Answer by Susan Bertolino:
- "What goes around, comes around." Unfortunately, no. There are people who are unkind, malicious, greedy and egocentric. Many of them do just fine. Maybe one of them hurt you, and you told yourself that they would get what is coming to them--life would even the scales. I used to believe it myself. However, I see now that there are people who are without integrity or compassion, and they sleep fine at night. They live well and have no regrets. So their payment for their various crimes may be in another world, or it simply isn't going to happen. Hoping for people to get punished for their evil will siphon off your energy, and stagnate your growth, as there is a good chance you will never see it happen.
- "Time heals all wounds." No. Time heals some wounds. There are wounds that will never heal. You will just get more accustomed to them and learn to live with them. At best, time can help you adjust to having a wound that doesn't heal.
- "People are good at heart." No. Some, maybe even most people are decent. However, there are people who are evil, and it isn't an interesting evil like a Hannibal Lecter, but what Hannah Arendt described as the "banality of evil." It is mundane and common. It comes from extreme selfishness, and a delight in doing what feels good, no matter how it hurts others. I do believe these people are in the minority, but the herd mentality of bystander syndrome can create evil behavior in otherwise decent people, who choose to avoid intervening when someone needs help. That person may be good at heart, but the act of ignoring a cry for help is not a sign of goodness.
- "You always have family. " No, you don't. There are siblings who hate each other. There are parents who don't like their kids. There are people who feel no connection to their blood relatives, and find solace in friendships. The myth that family always have your back is just not the case, It is the source of so much unhappiness. Siblings get jealous of other siblings. Parents even get jealous of their children. Sometimes the blood tie is not enough. There are people out there who know that certain family members are among their worst enemies. Hopefully, they find people they can call their "tribe" when they meet others who have similar life experiences.
The fault really lies with truisms and generalizations that become popular sayings. Once people realize that they are not freaks because the above are not their reality, they can breathe a sigh of relief and continue living life on their own terms as best they can.
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