2007-10-26 11:23 pm (UTC)
"What I've Learned"
has been doing a series
like this for years. Some of them are pretty good.
I've long wanted to do one of my own, but I take the project way too seriously to just jot a few things down.
2007-10-27 02:50 am (UTC)
Re: "What I've Learned"
I would be a lot less willing to toss off a few things in a published article than in lj, when I can make my Nth post on the subject whenever I feel like it.
2007-10-27 06:26 am (UTC)
Re: "What I've Learned"
Yeah. I think one really gets a single shot at an essay like this. Keeping a running tally isn't really the same. I've been -- off and on -- drafting entries for my one essay for years now.
Ah, number five. How I wish I'd learned that sooner in life. It is so true.
You can't? OMG!!!
I love this! It's so true. Although I'm not entirely convinced of #2 yet, myself.
I know you are a writer, but it bears being said, anyhow; you have a great way with words.
I think it's the ones we're not entirely convinced of that are the important ones, frankly.
2007-10-27 05:19 am (UTC)
I can't absolutely prove I'm not just an exceptional case, but I can *assure* you that the people who love me do *NOT* think I'm perfect. Oh, my, no.
Furthermore, I don't actually think the people I love are perfect, either, though they're all exceptionally fine.
Your mileage *might* vary, but I'd actually be rather surprised.
Being imperfect is better than being an asshole who tries to hide important things from the people who love you, by the way. In case you hadn't figured that out yet. Those *are* the choices.
You know, I don't think it's a real good idea to respond to a problem that comes from believing one's real self unworthy of being loved by smacking the person in question down. Especially when they don't deserve it. I've faced this problem with enough people, including mrissa
at one time, to know that they're not being assholes.
...except that some of them are. I think dd_b
is wrong in saying that those are the two choices, because I think there are certainly times when I've known people to try to hide things I consider forgivable, understandable, non-assholish things. But there are also times when it doesn't matter where the root of the problem is, the behavior is way, way over the line. For example, risking the lives of people one says one loves because one doesn't want them to believe one is imperfect: not okay. No matter what motivates it. Just not okay. Does that mean it extends to all cases? Definitely not, no. But to some cases? Yes, definitely so.
(...and what am I doing up? Being imperfect. In this case, dizzy. And not hiding it.)
Good people can do things that are Not Okay.
Thank you for saying this so well.
2007-10-27 03:12 pm (UTC)
Apologies to rose_and_ivy
in particular for writing that so it could be taken as any sort of put-down; what was very far from my intention. I'm trying to frame the question to make it easier to see that admitting to imperfection is the lesser risk.
"Being imperfect is better than being an asshole who tries to hide important things from the people who love you, by the way. In case you hadn't figured that out yet. Those *are* the choices."
Have you seen people lose conciousness in public? When they are not physically restrained, their first reaction after regaining themselves is often to attempt to escape - the hindbrain takes over and one feels the first priority is to get away from the place of failure.
I guess, worshiping the strong, in part I DO agree with you that anyone weak enough to feel so bad that the reaction is to hide away (even if not physically, but only information-wise), I am still not sure that giving in to fear makes a person immediately into an asshole.
... or, may-be you are right - anyone who becomes afraid of the people who love them is an asshole and fear is the greatest sin of them all (but would the cowards who do not allow anyone to love them in first place get better opinion from you?)
I don't think I agree with the last part.
I. "Anyone who becomes afraid of the people who love them" includes victims of abuse, and I would not call those victims assholes. (Id use much stronger terms for the abusers.) Of course you can argue that in that case it's not real love, but both the abuser and the abusee often think it is at the time so how could they judge?
II. In othe cases, people are often afraid not so much of the people who love them, but that those people will stop loving them. I agree with Mris's point 3. that this is not a good way to think, but people who are afraid are often not thinking rationally. I'm not convinced that makes them assholes.
2007-10-27 03:17 pm (UTC)
Hmm; are we having a confusion about "being" an asshole, a permanent attribute, vs. "acting like" an asshole now and then? I don't think of the first formulation much, I use the second, as a description of particular behavior. It's extremely rare that somebody exhibits *so much* of the behavior that I feel any urge to apply the label to them overall.
Giving in to fear is, in itself, morally neutral, I feel. Sometimes specific behaviors that follow are not.
Mrissa explains it all!
(Okay, sorry, couldn't resist.)
Very true, very true. Number 5 especially, as I've learned recently. :)
My yoga teacher often says, "You have to be present to win." I'll go with that.
3. "80% of life is showing up." -- Woody Allen
I wonder if my feeling is based on the (fortunate? unfortunate?) fact that I have never happened to read any fiction about unicorns, but for me "proving myself in the eyes of the unicorns" seems such a good label when in need to lean on something, but not finding anything or anyone available.
So, who cares that what you plan to do seems suspiciously hard work for a questionable reward and you need some support, but - due to the hard and questionable mentioned previously - not only do you fail to find anyone else to root for you, even your own self fails to cheer for your own efforts (and sometimes I DO need cheering if not steering to proceed)! You can always make the effort anyway, just to prove yourself in the eyes of unicorns!
You have some supportive unicorns! Good!
Proving yourself in the eys of unicorns sounds like a story to me. But I think Patricia Wrede and Peter S. Beagle already wrote it, only substituting "dragons" for "unicorns" in the former case.
I think Pamela Dean wrote it.
WHich one was that? 'Cause I'd like to read it if I haven't already.
(My first thought was that you meant Dean, not Wrede, had written the Dealing With Dragons books. Glad I didn't make that mistake, at least, because it's the sort of embarassing one I de tend to make.)
The Secret Country trilogy.
I like these. I figured out #5 for myself fairly quickly, and it's an excellent point.
Related to number 2: Most of the time, good enough is good enough. Many things can be done well enough to satisfy even if they could be done better, even if both you the doer and those around you can tell the difference. I might notice that you didn't, say, give me hot fudge on my ice cream, but good ice cream is still a fine thing.
That's a pretty good start, actually.
Thanks for sharing these.