“All cruelty springs from weakness.”
You know, I read this on twitter and my knee-jerk reactionary thought was this: “Bullshit.” And then I started to wonder why. See, I’m not a particularly cruel or sadistic person, but I have no problem with cruelty, don’t feel that it’s “bad”, and feel no shame for my willingness to be cruel when and where the urge to act on malicious urges strikes me. And in my experience, if you think it springs from weakness you’ve over-thought it. There doesn’t have to be a reason, or any sense, or anything inherently wrong with it. The need for that, far more than the capacity for cruelty, springs from weakness.
This (above) is as raw and unfiltered as I can be haha, I didu’t think it out as I was writing, and I’m not going to think about it before posting. If I’ve got more to say, I’ll just say it in rjother post. I’m sure if I have the (intuitive) sense that there’s anything wrong with my reasoning, it’ll bubble to the forefront of my mind and make itself known.
I didn’t hit publish after I was done with this, so here’s some more (below) basically starting from right where I left off in the first paragraph…
So does the unwillingness to be cruel, as well as the condemnation of it – whether because your scared or you can’t back your shit up or impose it when push comes to shove (which is still usually a fear-based approach, funnily enough), or for some other reason – you don’t have the strength or the backbone to be mean or cruel, so you avoid impulses, desires, and urges to act in such a manner.
Damn. I lied, I’ve got more to add (below), starting with another quote from someone a little brighter than dear old Seneca…
“Pride and arrogance are so easy a child can do them, seemingly. The problems people have with pride and arrogance is that it is NOT easy to do, at least not well. So, in an effort to mask inadequacy – we have conceptualized humbleness. People think it’s better to claim they’re not playing than to admit they play poorly.”
This is basically the same idea as the way I look at cruelty as far as people who’d rather appear kind or nurturing all the time. It’s easier to mask inadequacy – that is, the inability to be cruel without shame and/or with the capacity (or willingness to try) to survive the consequences that might follow from being cruel – by demonizing cruelty and conceptualizing humaneness, kindness, mercy, compassion,politeness, etc. and placing those on a pedestal. As with pride, people generally prefer to claim they’re not playing, or that they’re above playing, thav to admit they play poorly.
*laughs*, I seem to have gone on a bit of a tangent. Oops. But yeah, those are just the thought a flowing as sort of a gut reaction to being slapped in the face with that silly philosophers quote.