Before I get into defining what this need is doing, and what is the extent of it, I’ll tell you what may be in your way…
In the movie Sling Blade, the main character is asked in an interview, just before he is released from prison: “Will you kill again?” He answers: “I don’t reckon I have a reason to…”
This is when you know he will…
Animals don’t kill their kind… or not often. And never from anger.
And therefore, to make it possible to live in societies, societies created rules, laws, that are non-negoitiable.
The ten commandments in the Bible are the main inviolable rules. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t covet. etc.
The need Meeting the expectation of others is a need that makes it possible to develop and grow a self.
Without meeting the expectation of others, namely society, namely being lawful and decent and not a freeloader (a burden on society), you cannot develop a self.
The other extreme is when you think you need to be liked… When your actions, concerns, ideals come from being liked, being well thought of… you cannot develop a Self, your self is not yours… it is wholly and fully owned by the circumstances.
It is a thin line (like with everything) between not meeting the expectation of others and being a slave to others’ likes and dislikes.
A balancing act.
I know it intimately. In every single interaction I need to walk the thin line, step on toes on one hand, be true to myself on the other, and have integrity as well.
Now, what triggered this article is an interesting phenomenon, that I don’t think is rare at all.
Just like in the movie Sling Blade, the main character, Karl Childers has no moral compass, and views life that killing is OK if you have a reason, a lot of people consider stealing OK. As long as they have a reason.
I used to be like that. When I was in England, at age 18, I was accused with stealing. I felt angry and developed a roving eye. I was looking for stuff to steal. To create some balance?
It took me many years to get rid of that anger, and the justification for stealing.
I didn’t steal big things, but I stole.
I see people stealing. Often the justification is: “My folks, my ancestry, my father was robbed of (fill in the blanks) so now I am taking back what is ours.”
Of course there are people who steal just because they want what they steal…
Same is the situation with keeping your word, having your word be true to yourself. Having your behavior true to yourself.
I am interested in this justification angle. I am interested in the reasonable angle… when you have a reason to steal, kill, lie, cheat, betray, be shitty, cruel, mistreat yourself or others. Be lazy, Be self-serving. Be wasting your life.
Why? Because you will be, in life, either reasonable or unreasonable. And how you do anything is how you do everything…
Having justification for anything makes you a reasonable person. In every area of your life. And being reasonable