dinner time conversation, lovely things, potentially useful information, tom being tom

…growing a thicker skin…

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I think people seldom realize the actual meaning of words, or the hand they tip when they actually utter something. Do they realize? That it actually bears insight into the soul, whatever wretched mass of one they may have? I don’t know that they do, because maybe they wouldn’t say anything at all.

I seldom have a problem with words or saying things, or worry about what people see in my soul, because I love what’s in there. It’s optimistic and curious and only wants others to flourish. I have a hard time dealing with people sometimes, because I cannot believe that they haven’t the same content. Often it means I get sucked into conversations with lonely strangers, taken verbal hostage, wrapped up in others peoples dramas while my own life flounders in a sea of muck. It’s how I’m wired. I like to believe there’s likely something beautiful and good at the core of everyone and I get stuck sometimes in the futility of that mining effort.

There are, I realize now, evil and ugly people that walk the face of the earth. While I am spiritual, I don’t believe in heaven and hell per se, or that satan is somehow taking over. I think it’s all a choice. You choose what you see and what you want to have flourish in the world. You choose that by choosing what flourishes inside of you. It’s always a choice – every minute of every day, from how you treat a stranger to your closest friends, to yourself.

Sometimes I can’t believe the choice that people make. Maybe the first example is the sort of thing that’s common place these days at building departments. It’s the reason I’ve always been weary of ever growing bureaucracies and penny dictators who wield power they should never have been granted.

Aside from the growing list of arbitrary and utterly nonsensical requirements, the simple act of submitting for a permit has become something like a confessional. A dour and serious affair where half of the things you’re documenting serve as some sort of atonement for the sin of helping someone legally develop their property for whatever reason. You know that no matter how much time and energy you’ve spent trying to comply with everything, even providing information they don’t require (knowing full well that they likely will require it for no apparent reason), you find yourself at the moment in the intake appointment, after 3 different code ‘experts’ have probed and combed through your drawings to see if they’re even worth reviewing, where one of them tips the sadistic hand they hold. They reveal their mindset. There’s the little quip – after all the agreements that you’ve provided everything you need and more, in the format they require, where one of them says, “well, we’re still going to reject this…”.

There’s the long moment of silence and finally they snigger in unison and say they’re only kidding. Kidding. Like the doctor who tells you that you’ve cancer, watches your soul sag into a flaccid heap, and then laughs and says they’re only fucking with you. Funny, alright.

It comes too, in the form of people who say you’ve got to grow a thicker skin. What the hell sort of a comment or ultimatum is that, exactly? Toughen up so you can put up with more and more degrees of hurtful bullshit? Why must people be on guard, free grounds to fuck with, to torment and tease and hurt and then tell them it’s their own fault for not being tough enough or smart enough to get the joke? I’m trying to figure out what sense this sort of misanthropic, sadistic humor makes. For the life of me it doesn’t, and never will. In fact, now that I’ve seen it, I’m more likely to be keen to all the different ways it manifests itself.

More and more, it’s another reason I like being on one side of the stove, and having the rest of the world on the other. I trust things in the kitchen and I know that all of the humiliating lessons I learn there aren’t arbitrary or meaningless or subject to change on some whim. If anything, in the kitchen, I’m growing a thinner skin, and am more sensitive and in tune with how things want to be, what they can become. It’s a far better state of being to strive for.

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Discussion

One thought on “…growing a thicker skin…

  1. Indeed sir-Hus

    Posted by Something for everyone, a Comedy Tonight | June 23, 2013, 10:36 pm

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