Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Not Worth It
We the public, are easily, lethally offended. We have come to think of taking offence as a fundamental right. We value very little more highly than our rage, which gives us, in our opinion, the moral high ground. From this high ground we can shoot down on our enemies and inflict heavy fatalities. We take pride in our short fuses. Our anger elevates, transcends.
-- Salman Rushdie. East West.
A friend I used to know, I’ll call him Bloke, dropped by at my place. We were meeting after many, many years. We sat at the dining table and he told me what had happened to his life in the interim. He had sorted out family problems. Gotten his sister married. Built up the family business. Kicked out his wife's lover. Built a house for his mother. Wonderful! After listening to him, one would think it would be my turn to tell him about my life. But Bloke decided he knew everything about me already. What's more, he decided he knew how I should run my life as well. He had sorted out his issues after all, so why not sort out the rest of us? So he started advising me. “You’re like this!” he stated, “You’re like that!” and then, “You shouldn’t be like this!” he declared, “You should try to be like that!”
I should probably have gotten into a heated argument of self justification with him.
I should have raged indignantly about his pomposity for weeks afterwards. But there is something about hitting a landmark Birthday that has led to the realization that people will always be who they are. And I have come to realize how precious that thing called time is. And how blessed I am that I still have the energy to want to do the things I really want to do.
Since I had already made the unfortunate choice to waste some time on Bloke, I didn’t think I wanted to waste my energy on him as well.
So I just sat and watched for a while, this arrogant, empty- headed donkey braying loudly at me.
I wondered at myself for having hung out with him and his gang years ago.
After a while, I asked him to leave. Nicely.
Bloke phoned me the next day, and the next.
Unfortunately I couldn't answer his call.
I was so busy being who I am.
Here is another example of a donkey.