Doing the Right Thing Is Often Much Harder Than You Think
People are complicated, very complicated.
Posted Jun 20, 2011
The daily news is full of stories of prominent people doing very bad things: Politicians and their various sex and money scandals, Wall Street professionals scamming others of millions (even billions), clergy who sexually violate minors, and so on. The question is the same for all: How could these leading pillars of the community do such horrible things?
While those in the news get much attention for their misbehaviors, perhaps under the radar screen are the millions of other stories of people who we know and interact with regularly who also have embarrassing and terrible secrets to hide. Since they aren't famous media won't be interested in their stories. As a psychologist who has been treating patients for 30 years I know very well the remarkable range and complexity of human behavior that is out there even among those who we would consider great people with spotless reputations. Good men who cheat on their wives or engage in sleezy pornography, good workers who find ways to steal from the office or from others, and so forth. Most never get any press attention (and are llikely grateful for it).
It is easy to feel superior to these very flawed human beings and we may even enjoy seeing them squirm but these stories are an excellent reminder in how flawed we are and can be when the conditions are just right.
What do you think?