As part of my participation in My 500 words, I am posting what I write each day.
Sometimes writing character-driven stories can be more exhausting than any other kind of writing. But in real life, it’s people that make things happen. Sure, there may be natural occurrences, that affect our lives, but how people react to them is still what drives humanity.
When we start out our life as infants, we’re selfish and hungry. If we develop normally we eventually learn empathy and how to care for other’s needs. But do we ever lose our selfish desires? Do they just lay underneath our conscience, under control most of the time? I think so. It’s why there’s conflict in the world.
When I hear or read someone’s story, their testimony or an account from their life that explains who they are, that person becomes more real to me. In my few years in Celebrate Recovery I’ve heard some powerful stories of people’s lives. Each time, I’m reminded that these people have been shaped by events of their life and choices they made. They’ve been hurt and betrayed. They’ve had role models, good and bad. They’ve made choices they’ll regret forever.
I’m reminded that these people are just like me.
While I know a few people that it’s hard to imagine them ever being unkind or selfish, there are the other people. I don’t know most of them, but I see them being rude to cashiers or driving their loud vehicles above the speed limit in a school zone. Then there are people I know whose character flaws are all I seem to notice most of the time. These people might seem very selfish. They might make other’s lives more difficult for no apparent reason. They might be bullies, passive-aggressive saboteurs, or power-tripping micromanagers. We all know people like this, do we?
But what’s more, are these people any different than us? The man in his illegally parked Corvette who’s rude to the girl at Starbucks. The woman who spreads hurtful gossip. Even the schoolyard bully. We all have a past full of incidents that shaped us and people who’ve hurt us. We all have coping mechanisms that we use to deal with life’s hurts. I have them and so does every person who irritates me or makes my life difficult.
We all have a past that defines us. Some of us may not like what we’ve become from it and feel the need to act in a certain way, hoping to find security or identity. Some of us may not be aware of how we are and we think we’re doing the best we can. I know I’ve been there. I’ve thought I was doing it right, indispensable, and doing no damage. I had a cold wake-up call when I finally saw how I had been with others. The damage took years to mend.
I’m not offering a solution to my observations other than this: I think we all know people in our lives that we don’t care for. Personally, I’m going to try to remember how it is for me sometimes. I’ve felt insecure and alone. These people do too sometimes. They’re coping with life in the way they can. Yes, it’s hurting others, and sometimes these people are poisonous to the point where they just need to be cut from our lives. But they’re this way for a reason.
Readership on my blog has been down. If you are reading this, you might wonder if there is anyone in particular on my mind and this is my own passive-aggressive way of dealing with it. If you have questions, please message me. The point of today’s blog was to write 500 words about what’s on my mind. Mission accomplished.