Small Vices

Dalrymple has observed before that when most people are offended or hurt, it is typically by “small acts of disdain” rather than by larger social injustices. Now, at Taki’s Magazine, he writes sheepishly of a recent instance where the act of disdain was his:

Feeling distinctly uneasy over how I had behaved, and not able, therefore, to concentrate on my work, I went over to the young Polish woman during a short lull (I noticed that she was very busy and worked very hard, which made her good humor all the more meritorious) to apologize to her. It seemed important to me to do so, not that she might think the better of me—that hardly mattered, for in all likelihood we should never meet again—but that she should think the better of humanity. The customer being always right is a very good commercial slogan, but a very bad moral principle; and there is no better way of turning someone into a misanthrope, I suspect, than to confront him or her with spoilt and petulant people who complain bitterly over trivia, or over nothing much.

Read the rest here

One thought on “Small Vices

  1. Jaxon

    I have mentioned before that I am rather intemperate. I like to think I’ve improved over the years but really I am only better because I’ve gone to almost perverse lengths to avoid the things that annoy me, and usually it is things, I surprise even myself how patient I am with people given how hostile I too often are with inanimate objects… Having to disentangle my bike from other bikes at bike stands really brings out the devil. I usually laugh at myself though.

    However, there are occasions when people are the recipients of my lack of mindfulness. One occasion that comes to mind was when I was exiting the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, there was a guard standing in the middle of the exit, arms folded and with his back to me. I was very tired and not really looking where I was going and our sides clashed, a little, as I walked past. I should have apologised immediately, of course, but I was a bit slow and by the time I had really acknowledged his existence I got the impression his mind was largely made up as to what a typically ignorant or arrogant tourist I was and I didn’t disabuse him of it. I wish I did.


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