Toxic People: Bottom Feeders

It is during desperate times like these that selfish people really expose themselves; expose their true character, that is. With COVID-19 going on and racial tension at its peak, people are reverting to their most basic emotional reactions. It is truly amazing (and by that, I mean disappointing) how quickly humanity abandons any sense of humanity when the chips are down. The truth is, the chips are not really that down; statistically now is still the safest time in history to be alive. But one very real benefit during times like these, is that the selfish really take off their masks (no pun) and expose themselves for all to see. This makes it easier to spot them.

To be more specific, I speak of the people that are unwilling to look outside the scope of the life they live. They are concerned only with events and policies that affect them and their loved ones, unconcerned with the welfare of strangers or folks outside their circle. These people are what I call “Bottom Feeders” as they contribute nothing in their normal day-to-day activity in their community, to humanity. Instead, they mooch from it, suck the life right out of it with their negativity and/or self-serving interests.

We all know people like this, and we would be well advised to either eliminate them from our lives or keep them are arm’s length distance from us; don’t let them into our inner circle.

Over the course of time I have noticed these people have “tells” or “red flags” that give away their character. I have noticed more of these very recently (during this desperate time). Keep in mind that these red flags are NOT the “be all and end all” of spotting these bottom feeders, just a guide. These red flags are:

  • They do not return the shopping cart to the corral when they are done using it (after grocery shopping). – According to them, once they are done using it, it is not their problem anymore; that is somebody else’s job. A blatant lack of common courtesy.
  • 12 Items or less express lane in the grocery store. – They don’t care, and you don’t even need to count their items to tell that it is obvious that they have well more than 12 items. But none of that matters because their time is more important than yours.
  • Lack of turn signal use while driving. – When it comes down to it, the use of the turn signal does little to nothing to help the one doing the signaling. It’s meant for everyone else; so, others can be prepared for a change on the road during their driving. The driver making the turn already knows they are going to make a turn, so why do they feel they should bother. Again, it’s a common courtesy.
  • Traffic light rushers – They know that the light will turn red by the time they pass under it, and they do not care. Their time is more important than yours.
  • Lack of kindness toward service staff. – When out on a date, pay special attention to how the dates attitude toward the waiting staff is. More so than how they are to you. Of course, they will be pleasant to you, the whole idea of the date is to make a good impression (it’s self-serving).
  • Pay special attention to common self-serving phrases like “It’s a free country” or “My body, my choice”. These phrases are often spoken when in reference to an action they will take that may potentially hurt a third party. Guaranteed, when somebody says “It’s a free country” it’s because they just did, or are about to do a real dick move.
  • Not following the mask mandate during COVID-19 pandemic. – These people may be confident they will not catch the disease or are sure they will manage it if they do, and that is fine. They also realize that by not wearing one they present a small risk to the people around them (this is common knowledge by now), ……. but they simply do not care. It is just that simple. They be damned if they are minorly inconvenienced to help serve the greater good. Either THAT, or since the internet is an amazing place where one can find thousands of people that agree with them and provide unproved justifications for them to continue their lifestyle, these people have no shortage of justifications for their selfish acts so they can sleep at night under the illusion that they are righteous.
  • Rioters, and any protesters who use violence to convey displeasure with events and/or systems and policies. Unlike the above fed flags, this one has no grey area, it is a dead giveaway of a toxic bottom feeder.

 

These people lack a strong moral compass, and the only reason their acts have not escalated to deeply depraved and heinous acts is the fact that we have consequences for such acts. If we lived in a consequence free environment …… the sky is the limit for them.

In the end, a good judge of character is to spot if a person does the right thing even if there is no reward, or they think no one is watching. Will they do the right thing even if there is no negative consequence for them NOT doing the right thing.

Now is a good time to do some inner circle purging. Mind these red flags. I’d also be interesting in hearing about some of yours. Please comment.

NOISE

Noise Noise Noise

All we hear is noise from every media channel we are exposed to. Filling up our senses, cluttering up our minds, drawing our attention away from our lives. Political turmoil, state of the economy, fashions, trends, businesses, and worst of all, celebrity gossip.

While it is valuable to stay informed on current events that effect our lives, it should not take up as much of our time and focus as they would have it take up. To many of us are constantly plugged in to the streaming news on our mobile devices. More than an hour a week focused on these externals is too much.

Turn off the news, put down the phone, and let the peace of silence settle into us. Focus instead inward on ourselves. THIS is where growth and improvement happen. THERE …… inside, self reflection, introspection, is where we can make a change. The changes we make in ourselves, change how we see the world and how we interact with the world. This, in turn, inspires others. THAT is how we make a difference.

Staying focused on the news all the time just gives us more reasons to complain. Makes us whiners. It just adds to the noise problem.

 

Success vs Wholeness

From the time we are really young we are asked “WHAT to you want to be when you grow up?” in some way shape or form. They are of course referring to what we would like to do for a profession. In so many ways and repeatedly, we are asked that question. And the institutions we are placed in (school and sometimes home) are designed to facilitate taking us on the path to a career.

This is to lead us down a path toward survival into adulthood, and ultimately what we define as “Success” in a job. As a society we define success as attaining a level of financial security high enough to be considered wealthy, or at least “well off” (different people draw the line in different places), AND have a job that is satisfying, fulfilling, even potentially life defining; this is what we call a career.

It is believed that “Success” is the path to happiness, to purpose.

Unfortunately for so most of us, that is not true.

There are those that feel that nothing gives them greater joy and purpose than to do their job and excel at it. Work hard, climb the ladder, put in the time, 60-80 hours a week, potentially make a difference. For those that can feel their life has meaning purely by this until the end of their days, God bless them. This post is not necessarily for them.

BUT, too often as people move into adulthood they realize “Success” is not enough to satisfy. Not enough to give their lives meaning/purpose. They long to have relationships, connections; to have a family. Also, their mental and/or physical health may be waning as as result of their professional drive. Unfortunately too many of us realize this too late in life. Long after we have invested enormous amounts of time and money into our success, we wake up and realize that we are empty inside and that the time invested behind us is greater than time to make it up ahead of us. This is truly a sad state of affairs.

This is because in general, “success” is NOT the path to happiness. “Wholeness” is. Some call it work/life balance (I just call it life balance).

But whatever you call it, the question we should be imposing on our youth is “WHO do you want to be when you grow up?”, not “WHAT”. Or more exactly “What kind of person do you want to be?”. This is a more wholistic approach as it encompasses our entire life. Our health, social life, AND professional life. It also addresses our greater responsibility to humanity. With this approach we can tailor our education and influences from the standpoint of making better people instead of better “worker bees”. We are supposed to be improving humanity, not feeding capitalism.

Long term sustainable happiness only comes with these three things:

Good Health

Passion

Strong Connections (relationships)

 

Their “success” is a trap.

This philosophy of Wholeness is really just Minimalism viewed from another perspective.