My husband and I got into quite the argument tonight. At one point he tried to get me to answer a rhetorical question, but I just looked at him blankly much like a stoned kitten would. His rhetorical question was this: Are you a good person? I just couldn’t answer him positively or negatively. I just couldn’t relate personally to the question whatsoever. Are you a good person? What the hell is a good person? Sometimes I lay awake at night plotting your murder, you bastard – does that make me a bad person? I go out of my way to talk to old people on the bus, even though I only understand half of what they say because of my basic Turkish – does that make me a good person? I argued with the employees at two Vodafone offices when I could not pay for my weekly Internet and they couldn’t tell me why or figure out how to help me – does that make me a bad person? I would take a bullet for you, even though at this moment you are the biggest bastard in the world, and I would also take one for my daughter, my family, your family and anyone in fact because there is something in me that wants to protect every and any being from harm (except when I plot your murder in the darkest night). Does that cancel everything else out, the murder plotting, the fighting with dense customer service agents, the time I told our two year old to f-off because she threw a tantrum at the exact moment I thought I was going to pass out from my hunger and from repeatedly blowing up her balloon so that she could then take it and release it so it made farting noises as it deflated in a weird, circular flight around the room? Is that how this works? Is it a point system? If so then I am definitely a bad person, because admittedly I am a real bitch half of the time; probably 51% of the time or is it that each behavior is weighted differently? Such as being a fantastic mother 99% of the time, cancels out telling my toddler where to get off. I am confused and therefore cannot answer the question because I do not think of myself as good or bad and do not think of others this way either. In fact I am vehement in my belief that this type of thinking which is creating all of the problems in the word right now.
My husband’s question was actually very timely and pertinent and my inability to answer it struck a deep cord in me. It made me realise why I haven’t posted on my blog for some time. I have a bunch of writing that remains unpublished because right now there is so much judgement and recrimination flying around and I do not want to be hit by any of it. For although I do not identify with either side of the coin, there is some deep seeded feeling that I don’t want to be labeled a good or bad person because of my opinion. I don’t want to be unfriend or unfollowed by someone because they didn’t like what I had to say; and trust me I have a lot to say. I have written comments and replies on social media and then immediately deleted them before posting because I realised that my strong words were especially evocative and didn’t want to have to deal with other people’s wrath. I have published some comments but that was only when the ignorance of people was so obvious, I couldn’t look away. I could give you tons of examples but my favorite one is the meme that has a picture of Steve Jobs and the words: “Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian Refugee”. Really? Actually a quick internet search will confirm from numerous sources that Steve Jobs’ father was a silver-spoon born, Syrian PHD student at an American university who met Jobs’ mother, a farm girl from Wisconsin, and embarked on an affair with her which resulted in the baby boy in question. There was no refugee stuff going on here. Just a well-off young man who pursued his studies and his woman in a foreign country. Lucky for us as we now have IPhones, IPads and MacBooks! Or is that unlucky for us? See this is the problem isn’t it…
Was Steve Jobs the innovator of the modern world who has changed our lives by embedding them with technology? Or was Steve Jobs the evil force which has enslaved the masses to the little devices in their hands so that real human experience is reduced to a small screen of singular sensations? I know what my opinion is and it does not answer either question, because Steve Jobs was neither. He was just a guy, who had a dream or some would say a destiny and fulfilled it. He lived his life, he made mistakes, he had successes and then he died. That’s all folks. That’s it. Doesn’t anyone get it? There are no good and bad people, there are just people. There is no point system tallied by some ethereal white bearded being in the sky. There is no reward and no punishment here or later. There just is.
There just is. I used to hate that concept. I knew a guy who kept saying: “It just is”, or its variation: “It is what it is”. At the time I wanted to strangle him.. If we were late going to a meeting because he was meditating on a straw mat or something, I would be in knots, but he would just smile and say: “It is what it is”. Now however, I am with him 100%. I cannot do it anymore. I used to love the Facebook page Humans of New York, that is until the founder decided to leave New York and come to my part of the world to try replicate his concept here within the Syrian Refugee crises. For those of you living under a rock, the creator of the page takes a photo of a subject, puts a few lines of their words under it and then publishes it on his page. Very interesting and compelling when the subject is a person from New York who has problems and experiences that we can all relate to or empathise with, but down right maddening when it comes to people who are caught up in a complicated, devastating situation that is difficult to analyse and understand, so difficult that people just take their words at face value without any consideration for the facts. This piques me because the role of Turkey, my adopted homeland is misunderstood and often maligned. On a few occasions I have tried to write a correction to the contents in the comments section, but I gave that up after the third attempt. What I found was that the readers in my part of the world ‘Liked’ what I had to say because it backed up their reality, and those in other parts of the world came out with criticisms aimed towards my sentiments because they didn’t bolster their version of reality. Because that is the problem isn’t it? Reality. Sorry folks there is no such shared thing.
If there was a shared reality then do you think that there would be a huge force of ex-convicts, ex-military men, mentally unhinged, and various other types of men marauding around an unstable Middle East raping, pillaging, killing, and plotting mass destruction? The answer is a resounding: NO! If there was a shared reality then every Canadian, American, British, French, German, you get the picture person would welcome those fleeing these men into their countries with open arms. Right? Are they? Again, a resounding: NO! If there was a shared reality then everyone would share the same perspective and there would be no conflict. I would be able to stand in my kitchen and answer my husband’s question with: “I am a good person”, because we would all be good persons. Right? I can’t answer this question either way because I do not trust my version of events and I do not trust other’s versions either. Seriously. The members of ISIS think they are good people. Donald Trump thinks he is a good person. Angela Merkel thinks she is a good person. I bet you reading this think you are a good person. The majority of people think that they are good people and the small majority know that they are not good people; they are just people. I am one of them. I am just people. Perhaps if we all just went about being people there would be no more conflict in the world. No reason to fight each other or a cause. No reason to write comments on the Humans of New York Facebook page. No reason to argue with your husband in the kitchen. No reason to do anything but live our lives as just people.
My neighbors have a dog. The dog is called Sarı or Yellow because it is well, yellow. I love this dog. It was hit by a car and went missing and when the owners finally located him, he was going to be put down by a vet because his right front leg was a mangled mess. The owners paid for an operation to have the leg amputated, took him home and nursed him back to health. He lives outside around our houses with his three legs and deep hairless scar running the length of his back. He has soulful brown eyes and a sweet nature. He is beautiful to me. Last week, Sarı killed one of the weeks old kittens that my daughter’s favorite fluffy cat bore. It was at night and the kitten obviously wanted to have a wander, but didn’t know anything about dogs or dangers of the night, so it met its death. My neighbor found its bloody, little body when she went out in the morning to feed the chickens. I heard her cry from my house. Poor little thing. I mourn the kitten, but I still love the dog. Good dog? Bad dog? Dog.