No, really. This realisation has hit me full-strength today on several levels; professionally, personally, emotionally. This has been a day for getting smacked in the face with reality.
I have no idea what I think that being nice will get me. To-date, it has been nothing, not that I am keeping track, but when you’re talking about nothing it is pretty easy to enumerate in a ‘back-of-the-envelope’ kind of way: Zip. Zero. Zilch. I actually do not intend to do it; it’s not as if I wake up every morning and think, “I am going to try to be sweet and understanding in at least *one* situation today where others are being selfish, cruel asses”. I really, really don’t. I would like to think (or would have until recently) that I see people for what they are, and situations for what they are, and that I am less blinded than other people by some peripheral things that are, well…peripheral. But perhaps I am wrong. I am beginning to think that I just might be completely misled.
I am continually doing things that are not in my personal best interests. My internal monologue reasons that I have enough of whatever it is—time, money, ideas, emotion…whatever, and I would feel guilty sitting comfortably having whilst someone else does not. And I do not give everything away, just enough that I do not have to have guilt over what I *could* be doing because I am, generally, pretty fortunate. Overall. As the stupid saying goes, in my case I have not been given any burdens that I cannot handle, whereas that is not the case with everyone.
When I do step out of character and do not-nice things, the miracle of it is that not only do I not get smacked back down, but I get rewarded. Case in point: that idea I gave away as if I were pulling the rug out from under Someone’s feet? Yeah—I was just hit up to work on that further, much as I had thought I would be.
And I am also beginning to think that I am too understanding of others’ issues and shortcomings. Life would be a hell of a lot easier if I did not bother with them at all, much less attempt to understand them, and just went on with my own business. Then, if anyone got in my way, I could just barrel over them because, on the whole, I am pretty self-sufficient—I rarely need anyone to be understanding of *my* issues. Typically, I cover pretty well for my own issues. And god only knows the payoff for being understanding is a perverse misnomer; there is no payoff for being understanding, there is a kind of anti-payoff.
Speaking of god…
One of the reasons xtians make me so very fucking nauseous is their complete lack of any attempt at anything but the appearance of being nice, or understanding. Oh, they talk about it, sure. A lot. I am reminded of one argument I fell into when I was younger over whether or not god (a god, any god) would send a certain person to hell. We went through Person X, Y, Z…I still disagreed. Finally they pulled out the Big Guns: Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, and other assorted Truly Evil people. I hadn’t given up on religion totally at that point, but I did not believe in Hell for sure. My question was how could a truly loving, omnipotent, omniscient being overlook the things that went into making these people that way? Personally, if I were god I would be a whole hell of a lot more worried that Ted Bundy was going to wander over to me and tell me that when he was twelve, he had really needed me…where had I been?
Which leads me to my theory that if there is a god, I need not worry ‘cos he is off hiding somewhere like a scared little bitch, dreading exactly just such a confrontation with any one of us (much less one of our truly infamous), but I’ll abstain from as much blasphemy as possible.
I have always been especially fond of this quote:
If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And I really do believe that, more than any of the nonsense fairy tales written in any religious text. The only problem is that it seems that there is no payoff in it.
And, for the record, Longfellow said nothing about blogging so that one seems like a raving bitch; he really didn’t—I have even checked for fine print. :-)
The bottom line is that I am having not a crisis of faith, because I haven’t any; but I am having a crisis of lifestyle. A big one. It might be easier if I just gave up and became religious, because then I could reconcile it that I would be repaid tenfold in the Hereafter. But that would be lying, because I really just do not believe, and I wouldn’t be being the way I am for a legitimate reason any longer—it would be some kind of wussy-assed bargaining tool. It is not real if it is motivated by some freakish greed, even if that greed is for salvation, or whatever. So screw the religion idea.
I also like this quote:
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
I particularly like it ‘cos it says clearly that I am not being blasphemous here. :-)
I do not know what I am going to do. I feel as if I should do something to change the situation as I perceive it, and to relieve the distress as I experience it, and drinking and drugs are out. The fact is, I am at a breaking point. Something has to change, and I am figuring that my odds of changing the external world and all the people that live in it are pretty slim. :-) Plus, reason being what it is and all, if I do change, it’s not legitimate change since I am doing it with a reward in mind; I have to apply the same standards to myself that I do to all the freaky bible-thumpers, after all.
But I guess the bottom line is that I have had about enough. One short end of the stick too many, and all that. And I am not talking about being overtly cruel...just indifferent.
One more, and then I am going to sleep:
Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.
I guess that I am just trying to decide which way that is. Sometimes the pulls in both directions seem pretty equal.