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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Not becoming…

Yesterday, I felt like a giddy 3 year old child at Best Buy, strolling up and down the Nintendo Wii aisle picking up accessories for my soon to arrive Wii gaming system. I was positive that my Wii was arriving yesterday. However, someone forgot to inform the Karma police that unlike all of the other areas they have crept into in my life, this was a done deal, the Wii was arriving that day and there was nothing they could do to stop it. But stop it they did. Once again, the Karma police fulfilled their duty and blotted out hours of Wii fun and replaced it with me sitting on the couch ruminating over my bad cosmic energy. In a spurt of frustration, I posted a video that I dedicated to the carriers that neglected to deliver my Wii. Now, I think it is safe to say that most things evolving out of a feeling of frustration can generally be cataloged under the “What was I thinking?” file. Being that calm and rational thought aren’t the staples of frustration, posting a video here and there are bound to happen. However, in a world of instant messaging, blogging, Twitter and Facebook, acting out of a spurt of frustration is no longer an opportunity to reflect and mature, rather, it is a feeding ground for those who delight in stating how they think you should act in more or less a 140 characters.

Almost immediately after posting my dedicatory video, I received a comment from an individual that I have virtually no personal contact. In her contact to me she stated that it was not becoming of a Christian to post that specific video. Soon thereafter, I received a comment from a man who stated that he was disappointed in me and implored that in the name of Christ I take down the video (again, another individual I have virtually no personal contact with). To put things in perspective, the video that I posted was “How I could just kill a man” by Cypress Hill. Am I going to kill the carrier for not delivering my Wii? No, posting this video was meant to exaggerate the feelings of frustration I felt for not having had my package delivered that day. Further exaggerating my feelings of frustration are the expletives that appear in the song. Perhaps posting this video was not the most productive reaction to a failed package delivery, yes, I get that. Yet, how productive is it to question a virtual strangers state of being based on a knee jerk reaction to a frustrating occurrence. For the record, I am a human being. Specifically, a human being who grew up in a household that I believe is safe to say put the “D” in dysfunctional. Cussing, drinking, and more than occasional spurts of frustration and anger were commonplace in my house. My sharing this is by no means intended to excuse this type of behavior, rather, it is intended to highlight that I like most human beings are complex, messy creations whose formative years were spent in less than idyllic households. On occasion, I cuss and act out of frustration. But the wonderful thing is that I do these things far less frequently than I used to, which for me is a positive thing.

Maybe having this knowledge about me would have tempered the comments I received on the video I posted, maybe not. Clicking “send” and “post” opens us up to a world of virtual strangers who stand ready to make unfettered comments about the items we choose to share. Of course, we control what we share as well as who can view and comment on what we share. I believe almost every social networking website has privacy controls that users can utilize to keep content private (I use many of these privacy settings myself). Public or private, know this, there will undoubtedly be someone who thinks you are not exemplifying the traits they believe personify whatever label, cause and/or organization you may identify with. Take a deep breath, relax, and know that this is just a blip on the road.

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Cautionary Tale

This morning, I was awakened by the sounds of faint knocking on my door. After an unsuccessful bid at trying to ignore this knocking, I got up to address this incessant early morning disturbance. As soon as I discovered the identity of my Sunday morning knocker, a voice that eerily sounded like Oprah Winfrey recited a Maya Angelou quote I once heard her say on her show; “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I don’t remember when I first heard this quote on the Oprah Winfrey show, but I do recall how instantly I resonated with the gist of this quote. Indeed, for much of my life, this quote has functioned as somewhat of anchor in my life, steering me away from the precarious forces that have threatened to swallow up my identity and mental well-being.

Sadly, my Sunday morning knocker has failed to grasp what is at the heart of this quote, that is, the truth that repeated behavior is not an anomaly but rather an insight into an individual’s condition. My Sunday morning knocker and many others refuse to acknowledge that the truth of an individual lies not in what they say, but instead lies in their repeated behaviors and patterns. Masking the reality of these repeated behaviors and patterns quite often requires an inordinate use of one’s time and faculties, which, in the end accomplishes little more than blocks the path to introspection. Ultimately, failure to grab hold of this succinct truism may result in years of heartache, disillusionment, and oh yes, early Sunday morning visits to unsuspecting friends and family.