I call bullshit where I see it, and I’m not going to stop, despite the letters from a motivational speaker disguised as The Universe, despite Internet memes that spread like a plague of Airwick flowers, despite those who let go and let karma, and despite the conscious breathing I’m doing in the new year. Bullshit needs its callers.
|drawing by Kurt Vonnegut|
“You know, you come over and eat all my food and drink all my beer, and you never contribute anything.”
“That’s OK. Can I pour you a beer?”
Will your complaint and its consequences precipitate a change in your friend? Depending on the friend, probably—but at least possibly. And if it isn’t worth the effort to save the friendship (some relationships aren’t healthy for a host of reasons), at least send a mean person off with a performance review. Praying for a meanie doesn’t heal the meanie or your heart, and it doesn’t make you a better person. What does? The favor of telling him why it didn’t work out. After all, when you get fired from your job, don’t you want to know how to prevent the same fate with the next one?
Asking for what you want works with friendships, too. If your friend is an asshole, it might be simply that you didn’t ask him to stop being one, which is like asking him to continue being one.
Here’s a second message co-opted from the Book of Face.
@BelindaOne of my favorite quotes is: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" —Rabbi Hillel
If it makes me a judgmental bitch to tell people that their behavior is rude, I guess that's too bad. Because it's important to speak out against injustice, even if it's just someone parking in two spaces.
This is a great piece Leslie, all so very true. And I love this part: "admiring the emperor’s threads in front of people who know he’s naked." Because he's often naked. My brother always gave me the advice to eliminate miserable people from your life who drag you down, and move towards the one who lift you up. But you have a point that we also have a responsibility to the world, to do something about that behaviour, so it doesn't get passed on, and re-inflicted. So much bad behavior continues because it's ALLOWED to. It's encouraged by silence, and this applies to ALL TYPES of situations and horrors.
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"In truth, most people are damaged." That is my favorite part of this piece. Well written Leslie.
Good medicine, Leslie. For those of us who tend to fear confrontation, it can be too easy to let others' bad behavior slide and call ourselves "peaceful" or "spiritual".
Which sound so much more high-toned than "fearful" or "lacking integrity"…