Hell is other people

Do we need people?

It’s been long since my last misanthropic crisis, after which I consciously decided I would no longer view humanity in such a negative light, and have since then made a rather dramatic shift, to the extent I claim to now be a “lover of humanity”, but that’s not what brings me here today.

Although I’m fond of Sartre’s theories on Existentialism, and although No Exist seems to easily depict the real situation of human beings, it makes me wonder why is it that our best and worst moments are spent and caused by people.

So back to my initial question, do we need people?

Since I want to keep this short and simple, I’ll talk about friendships only. (No family, etc etc)

Sitting in one of my lectures today, and in the middle of an interesting debate with a law student about Gay Marriage (it’s trendy), I looked to my left to notice a group of friends laughing their lives away. They seemed to be having a lot of fun together. And it’s only been three months since we’ve all known each other.

I couldn’t help to contrast both scenarios: a serious debate which I was part of; a fun conversation next to me.

I wondered, “why is it that I am here, spending time talking about Gay Marriage with someone I just met 5 minutes ago, while I could be in that group, laughing and befriending those people?”

And then another more important question followed, “do I want to befriend them?”

Do we choose our friends? Or do we simply let the wind carry us and find ourselves intimate with random people?

It’s something I need to think about myself, but my instinct is to say that even if unconsciously, we are constantly judging and choosing the people we associate ourselves with.

We want to spend time with someone that is similar is some way, someone who will potentially enrich us as human beings, someone with something new, different and interesting to say.

When I’m not in the mood for talking, but my friends feel like testing patience, I always tell them bluntly that “if they don’t have anything to say which will add value and substance to my existence, then they should not speak at all”. Obviously we both take this as a joke, as I’m sure I don’t always enrich someone else’s existence, but in the deepest truth that’s what I look for in people. I enjoy debates because I can feed off someone else’s opinions, I can learn and I can better substantiate my own opinions.

Now this raises other questions by itself, is the act of making, or better, choosing potential friends, selfish?

Is the reason why I befriend x and not y purely self-seeking?

That’s something I’ll leave in the open for now.

But at the end of the day, I did find the answer to why I was not with the group, it’s because right from the beginning I chose not to. I looked at them and saw that there was nothing there I could learn – obviously I can be wrong, and I probably am.

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