Monday, March 8, 2010

Do you know why a raven is like a writing desk?

So I had two sort of life revelations today. And by life revelations I don't mean like some intense spiritual experience, nor do I mean some kind of guidance in the direction my life and career and all that should go. No, what I mean by life revelations is that I just all the sudden understood two funny things about humans, and I shall share them with you.

Lots of people like to tear others down. Like if there is someone people look up to, other people like to say "oh, well they did this" or "they did that" so they aren't look-up-to-able anymore. And I realized today that this is completely retarded. Because looking up to someone, and wanting to be more like them doesn't mean you automatically become a carbon copy of them. For example: I really like Whoopi Goldberg. I think she is totally hilarious and awesome. I would love to have as charismatic and funny personality as she does. But she believes some political things on the more extreme end of the spectrum which I happen not to agree with. But.... so what? Wanting to be more like her does not inherently include changing my beliefs to be the same as hers.

And this is the retarded part. I can't really explain it very well. Language is always an idea barrier for me. But I'll try. See, nobody is perfect. Ever. But some people seem like they are. Like they're too good to be true. So we look up to these people, wanting to be as good as they are at whatever it is. Whether to be as good a singer, or as good an actor, or as good a neighbor, or as good a mom, or whatever. But sometimes people think that if that person has an imperfection exposed, then they are automatically cast down from the pedestal for all time, and no one can be respected unless they are perfect in all ways. Not only does this NEVER happen (except in the case of Jesus), but it's totally irrelevant. Completely. Utterly. Not even part of the same issue.

Because let's say there's a lady who's REALLY good at being a mom, but she's not so great at, say, being nice to people in heavy traffic. (A common flaw in many people). These critics say "Oh, no, she's got road rage issues, we can't look up to her anymore." But what you were looking up to her for in the first place was her amazing mom-ness. What the crap does her having road rage have to do with you trying to be as good a parent as she is? Really? Like seriously?

Another example is ancestors. Sometimes we read their journals and we think, wow, this person was such a great person. I want to be like them. And then someone else comes along and says "Oh, well did you know that your grandpa did this to my grandpa once?" or "Well, did you know that your grandpa believed in this political thing?" A lot of times this changes someone's opinion, and they no longer look up to their ancestor. But why? Seriously, why? It does show that they aren't a perfect person, yeah. But that doesn't mean that all those other good things they did don't count anymore. Maybe your grandpa was a communist or something, in his political beliefs, and you don't agree with that. But he was still a great neighbor, and always helped people no matter what. You can still try to be like his good traits. It's not like his bad traits are super-glued to the good ones, and you have to do all or none. That's just stupid.

Political leaders are the worst targets for this. There are lots of guys in history that did some pretty amazing things. Abe Lincoln, for example, is one of my favorites. He wasn't perfect politically. He made a couple mistakes running the country through a civil war. Show me the person who wouldn't have. For real. He had trouble with some of his proclamations and stuff. Maybe he didn't act fast enough in one situation or another. But he did a pretty phenomenal job at keeping a country together in the long run. He did end up freeing the slaves in the long run. He tried his best, and sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't. Some people say that these mistakes he made means that we shouldn't really look to him as an example after all. Bull. Whether or not he ever did tell a lie in his life (which no one has a way of proving one way or the other), the point is that he was known as honest Abe. And we can use that example to try to be honest ourselves, whether or not he was perfect at it.

You can find determination, or loyalty, or military genius, or wisdom, or kindness, or bravery, or loads of other things, in just about anyone in history. And anyone in history is going to have something else that they weren't as good at. But should we just ignore their example of bravery, because they lost their war? Or should we ignore the deep wisdom of someone else just because they didn't always follow it themselves? That doesn't make what they said a less wise thing. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to live that way.

Now, as with everything, common sense is necessary. Because sometimes these things aren't actually wise, and aren't actually good, and you have to carefully decide whether it is or not based on their actions combined with your firing neurons. Sometimes being hypocritical actually is a bad thing, and it shows that they weren't really teaching something intelligent. Just something people wanted to hear. But then again, sometimes they are actually good precepts to live by, even if the people who said them didn't. The pharisees told people to keep the 10 commandments, even though they pretty much didn't. But we should still do it. Use those brain cells. Decide which is which, and try to live up to all the good examples, and ignore the bad ones.

K, the second thing I realized is much shorter, I promise. It is simply this: "Things always get more awkward before they get better." This is similar to that common phrase about the night is always darkest right before the dawn. And that is soooo true. But it's not always universally applicable. Because not everything in life is dark and trial ridden. Sometimes it's just.... weird. Or uncomfortable.

Example: I graduated with a degree that's not necessarily so useful. Many people have graduated this past year. And finding jobs is hard enough even if you do have a great degree. So I'm in limbo right now. It's not exactly hard to be jobless. It's kind of lazy and carefree feeling, except for the lack of money part. And it's especially not that bad for me, because I feel like I have a pretty decent sense of when it's just NOT necessary to over-stress about something. And when I say overstress I don't mean that there are things you shouldn't worry about and try your best on. What I mean is that sometimes people think too hard about it. Or worry too much about it. And the only thing that actually accomplishes is more stomach acid and a shorter life-span. It doesn't get you a job any faster. But not having a job is awkward. Especially when people ask "oh, are you in school" "no" "oh, you're working then?" "um, no. Not yet." Then they give you that look like "well, what the heck ARE you doing?" But it's ALWAYS gonna be more awkward before it gets better.

Another example is with a best friend. There's a point before you know each other, a point where you are regular friends, and then there's a transition into being really tight best friends. With some people that transition happens very naturally, and literally is only like a second or two long. But it's always there. There's always a moment where you're not entirely sure if you're tight enough of friends to say something particular, or to do something crazy that you only do for special people. Sometimes that awkward space lasts for a few days or a week, until you get brave enough to try it, and they get brave enough to admit that they thought it was awesome, and not retarded. Other times it's nearly instantaneous. So much so that you barely even notice it. But it's always there.

The same is true on the dating scene. There's a point where you don't know each other, a point where you're friends, a point where you like each other, but the other doesn't know if you like them, and you don't know if they like you. And then there's the point where you figure it out, and you are now into the relationship stage. Just like with the best friend thing, sometimes that happens really fast. So fast you don't know it happened. But most of the time there's at least a short little space where you're totally unsure, and making that next move is really awkward. It's not dark, or evil, or bad. Just uncomfortable and a little weird. But it's always awkward before it's better. And once that awkward space is gone, it's way better.

Another example is in art. When you're painting or crocheting, or drawing, or sculpting, or or whatever, there's always a transition to being finished and good. There's always a point right before you can really tell what it is, or right before it ends up looking right and good, and not off. It's always gonna be a little awkward looking, and not very great before it can be finished and awesome. Always.

Ok, I Promised this would be way shorter, and it IS shorter, but not as short as I planned. Once again I ramble to my soul's content, and only afterwards realize that probably no one was interested enough to get this far into my post. Whatever, though. Your loss. Or not, probably. As if my blog posts have some sort of cosmically nourishing power. HA. But anyway, I'm gonna be done now. Lata!

No comments: