|Things I've Learned
||[Oct. 26th, 2007|06:14 pm]
One of my friends, in a locked post, listed some Things She's Learned in her time on the planet, and asked us for the same. So, in no particular order:
1. You know how they say that family are the people where, if you go there, they have to take you in? Yah, sure, okay, but also: family are the people who don't wait until they have to take you in.
2. The people who love you, don't love you because they think you're perfect. Anything you do that's based on keeping the people who love you from finding out that you're imperfect is probably a pretty shaky idea.
3. Showing up and giving a damn isn't enough for everything, but it's a good start. And it's enough for an astonishing number of things.
4. Meaning well is all very well, but meaning well and doing a little research is even better.
5. If you are more than two years out of high school, the people you went to high school with do not exist. They have been replaced by 20-year-olds (30-year-olds, 40-year-olds, 70-year-olds...) with very different lives from what they had in high school. You can stay friends with them as you both change, or you can make friends with them again later, if you want to. You can be cold or cordial to the people they've become. But "showing them" is not going to work, because the "them" who are to be "shown" there does not exist any more. You may as well wish to prove yourself in the eyes of the unicorns.
6. Anything you do -- anything -- can be cast in a negative light if someone really wants to. That "someone" includes yourself. Don't be ashamed of the people, places, or things you like because someone might sneer at them. Someone sneers at everything. If you take a large enough sampling of people, you will find jerks. But they aren't your life -- you can't let them be -- and you certainly shouldn't strive to do their work for them.
That's not all I've learned, but it's a start.
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.