Merely Decent

No one is all good or all bad. Often the “best” of us, if there is such a thing, are those people who, just as quickly as they can love, can turn on you and descend into stark unpleasantness. I take an example from my own life. I love people. I really do. I love my species, and I desire what’s good for them as a whole, and for the individual. And yet, if I’m standing in a line at the post office, or driving down the road, or sitting down for what is supposed to be a quiet dinner somewhere, and some idiotic human starts ruining my perfect moment with his irritating voice or his kid’s piercing cries or his creepy habit of staring at me every fucking time I raise my fork to my mouth, I want that person instantly removed from me and, if possible, put in the stocks. Therefore, I observe that there is good in me toward my fellow man, and there is also malice in me toward my fellow man. A lot depends on the day, my mood, the atmosphere, whether I slept well the previous night, or any number of contingent factors. This is why I seldom, if ever, pat myself on the back and think of myself as an admirable bloke. I’m not admirable. Nor am I pitiable.

I am, at best, merely decent.

Taken from my book, Collected Essays.


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