All you need is courtesy

Posted by I'm the penguin | Posted in | Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010

Kurt Vonnegut put in one of his Prologues (Jailbird) something that might or might not be fiction, but to me it's all the same, you know that. It was about a young man writing a letter to him, that could touch the core of all of Vonnegut's work in a single phrase:

"Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail"

The author concurred that the phrase was accurate and complete into describing what he tried to say in his dozens of works. And then makes a punch line about how much time could have been saved having generated that phrase before.

That's a curious piece of information.

But what else is it? It got me thinking about humanity, its problems and love. Relationships are very complicated: partner, friend and family wise. We continuously talk about how love could fix every problem, if it was extended to every person: to love like a brother and sister every person on the planet. Hippies. But isn't this the single most idealistic thing? Even more than communism (I'm obviously stating a similarity). It's hard as it is to keep families from wrecking and being dismembered, it is an extremely rare event for friends to remain close after tests of time, and don't even get me started in the partner department: we've made (as a specie) enough songs, books, paintings, bank accounts and restrain orders to burn all and have enough energy to heat Earth for a million years (completely arbitrary and bad analogy). All that, just to say how fucking hard is it to keep someone around who will listen to how did you do at work and kiss you good night.

Love, as I see it, is a very complicated social system, that despite all of its social, mystic and economic powers conferred by us, tends to utterly fail.

So how else are we ever going to fix these crazy naked apes?
Courtesy and kindness I suppose.

No strings attached, only a few teaspoons (or tons) of empathy and a little verbal ability could do it. No one has ever suffered from a broken heart out of being courteous have they?

If only we could realize everyone's just as lonely and confused about it all, or more, than us; I think we'd be bonobos instead of gorillas.

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