Hello dear reader(s)!
It occurs to me that I criticize people and societal norms (not Norm) very often on this here blog-type-thing. And so it occurs to me that some of my dear reader(s) may think I think I’m pretty darned awesome. Some of my dear reader(s) may be under the mistaken impression, that despite my mental and physical ailments, that I believe I’ve got it all figured out.
And that is because I do.
No, just kidding.
I am far from perfect. In fact, though I believe my wife is pretty damned close, I’m quite certain that nobody is. We all fuck up. We all do things that may not be the best course of action for ourselves and others.
For example, I love animals, but I eat meat. It is something that I have a hard time reconciling. The damage I do and the hurt I cause by this lifestyle is against my belief that one should try to limit the suffering of other beings as much as is possible. But cheeseburgers. I mean, cheeseburgers. Come on. I’ve tried to go vegetarian. I’ve tried to go vegan. I failed miserably. I got fat, both times. I’m just not good at it and don’t have the skill or patience necessary to ensure I get proper nutrition and limit my caloric intake without meat. For those of you who can, you have my respect. Maybe I’ll be able to one day, but I’m taking baby steps here. Besides…cheeseburgers.
Another example is that I like offensive humor. The more wrong, the better. (Well, I do have some limits, but not much.) I completely understand how these jokes can be hurtful to some, and I don’t believe that is right…but I can’t help but laugh. I push so hard for acceptance of people’s differences, and I try to tell everyone that I’ve met people from all walks of life and found good in each and every one of them, yet when I hear something from Anthony Jeslenik I laugh so hard my side hurts. Maybe it is the shock that adds to the humor, I don’t know. Maybe it is because I know he doesn’t mean the stuff he jokes about, but it cracks me up. I recognize the hypocrisy in that.
My vocabulary. Where I grew up, the most common insult was the F word. Not fuck or any of its various forms, but the word that is slang for cigarette in the UK. We hurled that word all around the playground at each other in elementary school. It wasn’t until we all started to become sexual that I even realized there was gay people I knew and that the word was a slur against them. These people were my friends, and my use of that word at that young age may have made it more difficult for them to be proud of who they are. Prior to that, I’d only seen anything about gay people on the news, and it was some far off thing about stuff I didn’t even comprehend. I highly recommend you watch the South Park episode The F Word if you want to understand my thoughts on that word. Even still, I don’t like to use it, despite not meaning it as a slur against homosexuals.
My anger. I’m working on it, I really am. In fact, the only time I’ve used that word since understanding what it meant to most people was in traffic, when this lifted (compensating?) huge pickup with the Oakley sticker across its front bumper (You really think it is cool to advertise for a sunglasses company on your vehicle?) cut across traffic in front of me and almost killed us. And up went my middle finger as I yelled that awful word. And then I spent the next few hours hating myself for it knowing that someone could have heard that and thought that I have a problem with someone’s sexual orientation. All because I get so uncontrollably angry when I feel like I or my loved ones are threatened, even if it isn’t anything more than a potential accident.
There is plenty more about myself that I am working to change. I’m not going to list every single thing because then I’d be up all night writing a post that is 75,000,000 words long. Actually that would take me a lot longer than one night. Math is another thing I need to work on!
But this brings me to the point of my rants, my critiques, and my challenging of perception that I enjoy so much. It is because I think we can all improve. I think that sometimes, it needs to be pointed out to us how some of our actions might be hurting people around us, even if we have no intentions of hurting someone.
Are we ever going to get it 100% right? Not bloody likely.
Should we try?
I believe it is our responsibility to try. I’m not asking for anyone to be perfect. Not me, not you, not John Boener. (I love to bash him, have you noticed? I guess that is wrong too, but I think I’ll work on stopping that one last.) What I am asking, is that we try to think of how our actions might affect others, that we care how our actions might affect others, and that we try to ensure our actions don’t hurt others.
Those are the only things I really think I have figured out.