I’m a “quotes” person. I love quotes from people who have climbed rungs of the highest ladders, who have tripped and fallen face down in grime, who have cleansed themselves by splashing about in rain puddles, who have soared on the wings of ecstasy, who have teetered on rocky precipices, who have cradled a little person close to them and inhaled that baby’s sweetness, who have scratched art into existence, who have loved, hated, accomplished, failed, thrown in the towel, swam with rip tides until they broke free. . .who have LIVED.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?
The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within, not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.”
~Stephen King (Different Seasons)
Today was a bad day as far as bad days go. It wasn’t awful but it came pretty darn close. I have met some pompous donkeys before but never like the person I encountered this afternoon. I am conscious of the reality that many people I meet in my daily life are going through tough times. Even though I might be having an “off “day, my behavior towards others (when I’m in the grocery store, library or on campus) reflects a fundamental philosophy of mine, be kind anyway (or, at the very least, don’t displace my feelings on someone who doesn’t deserve it)!
I was rudely reminded of how crass and obnoxious some people are (when supposed to be acting professionally). I became the attempted target of an abusive person who tried to belittle me in order to keep “superior” helium from seeping out of his inflated ego. My immediate reaction was hurt (not a common response). Then, anger.
I spoke to three incredible women who all asserted that we don’t give our power over to individuals who trample on it. Maya Angelou says that “anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” I’m going with this one. Like my amazing friends, she is one smart woman. If anyone knows about oppression, she does. If anyone could have hatred for people (like this man I met today), she could. But she doesn’t hang onto it.
I’m not the same person I was four years and eight months ago. Yes, it’s true, because of an absurd divorce and single motherhood, I’ve been bumped down rungs on the economic ladder. It’s correct that sometimes it’s a struggle to get through the day and I’m grateful when she closes her door. I acknowledge I am imperfect–sometimes too feisty, too passionate, too inquisitive or too intense.
Despite these characteristics, I am sure of some important truths:
- I am worthy of respect and dignity because I am human.
- I’m a woman. The term doesn’t translate to idiot.
- I never deserve to be called a “what.” I am a “who.”
I know the difference between right from wrong, lies from truth, nominalism from authenticity and abuse from love. So to the man who dropped nuclear bombs today hoping to witness destruction, epic FAIL.