“Too Bad” People

I recently encountered a problem. Like everything I do it’s rather small in the grand scheme of things. Not talking life or death here. But it essentially boils down to a situation where you can help someone who made a mistake, or you can simply say “too bad” and be done with it. I am in the former camp while the people I am in conflict with are fine refusing help, no matter the consequences.

It’s made me realise how strongly I dislike this “too bad” approach and the people who enforce it.

Clearly there are situations where “too bad” is the only, or even the preferred outcome. When someone is clearly in the wrong and there’s nothing you can to help them, sure, “too bad” them all you like. When someone waits until the last minute and it’s impossible to actually assist – “too bad” them every day of the week. And clearly if there are dramatic legal or ethical concerns from any other result then well, yes, “too bad” is what you say, no matter how conflicted you might be.

But this circumstance was none of the above. The person requesting help had a made a genuine mistake. They could have been helped with no dire consequences. The only reason to enforce the rules so stringently was that the rules exist.

“Too bad” was one way to approach it. “How can we help?” was another.

How small the “too bad” people’s lives must be. Obsequiously following rules and never judging a case on its merits. Either deriving satisfaction from blunt implementation, or, perhaps worse, realising the procedures are too harsh but feeling helpless to never do the right thing.

On one level I think I get it. Giving yourself over to regulations means never having to think and trying to help people is hard. On another level I’m still gobsmacked. A clearly good outcome was avoided all for the sake of… nothing.

I never want to be around a righteously “too bad” person. If I’m ever in the position I’ll steer clear from setting such cultures.

I know I’m too compassionate and maybe I’m kicking up a stink over nothing. The stakes in my life are low. Maybe the person, who I don’t even know, involved is fine either way.

But get your “too bad” attitude out of here and just help people if you can.

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