Cruel humans — How can people be this way?

cruel

Nine-eleven was an act of cruelty as was the setting up of Guantanamo Bay torture centre. These recent acts of human cruelty are part of a long history of man’s inhumanity to man. The massacres, looting and capturing of slaves by forces led by Attila the Hun in 5th century eastern Europe; the unrestricted bombing of civilians living in cities like Gunernica during the Spanish civil war; the starvation, brutal treatment and extermination of Jews, and other victims of persecution in the Nazi concentration camps.

Human cruelty of course goes on all the time perhaps in less dramatic ways and in a much smaller scale than these. Malicious gossip can destroy a personal reputation; spiteful actions can result in huge distress; nasty comments within close relationships can cause longstanding wounds. Why do people feel so full of contempt, or want revenge to act out their feelings in such cruel ways?

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What is wisdom?

We all put our foot in it from time to time, some of us more than others. I’m thinking about social gaffs, ill-judged decisions, or reaching an unfair conclusion about someone. I happened to notice a woman popping something into her mouth and tossing aside a piece of what I took to be a sweet wrapping paper. I voiced my indignation not rudely but admittedly with a strong note of irritation in my voice. Immediately her companion launched into a hostile …

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