Most People Suck, and I’m OK With That

Jon Tesser
3 min readDec 17, 2021

I think that most people suck. They’re egotistical, selfish, uncaring, vain, materialistic, and petty. They’ll drop you in a second if you stop serving their needs, full stop.

I also think that everyone is a beautiful soul. Each one of us has the potential to be compassionate, wise, empathetic, and joyful, and to radiate that joy to each and every living being.

And if you think I think I’m any different, you’d be wrong. I’m all these things too. I take offense too easily. I get jealous over stupid things. I can be duplicitous, presenting myself in one way to a person while feeling another. And I’m not beyond treating certain people in my life as objects.

But I’m also caring, a non-judgmental listener, a fighter for the underdog, a wise mentor, occasionally hilarious and fun, and believe that it is my job on earth to cause as little harm to people as I possibly can.

Please judge me, because if you were to look in a mirror and see reality, you’d realize that you’re not different from me or anyone else in this respect, so spare me your moralizing. We are all light and dark, as this is part of the human experience.

How can I believe two seemingly contradictory things at the same time, that people are pretty terrible but also wonderful? Perhaps I’m a bit simplistic and naive, but I believe that everyone has a perfect spirit of gold underneath layers of dust, clay, and hard rock. Our circumstances and ignorance build up these hard layers over our perfect spirits, and unless they do something to remove these layers, they will get in their own way.

Perhaps an example would help here. A hardened criminal who goes on a shooting spree is a pretty easy person to hate. Their hateful selves caused the deaths of many innocent lives, and the grief of the friends and family of those innocent lives. Their act is heinous. So yes, this person fits into the “people suck” category pretty well.

But this persons circumstances and ignorance were the perfect tinder for the fire of committing this crime. Perhaps the person was abused and neglected by their family. Or maybe they have mental health issues that were uncontrollable for them. And clearly, they never dealt with these circumstances or issues, and remained in ignorance until they caused the death of others.

So in my mind, this person is worthy of compassion, just like anyone else. They are so hurt by the world that they needed to hurt others. Does this mean that what they did was OK? No. But it means that they deserve the dignity of people wishing them well despite the cakes of mud covering their inherent Buddha nature.

And this is why I’m OK with people sucking and don’t really hate anyone (you’ll just have to believe me on this one — I literally don’t hate anyone). I see everyone as flawed human beings trying to make their way through the world the best they can. Immature pettiness happens because of ignorance, not because of inherent badness.

The world needs more compassion. As I work on uncovering my own Buddha nature and getting a taste of pure joy devoid of external circumstances, I realize the potential for a better human race. Call me naive, but it’s certainly better than bitter and cynical alternative.



Jon Tesser

I use data to understand people. I also help early career professionals find career happiness.