I’m a hermit.
I’ve completely disengaged from socializing and “gone missing” as most people at Bentley would say. I’m fully aware of it and for a while, I was fine that way. I was fine not interacting with people because it seemed every corner I turned, people disappointed me.
Here’s another thing going on with me: I realized recently my complete lack of desire to attend any of my classes (although with great efforts I’d make my two feet move there) or be engaged in school this semester. It’s strange because I truly love learning and wrapping my head around new concepts. But I think my classes have been poisoning my head with “the idea that the world is out to get you beware.” Between–learning how to slyly talk to people to get what you want (ethically and unethically) in Negotiations class to learning about how you can’t trust anybody in Business Law class (my professor, who is also a practicing successful lawyer, has stressed this idea to us many times in class)–my fire, pull, and passion to help others was slowly being pushed the other way.
I told my bible study group a few Mondays ago about my recent disdain and gloomy new view about society these days, I used to think that people were naturally good: people don’t want to deliberately hurt other people by cordially always saying “please and thank you,” and for most average citizens wanting to abide by the law. On a more “Bentley-esque note”: businesses were finally turning around to serve with organic foods and corporate social responsibility initiatives. But…most are covert selfish motives sprinkled and decorated with all sorts of different flavors of B.S for profit-seeking motives.
So,I’ve acquired a bitter taste to Hobbesian theory, that people are inherently sinful, selfish, and corrupt. I guess I’m disillusioned–having so much hope for people and it being shattered and dissipated. So as I mentioned before, I wanted to hide from people because it seemed with this in mind, anytime anyone did anything that hinted a little negativity, a reflex would just kick my brain to think “Yup, people are innately selfish.” It truly disappointed me and “emoed” the crap out of me.
Honestly, I was doing well avoiding people on campus. But recently, I’ve been hearing from God that I need to have compassion on others even if they are “bad people.” I realized this was my pride butting in: after I precariously concluded that people disappointed me over and over again, I decided I just couldn’t be with people to withstand it anymore. It didn’t register in my head that this conviction was cultivating a latent and deeply seeded pride in me (and I hate to say it out loud or that I was overtly thinking this) the idea that “People are bad, but I’m good.”
That’s where God tells me I’m wrong. I’m no better. We’re all sinful, broken, and imperfect. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. But love your enemies, do good to them…” (Luke 6:32-36) An enemy doesn’t necessarily have to be characteristically extreme like an “arch nemesis”–it can be anybody that I have any inclination to stay away from to any degree small or large. And I think I’ve just made the world something to hide away from. I’ve made the world my “enemy.”
Although my optimistic hopes have been shattered, it should not stop me from loving others. I can’t be angry or bitter towards them. What does that solve? Where does that take either of us? I want to better society and people, I need to react better and stop being so prideful. How I act in such situations reflect what I believe. I need to be able to demonstrate my faith even in bad situations, which means being at peace even through storms and bitter tastes of people. I want to show God’s grace and forgiveness through it all. I think He’s truly challenging me to do that lately, especially in a campus of broken and disillusioned people.