My feelings ARE NOT FACTS, and creating enemies and resentment is just an ill wind
A Tumblr PM from the supposed non-anti-racist I told myself I’d “shellacked” in our brief exchange of reblogs, got me thinking.
And I posted this to my Tumblr, because I believe and try to live truthfully and responsibly, which means living ACCOUNTABLY. Bein’ about That Life sometimes means eating a little crow. But if crows the medicine that helps me grow in character and take the personality shit down a few crucial notches . . . pass me some toothpicks to get feathers out of my teeth, and I’ll be sound as a pound:
My over-inflated sense of righteousness and SELF-righteousness, though deep and seductive, is sometimes not as correct or accurate as it feels in the moment.
My feelings aren’t facts, and I would do well to hold THAT FACT very close, indeed.
And I’ll start by trying harder to remember that jumping on folks’ opinions is almost never a good way to open a dialogue. That it’s probably better to begin with: “Okay. But, may I ask why?”
Sometimes, winning minds/hearts and “winning” the argument can be mutually exclusive. Keeping an eye on the prize means ,sometimes, foregoing sick savage burns, and throttling down a wounded ego . . . as well as the pain of past experiences inflicted upon one. Sometimes, it begins by simply taking the time, and being vulnerable and honest enough to ask “Why?”
Everyone has reasons for everything they do. And as much as I’d like to think that the answer is sometimes “hate,” and that even hate, itself, is a simple and complete answer . . . it never, ever is.
And when examined even a little, there may be no actual hate at all . . . only, perhaps, the residue left from the aforementioned bad experiences.
It’s difficult to get off on the wrong foot when one leads with genuine interest and a desire to understand, without wanting or at least before wanting to make converts. Fights and wars are rarely begun with curiosity and wanting to understand the other as oneself. LACK of those things creates enemies and fights and wars.
And if I’m not turning seeming enemies into allies, what even am I doing that’s worthwhile? If I’m turning potential allies into enemies, what even am I doing that’s worthwhile?
Nothing. Not a damn thing.
From now on, instead of leading with the intellectual equivalents of right hooks and haymakers, I’ll try harder to lead with a figurative handshake and basic solidarity. I’ll try to lead with “Why?” and see if I can help make things, myself included, a little better, still.
There are lessons to be learned from everywhere and everyone. It falls to us to be open to receiving them. I need to do better regarding that.
This . . . is not easy to say or even acknowledge. Not any of it. So . . . THANK YOU for THAT lesson, [Tumblr handle of the faceted, very real person who I labeled unjustly and based on a single opinion].
Are there enough lo sientos in the world to make up for me being the epitome of THAT DOUCHEBAG— especially after thinking I was its nadir? Eh, probably. Hopefully. But this drives home the importance of being constantly aware that I’m not as self-aware as I like to think. Ironically.
I’ll do my best to be/do better. Now that I know better — am a wee bit more self-aware of how un-self-aware I am and CAN BE . . . I’ll work on it and try harder. I’ll certainly do my BEST, and hopefully, that’s BETTER than what it was even just a few hours ago. I’m NOT omniscient or omnipotent. OR . . . OMNIBENEVOLENT. I don’t always know best, do best, or mean best (but, I always BE BEST, BITCHES). I have limitations, just like any other human. I need to always have that in mind.
“Floating Equations Meme.” Reactions, Giphy.com. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://giphy.com/stories/floating-equations-meme-a6a17bdb-b069
“Key And Peele Television GIF.” Giphy.com, accessed March 18, 2020. https://giphy.com/gifs/key-and-peele-keegan-michael-jordan-z1bE45A1GsyT6
Also used, with thanks: Various gifs grabbed from Giphy.com and THE INTERNET, and used in previous articles of mine.