Leave it to me to distill this all into (yet another) chaos vs. order thang. It's childish and incredibly selfish, but some folks still think that when they're unsuccessful at imposing their idea of order upon the world (i.e., they don't get their way) the thing to do is to make such a mess of things that no one else can either. There are (at least) two problems with this approach: (a) it doesn't work, and (b) it invariably hurts the wounder far more than the intended woundee.
When I was a kid, my sister (who is a year older) and I used to take turns setting the dinner table. We used paper cups for our milk, and they came in four colors -- red, yellow, green and blue. My brother's favorite color was green, and since he was eight years older and a bully, we ALWAYS gave him the green cup. However, my sister and I both liked blue, and I can't tell you how many fights this caused between us. Usually, the way to get the cup you wanted was to lick the rim, "marking" it, as your own -- the idea being that once you had imposed your germs on that cup, no one else would want to use it.
I admit, I was a brat back then, and there were times when I just HAD to have my way -- by whatever means possible. So one evening when my sister was setting the table, I grabbed a whole stack of cups from the dispenser, took out all the blue ones and licked the rims of each and every one. I knew I wouldn't actually get
all the blue cups, but I figured if I
couldn't have my blue cup, then no one
else would, either. It was selfish, childish... and it got me grounded for a week when my sister told my mom what I'd done.
I was such a brat as a kid, I learned some hard lessons about being a selfish brat. Apparently, there are scads of people in this universe that never did figure it out. Maybe their moms just rolled their eyes and gave them what they wanted instead of grounding them for a week like mine did -- who knows?
As much as I'd like to think that as adults, we all learned to behave ourselves with a certain degree of maturity, it still
stuns me to incredulity when I witness or hear about folks who pull that "scorched-earth" thing (or "licked-cup" thing, if you prefer). Even if they don't believe in karma, they must
have learned by now that when they pull that crap, it comes back to bite their asses far worse than any damage they could possibly cause to anyone else.
I don't get it -- how come they don't get it?