get it off my mind, or just to so people can comment and feed my ego?
The answer to this is simple – we all have a story. A story that makes us who we are. It is a compilation of how our parents brought us up and the values they taught us to recognise along with the impact of the hundreds (and now with the impact of television and popular culture, probably millions) of people. But can we assume that none of who we are is purely genetic? If we all were brought up in the same culture would we all end up the same? If twins were brought up across the world from each other (a la Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger) would they end up completely different? The ‘Nature vs Nurture’ debate that has been going on for centuries. 
The truth of the matter is that every single thing that you are and who you will become is based on who you were. You can be told to forget the past, but whether you like it or not it will effect who you will become. It is because once our first commuter couldn’t enter a conversation about the global financial crisis that he reads the Herald on the train. It is because once our teenager danced to a new band at a night club why he listens to music. Our twenty-nine year old lady heard some gossip that she wanted confirm, and our nurse, well maybe she just forgot her novel at the hospital. 
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We can select our friends after weeks of analysis, but we have to select our life-partners over dinner?

There are seven billion people on this earth. Billions have come before us and billions will come after. Everyone that has ever been, that ever will be and that is. 

Everyday, you encounter less than one percent of the earth’s population. On average you speak to two new people a day. You have people you see daily who you never talk to. These are people who you recognise and who recognise you. You wonder where they are on days you don’t see them, even at least for a millisecond. But they are there just to let you know that there are other people in this world. The awkward glance, or the smile forcibly returned lets you know that other people are the same as you on the inside, that you are kid with backpack to briefcase carrying suit guy.

And once you forget about briefcase carrying suit guy you meet the people you know, but not well enough to talk to. You smile and they smile back, maybe a nod of the head, whilst drastically searching through your memory to attach a name to a face.

Then there are the people who you do know well enough to talk to, but not well enough to create an actual, meaningful conversation. You generally meet these people whilst walking in the opposite direction to them. You see them from a distance and say hi, they say hi back. It reaches a point where you both realise that you have to finish a complete conversation in about 10 seconds before you pass each other. This usually results in a completely useless and obvious question:

“Going to class?”  
“Yep”
“Ok see-ya around”
“Yep see-ya”.
The next group that comes are people that you work or have class with. You don’t necessarily like these people or know them that well, but you are forced into conversation because of your situation. You ask about how long till they finish class, followed be the obligatory ‘oh really, that sucks’ or the ‘Ahh lucky you, I’m still here until ___’. The long, awkward pauses, or if your like me, boring statements that are only of mild interest just to void the never ending tension 
“So yeah this stool is really uncomfortable hey…”
Then, you eventually reach the people you want to talk to. These are those who fall into your list of top people in your life. These are the people you look forward to seeing, the people who grab your attention so as you forget about all others. The people you say ‘see you later’ to and know that you will in truth see them later. It is a group that is usually small and highly selective with a rigorous selection process, followed by a tough orientation period. Examination after examination, frequent callbacks and follow up interviews, a group that lives in a solid brick house with only a back door that needs to be hammered down to get out of.
Sometimes I wonder why all people couldn’t fall in this group. Then I remember than if they did, I wouldn’t really get much done.