Monday, March 15, 2010

You did WHAT?

Scolding ought to be, at the very least, a misdemeanor. What a wretched way for people to treat each other. It has not happened to me recently, although there was that borderline, that wasn't a scolding. When you've had one, there is no room for uncertainty.

Worse yet is when I feel one coming over me and remind myself fiercely that, whatever it is about, it is not my job, not my business. Are we born to berate? No, I don't think so. It has to be a behavior that springs from our own sense of lack in some fashion, lack masquerading as superiority.

It comes from, as I feel it or as I've experienced its sting, the belief that we are all walking the same path at the same pace toward the same destination. Amazing that we haven't been issued uniforms, another aid in keeping us in line and doing everything properly. The more years I add to my resume, the more I understand that each of us is unique. Never before, never again will there be one identical in every sense. The old phrase, rugged individual, just lodged in my brain. Yet that is who and what we are, a party of one in every case.

If we are fortunate, if we pay attention and have a notion of who we are, we may find others of our tribe. We will not match one another in every category but we will recognize parts of ourselves in them, even if it is through acknowledging our separateness. Whether we allow it to show or not, in our way each of us is an outsider. And therein we find the source of great discomfort within our human family. If I'm doing it right and you're doing it some other curious and questionable way, how could both styles be acceptable? She served the chips in a basket and not a bowl...get over it.

Please excuse me if I'm repeating myself, but being right is not all we've been led to think it is. As a trait of which I fervently want to rid myself, the desire, the need to be right is a form of delusion. I recognize it as next-of-kin to control, the strong-arming of another to one's mind set, the bullying of an independent spirit into admitting - gasp - a mistake. It comforts me to assume that we each do the best we can at any given moment; if we could do it differently, we would. And it also gives me peace to accept that none of us is here to play the part of (to quote Homer Simpson) prank monkey to anyone else.

Scolding is abuse. I feel remorse for any I have inflicted and can only become more conscious, more aware of how shaming and inappropriate it is. Toward those who have scolded me, I never feel quite the same. It is not about holding onto resentment; it is about not being seen or valued as myself in the glory of my wide-screen me-ness. We do not want to feel small. We wish to be comfortable in our skin and in our choices. Scolding comes from judging and that is not one of the rights we've been given, however often it is practiced.

I realize I am here to learn, not to correct, not to instruct, never to condemn. There is no doubt that I will falter in those aspirations, yet awareness of shortcomings is a step toward change. It is the mind that looks at others and sets them apart. My intention is to live by my heart's guidance, letting go of any wish to be the smartest, neatest, thriftiest, sanest, most punctual, sensitive and wonderful person in the room. We can be one-of-a-kinds together.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

I remember so vividly a phrase oft repeated in the "Anne of Green Gables" books. Anne would refer to kindred spirits as "being of the race of Joseph". It never came across in a religious way, just that there's that connection you feel with some people - that they are of "your tribe", or as Michelle Ward says, "they 'get' you". They don't scold, they understand.

Lisa Hoffman said...

This is nothing more than solid gold wisdom. Again, thank you.

Wait, did you say that she served chips IN A BASKET!!???

Anonymous said...

scolding comes from judgement..

that gives it a good line of definition..