Yesterday was “water communion” at my church (I always feel like I should put church in quotes as well. Because you know, Im unitarian and we aren’t really “house of god” sort of folks there). If you want to understand what water communion isyou should go here and read. Anyway, in our newsletter we were asked to think about “what my summer did to me” as we contemplated bringing our water in. I won’t go into the ludicrosity that kept us out of church yesterday (If you are looking for the blog where you get open season on critiquing my parenting,…well…that’s next door). But I was thinking about this question a lot over the weekend and decided to blog about it.
My summer made me sadder but (hopefully) wiser. Repeatedly, I found myself staring the dark side of humanity. Between getting my wallet stolen and other unbloggable incidents, I was forced to face some ugly aspects of human nature this summer. What frustrated and embarrassed me most about the continued series of occurrences was the fact that I really didn’t and still don’t get “why do people act that way?” What would make someone think it’s ok to steal my wallet? Or be publicly rude? Or deliberately dismissive? Or simply malicious? I am not talking about a sharp word or a bad day that you laugh about together later. I am talking about the kind of behavior that makes you embarrassed to witness
By no means do I think I am perfect. Again, just go next door to see how big of an ass I can be. But honestly friends? I don’t really get the whole “being ok with hurting people on purpose” thing. My amazing friend Luckybuzz is married to a wonderful man (who is also my friend) Gospel Bob being of similar mind, shared the philosophy that “It doesn’t matter if you are a serial killer, there is just no reason to be rude.” Friends, I believe this. In fact, I try very hard to live this. I will say that having this creed as a standard has paid off well over the summer as I was able to hold my tongue and refrain from responding to rudeness in like manner on several occasions.
Instead, I analyze these incidents ad nauseum. I’m in denial that people I know (or don’t know) actually intend to behave this way. I want to think I am missing some significant point of communication where the behavior that seems so mean-spirited will make sense. Except I can never find that point. Today my therapist suggested I need to start accepting that even people I respect and care about have the capacity for mean-spiritedness. That, friends, is a blow. I don’t want to believe that. I am not sure what happens to my worldview when I accept that.
Still, I wrote myself a birthday manifesto this year. (Shared it with Lucy on my birthday and have been working on it for a post ever since) I haven’t figured it all out yet but ultimately I’m hoping it leads to better boundaries, a more realistic sense of the world and less disappointment in humanity. Ill keep you posted.