Don’t Be a Jerk: On Preachers and Paying Attention
This morning, I’m thinking about bad behavior. I was reading through a discussion, last night and today, and it made me angry. Not the initial points, but the subsequent ones. Because there were grave errors in judgment.
Why is it so difficult for some people not to be jerks? Why is it so difficult to affirm that there’s often more than one good way to do something?
Sometimes, when listening to people, I begin to feel as if I’m standing in front of a preacher – one who’s clutching the kool-aid and snorting the coke of his own brand of crazy.
It’s one thing to be right. It’s entirely another to say, “THERE IS NO OTHER WAY, BITCHES!”
Yes, I’ve broken out the cursing. Deal with it. Or pretend I said ‘witches’ and move on.
There’s always more than one way to succeed, otherwise, we’d be living in a Twilight Zone episode. Think about something simple and fundamental, like learning to tie your shoe. Some parents give the cute rabbit hole demonstration. Some don’t. As long as you learn to tie your shoe, who cares how you learned to tie it? It’s the end result that matters, right? Or is someone going to stone you for your bunny ears? I don’t think so.
Yet, as I’ve grown up, I’ve seen that type of thing translate poorly. Adults, who should know better than to spew bile, do exactly that: berate and act like belligerent jerks, because they feel justified in doing it. If you find something that works for you, GREAT. But not everyone can replicate the same experience. In fact, it’s impossible to replicate an experience, because we’re all different people.
I’m the first to admit when I don’t know what I’m doing. If I’m winging it, I will tell you. But everything is a learning experience, if you’re paying attention. Pay attention. Be present. Try to observe things, without an already tinted lens. Because figuring out how to do something is great. For instance, as a kid, I learned to crochet…but not with a needle. No, I ended up learning how to do it with my fingers.
Sure, it was an atypical endeavor. I’ve yet to meet anyone else who can say they once crocheted with their hands. Eventually, I learned to use the hook needle. But I still learned. I can still do it. Most people wouldn’t have learned that way. I did. I rock. *ahem*
If you stop learning, if you stop seeing that other views are valid, something is wrong. You’re no longer part of a discussion – you’re on the sidelines shouting obscenities at people. Engaging in a conversation is not the same thing as preaching at people. You can be as right as you want to be, but once you still belittling people and their choices? Well, people stop listening.