Archive for March, 2016

The perversity of human nature or how to be a fool

March.19. 2016

Years ago, in one of my primary school textbooks, there was a story about a man and his camel.

The two were sleeping in the desert. It was a particularly cold night. The man was in a tent, the camel outside.

After a while, the camel said to the man, “Master, it’s very cold out here, can I stick my feet into the tent?”

The master, being a kind man, said, “Yes of course.”

The camel put his feet in the tent. Then after a while, he said, “Master, my legs are cold, can I put them into the tent?”

The master again said, “Yes of course” and the camel put his legs into the tent.

Well, you know the rest of the story. The camel ended up sleeping in the cozy tent while the master was left out in the cold.

Now, you can read this as a fable of human kindness or you can read it as an allegory of the perversity of human nature—the more you give some people, the more they want from you.

And if you expect them to be grateful, you’d be very much mistaken because the perversity of human nature is such that it includes zero gratitude for any kindness received.

Not only will they be ungrateful, in the end they will usurp your place and kick you out into the cold.

The perversity of human nature.

The kinder you are to some people, the less they appreciate and respect you.

To be kind to them the first time is to be a good human being, to be kind a second time is to be a fool.