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Feb 21 2013

Better Than This

Am I hard on people? Yes, I’m hard on people sometimes.

Sometimes I am compassionate. I understand that some people are dealing with more than anyone should have to. I understand that the everyday burdens of life are sometimes enough that getting by and not taking it all out on an easy target is an accomplishment. I see that complaints sometimes amount to nothing more than “Leave me alone. I’m not bothering you.” I see that this is true. Then I am compassionate.

Sometimes, however, I see people with position, power, support, resources. I see them complain that someone else isn’t doing things the way they would if they bothered to do them. I see them try to impose aspirational standards on everyone, under every circumstances, while not meeting those standards themselves, despite that position, power, support, and resources. I see lies, though I’m not always sure whether I am seeing self-deception or whether someone thinks they can make me believe something they don’t.

I am still compassionate. I understand that position, power, support, and resources make it all too easy to be told what one wants to hear instead of what one needs to hear. I understand the temptations of power. I understand the fear of losing privilege.

I am compassionate, but I am hard. Some people it costs nothing but unearned pride to do better than this. Some people have accepted position, power, support, and resources based on promises to be better than this. Some of them have earned these things by demonstrating they can be better than this.

It doesn’t mean being perfect. Sometimes it means being quiet because someone can’t meet the standards they’ve set for themselves by what they’ve accepted. Sometimes it means doing their best while being willing to fix any mistakes. But it always means being better than this–because they’ve demonstrated that they can, because they’ve received the rewards of doing so.

Also because you’ve accepted a world in which I have to be better than this myself. That makes me compassionate. It also makes me hard. If you don’t want to change the world, that’s the price you get to deal with.

3 comments

  1. 1
    Duke Eligor

    I happen to have a magical talisman that senses insencerity. So, let me consult…
    wait a moment…
    Nope, nothing there. False alarm, sir.

    I think you’re over-worrying too much.

    But, you may have a bit of a hate for the human animal? That’s okay. We all do time to time.

    Human beings are animals, sometimes better, but more often worse than those who walk on all fours. One can’t really begrudge the animal for what it is. You can’t really fault a lion for taking down a gazelle, nor can you fault a venus fly trap from trapping and digesting its prey alive. Animals do what they must. Human beings promise more than that from our bizarre capacity for consciousness, but ultimately we are animals like all the others. Don’t expect too much. It’s an ugly world we live in, an ugly dirty world full of wonders none-the-less. The most brutal animal on the planet (us) is often the most interesting. Wouldn’t you say?

    And you know what they say, whenever things get you down, Mrs. Brown:

  2. 2
    medivh

    Eligor: I must ask you, what in the actual fuck was the point of you posting that? Other than, perhaps, requesting in the most roundabout way that you can manage that Stephanie be hard on you, given the content that you’ve just replied to with an extended “just ignore it all”?

  3. 3
    Duke Eligor

    Not sure. Ignore or delete pos, t please. Sorry about that. Friday night was not a good night for me.

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