Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.
Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 190–195
In other words, still waters run deep.
* * * * * * * *
Have you ever said something and wished that you could take it back or say it differently?
Yeah, me neither. Yuk, yuk.
I suppose it seems a little odd to say that “people who think I suck and all other unpleasantness” is good stuff, but let me explain.
It has recently come to my attention that not everyone loves and adores me.
It’s not that I didn’t know this already, but sometimes we are presented with experiences that are a strong reminder of that fact. Surprisingly, they are good stuff.
Thankfully, I have recovered from the initial shock of my revelation. It wasn’t a full-blown punch in the gut, but rather, a figurative blow to my pride. And my jowls. After “it” happened, I wasn’t sure whether to make margaritas or go to church, so I went straight to the hospital, and when the doctor asked me, “Are you for real?” I didn’t know how to answer. So, after getting a full psychiatric workup, the ER sent me home with discharge instructions for rest and to wake up and smell reality.
I’m seeing my chiropractor for regular bone-crunching to help me overcome the trauma.
The bottom line is that I’m actually thankful that some folks just don’t get me. Or like me, even.
* * * * * * * *
It’s human nature for people to want to share things about themselves, and I do it here on this blog. It feels good putting my ramblings out here, but it’s also a little scary.
My writings don’t lean toward anything I feel is controversial. In fact, I will quietly slide into the nearest crevasse if there is conflict occurring anywhere near my person. I’m not saying that I don’t have very passionate feelings about important things – I do – I just choose not to discuss them in public because I don’t have the social skills that might enable me to be a worthy contributor to any debate or lively conversation regarding that stuff.
Politics and religion? You probably won’t see that kind of action here. Even if I knew you in real life and you asked what my beliefs/opinions were about either issue, I might be very vague and possibly evasive, because topics like that are rarely black and white. There are so many variables, and I find myself conflicted within each of those subjects, so I avoid chatting about them altogether.
I’m kind of like an iceberg that way.
Plus, I’m not good at banter. Just ask the Mister.
If any of you wonderful people want to comment on my writing, that’s fine. If we could have a few laughs and talk about the funny things that have happened in our lives where we might commiserate about similar situations, and then maybe delve deeper into other things, that’s even better.
If any of you take offense to my writing (or my perspective), I would hope for constructive criticism or some sort of discussion that lends itself to a civilized conversation.
Sadly, I did receive my first negative comment here on the blog, and it was quite a doozy.
I know it’s poor form to even address it. I should ignore it. I should grow a spine, right?
The first thing I felt after reading it was a bit of shock. Mostly because I’m not used to having someone throw that kind of vitriol at me. If you look at the comment sections for just about everything I’ve written over the past year or two, there is a distinct echo. You might even notice a few cobwebs.
The comment I received was overtly hateful, but even though I know people can be cruel, I still had trouble processing the fact that a complete stranger – although safely hiding behind the anonymity of their computer – would say such mean things. And the saddest part was that – initially – I believed every word that this person wrote.
I mean, I get it. I can’t make people understand or like me. Maybe I don’t make sense, but sheesh.
I reacted without even taking a moment to ponder. I didn’t even think for a second before getting really, really angry.
And I’m pretty sure that is what the commenter intended.
I read other blogs and news items on the internet. I’ve seen the hate and ignorance that exists in many comment sections, so I honestly don’t know why I got so upset, because it was bound to happen. I think five years is pretty decent for not receiving a single negative comment.
So, I got my sea legs and I thought about it for a little bit. I read the comment again, and realized that this person clearly did not read the post all the way through, and if they did, they did not have the slightest idea what they had just read.
And if they did read it? They have every right to say whatever. Free speech and all that.
Before I came to those realizations, I went to Facebook to share what happened (as is my usual propensity these days – what is UP with that??? Oh, yeah…human nature). As I expected, friends were supportive, and a few of those most dear reminded me of something important:
If everyone likes me, life is going to be pretty damn dull.
I suppose that for some of you, this is not a big revelation. But for others, we need to do a quick tutorial:
Imagine living in an all white house. White everywhere. Or whatever your favorite color is. The walls, the floors, the furniture – all the same color. How boring would that be?
Unless you like your house all one color – that’s totally cool.
But for me? I need the contrast. I like different colors and shapes and patterns and sizes, and I like my people the same way. I mean, I love Tex-Mex, but do I want to eat it every single day? What if we all looked alike and had the exact same personalities?
What if everything was what we wanted or expected?
Well, there would be no Star Wars, for one thing.
Who would Luke Skywalker be without Darth Vader? He’d just be some dude living with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine, whining about why he can’t go to Tosche station to pick up some lame power converters.*
Without the bad stuff, would we really be able to comprehend what the good stuff is? This is the question I was reminded of by my excellent friends – a question that is probably a by-product of this quote:
If everybody loves you, something is wrong. Find at least one enemy to keep you alert.~Paulo Coelho (b. 1947), Brazilian lyricist and novelist.
It seems very counter-intuitive to say that I’m doing something wrong if there aren’t people in the world who think I suck, but it makes perfect sense to have that contrast in the concrete stuff (like our immediate surroundings), the people we come into contact with, and the non-tangible experiences we have.
And also, we shouldn’t care what people think (especially those who don’t really know us). I’m still working on that one.
I teach my kids that they should treat people the way they want to be treated. I tell them that they need to understand that not everyone is happy and living a perfect existence; that the bullies they may be confronted with usually have their own issues, and instead of retaliating, they should be loving and kind.
My pre-teen and I recently had a conversation about “mean girls” and bullying. When I asked her what she would do if someone said something really mean to her or accused her of doing something she didn’t do, she said, “I would say nothing and then walk away.”
To be honest, it’s not the answer I expected, only because of my own experiential bias. She is a great example for me, so I’m going to follow her lead.
Okay, I’m going to try to follow her lead. This is a hard one for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people.
I guess if I could say anything to that commenter, I would thank them for reminding me that I have a lot of good things happening, for reminding me that I have a family who loves me in spite of my flaws and friends who support me and tell me to “keep doing me”. They also share some really cool quotes that make me go all “Yoda”
I appreciate being reminded to see and relish the contrast that exists all around me.
Thanks again for thinking that I suck, Negative Commenter. You are Good-Ass Stuff.
* * * * * * * *
*I actually Googled how to spell “Tosche” in regards to the Star Wars reference. I am a geek and Google is my friend.
* * * * * * * *
Written to the tunes of:
“Hooked On a Feeling” by Blue Suede
“Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
The Entire Freaking Star Wars Soundtrack