David Worboys – One thing leads to another

Lack of consideration for other people can range from dropping litter to genocide.

Do we love one another as ourselves? Do we do unto others as we would wish to have them do to ourselves? Do we consider the feelings of others or are we immune to them? If the answer is “no”, could we be potential murderers?

How does somebody become a Netanyahu? How can a person evolve through life to unleash the most atrocious holocaust since the Second World War? Even in the face of (almost) universal condemnation? It has to be because he is incapable of relating to the suffering or opinions of any fellow human whom he does not personally know. In other words it starts with selfishness – lack of consideration for others.

It can start so innocuously. Dropping litter is a very low-level crime. The “litterbug” causes no real harm to anybody but it can be an inconvenience, and suggests an insensitivity to the feelings of other people. The same applies to shooting the traffic lights on red. It may actually cause no harm but it is potentially dangerous – and it’s selfish.

Scoring points and name-dropping in order to put down or ridicule another being is not normally dangerous but it can cause hurt by generating feelings of inadequacy or envy. This would not happen if perpetrators cared for others as much as themselves.

And what if the person habitually humiliates his friends or family, at home or even in public? If the conscience of such a person is not bothered by hurting a friend’s feelings in this way, how would he feel about physically or mentally controlling his spouse – or a subordinate or servant – or slave? In such cases indifference to the suffering of another person reaches beyond the depths of selfishness.

If he has no conscience or is not stopped, he may resort to physical torture, unmoved by his victims pleas for mercy. Complete subjugation or physical abuse could ensue. Or worse.

The burglar, rapist or murderer is an extreme consequence of the selfishness of the litter bug. It is total disregard of the rights of others. And genocide? The indiscriminate slaughter of over 20,000 mainly defenceless women and children in Gaza and the reduction to rubble of their land, their homes, schools and hospitals is beyond the imagination of civilised beings. A defiant Netanyahu boasts about his “operation” every day and even smirks about it.

But it could not happen if other seemingly normal people cared. United Nations is ineffective as a peacekeeper, powerless against the superpowers. Only the USA could save Taiwan from China, South Korea from Kim Jong-un and Ukraine from Putin. But the USA is blighted with weak leaders (Biden and Blinken) and an obsession with winning over the electorate.

And so, wrongdoing prevails. The truth is that the litter bug and Netanyahu have in common that they are both inconsiderate. It’s very much a matter of degree.

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Written by

David Worboys

Offering a unique insight into everything from politics to food to sport, David is one of the Euro Weekly News´ most popular columnists.