My Struggle To Be Decent

Sean Hughes, 1st February 2013

I would hope, that everyday it’s a given, that we are all decent human beings.
In fact, the very conceit should only come into our consciousness when we are not being decent.

These are the days that everyone I come into contact with, I want to punch in the face. The motive being nothing much more than the way they go about their lives. These moods make the world feel like a dank, cramped, petty place, where we all seem to be standing in line, queuing up for something shiny, but ultimately useless. People’s very breathing pushes me to the edge of these indecent thoughts. I yearn for a domino effect, where if I push one of the botherers they would all fall down.

The artistic beauty of this symmetry, would add a little skip to my step, but would also make me question my sanity. My destruction gene would be countered by the fact that one of the domino pieces would not fall. Thank God, these are just thoughts and not actions, and I use the word God wisely because that’s what he wants from us, for us to be decent human beings and yet, he’s the one more often than not that sets off the dominoes.

We watch as we all fall down in unison, but because of the imperfection of our creation, there is one that does not fall, and because of that inaction she saves all behind her. They will cite her as a hero, but she knows all she did was to be in slightly the wrong place at the right time. She tries to put these facts in place, but the newspapers dismiss her protestations as self-depreciation, which makes us love her even more. The papers want a picture, because they need a hero but her truth does not fit the remit of the story.
There is a problem. She does not photograph well.
She is Katia Jobslavich, a middle-aged cleaner from Romania. A marketing expert is called in, and he realises her character jars with the story. What they need is a classic hero right now. They let Katia shuffle off, from where she came from and she becomes Ken Jobson a twenty-eight year old painter and decorator from Newbury.

He is now the brave man that stood up against tyranny, the one willing to lay down his life for the sake of others. He is the talk of the town and everywhere he goes people want a part of him and he inspires a surge of good deeds amongst the others.

People go out of their way to participate in what has now become commonly known as ‘Doing a Jobson’, whether it be holding a door open for a stranger or adopting an orphan.
A statue is erected in Newbury, which again chisels a more chiselled version of Ken. The film rights are sold to Ron Howard, who goes onto say that he sees a little of himself in Ken. In the movie he is played by Justin Bieber in his first major acting role. It is a huge success, and many people mistake Bieber for Jobson and there is much talk of him running for the Presidency.

Meanwhile, people are trying to outdo themselves with kindness. The world becomes a better place.

In a hostel in Shrewsbury, Katia Jobslavich dies a pauper’s death. As far as she was concerned, her life had amounted to nothing, to the extent that she now rests in an unmarked grave. Yesterday, a young man doing a Jobson, laid some flowers on the grave. He was a thoroughly decent person.