Wednesday, February 8

On Kindness

Aaron's last post make me wonder-how does one be kind?

This is going to be a little convoluted, so I'll do the best I can.

I was very, very angry as a young lad. The universe was unfair, and I was desperate with rage at this fact. This condition was made worse by the fact that people who should've been tipping the scales to balance, were not doing so. I decided to become an asshole, mostly because that way I'd be harder to damage.

Somewhere along the line, in high school, or more likely early college, I just got tired of being pissed off all the time. I decided to try and still be me-honest, good friend, resolute-without alienating everyone who came around me. Being angry seemed futile, and accomplished little. The universe-and the morons in it-weren't going to change. I had to change.

But, since I'd been fucked with and raised by people who loved me, and was around people who cared for me, my change was to be more compassionate towards everyone else, or at least to try and be more compassionate towards others. It's not easy, but it seemed better than being angry. Mostly, it is better than being angry.

Except. Except now I'm depressed. What did I do with the fire inside? I shut it off. It did not serve a purpose, I felt, so I clamped the bellows and let the forge go cool. And now I don't exactly know what to do.

Anyone who's been around me when I've gone on a rant-especially when buzzed-has seen that my anger at the universe for not being right-or fair-is not dead. Oh no. But I don't know what to do with it now. And when I don't know what to do with it, the anger cools, and sinks to the bottom of my consciousness, and eventually weighs me down.

It's been said I should be a teacher, or perhaps a therpist. Those professions do seem interesting, I'll confess. Something where I'm involved in helping people (to learn, to get better), or able to unleash some righteous vengeance (anything involving the destruction of self-important neocons) feels like a better thing than just punching keys all day. But I don't do those things. I don't know how, and I'm...more than a little concerned that I'm not good at them, even when I do know what I'm doing.

Kindness, I think, is a default for me, but anger is also a default setting for me. My OS is all fucked up. But when I see A. talk about needing to be more kind, I wonder if I'm really missing something here, because this is a man who has reminded me, on more than one occasion, to be open to the struggles of others. Others whom I do not want to be open to. I am not trying to minimize his goals to be a better man, nor say: Ah, you're fine, don't do that. I just wonder what I'm missing when someone who I feel is kind, does not feel he's done enough. Makes me think that I've got a long, long way to go.

The flip side of this is; I need to do something with my anger. I don't want to be fucking depressed. I don't need the weight of anger gone wrong. I need to honor it, use it appropriately, so I can move on. Not every situation can be handled by mere mortals with simple kindness. I just don't know how to work that out, yet.

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