“”you’re not a real person.”″
Could you expand on this at all? It sounds quite amusing. :)
Well, I have to be somewhat judicial here as I post under my real name and I need to be mindful of work ramifications, but what happened there was I walked into the meeting room and my co-workers were talking about something, I forget what. Anyhow, one of them said “Austen doesn’t count, he’s not a real person.” completely serious, actually quite angrily. This was someone who knew me very well, so I was really offended. They kept talking and I didn’t even get a chance to say anything. I was really mad at first but I eventually concluded that the bitterness from him is the same that I get from everyone else. It comes down to human psychology: no one wants to admit that someone is able to do something that they aren’t so they attribute the person’s “caring” actions to vices, rather than virtues. In other words, I am vegan, not because I have compassion for animals and have the balls to carry it out but because I’m “weird.” I donate a lot because I’m a naive idiot, not because I care about protecting others, and I volunteer not because I believe in effective altruism and make it a priority but because I let myself get “screwed over” (as another co-worker of mine put it.)
If someone admits to himself that I eat veg, volunteer, and donate out of virtues, then he’ll feel inferior. We can’t have that now, can we? Therefore, they usually attribute these seemingly benevolent acts to vices, so as to protect their threatened egos. Even my own satsang leader (basically, like a pastor), accuses me of being “egotistical”, “greedy”, and “underhanded” for giving to charity and volunteering. He himself donates nothing, so to prevent himself from feeling inferior he villainizes me :^) The lengths people will go to protect their egos is astounding. Being a serious do-gooder really polarizes people – either they love you or they hate you, depending on whether they have a moral-based or domination-based life philosophy. In Alberta, most people are the latter, which explains the blowback.