Monday, May 12, 2008

Of Saints and Sinners

Some times I enjoy a bit of a battle and then, again, sometimes it gets old and non-productive. And there are times when it seems unfair to waste good ammunition against a fanatic foe who is armed only with a sense of superiority. I always think of the "Church Lady" when I come up against someone like that. (isn't she special???)

But when the self-aggrandizing starts, then I just get bemused and amused. No, I am no crusader unless you count the fact that I write what I believe and stand for what I think is right. I've done my part for natural family preservation over the past few years. There are others who have done more and some who have done less. We are all part of the herd. Oh darn! There I go sounding all "self-righteous" again. Maybe if I were to declare myself the "Joan of Arc" of anti-adoption, it would be OK. Hey, there's nothing "self-righteous" about THAT, now, is there?

I knew a man, many years ago, 11 years ago to be exact, who was a paraplegic. He had become paralyzed after a horrendous accident and had managed to regain his mobility via a modified vehicle and a motorized wheelchair and he lived alone. He was also the most abrasive, rude know-it-all I have ever known....well, up until recently. I know that his condition and many medications may have led to his personality "disorder," but that didn't excuse him from hurting people with his barrages of lectures and his sharp tongue. I had to interact with him through my job but it was a major relief to cut that relationship off when my husband and I moved to FL.

I learned, a long time ago, that words can harm and that you have to develop a pretty thick skin. That took me a long time. I will admit to being timid and non-confrontational for a long time. But now, I really don't care that much what anyone I don't know or care for, personally, has to say about me. I'm a big girl and I consider the source. But I get riled when they pick on my friends with their pseudo-superiority and harassing emails, especially when a friend is in a fragile place, emotionally or is dealing with illness. I am amazed that such people don't know when to shut up and back off and act like a lady. (Whoops! There goes that "self-righteous" thing again.)

I'm not religious, not a church-goer, but I was raised on the Bible and Sunday preaching so I know the stories and the scriptures and that there is wisdom in that book. This is one of my favorite parts because it applies in so many areas, especially in the area of tooting one's own horn. Matthew 6:5-6: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...."

I also like the part that says, "Judge not lest ye be also judged." Who is to decide who are the doers and who are the talkers? I get accused of being a talker only because I will not post abusive, sometimes even vulgar, comments from antagonistic readers on this blog or get into debates with them here. Why should I? We all do our best according to our abilities and opportunities and focus. No one knows what anyone else does when they are not sitting in front of their monitor, spouting off at the keyboard. So, and this is just a suggestion, it might be good to check into who has done what before making any judgment. Judging is just plain toxic, especially when it is based on the mistaken idea that one is a legend in one's own mind.

Good luck to us all. The hill looks steep and we do have to avoid the "loose shale" while we climb or we will slide to the bottom.

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