“I hear the pastrami sandwich is very good here…”
Most people think they’re good. Moral. With a decent code of conduct. Values and principles guiding them to a right way of living and being. Or at least they do their best to be better than not better or worse.
We all have our bad moments. Something said or done in a fit of rage, an instance of extreme stress, emotional overload, which we later may regret and maybe even apologise for. Or not, perhaps we blame the other person for what we did because of what they said or what we said because of what they did, and until they apologise to us…
Some people are so convinced that they are right, they see everyone else as being wrong, and they make it their mission to set others straight. Which can cause more harm than the good it is trying to do. Road to Hell is that-a-way or is it this-a-way?
Heroes never see themselves as villains, and villains often see themselves as heroes.
Sister Carmel [seated at the booth]: I need to know one thing.
The Man: Alright.
Sister Carmel: How can I know you’re not The Devil?
The Man: You can’t.
There are some scenarios which, when witnessed from a distance, can boggle the observer’s mind. We wonder how a person could do such a thing, and as we wonder we feel a sense of pride in ourselves that we could and would never do that thing. For some that is the only reason why they wonder about why someone did something, to make themselves feel superior and right and good. They do not ask why to know the why, they ask why to make a point.
Others ask why to understand, but it can be a struggle. To understand, most often, you have to put yourself in the place of the person you are trying to understand. If in your eyes they did something heinous, then you may be tainted by such an experience. You might realise that, given the right or wrong circumstances, you too could do what they did, maybe even worse. A chilling thought. A thought which could have consequences, which is why most choose not to understand how a person could do such a thing.
The Man: There are things I do not know about this world – about people – about how things will turn out. But I do know this: There are consequences.
Consequences… lots of people talk about them, usually when warning someone else about them, few ever apply it to themselves. Karma for most only seems to be relevant when it affect others, as in karma will kick your ass. That wrong being done to them for which they seek karmic punishment of the wrong doer… may be due to their karma punishing them for a wrong they did to someone else.
Have you ever received more change than you were due after paying for something using that strange stuff known as cash?
If yes, what did you do? Did you think it was your lucky day, pocket your treasure and walk away smiling a secret smile? Did you point out the discrepancy and correct the mistake? Which one did you do and why?
If no, what would you do if it happened to you? What would you really do? Because imagining what we would do based on our highest ideal… and what we actually do in a non-hypothetical situation… there is a bit of a gulf between the two.
Dillon: [seated at the booth] I told you the truth.
The Man: The words are true. Honesty’s a little more complicated.
If a cashier gives us the wrong change and it is in our favour, rather than against us which would immediately elicit a correction, we often feel that we deserve the break. A lucky break from providence who so often overlooks us. But does the cashier deserve the consequences of our lucky break? Sure it was their mistake, but why did they make it? Were they distracted by some personal problem which was overwhelming them… and now they have one more issue to add to what may be the most stressful day of their life.
Perhaps you’ve been on the other side of this, given someone the wrong change, too much instead of too little… what happened next?
At some point a tally is going to be made of the takings, and someone is going to have to pay for the loss of revenue. Who might that be? Will the shop owner take it upon themselves? It’s a loss for them, but maybe they value their employee and know that this particular one is going through a rough patch. Or is the shop owner a link in a chain which has a policy, and that policy punishes those who make mistakes regardless of why the mistake was made. Follow the rules, and win the game!
Maria: [seated at the booth] Don’t judge me too hard…
The Man: I’m not judging you! I’m just telling you the rules of the agreement that we made.
Maria: Well, I don’t like the rules.
The Man: Then don’t play the game.
Sometimes in life we are so caught up in the circle of our life that we fail to notice how that circle overlaps and connects with all the other ones around us. We are all drops, rippling into other drops, gathering together to form an ocean of life. Consequences… affect all of us.
Is your want more important than everything and everyone else? It does feel that way sometimes… sometimes all the time.
The Man: Cheryl, you will either find a woman without family and friends and torture her, or you won’t. And if you do, your daughter will be healed. And if not, she won’t – at least, not by any means found in this booth.
If you like psychology, philosophy, spirituality of sorts, and exploring the enigma of life… check this show – The Booth at the End – out if you haven’t already seen it. It offers a very intriguing view of us, me, you, others, and how intertwined our lives truly are… and it poses some questions which are worth thinking about if you truly want to understand human nature, your own and that of others.
The Man: Why are you so alone?
Doris: Why are you?
The Man: I have my reasons.
Doris: Unlike the rest of us?
What motivates us and how far we would, perhaps, be willing to go to get what we want… even when the consequences of that may be something we do not want.
image via future of self knowledge