The world is a funny place. The world is the only place. Living in it will be the only experience I ever have. Throughout life, I believe it is everyone's ambition to pursue pleasure, and evade pain. This is done by shaping the world around you. Moving this here and moving that there only to the end of this ambition.
Humans are funny creatures. For all the power we wield -the power to destroy, the power to create, the power to change- we are equally frail. A bump on the head can render us mentally handicapped, two days without food or sleep can leave us incapable of the simplest tasks, and a clever lie can make us hurt ourselves. Where one can kill another human, permanently damage another human, and deceive another human, one is equally capable of being both the assailant, and the victim.
When I was young, I believed whatever I wanted to believe. I believed no one wished ill upon me. I believed everyone's goal was to help me. I believed the world was a kind and gentle place. And I'll bet you did too.
Growing up, I eventually discovered through hard experiences that the world wasn't what I wanted it to be. The world was what it was. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is looking out for their self-interests alone. Our mothers, our friends, our neighbours and our leaders are all looking out for their personal agenda. Sometimes that's bad news for someone else.
All people are hedonistic, but not all people are intelligent. In fact, very few people posses a strong sense of foresight and reasoning when they make their decisions. This realisation came to me after I discovered the ladder. In the space of time before I realised so many people, including close friends, were not as intelligent as I'd been giving them credit for, I made many mistakes, and befell many losses. It came from trying to predict people constantly. I would always assess someone's motives (what I knew they thought would make them happy), and decide what the most obvious and best things were that they would do to achieve their goals. That was how I knew what people were going to do before they did things. But it only works sometimes, and because it worked for so long, I started staking more, and more important things on it. I'd decide what I was going to do based on how I predicted someone's behaviour. When things went awry and someone stopped acting how I knew they should act, I got confused. I looked for things that were wrong, I wondered if the person's goals had changed. What I finally discovered was that they had, but not really. The end goals were all the same, only one new goal was added; Which was to sit on this person's ass and do fuck all while things spiralled to shit. Essentially, this person was an idiot.
You might say that if this person found pleasure in sitting on their ass and doing nothing, then despite it being short term, they were achieving their goals. And you'd be right. But I don't believe anyone can be happy doing nothing while they watch their life go to hell. This person was avoiding the imagined pain of going out and getting things on track, and accepting the real pain of feeling helpless and doing nothing. This person was literally too stupid to pursue happiness, and avoid pain.
But this person was my really close friend. My own pursuit of pleasure involved her being around and happy in the future, so that I could rely on her. Naturally, I saw it as in line with my own interests to try to get her to pursue her own. I tried for months. Every bit of progress was destroyed the next day. Eventually she saw me as trying to bring her into the pain (of pursuing her goals) that she was avoiding. It was backlash. If she was refusing my help, I could only stop offering it. We stopped being friends, and I was distraught over the loss, my own pursuit a failure. A month without talking, and she finally spoke up. She finally seemed to realise. She apologised and agnoized over her foolishness. But I couldn't accept it. I couldn't be friends with her. It hurt, but I thought there was no point in wasting anymore time.. In giving in. Maybe I was an idiot. Maybe I feared pain where pleasure could have came. Maybe I wasn't. It was never clear. I sent her off with the best wishes I could give. I told her that it didn't matter what she'd done, as long as she learned from it she didn't need to regret it. And then we said good bye. A month later, I wanted to check up on her but she wasn't to be found. I don't know what happened to her, but I fear the worst.
She'd hurt me. She'd hurt me so many times. Not because I wanted to be her lover, no, we were only friends. But because I'd felt so betrayed when she'd whisked away our friendship. Took me for granted. I wouldn't have any of that. I'd leave her. I didn't think she'd care. I thought she'd grown tired of me and was only pursuing her pleasure. But she did. She came back for me twice. The first time I graciously welcomed her back. The second I decided she needed to learn a lesson. Not only for myself, but for her in her future friendships. When she realises that even if Jesus himself couldn't have broken them before, they could become frail and meaningless when left unattended.
It seemed that the lesson I was teaching was the lesson I was learning at the same time. The lesson that things are not as reliable as you want them to be. Things are only what you make them. Humans are only what they are. Your best friends will deceive you if they're too stupid to realise you won't put up with it, and they'll miss you when you're gone. The assumption that everyone knows what they're doing is a false one. But despite this knowledge, your actions cannot change. You cannot save someone from the consequences of their foolishness. They must learn the hard way, or not at all.