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By Ginger | October 14, 1999
I feel happy. Happier than I’ve ever felt. It seems like a pendulous weighted pressure has subsided and I’ve come away from it refreshed and cleansed. “Riding the storm” is a phrase that gets used in dodgy metal tunes with the same frequency as “living on the edge” and things “cutting like a knife” (and it’s very likely that these phrases too mean something deeper than running out of lyrics or not being able to find a rhyme for “life”). But “ride the storm” I most definitely have done.
When your own experience enables you to make an educated guess that you really know what is what (and what isn’t) it’s handy to remember that you really don’t know anything conclusively, otherwise you wouldn’t have been in any of your previous messes in the first place. Mistakes are as common as heartbeats, and making them gives us all a sense of belonging and comradeship. But the real lesson is recognising them. And, of course, trying not to make the same ones again.
How many times have you been reminded, in glorious detail, of how much you fucked up? Even by supposed friends? You can bet that these people are convinced that nothing is their fault. If you recognise that you, yourself, have made a terrible blunder somewhere, somehow, who in the world could make you feel any worse? And who, with a basic grasp of humanity, would want to? When putting this logic into practice it makes complete sense that someone who has wronged you does not need the extra self-loathing that you could try and push on them. It’s the most cruel and selfish form of emotional manipulation, and sounds, on paper, like the act of an enemy.
But are enemies so far removed from friends? Aren’t the people you love only so lovable because you recognise their flaws and insecurities? And isn’t it also true that you only recognise these flaws and insecurities because they’re the same as yours? Otherwise how could you possibly recognise them? Are we really that telepathic?
The human being can be so cruel to all other animals, including other humans. It seems that in an increasingly loveless world, it is the final form of communicating with others on some – any – basic level. Except, of course, all other pack animals act together for the betterment of the pack. We, on the other hand, go for the popular opinion in almost all levels of social behaviour.
How often have you heard that “so and so is a such and such,” and everyone you know within hearing range not only finds themselves agreeing, but has a specific example of why they think so too (usually followed by a similar anecdote, to establish that they are not making it up just to be a part of the group vibe)? You’ve probably found yourself subscribing to this ugly scenario yourself… I know I have, and have been left with a feeling of letting myself, and the unknowing victim, down badly. Oh, how human we all are.
But a mistake is a mistake, and can only be laboured over for as long as a personal decision to make amends comes about. Your friends, your family and your lovers / partners… they all fall into the bracket of “human.” In other words, THEY CAN’T HELP IT! To insult a friend behind their back is to insult your ability to act as a good judge of character.
So, who is the jerk?
If something traumatic has happened that makes you take stock of yourself, then isn’t that traumatic event worth it? Wouldn’t things be much worse if something hadn’t happened to turn you into this fantastic person?
Gossip is usually the conversation of one who has nothing interesting to say about himself. And it only goes to prove how infinitely more interesting the person taking up valuable conversation time really is.
Happiness is obtained by being the sort of person that you would like to get to know. Happiness pours all over your friends and loved ones, and before they know it, they’re happy too. And aren’t they worth it?
So, do yourself one big favour. Next time someone you know is being slagged off by so-called friends of yours… SHUT UP! Or better still, reprimand these “friends” for being so cruel about someone who is not there to defend themselves. You never know, they may well learn something. BUT AT LEAST YOU’LL FEEL A WHOLE LOT BETTER!
Love and peace…